Thursday, December 16, 2010
Since being off school i had a chance to go to Melbourne with two of the other exchange students. After getting the train into the city we went to go the see the Myers Christmas Windows. Basically Myers is like a high end Sears or the Bay, it just has everything in it for a decent price. During the Christmas season each year they set up a display of about 8 windows, this year being the Nut Cracker. It was actually amazing, all these tiny little sculptures, and the even moved. Also, while walking along there was a story that was being played, so if you got in line at just the right time you could listen to the story rather than reading it on the wall each time.
After glancing at the windows we headed to the Vic Market- a market unlike any that i have seen. It was absolutely massive, there was everything that you could think of too, from fresh meats to fruits to bags, clothes, licence plates, stickers, everything!!! While there we each got two things, one being a flag so that we could all sign it on the safari next March, and the other being a jumper. But this was not just any jumper, it is bright yellow, and green, Aussie colours. It is something that i will only wear at home to school on spirit days (as aldershot colours are green and gold/yellow) but it is perfect for what we wanted. We need to take one sweater along with us on safari and now the three of us have one that will top the rest simply because it says AUSTRALIA on it!!
After finishing up at the market we got a bite to eat and then headed off to the Aquarium. I was so excited, going to the aquarium was something that i had been wanting to do fro months and as i walked up to the building i could feel my heart racing with excitement and anxiousness. Going through was amazing, there were penguins, tons of different tropical fish, sharks, sting rays and there was even a man in the tank dressed as Santa feeding the fish- though it was for the little kids, i thought that it was awesome...
Sunday the 12th of December i moved into my new family. There are two other kids, Alex and James, so it has been very different living here. It is really close to town, about a 5 minute walk, and so it makes it easy to find things to do. Also, now i get to run along the bay rather than through the streets. My "sister" and i have also been hanging out, she took me along with her to two parties and it was a little awkward at first not knowing anyone, barely even Alex, but after a while it was not so bad.
So far everything is going really well and now i have Christmas to look forward to and so many other things!
I hope everything is going well at home- and it's not too cold!
Monday, December 6, 2010
This past week i have had a friend staying at the house, she too in an exchange student in my district and living about an hour and a half away in a small town called Cobden. She comes from a city that is larger then Melbourne in Brazil so she found it hard to be in the little country town but is now very happy there. She has been with us since last Thursday and I've been at school for 3 of those days so she has had to find other things to do but once i get home we hangout! It has been nice to have someone my age around the house to be with.
Yesterday morning i went to a work out boot camp with my host dad at 6am. It was an hour long before school and we did skipping, running, boxing, core work, leg work..... lots of work! and needless to say i was exhausted by the end and wanted nothing more but to be able to go back to sleep but i knew i had to go to school.
I only have a couple more days with my family left here but that short time is full of things to do. Tomorrow i am baking rice crispies with Julia (the Brazilian) because she, nor my host parents, know what they are! Thursday we are all going to Melbourne to the market and the aquarium and i am SO excited to go! Friday and Saturday there are two barbeque's that i am going to and then on Sunday i am moving, so yes, i am very very busy!!!
I hope that the shoveling of snow is going well at home, shoveling sand at the beach here sure is! haha
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
This past week i have been to both my rotary clubs meeting and my host dads club and both meetings were just as interesting as the previous ones i have been to. Though there isn't anything particularly interesting to report on i am happy with how my exchange is going.
I have been trying to run everyday now, i go around a block which is about a 5 and a half to 6 k run which isn't too bad i don't think! Rotary did warn us about gaining weight and of course i thought "nope, not me!!" ... but sadly... yes that is me. so now i am desperately trying to get active and so far so good!
Oh, the rain isn't giving up here, the weather has been dreadful and this is supposed to be summer!!! (today is the first day)
Well, that is all for now, hope you're all going well!!!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
The weather has been getting nicer, proving that summer is just around the corner. Currently it is supposed to be 29 out today, and sure feels like it is! Yesterday at 6 at night it was still 33 out so to say that it doesn't get hot here would be a lie.
The classes that i am taking now are media, photography, English, history and international studies, again all things that i want to take "for fun".
Over the past weekend (November 20-22) it was a weekend with all the inbound and outbound exchange students. We went to Ballart, which was only about an hours drive from Geelong and we stayed at other Rotarians in the area's houses. The weekend over all was fun, i loved seeing everyone again but what we had to do was so boring. At home before i left (Canada) we had to sit through a weekend and go over everything for the exchange from dealing with homesickness to insurance and everything in between. It was a two day thing in Canada and another two days in Aussie, so i pretty much know everything backwards and forwards now because I've sat through it twice. All and all it was a good weekend and i was extremely happy to get together with everyone for the weekend.
Since living with this host family i have been doing a lot of volunteering and yesterday (Tuesday) i went and help sell 950 sausages at an event to raise awareness about stopping violence against women. At one point about 50 teenage boys came all at once and i don't think that i have ever moved so quickly trying to hand out these sausages, and to make matters worse they were free... Teenage boys plus free food equals CRAZINESS!!!
That is all i have really been up to lately, hope the cold weather is treating you nice.. the 25+ weather is not to bad over here!!n
Friday, November 12, 2010
This sounds hypocritical, but nothing too much has been happening. I have been biking around a lot, trying to get my bearings around this new part of geelong that i am living in. I also have been running to try and get a little bit more fit before the summer, it sure is a slow process though!
This week i went to Rotary twice, once to my club and once to my host dads club to see everyone. Turns out that my host dads club is sending a girl to France this coming January and she goes to my school! Ill go to the meeting on Monday night to meet here and let her in on some of the exchange news.
Oh, i have been writing exams all week. Although they count for nothing i still have to write them unfortunately but i don't have to study so it is not too bad... they are actually pretty easy considering i didn't do any review. Shh...!!
This week i had a couple of sad days where i really missed home but i talked to some people from home and they helped me out and i'm feeling a lot better now!!
