I've realized I have fallen behind (again) on the whole updating of this blog....my bad. I've been pretty busy with settling into my place, meeting new people, having school start back up (it's taken a bit to get used to this again), and just day to day happenings/adjustments. Anyways, bear with me on this update, I'm going to just go through the past month of my existence here in Brisbane and catch you all up with what I've been up to........
Week 1 (12-18 July):
Ok. First week of Brisbane/second in Australia was one filled with quite a bit of emotions. I arrived in Brisbane the day after I received news about Sandie having to be put down so I was still a bit shook up over that. It didn't help that the weather was all rainy/gloomy and that when I got to my flat it was a complete ghost town as I was the only one in my hall. To make matters worse, I walked into the living room/kitchen area to find it a COMPLETE disaster. The previous residents practically just up and left, leaving food to rot in the fridge, dirty dishes in the sink, fruit flies everywhere, and the remains from a going away party still in the room. Continuing to make matters worse, when unpacking everything, I discovered I had left my bear from when I was little at the hostel in Cairns (had taken it out when I got news of Sandie and apparently forgot it there). So that is long gone now, which is very unfortunate and definitely did not make things better that first day in Brisbane. My other flatmates finally moved in though, we cleaned the kitchen, and everything turned around. But let's just say those first two days were a complete nightmare. The rest of my first week was basically spent exploring the city (which I love and still do many days) and figuring out what all I needed to get ready for my classes. I'll leave the explaining about what's all in Brisbane for another update with pictures (it'll be more interesting that way).
Week 2 (19-25 July):
This week was one of the most fun weeks I've had here in Australia, mainly because of my weekend trip to Byron Bay on the 19th-21st. I'll post another update (with pictures) giving more of a description of my weekend in Byron, but basically we (a group of international students) took a weekend trip with this group called Extreme Adventures to the wonderful little town of Byron. It was such a relaxing and exciting weekend. (Here's the link to my photo album from the trip on FB: Byron Photos) After my amazing weekend in Byron, classes started up that Monday. It was sure quite the change of pace starting back into course work. I had been so used to constantly doing orientation activities/trips that it seemed odd to be starting school again so suddenly.
Week 3 (26 July - 1 August):
The basic summary of this week: Schoolwork and Olympics. It was the second week of classes and basically was all I did that week besides stay up/get up early to watch the Olympics. It was also my best friend's birthday back home in the states on the 28th. Since I wasn't there to celebrate with her, I drew her a picture of the Doctor from Doctor Who (one of her favorite shows).
Week 4 (2-8 August):
More Olympics. More school. More exploring the city.
I'm pretty sure people around here thought I was crazy for staying up as late as I did to watch the Olympics as they were happening, but it was totally worth it. I loved staying up to watch Phelps make history. I also met a lot of new people through watching the Olympics (people from all over including Croatia, Italy, Australia, Germany, China, Denmark, France, and a few more I'm forgetting). I have to say that watching the Olympics while in another country is an experience in itself...the coverage of the games are a bit different and being around people from other countries makes it a really interesting but fun atmosphere.
School this week was same old school. Most of my classes are fun but right now a lot of the work I'm doing is all review and just really busy-work to fill class time. They should pick up though once we start in on actual projects.....speaking of which, I think I'll make yet another (really brief) update just going over what courses I'm actually in and how the courses are structured different than in the states.
During my exploration of the city this week, I sat and watched a spray paint artist for over 2 hours one day. I find his work to be incredible and I was so fascinated watching him do his thing in the middle of the Queen St. Mall (the big outdoor mall here in Brissy).
Oh! One last thing from week 4, I got a package from home! Stuffed inside the little box was my favorite sweatshirt I left at home the day I left, my TOMS that I forgot, pictures of my dogs, Sandie's dog tags, and the scuba dvd from my trip this summer. I seriously watched that scuba dvd 3 times the day I got it (and probably another 5 times since then) because of how much I miss diving. I loved being able to relive those moments spent under the water in the Caribbean, surrounded by the people who understand my passion for the life under the sea and all the creatures that go with it. Plus, Bronson (who put the dvd together) had excellent choice in music this dvd. The Jimmy Buffett song I'd been wanting to listen to but couldn't (it's not on spotify in Oz) was included in the dvd, as well as Off to See the Lizard (Buffett's song about Oz), songs from Fun., and my favorite song by Of Monsters and Men. Overall, the dvd is basically perfect and I love watching it (and find something new every time I do watch it).
That's it for this recap....I know it was a very lengthy one, but I figured I'd rather just get the past month all taken care of. Within the next 3-4 days, I'll have the other little updates (Info about Brissy; trip to Byron; school) uploaded.