Sunday, December 11, 2011

Flying High!

Out to Dinner!
Some of the lights
This weekend went by quickly as usual. Friday I went out to eat with Roger and Kaye and their friends Harry and Poppy. We went to a fun sports club they are part of, and I had some delicious beef satay! It was a thai dish with a peanuty spicy sauce. It was very good! After that we headed to Harry and Poppy's house, and we saw the Christmas light displays. They were very pretty. There was music and everything. :) It reminded me of the states (other than the palm trees that were decorated and no snow).

Saturday I woke up and headed to the airport with Roger, and we met Ron. From there we took our 6 seater plane to Maningrida. It was a very pretty flight, and we were still close enough to the ground to see some sights! I did sleep both ways because the plane just lulled me to sleep! I tried to fight it but I couldn't. When I was awake, I did see some very pretty stuff. I loved the clouds! We were flying right through them and next to them, and it was awesome. I took many a picture! When we got to our destination, we hung out with Ron as he worked in the different places, but we did not end up walking around. We found out that the dogs had been attacking people lately in packs, so we didn't want to risk getting attacked. The place we went to was an indigenous town, and they just let the dogs wander around and basically live like they are in the wild. Therefore, they are not good dogs to encounter. Even though we didn't do much, the plane ride was well worth it!

Me with our plane :)

Roger and I in the back of the plane

Once we got home I just hung out at the house all night. I watched some good TV, and then I started to get ready to pack to leave Darwin. A very relaxed night. :)

Today Roger, Kaye and I went out and did some shopping around town, and I found some very funny cards I enjoyed that I am bringing home :) Later I went and saw New Years Eve (the new movie) by myself at the theatre. It was pretty good, but basically exactly what I expected. It was nice to see something from the states though, and it made me very very excited to be with Dave on New Years!!!

Sunday Roast was very tasty tonight :) As always! It was a smaller crowd without Sofia and Carlee and a few others that were absent, but still a good time. Tonight I packed all of my stuff in my bags to see if anything was too heavy, and it turns out I am pretty good to go! I think my bags will all be set! I might have to pack a few things in Elissas stuff somehow, but we should be good. It is so crazy to get ready to go...I can't believe I am almost leaving Darwin. I will miss Kaye and Roger so much!!! and all their animals :) I hope this week does not go too fast! I am excited to see Elissa in 3 days! It will be nice to have someone from home here.

But I will leave you with that. I hope everyone is doing well!!!!


Sam and I. We are good mates :)

Even Australians know which team to cheer for!!! MSU!!

One more gorgeous view of the clouds

Friday, December 9, 2011

Slowly Wrapping Up Darwin

This week went by so fast! And it has hit me my time here is coming to an end. Elissa will be here in 5 days!!! Crazy :) I taught all week this week, once again, and then I got Friday off! School is going well, and I am happy next week is our last week. It will be filled with fun and spending some quality time with my students. I look forward to being more laid back around them and having more fun! They are a great group of kids, and I am glad I have gotten to know them all. They have tested me and pushed me, and I have learned a lot from them! That was what this trip was all about! Learning some great tools I can use in the classroom while experiencing an entirely new culture. I am happy it has been a successful time.

Malau hanging out in the bag, relaxing :)
Whatcha got in there??
This week I found out one of our cats, Malau, loves to sit in reusable bags! Haha. If you put him in there he just lounges and will not get out. Kaye has put him in a bag before and taken him places, and he doesn't even move! No one knows she has a cat with her then, and he can travel around with her! It is so cute :) The animals here are cracking me up and making me want an animal of my own!!! Sofia has him in the bag on the right, and you couldn't even tell!

We went out to eat at the Trailer boat club (Kaye and Rogers country club thing they are part of) this week, and saw this real news headline. There have been a few sightings of crocodiles outside of where they are expected to be. Always what I want to hear! :/ The other day a crocodile was right near the beach and it snatched a pet dog right off the beach! It was in the news, and I found out from people that they often see crocs when walking their dogs on the beach! They just stalk the animals and wait until they get the chance to grab them. It is so sad. But I guess it is common in Darwin. Today they found a crocodile in Rapid Creek which is a creek that is in a populated area slightly near where we live. It is so crazy to hear stuff like that.

This morning I went to see Kaye's class at the Water Gardens, and then I headed back home. I went for a run, and then talked with Dave on skype. After that productiveness I my day went downhill from there. Now I am just being lazy, but it is actually quite nice to relax and have a low key day before all the traveling that is coming up in a week!