Sorry this is a quick update but i miss everyone, and oh i miss the seasons! The weather hasn't changed much since i've been here and its been 127 days (as of November 13)
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I have now been in the house for a couple days and everything seems to be going great! I am really happy here and guess what, they are my youngest host family yet, 61 and 62 i believe..! haha i guess it should be something i should have expected more when coming here, getting older people for host parents i mean. But you know what, i like it, these people said that they have had about 15 exchange students now so they understand how it all works which is extremely helpful.
I also started mandatory sport this week. I decided to play softball although i really wished i could go into tennis they said that it was too late so ill have to do that next year i suppose. The team seems alright though, nice enough girls and it ranges from years 12 to 8 - there are a few girls from the prep school that joined us. We have our first game this Saturday morning so ill let you all know how that goes!
Nothing else too interesting happening i don't think, exams next week, year 12 in TWO WEEKS! and summer in 4 weeks! so i guess you could say there are a couple things happening..
Well im off to finish some work for my English class, keep well!
Oh, and thanks to everyone who is reading this.. i hope that it isn't for nothing!
Friday, October 29, 2010
Apart from school i have not been doing too much, after gaining what i think was half my body weight, i proudly can tell you that i now go one runs everyday and so far so good! It has been hard dealing with the weight gain here but the way that i think about it is that "every" exchange student gains this weight and than loses it once they get home!
I have been staying in the town Barwon Heads and really loving it here, its my favourite town!!
Oh! Tomorrow is moving day! Im going to host family 3, i still cannot believe that it is already 1/3 of the way through my exchange!!!
Today i also spoke to my dad, it was great seeing him after so long. Anyone, feel free to let me know if you ever want to skype, i'd be happy to share my adventures with anyone willing to listen!
Well, ill let you know how the move goes.
I hope that the weather isn't too cold for you guys, it was a beautiful 28 degrees here yesterday! Woohooo!!!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Yesterday I went to the Rotary lunch as i normally do but today there was a difference. Today was my turn to do a presentation about myself in front of everyone. I talked about things that had to do with home, friends, family, work and Canadian winters! Everyone seemed to enjoy the presentation that i had done. I also quickly talked about my exchange so far and showed some of my pictures then briefly i talked about my trip to Tasmania. Over all i was pleased with how i did and felt confident standing up there in front of about 70 people.
I hope that everyone at home is doing well, i miss you all!
Sunday, October 24, 2010
The weather wasn't 100% all the time but for the most part it was not that bad. Probably about 15-18 each day so i was not complaining one bit!
Overall i had an amazing week and im so thankful for having the opportunity of being there.
Fun fact: if you were to flatten out all the hills/mountains in Tasmania, it would be larger than the rest of Australia .... if you look on a map of the size difference between the two before, you can just imagine the hills i saw!
Monday, October 11, 2010
so now for thanks giving, i am thankful for that dorky helmet, and ill never think twice about wearing one here again!
happy thanks giving everyone!!!
oh ya, i forgot to mention that thanksgiving is not a holiday that is celebrated in Australia unfortunately
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Thursday and Friday this week have been freezing cold. We are now in our summer uniform which consists of a dress and we can wear our jumper, but it is just not warm enough. It has been about 16 for the past two days which is freezing when you barely have enough warmth. Come on! this is Aussie! Where is the warm weather eh!
School it self is not too bad, the work isn't too busy and I'm actually enjoying some of the stuff that we are doing right now. We have had to do a lot of oral presentations in front of the class lately and thankfully i have gotten over my fear of public speaking.
Its only one more week until i head off to Tasmania and I'm so excited! I'm surprisingly even excited for the plane ride, and you would think after my last flight i wouldn't want to fly ever again!
Everything has been going really well and i cannot believe that I am already 1/4 of the way done my exchange...
Monday, October 4, 2010
Over all i really enjoyed the race. Now I'm back to school, in my summer uniform and hopefully on my way to a tan! I doubt it, but a girl can hope!
I hope that the weather isn't too bad over there, it sure is getting to be beautiful here!
Friday, October 1, 2010
Also, on Thursday night i had a friend stay over at the house. Her name is Mathilde and she is here with Rotary on exchange from France. She was in Melbourne for a couple of days and normally lives about 4 hours from Geelong so we asked her if she wanted to stay the night and she did. We talked about a lot of different things and i was very happy that she came over. On Friday in the day we met up with another exchange student from Geelong- Fred from Denmark- and the three of us went to the movies and out for lunch. I really enjoyed seeing them because we don't get that many chances to see them which is really unfortunate.
Monday, September 27, 2010
This past week I've been on holidays from school so I've been relaxing lots! I would just like to remind you that this is my first time having two weeks off since last Christmas so i am perfectly content with doing nothing but lounging around. However, I'm in AUSTRALIA! who wants to lay around when I've only got a year here, not me that's for sure!
Wednesday September 22: On Wednesday i caught the train that goes into Melbourne with some friends. It took us over an hour to get there and then we had to transfer to another train which was another 10 minute ride all just to get to the Melbourne Show, which is just like a giant fair. When we finally arrived there we met up with some more people and headed for the rides! There were so many to chose from and after going on a few the sushi that i had had for lunch was not agreeing with my decision to go on all the bouncy and swirling rides so i had to stop for a while. Walking around was very cool, every where that you looked there were rides i had never seen before, and haunted houses and food, tons and tons of food! Thankfully the sushi turned me off from buying the over priced, greasy food that was being offered. By the time that i arrived home that evening i was exhausted from the day that i had endured so not surprisingly i fell asleep very quickly.
Thursday: We went to Barwon Heads to see how everything was at their cottage and Pam wanted to do a bit of gardening. We drove around for a bit after that and Fred went to check on his bee hives.
Friday: I got some really bad news from home this day, it was something that i hoped i would have to deal with. It really showed me how i could deal with things on my own. I desperately wanted to be home with my friend who had had the news, to make her feel better and to help her to understand but i couldn't do that and it broke my heart knowing that i could. I didn't want her to feel like i was letting her down. I had a tough day that day, cried a lot. We have talked since and things are better, but it is not to say that it is any easier. That day was the first day in a long time that i really wanted to be home with the people who i love.
