April 30, 2006

I'm still here

Sorry it has been so long since I have posted anything. I've been so busy, and nothing really exciting has happened until this Easter Break I just had. I had 2 weeks off of school and spent my time in Sydney, then in Coffs Harbour with my dad when he came to visit, and finally in beautiful Byron Bay (located about 3 and a half hours north of Coffs Harbour-it's kind of a hippy/backpacker town). Here are some pictures!!


Here's a picture of a little carnival that is located below teh Sydney Harbour bridge.

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Here's a picture of my dad while we were on a harbour cruise over to Manly Beach in Sydney. In the background you can see the bridge and opera house.

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Here's a picture of Manly Beach. It's a pretty cool little surfing area on the other side of the Sydney Harbour.

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Here's a picture of these places called Max Brenner chocolate bars. They are all over Sydney! It is a place where all they serve are things made of pretty nice and expensive chocolate. It is so good!! Here is this fondue type drink I had. You melt the chocolate chips in the top of the candle thing. Then, you pour the little cup of whole milk into the top. When you've done that, you stir it up with a spoon that doubles as a straw. Amazing!!

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Here's a picture of Cronolla Beach outside of Sydney. This is where tose huge riots took place. Right here where the pictures were taken. It was a pretty nice beach though.

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Here's a hilarious picture of this really cool dog with shades on in Cronolla Beach. The owner said the dog loves the galsses and won't leave home without them. They love dogs here in Australia, and there favorite dog is the Staffordshire Terrior...which is what Clarence is!!

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Here's a picture of my good friends Olivia and Jenae. It was taken on the night of my birthday. We're a little sweaty because we're out on the town dancing!!

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Here's a picture when I was in Byron Bay taking a a surf lesson. I can stand up now!!

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March 12, 2006

Wet 'n Wild

Here are photos from my weekend up at the Gold Coast again. We went to wet n wild on Saturday and to a zoo in Currumbin on Sunday. Wet n Wild as alright, but the zoo was amazing! While we were up at the Gold coast we stayed with a friend of Michael's. The house we stayed in was a beautiful, multi-million place dollar right on the beach. I didn't want to leave it.

Here are pictures of the room I slept in for the weekend ans its amazing view. It was in a town near the Gold Coast called Cabarita Beach.

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Here's a picture of the bathroom for the room I slept in.


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Here is a picture of the view out the back of the house, as ell as their pool overlooking the beach.

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Here are pictures from the zoo. I had so much fun. I got to hold a koala, pet kangaroos, see an acheidna, see an emu, and see a dingo.


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Here's a little joey and its mom.


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This is an acheidna.


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This is an emu. World's second largest bird behind the ostrich.

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This is obviously a dingo.

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March 7, 2006

Surfers Paradise?

Well, this weekend I made it up to Surfers Paradise (it's very famous for its good surfing). There was the Quicksilver Pro (for men) and the Roxy Pro(for women) scheduled for last weekend. But, the weather was awful! It poured all day for three days straight. The surf was huge but very messy, so they had to cancel both of the tours. They even closed all the beaches on the coast near there. Needless to say, it was no paradise last weekend and I dragged a surf board up to the Gold Coast and couldn't even use it. But, there is a positive side. Because the surf was huge and really dangerous, I actually got to watch some guys do tow-in surfing. It was amazing and they were riding waves that are bigger than you could imagine. It was really cool to watch. The sea did finally begin to settle on Sunday and a few people paddled out and surfed on some messy waves. In all, it was an ok trip. All I did the whole weekend was walk around shops and eat. Surfers Paradise is really funny because it is a big tourist destination for Japanese people. There were thousands of them everywhere! All with their cameras and video cameras. They would be bussed into an area with shops, swarm in, and swarm back out. It was so funny to watch. I am going to be heading back up to the Gold Coast with a different family this coming weekend to go to Wet and Wild (water park). The weather is supposed to be a lot better for this weekend. All is well here in Australia. The weather has cleared up after ten straight days of rain, which caused flooding, and things are looking brighter!


