Sunday, August 29, 2010

My New Job

This past weekend was very very VERY long.
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

The Rain Still Hasn't Quit..

Yesterday after school i met up with two girls who are living in the boarding house at school. We had decided last week that we wanted to hangout this week so we planned a day that we could go out for coffee. Yesterday was the day, after school i went over to the boarding house and got changed and then we headed down to a street where there are little shops and cafes. We went to a place called soft and i got a latte and they had other things. The girls names are Louisa and Charlotte and they are here for six months for exchange. They both have come from Germany, knowing each other before. I think that they are both having a great time here, the seem to have to same feelings that i have. We don't like the rain but other we all find school a lot easier. We were able to talk about a lot of things from school, to home life and everything that we have done here so far. They were really nice girls and we were so caught up in conversation and did not take notice to the storm that was brewing outside. When we finally looked out it was black, and pouring rain. We waited for a little while for it to clear up but after 30 minutes the cafe was ready to close and it was raining hard then it was before. We considered running home, which would take them about 10 minutes and me 15 but with the cold wind it wasn't worth it-not to mention it was all uphill. I ended up giving Andrew a call and he gladly picked us all up. I had left my bag in the boarding house so i had to run in a get and by the time i got back to the car i was soaking wet. I really cannot believe how much it rains here, it really is insane some days.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Meeting the Other Exchange Students

Over this weekend I did quite a few different things. On Friday night i stayed in and skyped with my mom and Mac in the house for the last time. I was shown around the house that i have grown up in and now i have to leave it behind. I am very happy for my mom to be moving and am very excited for everything that that fresh start will have for us.
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

Last night was the first night that i was able to have dinner with a friend here. I went to Sarahs house which is in Werribee-about half way from Geelong to Melbourne- and had dinner with her and family. She has a mom, dad, and little brother who is about 12. The little brother was so funny, cracking lots of jokes. And apparently he says that i am very nice, one of the rare attributes that Sarah's friends normally have. I guess because they all treat him like a little brother and to me he is still a stranger, so i was very kind. Sarah's mom was great, initially i was supposed to sleep over but i wasn't allowed to but i still got a lunch from Sarahs mom to take to school with me the next day so i didn't have to eat ham like i have for the first 6 weeks of school.
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

No time to rest, but hey! thats why im here, to experience everything!

This past weekend was probably the busiest, most visually stunning weekend that i have had so far.

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

Sorry that i have no updated at all this week, there has not really been anything to update on.

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

A Few Firsts

So this weekend was full of firsts for me, and all good.

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

Meeting Number Two

Yesterday i went to my second Rotary meeting, it was very similar to the first one that i went to. People recognise me but everyone there looks the same to me, its hard to tell which people i have met already. Thankfully they say "we met last week", when really it was the week before last but they are getting old, its acceptable! :P I ended up having to walk back to school so i was just a bit late for class but i didn't get in trouble, the teachers all seem to love me here. I think because I'm new i get a bit of a leeway when it comes to "misbehaving".
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

One Month In

Overall this weekend was good, i did quite a few different things, met some new people and pet animals that i have only ever dreamed of seeing before this exchange.
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!