Saturday: I went to a lunch at Pam and Fred's (my host parents) friends house, it was the grand finals for footy, which is basically like the super bowl but 293847293784 times bigger (the Aussies LOVE their footy). I had lunch there then went to the mall for a bit while the game was on. There were some things that i wanted them, so i missed the game. Turns out that the two teams tied!!!! and they don't go into overtime so they are playing again this Saturday so ill be able to see the final game after all which is great! Although i don't know if i can take another week of everyone talking about the finals!
Sunday: Sundays are my working days so once again i was off to work at 11:30. Work was busy, probably the busiest day that i have seen so far. It was really nice outside so there were quite a few people that came by. The shoes that i had got the previous day were incredible, i didn't know how much of a difference comfortable shoes would make but it made the hectic shift bearable. Also on Sunday night i went out to a girls birthday dinner. Her name is Emily. she is so gorgeous and the nicest girl ever. So i went with her for dinner and some other people from college (school). It was a bunch of people that i didn't really know so it was nice to meet a bunch meet them to have some more familiar faces. After dinner we walked around town for a bit then myself, Emily, and another Emily, and a couple of the boys walked to this one boys house, Rowans, and the boys got picked up there and me and the Emily's and rowan went inside and it was his sister birthday party so we got some ice cream cake and then Emily's dad drove me home and i was home before 11.
Monday: Yesterday we went to a little town and had some lunch. The town was very nice, it was older and we walked up and down the main street looking into the little shops. There was a book store there that was amazing, probably one of the coolest book stores that i have ever seen. It was full of new books and used books. It was located in an old house and was something that i had only ever seen in the movies before. I found a book that i had heard about before, "Great Expectations", and am going to start to read that. The only thing is, it smells weird. I hear that people like the smell of old books, so maybe this one is different, but i really don't like it so i hope that i can stand it enough to get through the book.
Tuesday: Today i went to a rotary meeting. It was held in a different place then normal because there is a bike race going on here and it would have been a nuisance to get to the normal building for most people so we went to a different place. It was well.. an old shed where they house all the stuff that they are going to send to Fiji (books, shoes, clothes etc). When we were there it started to hail and the tin roof magnified the sound so much that the speaker had to stop talking because we couldn't hear her over the noise.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
As for the new house and family, i love them both. I am really happy being here. Pam and Fred are really great people and seem just as excited about me being here as i am about being here, which is really great.
here's a quick recap of my week
Friday: Went into Melbourne to see the semi-finals of footy. It was freezing cold-coming from the Canadian-and we lost horribly so needless to say, not a great final game to see!
Saturday: Last day with the Lawson's, and moved into Pam and Fred's house
Sunday: Went to Barwon heads where Pam and Fred have a cottage and met some more of their grand kids. Then went to the movies with the one daughter-in-law and her daughter who is 15. We saw "tomorrow, when the war began" and i have to say that it was pretty good. There is a book series of it too which i might start to read but i don't know because there are six books, and that's a whole lot of books! lol
Monday: hung out with Pam and Fred's grand kids (10,10 and 7). We went to the park, did some grocery shopping, normal "family" things.
Tuesday: Today i went to a Rotary meeting and saw everyone again. I really enjoyed myself there today, they were very funny! Then we went for a drive around and i saw the farm where Pam and Fred used to live. I also went for a run! I almost passed out by the end but I'm glad that i did it and I'm going to try to start running to lose some of this "exchange weight" that they say "everyone" gains... BUT NOT ME! i will come back normal, if not better! that is my goal. all i have to do is start to say no to the treats- a mission in it self.
Ill try to stay updated on here, but I'm on school holidays so i might be pretty busy!
I'm off to Melbourne with some friends tomorrow so ill let you know how that goes.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
The events didn't take up much time so most of the time i was at the "cake store". It was two tables set up with cakes, squares, cookies etc that we people in my house had baked and now we were selling them. All the proceeds went to world vision and we actually ended up selling over 400$ worth of goodies. Bad news is, i ate so much of that food, way too much for my own good so i wasn't feeling too hot after that! My house was in first place for most of the day, although we ended up in third out of eight houses so i was very happy with the outcome of the day. It was a long day outside and i got a bit of sun on my face but over all it was a good day!
Last night i went for dinner at Lynn and Lauries house for dinner. They are the people who look after the north and south american students when they get here on exchange. They too are going to be hosting me in a few months. I ate dinner with them there and they were so nice. They also had a cat and two dogs so im very excited to have pets again! I found out while i was there that im going to be having four families before Christmas. Ill finish up with Alison and Andrew on Saturday and go to Freds house until the end of October then ill be going to Lynn and Lauries house for about 5 weeks after that then after them ill be going to another Rotarian house at the beginning of December. They have a daughter that will be coming home from boarding school so ill be able to spend the summer there with her. Im pretty happy about that!
Monday, September 13, 2010
After school i went to the grocery store and picked up some cup cake mix and made cup cakes to sell at school tomorrow in the bake sale.
While i was baking i got a phone call from Pam and Fred and they told me that i am moving in there on Saturday! I pretty excited to move in with them, i really do love them.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Tuesday: this day i went to another Rotary lunch. I actually find myself enjoying these lunches, the people are really nice and welcoming and then genuinely care about what i am doing. I saw Fred and we spoke about me moving in with him soon. We will be sitting that up in the next few days so ill report on how that is going.
Wednesday: I walked down to the grocery store that is by my house and picked up a few things for my brother. It is his birthday this week so i wanted to send him something (shh, he doesn't know) They are all sorts of different treats that i think that he would like, and oh of course, some vegemite! I don't think that he'll like it but it is something that you have to try. Trying to fit all the things in the box that i got him was nearly impossible! I doubt that even a grain of rice would fit in that box, it is ready to explode.
I also went for a run this day down by the river behind my house. It was so wet down there and the river had flooded over alot of the path. I cannot believe how much rain we get, the drought is officially over.