Here's a picture of the teacher that I went to Surfers Paradise with. We're at a bar and grill where a one man band was playing( he was good!).

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Here's a picture of this guy with a fake leather jacket dancing. He was the worst dancer I've ever seen! It was so funny to watch him. The guy in front of him is the one man band. He kept playing old Prince song. He found out O was from Minnesota and kept asking for Miss Minnesota to come and dance. It was so much fun!

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This is a picture of people watching the tow in surfers on the huge waves.

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Here's a picture of what these guys were surfing on.
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Here's a picture over looking the city of Byron Bay. It's in between Coffs Harbour and the Gold Coast. It's beautiful!! It's known as a town for backpackers and is a very popular town for young people. It's a little hippiish- reminded me of Duluth a lot. I am going to stay in Byron for three nights in April!

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February 26, 2006

yabbies

Well. Not much has changed here. It is still very hot (30 degrees C) and beautiful! I have been going to the beach every week and have found plenty of time to play in the sun. I've become quite tan already!! You guys won't recognize me when I get home. I keep telling people that when I get back, I'll be the tannest person for states!. I went fishing this weekend with my principal and his sun. It was a lot of fun, except for finding bait to use. We had to suck these little things called yabbies, that are like a cross between crayfish and shrimp, out of the sand in the ocean. They are called yabbis and they're gross. I refused to bait my hook and made the principal do it for me. Well, we didn't have much of a success fishing. I was the only one to catcha fish and it was tiny! I also went to my first footy game. That's rugby to us. It was so much fun, and the fans at the game were crazy. They were drunk and falling down hills and stairs. They were also yelling things like "Step on his head!" It was a lot of fun and quite hilarious. I'm going to the Gold Coast this week to a place called Surfers Paradise. It should be really nice, and hopefully I'll be able to do a lot of surfing. Till next time! Miss you all.

Here is a picture of where we were fishing. It is where the river meets the sea.

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Here's a pictue of my huge fish!!

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Here's the Trists and their dog on the boat with me.

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Here's me at the footy game.

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Here are my friends Olivia and Jenae at the footy game.

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February 15, 2006

Boardy rash

After being in Australia for a few weeks, I've been introduced to a well-known and common thing called boardy rash. It's a terrible rash that you get between your legs after a long day at the beach. You get it from your boardys (aka board shorts) ,combined with salt water, rubbing against your legs. It hurts and is no fun on hot days. I have had it three times now, after long days of surfing. Oh, well. Not too much is new here. I'm still having a lovely time. I am really starting to get settled in. On Friday I will be moving to anotehr house for the weekend. It is the house of a young substitute teacher friend of mine at school. When the weekend is over I will be heading back to the principal's house for a while. I'm just getting passed along to different houses, but I enjoy staying with different families. Recently our school had a swimming carnival. That is where students in third through sixth grade get to go and participate in swimming events for an entire day of school. I got to help time the events, and let me tell you- these kids can swim. There were little third graders that could swim better and faster than i ever could! Well, I'm going to get going. Hope all is well with everyone. I hope you all had a great Valentine's Day. I certainly did. I had some beautiful flowers (native to australia) delivered to me on Valentine's Day here- compliments of Axel. I'll include a pictue of the flowers and the swimming carnival.


Flowers.............

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Swimming Carnival..............

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Here is one of my favorite aboriginal kids (victor). He's an excellent swimmer! (By the way, don't be alarmed by the spedos the kids are wearing. A good number of men in Australia wear them to swim or go to the beach.)

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February 12, 2006

Sydney here I come

I went to Sydney for the weekend. It is so pretty there. I can't even describe how beautiful the harbour is. Here are some pictures from my weekend.

Here's a picture of the worl famous Bondi beach in Sydney. There are always a ton of people there. There are incredibly expensives houses and flats near this area. Many famous peopel live on this beach. When I took this picture they were having a nippers carnival (nippers are kind of like junior life savers).

