Activities in Sydney

By on 10-02-2012 in Australia 2012

Activities in Sydney

G’ Day Mates!

I know that you are on the edge of your seats waiting to read about all of the happenings in Sydney.

As you may or may not know, we spent a total of six days amongst, as Marilee would say, the “beautiful people.” Though we arrived relatively early on our first day in the city, we decided not to tackle our educational objectives right away.  Trust me, it does not matter how much planning you do, when you are somewhere that beautiful, you just want to explore as much as you can before you have to work. So, Marilee, Megan, myself, Brittany and Cierra roamed the streets for a couple of hours. The best and worst thing about Sydney is that time really flies when you are there. Before we knew it, it was 3:00am and we were exhausted.

On our second day in the city, we decided to start tackling some educational objectives by following our itinerary.  Our first official educational adventure was to the Sydney Aquarium. I do not know what was best, riding the ferry and having the best view ever or taking happy snaps and notes at the aquarium. It was refreshing to see that we were not the only people excited to see the sea creatures in the aquarium, it was packed with people and of course, fun facts.  Did you know that crabs have teeth inside of their stomachs?

The third day of our trip was the day that we set aside to visit the Australian National Maritime Museum.  I love to go to different museums and was fortunate to have the opportunity to say “ I went to a museum in Sydney, Australia!” There are not many people who can say that.  The most interesting thing that I learned from the museum is: The gallery was the United States’ gift to Australia in 1988. It was nice to read something positive and interesting about America that I had never heard before.

What else did we do? I am glad you asked readers. The group and I also went to the opera house and the Sydney Tower Eye. We had so much fun and learned so many new things, that it is hard to say what I liked the most. However, if I had to choose, I would say that the opera house was the best experience because it was something that we all wanted to do collectively. If there is one thing that I have learned from my time here and planning excursions it is this: it is almost impossible for everyone to agree to do one activity at the same time.

What are some things that you have learned about travelling with groups and where were you travelling when you learned those lessons?

Overall, I enjoyed my time in Sydney and I hope you enjoy our photos.

Word of the Day: Swag, which is not a terminology for confidence. It is rolled up bedding, which is carried by a swagman. A swagman is a hobo. Look at that, two for the price of one! 

Only in Sydney

 

The one and only Sydney, Australia

By on 10-02-2012 in Australia 2012

The one and only Sydney, Australia

G’ Day Mates!

Did you miss me?

As you may or may not know, the gang and I took a trip to Sydney last week. I am happy to report that we all enjoyed our time there and it is apparent that we all took something positive from the excursion. Though every student stayed in hostels in Sydney for the duration of the excursion, we were advised by Poppa D (Professor Davison) to travel in smaller groups. So, we broke up into three different groups. Group A: Ericka, Joy, Kelsey and Caprice. Group B: myself, Brittany, Megan, Marilee and Cierra. Group C: Quinn, Brother, Barend and Carl.

I admit it; I am more of a couch potato than an active person. No worries, our adventures in Australia are changing that. The city was so beautiful and modern that even I wanted to see all of its attractions immediately. My group decided to go sightseeing once we were checked into our hostel. I strongly believe that there is something about that city that made all of us feel comfortable and energetic. Some might say that it is magical, I know I do.  There were so many people to meet and so many things to do that there was never a day that went by where we were stuck in our hostel.

If you have never been to Sydney, allow me to paint a picture for you. Imagine a better and cleaner version of New York City. Now, imagine friendlier and if you can, better dressed people. This is a city where transportation is always available and the nights are always gorgeous. Though we embraced Sydney and she embraced us with all of her beauty and openness, it was not all fun and games.

As I have stated before, it was an educational excursion. So, we stuck to our list of objectives and our personal itineraries we planned prior to our trip.  My group planned to see an opera, go on a tour of the Sydney Opera House, visit the Maritime Museum, visit the aquarium,  view the Sydney Tower Eye and climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Our goal was to collectively learn something new about those amazing places and hopefully gain a new perspective.  Stay tuned for in depth details about our Sydney excursion.

Did You Know- The Residents of Sydney hail from over 180 nations and speak 140 languages?

We passed this park on our way to catch the ferry daily.

 

Epic Excursions

By on 10-02-2012 in Australia 2012

Epic Excursions

G’ Day Mates!