Thursday: On Thursday after school i went home quickly and changed then met up with my friend at the corner store and we caught a cab into town. We went to the mall and walked around for a while then got some dinner. We both had Subway, and boy it was great! The mall here closes at 5:30 so we walked around on the water front for a while then went to a cafe and had a latte and talked for a while. Around 7 we went to a place called GPAC where the school production was being held. They were doing the play The Wiz, i was surprised at how well they pulled it off. The singing was great, the acting was believable and the costumes were remarkable! I was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out-much better then my school productions i must say. After the play was done i got home and went to be, it was pretty late by the time i got back.
Friday: After school i went and got my summer dresses for school. I thought that the winter ones were bad, but let me tell you, the summer ones are no better. I think that wearing a potato sack would be more flattering. They are blue, white and green checkered. It was really hard finding ones that fit just right, some where too big in areas and small in others and oh it was just a hassle all together to try to get them to fit. I ended up getting a few that looked "ok" and shut my eyes and bought them. I'll make sure to get a picture up to show off my beauty.
That night there was a footy game on TV so i stayed home to watch, the cats won and are now going into the semi finals against a very good team. I really hope that they don't choke again and that they win!!!
Saturday: Saturday morning i woke up anticipating the day ahead of me. I was heading down the Great Ocean Road! Once again as soon as i saw the first glimpse of the ocean my face lit up in excitement. I don't think that there is ever going to be a day where i get sick of seeing it, it ocean is my "happy place". We drove along the road for over an hour and stopped off at different points so i could get pictures. Once we got to the end of where we wanted to go for the day we got some lunch. Turns out that the restaurant that we ate at was actually one of my good friends from schools. The food was great and it was right on the water so then again, i was a very satisfied girl. To get home we didn't drive along the coast so i ended up falling asleep. When we got home it was almost 5 and i updated my journal and didn't do much. I didn't feel like hanging out with friends so i stayed home and... did... homework! oh how i have changed here, doing homework on a Saturday night was something that i would have never done at home!
Sunday: On Sunday i went to work just like normal. I dread going in each time but by the end i don't want my shift to be over. The people that work there are really nice, turns out one even goes to my school. I am the baby there though, everyone is older then me but cannot believe that I'm older then 17, they say i am very mature-boy am i fooling them! haha! I was there from 12 until close and really did enjoy myself, I'm finding myself getting more used to it there and i know what to do to keep busy which is great, i hated just standing around at first.
When i got home we ate dinner then the moment that i had been waiting for for over a month happened. Junior Masterchef was finally on! Masterchef is a show here that everyone watches. It's a bit like hells kitchen where people get kicked off each week-although this one is all individual. The judges are so funny and really make for a good show. i think-just like the last one-it is on every night which means ill be watching it a lot... thankfully Alison and Andrew really like it too.
Today (Monday) we have to participate in a sport after school, i have to do shot put. Ill be sure to let you know how that goes, i doubt that it'll be good though considering i am a weakling!
Hope you had a good week,
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
The weather here is ever changing, one minute it is pouring rain, black sky, crisp wind, then 5 minutes later it is sunny, the birds are chirping and its temping to go outside- although it is still cold.
The light switches are opposite, switch up for off, down for on.
Everything closes really early, normally around 5:30. There is however "late night shopping" on friday nights which goes until 9:30.
People here are insane about their footy! They cannot get enough!
Lastly, the toilets do not, i repeat DO NOT flush to opposite way, they all go at once! its a bit frightening actually..
Tuesday: Tuesday after school i went on the school bus home with my friend Sarah to her house in Warribee.We got off the bus downtown Werribee about 45 minutes after school ended and had to wait for her little brother, Josh, to be finished his art lessons that took place in the library. After we picked him up it was about 5:30-6 so we headed to a little Italian restaurant to get some food. I had risotto and it was so good! there were some mushrooms in it, and some sort of leafy thing-not sure what it was, but absolutely mouth watering! After dinner we headed to Sarah's house and we just hung out in her room. Chatted about normal teenage things, school life, home life. We also watched a bit of TV with her mom then went to bed. In the morning i had to get up early then usual, 6:30. Thankfully i had showered the night before allowing me a bit of extra time. We had to catch the bus for school at 7:30 and were on time and ready for class by 8:45. I really had a good time going there again, i love her family! They are so nice and welcoming and i just really like them!
Thursday: Thursday evening i went to Pat and Ron Smith's house. They are the couple that are taking me along to Tasmania with them. There i had dinner and we talked about all the things that i am doing here and everything that i am going to experience in Tasmania! They too have been host parents in the past, as well as their daughter went to South Africa on exchange so they are very familiar with the process that went on. Dinner was great and i was very content after meeting them and now i cannot tell you how excited i am to go there! All the kids at school say "oh.. Tasmania...yuck..." but im sure that its going to be great! i said the same thing about Canada before i left and now all i say about it is "YOU SHOULD GO THERE!!!"
Friday: this was a heck of a day i must say! I woke up bright and year so that i was ready to head for breakfast at 7:30. It was a fathers day breakfast and there was an award being given to the "Father of the Year". Rotary was involved in this so i came along and missed a bit of my first period class. Breakfast was great- eggs, toast, has brows, yogurt, fruit. The award was given to a grandfather who had taken in his grandson after his parents had split. The way that the boy told the story was heart wrenching, it really put tears in my eyes and made me think about how privileged i am for having two amazing parents. After breakfast i went back to school where it was a causal clothes day, therefore i could wear normal clothes. I didn't realize how much of a comfort my uniform has become for me, i actually dreaded going to school in my clothes not knowing what everyone else was going to have on. Lets just say, there are people here who look better in the dreadful uniforms, so i was scared for nothing. When i got home from school i read for about an hour then we were on our way to Melbourne to watch the footy game. ITs i the finals now so it is crucial that we win every game. In half time we were down by 33 points, hating the idea that we are going to lose, and badly. The team picked up their socks and ended up getting us only down by 4 with a minute left in the game. We has possession of the ball, kicked it down and just in time got a goal! had us winning the game and in the lead with 2 points! the crowd went wild, chanting "cats, cats, CATS, CATS!!!" all of a sudden the other team started cheering too, we all stop and the goal hadn't been counted. We owed them a free kick, so they called off the goal and we ended up losing the game. Thankfully we are still in the finals because we were in the top 4 teams we luckily get another chance to move on. It was late by the time we got home, past midnight so i went right to bed.
