Friday, 12 April 2013

Week I lost track: Lots of random things

So it has been a little while since I have graced my loving audience with some of my Australian preaching,  but it has been a quiet few weeks as not much major travelling has taken place. That being said there were lots of little things that took place so everybody get ready because it's time for another totally awesome, super fantastic blog!

Last time our paths crossed was about a month ago right after my trip to Sydney and since that week there have just been a smorgasbord of events and things that have transcribed. The first thing I would like to address would be the trials and tribulations of our Mixed Netball team.  For those of you who are unaware what netball is-I'm guessing all of you-watch this fantastic educational video!

All caught up? No? Well then go back and watch the video and don't keep reading til you do. If you did watch the video then chances are you have concluded that this is basically basketball except without dribbling, jumping, dunking, shooting from distance and of course there seems to be a backboard missing from the hoop. If you are now saying to yourself "This looks like a very confusing game and I would get frustrated playing it" then you are spot on. In the opening weeks of this sport the amount of times I had a whistle blown on me for who knows what is unfathomable. If I were to then tell you that our team was comprised of only 2 people who had legitimate netball playing experience and then a bunch of Aussie's and Americans who were as lost as a blind person in a new house, you would probably expect a pretty dismal season. Our team banded together though and put together a netball run for the ages making it all the way to the semi-finals, the first rookie team to do so in Bond history! We did lose in the semi-finals but bounced back for a dominant win in the third-place game and ended up winning the team spirit award (kind of a "Oh you gave it your best, but fell short" kind of award) and received a $50 voucher for sushi. All in all I am thoroughly going to miss the game of netball as I did grow to enjoy it and was always a good start to our more than memorable Tuesday nights.

The last bit of travel that the gang did as a foursome (Sara, Hayley, Audra and I) involved Easter weekend and more hours in a car than actually exploring and visiting places. Over the Easter weekend almost everybody went home and the campus was basically a ghost-town so we asked one of our friends to lend us her car for the weekend (a VW Bug) and for some mind boggling reason she obliged (Thanks Katie you da best). We elected to use our first day of travel to drive up to the Sunshine Coast which is supposed to be a nice quaint town with spectacular beaches. The ride was supposed to only take a mere two and a half hours, but what we had failed to think about was that most people would be travelling home for their Easter breaks. About four and a half hours later we arrived at the SC and immediately hit the beach as we really only would have about two hours to be there. The beach was all it was cracked up to be and then some. It was not all that packed, it had a lot of cool footpaths through the woods and went on for miles. After the beach we walked around the town for a bit, but there wasn't much else to do and alas it was back to the car. After another two and a half hours of driving (that's up to 7 for those of you keeping score at home) we got back to Bond.

Ohhhh pretty candles

 The next day we adventured to the hippie town of Nimbin (2.5 hrs away) which was realistically more or less a street as opposed to a town. We explored for a couple hours looking around at all the different shops as each was cool and unique in its own way. One of the coolest places we went to was a giant candle factory in which the factory made all sorts of different candles of all shapes and sizes. The best part about it was that it was using a machine that built back in the 1800's and was still working today. Once we finished at the candle factory it was another 2.5 hr drive home which brings our total up to 12 hours of driving in two days time.

The gang in front of one of the waterfalls

The next day was our adventure day as we went to Spring Brook National Park and went on a 4 kilometer (What I have dubbed Kangaroo Marks, Kangas for short as opposed to kilometers) hike. The walk was a lot of fun as it took us through all sorts of crazy trails and under copious amount of waterfalls.....and by copious I mean 3, but copious sounded way better. The walk took a total of two hours to complete and we rewarded ourselves at the end of it with some delicious fudge. The drive to the park was on the windiest road you have ever seen as it was up in the mountains and ultimately took an hour an half both ways. With this last and final road trip it brings our grand total of car driving time to exploring ratio to a whopping 15:6 and it was DEFINITELY worth it.

As good of a Fresh Prince as I could be
This past weekend was probably one of the more fun ones of the semester. On Thursday Jack came up from Newcastle so we could have roommate shenanigans not only in Sydney, but also on the Gold Coast. Thursday night consisted of an event called the Res Dinner which was basically a reflection on the past semester and it turned out to be one of the most fun nights of the year. The dinner had a theme of "What used to be cool" so I went as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and there were people dressed as everything from the Rugrats to Tiger Woods. During the Res Dinner they gave out awards from the semester for all sorts of different things, all of which was voted upon by those who lived on campus. To say our netball team cleaned up in the awards department is an understatement. Members of the team took home 5 of the 8 possible awards and it should have been 6 of the 8, but one of our teammates won both the princess award and the gym buff award and was only awarded the gym buff award. Of the other awards taken home by members of our team were the most coveted male award, the going out award, the just another fantastic freshman award and I myself one the favorite study abroad student award.

 As the semester was coming to a close so the next day Sara, Hayley, Audra and I all wanted to host an "American Barbecue" for all of our Aussie friends as a thank you for them providing us with such an awesome semester. The only aspect of the barbecue that was American was the fact that it was created by Americans and we had burgers. Remember that sushi voucher we won from netball? I would hope so I mean, I just talked about it thee minutes ago. Well we used that to provide sushi for everybody and we also got so Aussie style sausages for people to eat. It was a bitter sweet event as it became clear after this that we were winding down the semester and it is almost time for our departure.

Since Jack was visiting he wanted to make a trip to Byron Bay before he went back to Sydney and that is what we spent Saturday into Sunday doing. If you remember my last trip to Byron it was the beginning of that lovely month of rain and while the town was awesome in the rain I could have only imagined how nice it would have been sans rain. Well guess what? I still have no idea what that's like as again it rained the whole time we were there. I wasn't surprised. Even with the rain though it was still a great time and it was nice to do some Gold Coast exploring with Jack.

Just some silly shenanigans 
Chances are this will be my last blog although I may to a general summary one once I get back to the States and can reflect on everything that I did over here. If not though I will leave everybody with this: This has been by far and away the greatest experience of my life and I hope that anyone who reads this that has the opportunity to study abroad will do so. I could not have done it without my parents so again, I thank them a million times over for giving me the opportunity to do this. I thank High Point for also providing me with the opportunity to do this as it was indeed an extraordinary experience. And lastly I thank my friends. The ones I came here with, Sarzburt and Storm (nicknames for Sara and Hayley), as I could not have had two better friends to accompany me on these travels (I can think of one that is missing, but she has already been here so she is excused) and I know without them being here this trip would not have been nearly as fun. Then of course to all of the new friends I met as well. Audra Brady joined our threesome right from the get go and fit in like a missing puzzle piece as she was great company to have on all of our adventurous endevours  Lastly, of course, I must thank ALL of my Australian friends that I met along the way over here. There are too many of you to mention, but you guys know who you are and this would not have been an enjoyable trip without all of you. I would like to particularly single out Ben, Ed and Charlie as I will miss all of our silly shenanigans most of all and hope that someday our paths will cross whether it be back over here or somewhere in the States.

I hope everyone enjoyed reading my blogs and if you didn't well then I don't know why you continued to do so. Either way feel free to keep checking back in after a couple weeks as I will probably throw up a overall reflection piece but until then I bid you adieu with some more pictures.

Really cool candle

Kind o da world

Those giants ones burn for something like 1,500 hours

Look a tree! With a hole!!

Wimpy Waterfall

The Netball Squad

No comments:

Post a Comment