I'll start off my catching up of entries with my days of travel--aka days of pure stress. Everything had started out all fine and dandy, but quickly took a turn for the worse. I was all set to go at my gate in Minneapolis when I get news that the plane we were supposed to fly out on was having mechanical problems. After being delayed for about an hour we finally boarded the plane, only to sit on the runway for another hour or more because of the weather conditions in Chicago.
By the time we landed in Chicago, it was already 5 min past the time my flight from Chicago to LA was supposed to leave....luckily for me, that flight too had been delayed. When we finally made it into LA, I only had about 40 minutes until my flight to Sydney was supposed to leave--this was cutting it a bit close compared to the 3 hour layover I was originally supposed to have in LA. I then got the news I was switched flights onto one that was leaving 10 minutes earlier--still confused as to why this happened, but whatever. By this time, it was already 1 or 2 in the morning (Minnesota time) and I'd been in airports or on a plane since around 10:30 that morning....needless to say I was sick of flying/airports.
We all boarded the plane leaving for Sydney, and I really don't remember much of what happened within the next 3 hours or so. I don't remember passing out as soon as I did, but apparently somewhere between waiting for the rest of the plane to board and waiting for the plane to take off, I was out cold. I woke up to eat something since I hadn't eaten since about 11 that morning, but fell right back asleep after. The next time I woke up, we were somewhere over the ocean and I was wide awake while everyone else was passed out. I watched The Vow on the in-flight entertainment, along with episodes of Dr. Who, Sherlock, and listening to a lot of Gotye (they had 3 of his albums on their music station). After getting breakfast a long while later, I took another nap before landing in Sydney...a few hours behind the original landing time.
In Sydney, I was hoping everything would be smooth sailing from there on out--I was wrong. Waiting for my bags in customs, I realize they aren't on the carousel with everyone else. I go to baggage services where they tell me to just go straight onto Cairns and to deal with it there. I get to Cairns and discover my luggage is still at the airport back in LA and wouldn't be in Australia until the next day. At that point I didn't really care too much since I had enough clothes in my carry on...I just wanted to get to the hostel and be done with traveling. After a short bus ride to the hostel, we checked in, dropped off our bags in our rooms, and were on our way to our first learning session of our Bridging Cultures Program......
And on that note, I'll cut off this first update. Sorry it was a bit lengthy, the other ones shouldn't be this long (and they'll actually have pictures)
Next up: The hostel/ learning sessions
Later: Day on the reef