Saturday: That day it rained and rained and was soo windy and cold that just looking outside made you feel wet and freezing. Most of the day i read and worked on some school work and updating my journal- which i was very behind on as well. Saturday night i went to the movies with a couple people from school. There were i think 7 of us and we went to see the movie Piranha 3D, i can tell you now, that was 2 hours of my life that ill never get back. The movie was so bad and i don't suggest it to anyone! After we went to McDonalds- i didnt eat anything- where a couple people got a snack. I cabbed home and it didn't take long for me to fall asleep.
Sunday: I worked on Sunday, noon till 5 but it felt so much longer. This time i changed my shoes so they didnt hurt as bad thankfully! Sunday was also fathers day so when i got home i gave Andrew a card and book showing i appreciate what he has done for me.
Schools starting again and im sure that that excites everybody!
I hope everything is well with everyone and ill try to update more frequently!
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Starting on Thursday Alison and i set up a time for myself to go to the mall to get my work clothes. I had to find something that was black to wear as a uniform, that was all. So Alison dropped me off at the mall and i had about an hour and a half. It is pretty strange, everything here closes early, every day at 5:30 the mall closes. Every Friday night however there is a "late night", where the mall and other shops stay open until 9 o'clock. So anyways, i was there until the mall closed. There was a flower shop in there so i grabbed a bouquet of flowers for Alison and Andrews favourite chocolate bar just to show my appreciation for everything that they are doing for me. It was just something little but i thought that it was a good idea.
On Friday night i went into town with a friend and we got ice cream and just walked around for a couple hours. I was home by 10. That night wasn't too exciting but it was fun to hangout with a friend.
Saturday morning i got up and was ready to head over to Fred and Pam's (my next host family) house for lunch. When i got there, Fred, (from Denmark-this could get confusing now with two Freds) was already there. We had lunch which was some sort of pastry with vegetables in it and it was really good! After lunch we all went to the footy game where my team- The Geelong Cats- played the West Coast Eagles. In the first half the Cats really did suck, it was awful to watch them play so bad against a team that they should be killing. At the start of the second half they finally pulled up their socks and started to play better. In a matter of 2 minutes, my friend who plays for the team- Pam and Freds grandson- got two goals! It really helped to motivate the team and everyone was cheering his name. I thought that it was pretty cool that i knew who he was and they all were admiring him.
When I got home from the game i had a quick bite to eat then went over to the neighbours house to babysit their two kids while they have dinner with Alison and Andrew. I babysat for about 5 hours. During those hours i played candy land...twice, monopoly, watched scooby doo, a lego movie and Garfield. I haven't babysat in a long time so it was difficult to get into it again. I must say the kids were cute, and the puppy that they just got was adorable but i don't really like to babysit anymore. But it was worth the time as i was paid well. Now i can go shopping!!
On Sunday morning i got up as though it was a school day, up at 7 and showered and ready to go by 8:30. Dressed in my all black clothes, I was at work at 9am and nervous as ever. I wasn't really sure what i had gotten myself into a first. I was there waitressing, something i have never done, and doing it full on during their busiest day of the week. When i was walking to the first table i don't think that my hands had every shuck so much, by the time i got the coffees to the table i think that i had spilt half of it onto the plate below. They were very understanding when i said it was my first day. As the say went on i got better and better and was carrying trays with cakes, cookies, coffees and lattes on them. I can proudly say that i didn't spill anything completely or drop anything. I was hot and sweaty-yuck-by the time i was done. I was happy with how well i had done-or at least i think i did well. It was my first day of a waitressing experiencing, something i never thought that i would do and I'm happy to announce i liked it. They day went by quickly and by 4 o'clock Andrew was back to pick me up. I noticed then that i had never taken my break and didn't eat or drink the whole day. I was so concentrated on "go go go" that i didn't remember to eat, and surprisingly i wasn't hungry. When i got home i don't think that my feet have ever hurt so much. I had been walking for 7 hours straight going from table to table and my feet KILLED! i was so tired from the day that i slept until dinner. It physically hurt me to get up and go to the washroom, i thought that my feet were going to fall right off. All and all i am really glad that i did it. I was so nervous at the start but by the end of the day i was very proud of what i accomplished.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Saturday was a pretty lazy day, i slept in until about 9:30 and got up and got ready for my day. Andrew and Alison went out for a little while and went a voted for the next prime minister here, boy am i glad that that is over, i was sick of hearing everything about the election on the TV. Although i do know so much of the political parties that i feel like i could vote. During the day there was a footy game on tv so we watched that. Saturday night we went out for dinner to a little Italian place and had Mediterranean pizzas. I then went to the movies and met two girls from school. They both are boarders at the school-meaning they live at school- one i knew from class and the other i had never met before. Wen went to the movies and saw "Killers", it was okay, not a great movie but worth getting out of the house. Andrew and Alison went and saw a movie as well and after we all met up at the McDonald's down the street. I went home and showered and went right to bed because i had to be up early.
5:15am and all i hear is the annoying ring of my alarm. I was no happy to have to get up so early. Normally during the summer i am up to go to work at that time but this was different, i wasn't used to waking up and boy was i ever tired. I got ready and was waiting at the door for Fred by 6am. Fred, myself and his wife, Pam, were heading to Horsham-a three our drive away- and had to be there for 9am. Most of the car ride i slept thankfully so by the time i was in Horsham i was awake and ready to meet everyone. There are 14 of us on exchange here, myself being the furthest from Horsham. There were a lot of people who are staying in small towns, one girl from Sweden said that she is living in a town of 2500 people and her high school goes from year 7 to 12 and there are only 300 kids. I really lucked out with getting such a great city to live in. Another girl said that she was four hours from Melbourne and four hours from Adelaide, the two cities closest to her. As i was saying there are 14 of us and ill try to remember where everyone is from; one Canadian(me), one American girl, two French girls, two Swedish (one boy, one girl), two boys from Germany, one girl from Japan (who spoke very little english), two girls from Brazil, one girl from Finland and two boys from Denmark. Everyone seems so nice, i really think that we are all going to get along really well. I am excited about getting to know them a bit more. Out of everyone only the American girls school counts, she is doing her final year here so hopefully she can balance experiencing Aussie and doing well in school! The meeting itself was nothing different from the ones at home, dragged out, pretty boring i must admit and repetitive. Oh well, that is a part of why i am here so i put on my "Rotary smile" and went along withe everything. Sunday night we arrived back around 6:30, after another long three hour ride home. I was pretty tired by that point and the three of us watched the movie BIG with Tom Hanks. The food at rotary was actually very good so i only ended up having an apple and a PB and J sandwich for dinner.