 This weekend Sofia and Carlee are gone in Bali, so I am having a weekend in Darwin with my host family. Tomorrow morning we are going to Maningrida with Roger and Ron on a 6 seater airplane. It is an isolated aboriginal town, and Ron has a job there. Roger and I are tagging along for the ride because there were 2 open seats, and we are going to walk around, explore, and see the area. Roger said not really anyone can say they have been to this small town, so I am excited to see such a unique place! I am also excited for the plane ride. I have never been in such a small plane, and it flies lower to the ground, so I will be able to see the scenery! It should be a cool experience :) I will post about it Sunday!

Other than that, my weekend is empty. I am not sure what I will end up doing, but I am hoping something else will come up. It will be nice to have a laid back weekend before Elissa gets here and it gets very busy! I am so so so excited to travel and be busy with Elissa!!! We are planning to snorkel, white water raft in the jungle, go to a beach island off of Cairns, go to a Harry Potter exhibit in Sydney, go to the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, possibly do the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb, etc. On Christmas we are planning on going to a beach all day! First time I can say I will spend my Christmas in a swimsuit in the sun!

I hope everyone is enjoying the weather there. I do miss the cold weather that I associate with the holidays, but I think I will get sick of it pretty quickly once I am home! haha Enjoy your weekends, and I will post on Sunday about mine!


 P.S. Below are just some gorgeous sunset shots I couldn't get enough of! Love the sunsets here :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Typical Week in Darwin

Well this week was a hot one! It was above 100 degrees at least 3 days with the humidity, but it was still a good one. I am getting used to the heat, but that does not mean I am enjoying the amount of sweat I am producing. I taught all week once again, and it went really well! My teacher has said I have already earned 3 A's! haha I am happy with that :) Now that the last two weeks are starting my teacher said that my lessons can be very laid back. I am excited to have some fun with the students while still trying to accomplish some educational goals.

Other than teaching this week, I did not do much. We enjoyed a lot of great food once again, and I started to work out. I am trying to do some sort of work out each day. I think the nice weather has motivated me to try and be active! It is hard in this heat, but I am trying to find ways to make it work! Other than that this week has been pretty standard.

This weekend we went to the market, museum, casino, and the wave pool! It was a really great day, and we got a lot of sun! Luckily my slight burn yesterday turned to a tan now! The museum was very nice since it was air conditioned, and we were able to see a lot of nice art and exhibits. We saw the huge crocodile Sweetheart that had to be captured because he was attacking too many people. Now they have it on display in the museum. It was a nice break to walk around there. We then walked to the casino, which we ended up getting kicked out of. haha We didn't have our passports so they tracked us down at the slots and said we had to leave. We were surprised, but then we just laughed and left. After that we went and enjoyed the public wave pool. It was so nice to relax in the water in the waves. It was the perfect end to a hot day!

Today is Sunday roast once again. Last week was delicious as always, and this week I am looking forward to the same delicious food! I am excited for Elissa to get to experience the Sunday roast the weekend she is in Darwin! Elissa comes in 1 and 1/2 weeks! Next Wednesday :) I am counting down to seeing her! I think traveling with her will be the perfect end to a GREAT trip. I am going to miss Darwin a lot! Especially my host family! They are so amazing, it will be hard to leave!

I hope everyone is doing well in the states though! Keep safe!


A beautiful sunset :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Weekend of Waterfalls and Camping

This weekend we got up on Saturday and got ready to go to Litchfield National Park. Blake drove Sofia, Carlee, and me out to the park, and we started our weekend by hiking up this little mountainy hill thing. It was very tiring, but once we reached our location it was worth it! We went to this set of waterfalls (Cascade Falls), and we swam and walked around in them. I happened to slip while walking in one of the falls, and I took a hard fall onto the rocks. My tailbone is quite sore now, and my head and elbow are banged up a little bit. When I fell, I took Blake's advice and went with the fall. This somehow ended up in my landing like aboard on the rocks. I had my whole body stiff with my arms stiff at my sides. Needless to say, Blake, Carlee, and Sofia all were laughing at me quite hard. Other than my fall, it was wonderful there! The water was nice and cool, and the waterfalls were so pretty and peaceful.

After we left that area, we went to a really pretty waterfall a little ways away. This one was called Wangi Falls and it was a lot bigger and also very pretty. We weren't allowed to swim in that one though because of the crocodiles and the really strong current from the falls. We walked out to the lookout point and just enjoyed the view before we walked back to have lunch. I sadly forgot my camera for this set of falls, so Carlee has the pictures we took here.

Once we were done eating, we went to Buley Rockholes and swam in those. These were very popular, and we definitely enjoyed them! The water was so refreshing, and the waterfalls gave you back massages as you sat in them. This was a nice area because the holes were deep enough to swim and play around. It was a wonderful way to end a very hot and sweaty day. The whole day we were hiking around, and we all got some sun. It was very pretty, and it helped me get used to such hot weather!

