Thursday, July 28, 2011

Armidale and Such

It's been a while since my first post.. probably because I don't know what to write.  I arrived in Armidale safely last week and went through a short international student orientation.  I won an iPod nano from a raffle during orientation, so that was pretty cool.  That Saturday, we took a trip to Dorrigo National Park and did a 6 km walk through the rainforest.  It was really nice and we saw a wallaby!  Classes started this week but nothing was really going on.  I'm taking 4 classes:
1. Intro to Breeding and Genetics
2.  Australia's Human Geography
3.  Comparative and ecological physiology of Australian vertebrates
4.  Animals in Society
I'm pretty excited about each class.  Today, for my practical for animals in society a veterinary pathologist who is also a wildlife keeper brought in a  quoll and then did a post mortem autopsy of three native Australian birds.
As far as where I'm living, it's just like being in the dorms.  A lot of people in a confined space.  They're called colleges and I live in Austin college.  This week was Dis-O  (disorientation) week so we had a lot of fun events since classes were just introductory.  I joined the netball team as well.  I've never even heard of netball before I came here but I'm excited to play it should be fun.  On campus there is a kangaroo park that has lots and lots of kangaroos... I know that's off topic but thought it should be shared... they're really fun to watch.
That's all I can think of now.  I'll hopefully update this soon when I'm not half asleep and can think of more things to say. :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

And the journey called Armidale begins...

Yesterday Lisa and I took a ferry to Manly beach which is another one of the popular beaches.  The ferry gave me a great view of Sydney.  There, I had a meat pie which is very popular here in Australia.  It’s just pastry filled with meat and gravy!  The area I see there to be the most differences between Australia and America is definitely the food.  Pies aren’t like fruit pies like we have in the US, so if you see a sign for pies it’s usually for meat pies.  Also, bagels aren’t popular here (I know, sad) but instead Lisa had me try a crumpet which is somewhat similar. Anyway...back to Manly...we went to this famous sweet shop and got delicious macaroons.  They’re not at all like the macaroons you’re thinking of...hard to explain what they are but it was very good!   
This morning I took my flight from Sydney to Armidale (first time I’VE seen snow in July).  The airport in Armidale isn’t even an airport. It’s pretty much a room and one plane.  The planes only come and go from Sydney is what I hear.  I was picked up by international services at UNE and brought to my college. (A college is like a dorm…mine is called Austin).  No one is here… everyone is on holiday L (vacation).  My room is a tiny boring single room.  Hopefully I’ll be able to decorate it a bit more!  The past couple hours I’ve just been resting… I don’t even have internet yet! (I’m writing this on Microsoft word right now… giving me something to do)  The university is pretty from what I can see.  Everything is not nearly as close together as I thought and hoped it would be, and I would need to take a bus if I wanted to go to the shops in town.  (Sorry if I’m sounding a bit pessimistic… I just hope everything works out!)  Maybe I’ll look into renting a car.  Anyway.. that’s all I can think of ranting about for now…G’DAY!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Life in Sydney (days 1-3)

My first day here I landed in Sydney around 8 am and waited and waited on tons of lines to get through customs and to exit the airport. It was amusing to see cars driving on the other side of the road and the temperature expressed in Celsius! It was about 7 degrees when I got here...which was  actually pretty comfortable. Lisa, the girl I am staying with, was eager to have me and show me around.   I settled in her house (pretty jetlagged) and pretty much slept all day.  At night we went to this beautiful bar in downtown Sydney called the Establishment to meet up with some of her friends. 
 Day two I went to wildlife world right on Darling Harbor which was awesome.  The koalas and kangaroos were obviously my favorite.  We then got lunch and sat right across the harbor from the opera house.  It's as amazing as the pictures. We then went to Bondi beach which was absolutely beautiful! We then saw Harry Potter and got Thai with Lisa and her friends.   (Thai is as popular here as Mexican is in the US).  Busy day.
Day three Lisa and I went to "the football".. which was a rugby match.. Australia Wallabies vs. Samoa! We lost :( but it was a good and interesting match.
It's been busy and exciting here and I am very eager to go up to Armidale on Tuesday!