Im sure that your weekend wasnt as cultural as mine, but hope that it was great!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
For dinner we had pumpkin soup-which i had never had until i came here and it is SO good- mashed potatoes, garlic bread, chicken and sausages. They are an Italian family and love to cook. Then we had a custard for dessert and it was surprisingly very good, normally i dont like that type of thing.
Andrew picked me up shortly after nine and we headed back home. I was told that i was more then welcome to go back whenever i wanted and im sure that ill take them up on that offer!
This weekend im heading off to Horsham to meet all the other exchange students, i bet it will be fun.
Have a good weekend!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
On Friday night i didn't do anything, i stayed home and watched a movie, From Paris with Love. It was surprisingly good, suspenseful, shocking, jaw dropping, but I'm not here to criticize movies!
Saturday morning i got up at normal school time, and was ready for 8:30am. There is a lady that lives down the street from me and she was actually born in Canada, although she moved to Australia at about 4 years old and lived here ever since, she is from Vancouver. So anyways, she picked me up from the Lawsons and we headed downtown to go to the farmers market. When we arrived it was just opening up so people were still setting up. We walked around through the whole thing, it was very small, maybe 20 vendors, if that. There were everything from breads, to meats, to vegetables and fruit, to jams and little farm animals. Maryann-the Canadian lady- got what she needed from the market and we still had about 30 minutes until i needed to be back at the house so we went down to the water to a cafe. There we sat and i had a latte and she had a coffee and we talked. It was a great setting and nice conversation. I really enjoyed being out with someone else rather then Alison and Andrew like normal. We talked about everything from how i like it here, to what her experiences were like in Canada when she visits, and how school is. I know her son from school and we talked about him a bit too, he wants to move to Canada and work at a ski resort, i think he is crazy!
I was dropped off back at the house around 9:30 where i was already packed and ready to go for our weekend get away. We left just after ten and headed for a town called Healesville. It it past Melbourne and took I'd say just over two hours to get there. I slept a fair bit in the car so i was ready for the day once we got there. Once we got into Healesville we got Subway for lunch then headed to the sanctuary. This one was different from the last, more updated and more animals! While we were there we say a "birds of prey" presentation and although i don't have a great interest in birds it was pretty interesting to see them, they were absolutely enormous. The one thing that they did was pretty cool. This one big was too small to crack open a emu egg-which it normally eats- so it found a rock and threw it at the egg and the whole thing broke.It was just a plaster egg so there was nothing it it thankfully, but it still was interesting to see. In the audience the bird trainer would stand behind you and the birds would fly right over you, and their wing span was incredible for some of them, absolutely huge. After that we saw a reptiles show and i got to pet snacks and lizards, i really like that. There were animals there suck as Tasmanian devils, platypus, koalas, kangaroos, birds, "night creatures" and so much more. It was hard to get a lot of their pictures, but there are a couple on facebook if you want to take a look.
After the sanctuary we went back into town and got a latte, although it had been sunny all day it was freezing outside with the wind and my cold didn't seem to help. We then went with the guy who owned the bed and breakfast that we were staying with and went to his farm. There were goats and cows and sheep there. There was also grape veins because he made his own wine-which i later tried, and surprisingly, i really liked it. After we got to the bed and breakfast and we were shown where our rooms were and then we went for dinner. We went to a Thai place and i have pad thai and it was so good, one of the best i have ever had. During dinner i had eyed down the peoples dessert at the table next to me, deep friend ice cream, and i just had to try it. So i did, i ordered dessert, something that i haven't done in forever. And boy was i ever glad that i did! it was delicious, if you ever have the chance to try it seriously go for it, it tastes amazing.
After dinner we headed back to the bed and breakfast and i went straight to bed. i was very tired after a long day outside walking.
When i woke up in the morning i got up and showered and got ready for my day. The shower was so cool, on of the ones with the large basin in the bottom and the water falls from the ceiling, it was awesome! When i was ready we had breakfast, breads, yogurt, fruit, hot cereal, and i ate everything :)! we left shorty after breakfast and by that time, surprise surprise it was raining out. But we went for a drive anyways, we headed into a rain forest that had been burnt down over a year ago, by now it had started to gain some life back. I cannot imagine how gorgeous it must have been before because while i was there it was stunning, the trees where massive, the plants were all so green and it looked untouched, it was truly special to be able to drive through there. I was so thankful that i go to experience that. We stopped in a small town and grabbed a couple drinks after driving for over an hour. The town had been whipped out by the fires and there were new houses being built there but there was still not a lot going on. I didn't admit it to Alison and Andrew but i was very sad in there, looking at was once someones home and now all that was left was the outline of the swimming pool and their drive way. It really pulled on my heart strings knowing that these people have been through such an immense trauma and some even died. It was really sad actually. After we left there we headed for our next destination. I started feeling a bit carsick so i ended up dozing of for bits of the ride. While i was awake though we were driving though a mountain range and the views along the side of the road were spectacular, hill after hill, there was no flat land in site. After over an hour again we got to a town called Yea and we got some lunch, they both had meat pies and i had a greek salad and boy oh boy it was good. Lets just say i ate very well this weekend, too well. On our way back to Geelong we stopped at a damn where i got a few pictures. i wish that it wasn't raining that day, i had the chance to get so many nice. I still wasn't feeling to well so the whole car ride home i slept, and when we finally were back it was just after 5.