At night we all camped at our campsite. We had dinner and drinks around the fire, and we enjoyed one anothers company until it got dark. After that we headed to bed. It was warm at night, but not too hot to sleep. I just had a hard time sleeping with the noises and my tailbone hurting.

In the morning we woke up around 7 something, and we packed up camp. We headed to the Florence Falls, and we had a morning swim in the waterfalls! It was absolutely amazing. We spent a lot of time here, and it was hard to leave such a beautiful place. The falls were quite large, and the water was wonderful! We swam under the waterfalls, and then we climbed around on the rocks in the area. Once again I forgot my camera, so Carlee has the pictures for this place.

After that we went to Tolmer Falls, and walked to a lookout point to view those. You aren't allowed to swim there anymore because they are protecting a cave that bats live in. It was the highest waterfall we saw, and it was also gorgeous! The whole trip was amazing, and I am so happy we were able to go! I am very tired and sore after the weekend, but it was so worth it! I wish I lived close to a place like this in Michigan!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I am sad I missed all my family parties...but I am glad we did something exciting to fill the time!


My First Thanksgiving! (In Australia)

On Thursday, we had our own Thanksgiving dinner! We headed home after school, and Sofia and I got to work on cooking! I prepared my mom's stuffing recipe and grandmas apple pie recipe. They both turned out really well! I was happy to see that I did a good job! Sofia made some awesome garlic mashed potatoes and pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. Carlee brought green bean casserole, pumpkin roll, and sweet potatoes. We also had turkey, chicken and ham from Kaye and Roger. To top it all off we had a lot of champagne! Overall it was a very traditional type of Thanksgiving dinner, and it all turned out delicious! I felt like a little bit of  home was here in Australia with me. I did miss my usual festivities I go to, but what we did was still great! The teacher I have been teaching with came, and many other people joined us to help us celebrate. I was happy people enjoyed their time together, and it was nice to bring everyone together for one of our holidays.

Our dinner!

It is so hard to believe it is almost December! Time has flown by. I did not think Thanksgiving would come so fast! Only 33 days until I am home, and it is crazy to think I am basically half way done in Australia! I hope time slows down a little so it doesn't all rush by so quickly! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving though. Enjoy the holiday season!!


My host parents Kaye and Roger and me!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Don't Be Such a Grizzlebum

Grizzlebums are people who whine and are a pain in the bottom. Sofia and I just love Kaye's sayings, and she has some good ones. This a more G rated saying, so I chose to put this up!

The last few days have been good, and I have taught more in the classroom. I am really enjoying being in the classroom here. and the days go by soo fast! The school day is shorter, and they have a lot of special things that I do not have to be in charge of. It is a refreshing change to teach here, and I think I am really learning something about myself as a teacher.

It has been so hot out here the last few days. It hasn't rained the last few days, so it is just heating up. Today Sofia and I just walked from the bus stop and we were dying. I am almost positive with the humidity it was right around 100 degrees today, and the humidity just makes it a horrible heat. Let's hope it rains soon because that helps us with the heat for a bit.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving for us which will be ahead of everyone in the States, so we will be having our Thanksgiving dinner while everyone is sleeping there. I am excited to try and recreate Thanksgiving dinner here. I hope we are successful!

Sam (our house dog) is so funny. When he is down by the mailbox we give him the mail, and he takes it up to the house for us! Once we are inside he lets go of it. Today we gave him a thin package to take to the house, and he took small steps up each stair and then lifted his head higher to allow the package to clear the stairs. Sofia and I were cracking up, and it was so cute! He is a great little dog!

Tonight Sofia, Kaye and I had a little girls night, and we went to a shop down by the beach. The shop was having a champagne night, so we were allowed to drink champagne while shopping. It was wonderful! We shopped around a little and had some drinks :) On the way home I saw this really cool cloud that I had to take a picture of, because I just thought it was beautiful! The sky here is always so amazing (except when it is cloudy when it rains/storms). I love it!!

Good News you can post comments now on my blog. I fixed my settings, so anyone can do it! Just write your name at the end so I know who wrote it!

Well I hope everyone has a great rest of the week, and enjoy your Thanksgiving. I will be missing those I love very much.
Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

"A dingo ate your baby..."

A dingo we saw!