So far, I’ve had the pleasure of going on two excursions. The group and I have been to Fraser Island and the Great Barrier Reef. I may have said it before, but it is surreal that we are in Australia. Our first trip without Momma or Poppa D was to Lady Elliot Island, the Great Barrier Reef. It went well and we all came back with smiles on our faces. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous before we left for the Great Barrier Reef because as I mentioned earlier, it was the first un-chaperoned trip of this year’s immersion program excursions. Today, I am proud to say that I am not worried about our upcoming adventure because I trust the people I am traveling with and they trust me. We really are becoming a small family and without this experience, that would not have happened.

Now, Megan, Marilee, Kelsey, Ericka, Joy, Caprice, Brittany, Cierra and I are back at it again. We are heading to Sydney today at 1:00am for some educational exploring. The group and I will ride on the Greyhound bus for five hours to our stop in Brisbane. Then, we will board our flight to Sydney. We will be there for a total of six days and will be staying in hostels.  One of the best parts of this trip is the fact that we have stayed a couple of places and now know the Do’s and Don’ts of packing. The biggest lesson I learned during our last stay was that not every hostel in Australia will provide a towel and wash cloth for free. You can bet your bottom dollar that my current packed bag has a towel and two wash cloths.  What is the most important lesson you have learned from traveling and where were you traveling when you learned it?

Term of the Day: Rip Snorter. This means Great, Fantastic.

We are finally Sydney Bound

A Day with Norman

By on 10-02-2012 in Australia 2012

A Day with Norman

This week we had the pleasure of going to Scrub Hill Farms and meeting an Aboriginal male named Norman. He is a member of the Butchella tribe and was kind enough to talk to Caprice, Brittany, Cierra and myself about the history of his people and some of the issues they faced while living in Hervey Bay.

In the past, land ownership did not matter to the Aboriginal people. However, it did matter to one particular party—the Europeans. The Europeans took the Aboriginal’s land because they believed in land ownership and wanted to claim the property for themselves. Farmers were not allowed to own land that Aboriginals lived on, so they made excuses to kill them. Aboriginals were treated as outcasts and were not allowed to vote until 1967. As the result of many unjust murders and the heinous crimes that occurred, most Aboriginal people are still distrustful of the Government.

Because Aboriginals were forced into hiding, the first question they ask one another is: “What country are you from?” They ask this because each group was forced to go off into different territories and given different names for where they were. The tribes broke into family groups and were certain not to travel by tribe. Fortunately, they never had to stay in one place because they were always surrounded by food, provided by the land.

The final estimated resident Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population at 30 June 2006 was 517,000 people or 2.5% of the total Australian population. Of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, 90% were Aboriginal people, 6% were Torres Strait Islander people and the remaining 4% were both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“Growing up in Hervey Bay was bad,” expressed Norman. “Things have changed a bit, but not a lot.”

Norman’s mother and grandfather were both boxers, so he is a natural born fighter. In fact, during his short career at Queensland University he was kicked out of the school for an altercation with a teacher. Unlike most outlaws, he did not act out without reason. He was raised believing that you are supposed to defend yourself when you are disrespected, so he did.

“Some people won’t come back here because they have nothing to come back to,” said Norman.

Norman and others fought to and from school because they were always targeted for being Aboriginals. “It was not because we were black, it was because we were Aboriginals,” stated Norman. Along with age came maturity and Norman no longer fights as much as he once did. However, he will never forget who he is or what he was taught.

Norman’s mother purchased Scrub Hill Farms for $250,000.00 in an effort to help Aboriginal people rebuild their lives. At the time of her purchase, the farm was unwanted because there was not much one could do with it. Scrub Hills is about “bringing Aboriginal people together.”  The goal of the farm is to teach Aboriginal people the skills they need to survive in society and to make sure they are skilled.

Though Norman’s life as an Aboriginal has not been easy, he still manages to be a very jovial person and is always happy to share his story with others.

“Don’t Worry. It is heartbreaking, but you have to move forward,” encourages Norman.

Fun Fact: There are three ways to spell the name of Norman’s tribe.

  1. Badjala
  2. Butchella
  3. Badtjala

                                                           “Until Next Time Mates!”