I hope that everyone had a great weekend just like i did
Today i finally got my aussie cell phone as well! I'm going to finally be able to talk to my friends here easily!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
This weekend i am going away for the weekend starting in the morning. Alison and Andrew are taking me to a place that is east of Melbourne but i am not sure what it is called. Im sure that ill be able to tell you after. I am also going into town to go to a farmers market in the morning with a Canadian lady from down the street. I met her a few weeks ago and she invited me to come along with her so im going to go.
Other then that i am just keeping busy, i have had a bit of homework this week that i had been needing to finish so i am doing that and other then that nothing has happened that is worth reporting on.
I am feeling much better, no homesickness this week. But i did catch a cold, it must be from being in the rain all the time travelling from class to class. It is assumed that the drought is over though, lucky me, i come right when they finally start to get yucky weather. I am convinced that i have brought it. The last two summers at home have been, well crappy. Lots of rain, and now from what i hear it is stinkin hot, but nice over there. And normally they don't get rain here and it had poured rain ever since i got here. Oh well, at least i have concurred the drought for them.
Have a great weekend
Sunday, August 8, 2010
On Friday night after school ended i went home and got changed into my normal clothes (out of my uniform) and headed back to school. My friend Sarah had to finish a project for school and have it handed in by 5 so i came back to help her out a bit. After she finished we ended up going to the mall in town and she went and had to get some tights-the more i go to the mall the more i want to shop, i love the clothes that are here. They are things that you don't normally find in Canada and i love them. Anyways, after the mall we walked a couple of blocks and got McDonalds for dinner, it was a bad idea, Mcdonalds never settles well with me. The Mcdonalds here are different, they seem a little more "high class" (if thats possible), there is a Mc Cafe that has all these cakes and different things and it seems pretty good actually. After we ate we headed back to school again and Sarah preformed a solo of Hallelujah in the Battle of the Bands. At home that is something that i never would have gone to but i was surprised at how good the bands were. There were a couple solo artist but for the most part bands and they were much better then expected. I left and went home that night and wasn't out late at all. I was home before Alison and Andrew-they were at some symphony- and just went to bed.
On Saturday morning Alison and Andrews grand kids were over for a couple of hours so we just hung around the house. Andrew and I finally were able to figure out the wireless problem that we had been facing for weeks with a little bit of help from another Rotarian. He was able to fix my Internet to allow me to finally get on skype and see some familiar faces! During Saturday in the day we didn't do to much, just hung around the house. Around 5 Peter, the Lawsons son, came with his son and friend to pick us up to drive to Melbourne. We got there and it was dark by that time and the city was beautiful! we had to park pretty far from the footy grounds but that was okay with me because i got to walk and snap a few pictures of the city at night. When we finally got to the stadium and to our seats i was astonished at how good our seat were, they were so close to the field and all the action. This was a greatly anticipated game that had been talked about for weeks in advance, unfortunately the team i cheer for sucked, they didn't play well at all, they didn't want or deserve to win, and they didn't. The crowd went crazy at the end of the game, people cheering for their team that won and booing from the team that lost. It was quite eventful! When i got home i went on my computer to write in my journal and up popped on my screan a call on skype from Mac. We ended up talking for about an hour, it was at least 1am by the time him and i had stopped talking and i got to sleep. We also set up a time for the next day for me to talk to my mom.
Sunday morning i got up and got ready for my day and was back on skype at 11:30am (my time) and was talking to my mom. We talked about everything, it is so much easier then trying to explain things in email. I was happy that i also got to see her face rather then just a sign off on an email. We talked for over a hour before we both had to go. Alison Andrew, their friend and i went for lunch to a place that was like a higher class pub. I had a chicken burger-something i haven't had since home. It was delicious, and massive. There was even an egg on the chicken so i took that off, it was too much for me. And sneaky me, i had a glass of wine with lunch as well, and i surprisingly didn't mind it. Later on Sunday we just hung around again for a bit, then i went with Andrew to a place that is on the river behind my house that is a cafe. I was offered a "job". Basically ill just be there on Sunday mornings to help out when it is really busy and because it is not legal for me to work in this country i think that I'm just going to get vouchers for working, so like a free lunch or something like that. I am pretty excited to start that, it should be fun!
i hope every ones weekend was as full filling as mine was.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Sorry this is just going to be a quick update, there isn't much else worth speaking about today.
Everything is going pretty good!
Oh but there is one more thing, i don't know what drought i was told of, it rains almost everyday here. And the worst part is that this school is old so there are mulitple buildings, some taking almost 5 miuntes to walk to, and when my hair is straight, and the rain is coming down, i am one unhappy camper! My hair is looking awful these days :P oh well, i guess okay if it looks bad, i mean, im in AUSTRALIA!
If you want to personally email me ask my mom or dad for my school email. I dont get on my hotmail account often but i dont want to post my email on here. Oh, and no swearing, there is a guard and it wont send to me, just incase..
Have a good week!
Sunday, August 1, 2010
On Friday night i went to another Rotarians house for dinner. His name was Ed, his wife was Sharon and his two kids were James (20ish) and Alex(17) Ales was a girl who is a grade year higher then me and goes to a different school, Geelong Grammar- my schools rivals. I went over there and right away was in the kitchen helping prepare dinner. They were an Italian family so there was plenty of food for everyone. For the most part i was stirring the risotto, by the time that i had finished i think that i was sweating from all the hear coming off of the stove. The food was really good though, and my dad would have loved the risotto. WE had so much food; steak, potatoes, salad, risotto, fennel, and mushroom caps, oh and apple pie and ice cream for dessert. I was also in charge of the mushrooms; i knew how to do them after watching my dad and Lori make them countless times at home. They were very good, i was quite happy with my added touch. At dinner it was nice because they didn't smother me with questions, it was just a nice family dinner with a great group of people.