We went to the wildlife park on Saturday, and it was so cool. We saw a lot of different animals, and the rain forest around the area was amazing :) It was nice to see a lot of the animals so close in the buildings, and while walking around we were able to see animals in the wild too. Sofia got pooped on by some birds, and I have to admit it was hilarious! At one point I got distracted by some birds and I walked towards them and then I spotted a wallaby right near me! From then on we saw a lot of wallabies hopping around in the wild.
 I was surprised to see all the animals that are in this area. The Wildlife park only has animals that are in Australia in that area, so we were able to see what is really around us! The snakes were not a happy sight for me to see, but otherwise the animals are pretty cool. The crocodile we saw was very large, and it is crazy to think those things are all around this area. I can see how they eat people so easily since they are so large.
I have been looking into what to do when Elissa and I are traveling, and I found a Harry Potter Exhibition in Sydney! I immediately bought tickets for us to go, and I am super excited. The exhibition has a ton of props that are in all of the movies, costumes, etc. You can do the sorting hat, see Harry's wand, pick mandrakes, play quidditch, and so much more! I think its very obvious I am very excited for this, but I cannot wait to see all the stuff they actually used in the movies! So Elissa and I will have fun with that :) She will be here in 3 and a half weeks!
Tonight we are having some champagne to celebrate a Sunday :) We will have our Sunday tea soon, and it is already smelling so good.

 I am realizing more and more that I am about to miss my favorite time of the year. I love seeing my family so much during the Holidays, and I am getting sad knowing I won't be there. We are having a Thanksgiving this Thursday, but it won't be the same without my family, Dave, and Dave's family. I will miss all of the family parties, but I am enjoying myself here. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and just know I wish I was there with you (if I could teleport easily back and forth). I will try to write this week, but not much really happens with me during the school week.

 The sunset from our porch :)


Friday, November 18, 2011

G'Day Mate

Sunday night we went out and watched the sunset with Blake and Bruce. It was gorgeous. We then headed back to the house and had our Sunday tea. It was once again delicious, and we had a lot of fun. I definitely eat too much on Sunday nights, so I need to start scaling back when I eat. Kaye and Roger are spoiling us with sweets!!! I will probably come back to the states with a few extra pounds, but hey the Tim Tams, Curlywurlys, Violet Crumbles, etc. are worth it!!!!
Earlier this week Kaye and Roger took us to their club they are part of, and they got us dinner. We sat on the deck outside and ate dinner as we watched the sunset. I got some delicious fish and chips, and Sofia had some very good spaghetti something. It was a perfect little dinner out with the family.
One of the days after school, Sofia and I decided to head to the mall just to browse. Well that did not turn into just browsing. We ended up getting one more pair of our favorite shorts from Cotton On. They were only 10 dollars, and they actually fit! Then we went to  our other favorite store, Valley Girl, and we looked around. The name is not so great but the clothes are cheap and cute! I ended up getting a dress I would never usually buy, but I fell in love with it and it was on sale. After that we went to KMart and found some cheap very cute sandals. I got a brown pair because I needed some brown sandals, and then I was done! That was the first  time I spoiled myself with clothes I wanted in a long time.
Another almost full set of different looking Harry Potter books!!

Later this week Obama came to Darwin! Sofia and I took off school to see him, and we ended up not even being able to see him. It did not work in our favor. It was very restricted and shut off to the public, but Sofia and I still enjoyed our day off and trying to see him! He was a big hit here, and the Australians loved him! I wish I could have seen him, but in spirit I am sure he knows I love him :)
Last night we had kanga bangers!!! (Kangaroo Sausages, see picture to right!!) I tried Kangaroo for the first time, and it was good. Kangaroo is apparently the healthiest meat you can have here, and it is red meat. It did taste good, but I felt bad eating a kangaroo so I am not sure if I will do it again. I also tried Vegemite yesterday, and I do not like it. It is soooo bitter and not good. I might keep trying it to see if I grow to like it, but I am not so sure. Sofia said it was better the second time, but it was not my thing. I am glad  I am trying the food that is common here though!!
Today is Friday, and we are just relaxing at home. We are getting ready to head to the Wildlife Park tomorrow. I am excited! It is in a rainforest area, and we will see a lot of wildlife :) Sofia, Carlee and I are going, and it should be fun and a good photo opportunity!
It was so hot today, I had to get home and just lie in the AC. I hope the states are enjoying the weather there! It is hot here, but I am not ready to leave this to head back to snow! Monsoon season is about to start up with possible hurricanes, so we will see how that goes! We are watching cricket right now and it is crazy! But very cool. We will have to get more into it. I also just watched Sepak Takraw with Kaye and Roger. That is crazy! It is a mix of volleyball and soccer. You have to get a ball over a net and you can only use your feet. Pretty cool!
 I am sorry I didn't write all week, but I will update about this weekend asap! Enjoy your weekends!!


This is what is on all of the cigarette boxes here. They are not attractive!
Drinking milk through a Tim Tam. It is delicious!!! Tim Tams are long chocolate cookies :)
Tiny Lizard on the table last night!!!