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Here is a picture of me standing in front of the Sydney bridge. It's a terrible picture but it was really windy and I hadn't showered that day aftering spending the morning at the beach. LAlos, don't ask me why teh woman I had take the picture decided she need to zoom in so close? I guess she thought I needed a good mug shot taken. So, give me a break.

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Here's another picture of the bridge.

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Here is a picture of the oh so world famous Sydney opera house. It is a wonderful building.

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Here's a picture of the other side of the Sydney harbour. There are huge sailboats everywhere. There are also some really big houses overlooking the water. Pretty nice.

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February 9, 2006

Plenty of pictures

Here's a picture of the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour where I'm living now. I think it's the largest fake banana in the world.

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Here's a picture of my friend Olivia who's a teacher at the school I'm at. We're out at the Coffs Harbour hotel and club...Russell Crowe is known to hang here often.

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Here's a picture of the kids at the school I'm at. They have morning assembly every morning.

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Here's a picture of me, in front of the entire school and parents, teaching them an "american" funny camp-type song called la-tooshie-la-too. I felt like an idiot, but they all loved it.

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Here's a picture of my kids, the principal, and the rest of the crowd doing the song and dance with me.

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February 2, 2006

school's in

Well, school has started. It is a wonderful school. The kids all get a big kick out of me and my accent. I already had to perform a dance in front of the whole school during an assembly as a joke. I love it here! You all are really missing out. Tonight I'm going out with some people my game finally!! We're going to a few pubs in Coffs Harbour. Here are some more pictures.


Here's Andrew, the little boy I live with.
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Here's a picture of the commonwealth torch...it's like the olympic torch. It came through town.
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Here's the backyard of the house I'm staying at. It's a river that runs into the sea. There are dolphins and sharks in it!
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Here's a picture of the Sawtell beach. It is so beautiful!!
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Here's the main street in Sawtell. Not much, but cool. One good surf shop!
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January 27, 2006

I made it

I made it to Urunga in New South Wales. That is where my host family lives. It is so beautiful here. It looks like Hawaii. The famliy took me to see kangaroos the first day I was here. They are so much fun and their little boy is a blast! We went to the beach today and it was so nice. It's hot though. We only stayed for about an hour but I got a little burnt. I guess yesterday a shark spotter in a plane spotted a shark in the water at the bech we were at so everyone had to get out. Crazy! Well, all is well. I miss everyone, but I'm having a great time. Keep in touch!


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December 25, 2005

scholarship

I just heard news that I received at $750 scholarship from the UMD Study Abroad Program. I had totally forgotten that I had even applied for the scholarship, so it was surprising when I received an e-mail stating that they had chosen me to receive the money. It's not a fortune, but it will definately help.

December 11, 2005

Down Under Family

Here are some pictures that the Principal at the school where I am going to be teaching sent me. The first picture is a picture of the principal and his family while they are on a vacation. This is who I'll be living with. The second picture is a picture of the principal's parents who are picking me up from the airport. They all look pretty cool. I'm excited to meet them!


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December 8, 2005

You can't get rid of me

Well, I've established a blog for those of you who'd like to keep up with me and my adventures while I'm in Australia. I will be leaving to go student teach second grade in Sawtell, New South Whales on January 25, 2006. Sawtell is a beautiful town. It's kind of small, but seems very comfortable. Sawtell is located right on the ocean on the East coast of Australia. Here's a few pictures of Sawtell.


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Surf Sawtell

http://www.wannasurf.com/spot/Australia_Pacific/Australia_NSW/Banana_Coast/sawtell/

http://www.surf-forecast.com/breaks/Sawtell.shtml/

Links to Sawtell

Here are links to Sawtell's tourist page, as well as a link to the school I'll be teaching at.

http://www.nnsw.com.au/sawtell/


http://www.sawtell-p.schools.nsw.edu.au/