On Saturday morning i headed t the mall, i had to pick up a couple essential things- toothpaste, shampoo etc. The shopping there looks great, although i didn't buy anything, the clothes were my style and I'm sure that ill have no troubles with buying lots here. I should probably stay far away from the mall! On Saturday afternoon i went to a place in Barwon Heads called Jirrahlinga Koala and Wild Sanctuary. If was very cool, the animals were all really close. As soon as i got there I saw a penguin and know that it was going to be different than any place that i have been to. We were lucky enough to arrive just in time for a koala show. A man came out holding a koala and told us about them and then i got to pet him-the koala, not the man. He was so soft, i never pictured them being soft for some reason. Later on there was also another showing. I have been telling people that it was a wallaby, now I'm not too sure what it was. It was however some Australian animal and i got to pet it, so what ever it was, i was happy. There were so many animals there, from non-native foxes, to snakes, to black geese, to kangaroos, to countless types of birds and everything in between. The kangaroos were feeding along the fence and out of its pouch there was a little joeys head, it was the cutest little thing. Saturday evening i went for a walk by myself for the first time, i headed down a main street and ended up coming across a couple of store and a post office. I went in a bought a couple stamps and headed back as it was getting dark out. There was a footy game on TV after dinner, i watched the game and once again my team- The Geelong Cats-dominated the other team easily. I'm going to a match this coming Saturday in Melbourne which is supposed to be one of the most exciting games of the season!
On Sunday there was really much to do, i hung around the house for the day, wrote Heather a letter, and helped prepare dinner. Alison and Andrew's son came over for dinner with his wife and three kids. It was a nice dinner, still nothing like having a mean at home with my family though.
For anyone with a facebook, i have added come pictures, i think about 35. There are some from this weekend and some from previous days. Feel free to add me and take a look if you would like. i figured out how to add them to this but they can only go on one at a time so ill add them every once in a while but ill mostly have them on facebook where it is easier to view and easier to upload.
As for an update on my homesickness, there are still days where i am finding it hard to be here alone, but i am getting through it and keeping busy. I find school really helping me by keeping me distracted. I am making sure that i don't say no to anything, i am here for a year and although it seems long for me right now i know that it is going to fly by soon and i don't want to miss out on anything. I cant wait for all the possibilities that lay ahead of me in the next 11 months. I have been here for one sort month now, and it truly is different from home. There are ups and downs, but i know that this is going to be the time of my life and i am going to enjoy everything that is being a Rotary exchange student.
i hope everyone had a great weekend!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I have started to find myself both enjoying it here, and really missing home still. This week school has been good, i feel that it has really been helping me to like it here. The people here are so nice and the work well lets just say i have never done so little school work. That is not because i haven't been doing the work, it simply is easy and we are given ridiculous amounts of time to finish the work. I am currently liking my media class the best, i have an assignment where i am making a traveller’s guide magazine. It is something that i both find easy to get ideas and that i love to do. By far my least favourite class is phys ed. It is very different from home, we are in the classroom 4 times a week and in the gym doing fitness things like running and checking our pulse, then doing sit ups and the checking our breathing rate. I find myself behind in that class because everyone knows the bones and muscles but i don’t. I am however not worried about not knowing them because the work that we get is straight out of the text book. I just wish that we were doing games in the gym, like net ball. It is a game that they play here in Australia and I’ve never played it but would like to without having to join the team and I don’t know if I’ll get the chance to try it.
Other than that this week I went to another Rotary meeting, it wasn't my club but I went because there was a new exchange student who just arrived. His name was Fredrick and he is from Demark. I thought that it was kind of cool that the first person that I met was from the place where my family is from. He spoken very good English, I wouldn't have known that he just got here less ten a week ago. He was still very jetlagged when I saw him- thankfully I am over that, that was tough. We talked about being here and the differences that we found, together we came to a conclusion that it is colder than we thought, the uniforms suck but the people are great. He too is going on the safari at the end of the year and we both are very excited about that. The meeting itself was actually quite interesting. I just finished reading a book by Michael J Fox and he spoke of his disease but I didn’t really understand it. At the meeting was a man that was suffering with the same disease and I learned so much. It was hard to sit there and listen to his experiences and not feel like I wanted to do something, anything to help him. There was however nothing that i could do, i felt helpless. I did however speak to this man after and he said that he was doing better than he was before, which made me feel a little bit better.
Tonight i am home alone, Alison and Andrew have choir practice, i plan to finish off some homework that i have due and then going to bed early.
I also just wanted to mention that if you are keeping up with what i am doing i wanted to say thanks. No matter what i say on here i am having a great time and know that I am going to love it here. I cannot thank you all enough for reading to see what it is that I am doing, i really appreciate it. I hope to have some better stories for you soon.
Stay well, Love always, Colleen
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Saturday night we stayed in, Alison and Andrew had to babysit two of their granddaughters. I watched a movie in my room and was asleep by 11.
Sunday morning was a bad morning, i was feeling very homesick and was just having a bad day. Nothing i did made me happy and all i wanted to do was see my family and friends. I was alone for most of the morning, as Alison and Andrew were at church, so i just watched another movie hoping that it would keep my mind off of things. After lunch we went to Torquay which is the surfing capital. As i got out of the car to look at the surfers i saw fins in the water, there were dolphins!!! right away my day got a whole lot better, i got to see one of my favourite animals. There were probably about five of them in the water at least. The excitement didn't stop there, following closely behind there was a... whale! it was beautiful, i had never seen something so amazing. These animals were swimming so close to the surfers and didn't seem to mind. I wished that i could have been out there in the water swimming too, but that wouldn't have been a good idea as it was probably about 15 degrees outside. After watching the whale rise out or the water for about 10 minutes Andrew and Alison and i kept driving. We were driving past a golf course and there in the field were about 30 kangaroo! we stopped and i got a couple pictures and then we went into the golf course and i got a couple closer pictures.
Over all yesterday had its ups and its downs but by the end i was as happy as any Canadian would be after seeing wild dolphins, a whale and a mass of kangaroos all in one day.
xoxo, keep well everyone!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
I was able to organize my itunes, as well as do a bit of homework. Other then that I didn't have anything going on.
This weekend i hope there will be a bit of excitement. Alison and Andrews three grand kids are coming over on Saturday night to sleep over, so ill be with them for the evening. Tonight im going to an art show, i guess that that should be okay, not something that i am super interested in though. Tomorrow I think that i am going to another footy game as well, hopefully this time it will be a better experience then the last time i went.
Sorry this was short but nothing really happened this week.
xoxo, stay well