I attended another footy game this weekend…Dockers took on the Magpies and won!
Photo Credit: Nicole Gomes
This past week, we got to experience the Freo Prison Night Tour/Torchlight (flashlight) Tour. We had a really good guide who managed to get us, or at least me, to scream. The Freo prison was only recently closed in 1991 after being a maximum security prison. After hearing the history of the prison from its beginning to its close was very interesting. One of the things that made us scream was when we were standing in a cell block and just about to leave to the next section. In the cell block, there are 3 levels and a net between the 1st and 2nd level to prevent people from throwing themselves over the edge, throwing things down/up, etc. Just as we were about to move on in the darkness, we heard a man’s voice quietly screaming “Ahhhh” which got louder and louder and suddenly extremely loud as a dummy falls onto the net right above my head…we screamed so loud!
Most of this week, besides the prison tour, was spent working on my major essay for Children’s Literature, which is done and turned in (yay!). It took me a while to finish, but I’m proud of it. But I did get to have some fun on the weekend visiting Rottnest Island (Rotto for short). A group of us left on the 1st ferry of the day and hung out on the island. We had a great time hanging out and talking, walking to the lighthouse, and watching the sunset. At night, we saw heaps of quokkas, which are apparently nocturnal animals. One of the girls and I had to do some work and the only place to do it was where we got free wifi, which was out by the food area. We had to sit on the ground by the lights to see and we had what we called an “aquokkalypse.” Like I mentioned, there were heaps of quokkas and I think they got too used to us being around. This one quokka, it looked like it had gotten into a fight, came too close for comfort and we left. We left mid morning the next day, but I didn’t leave before getting a Rottnest Bakery meat pie for lunch. It was delicious! That’s one of the things I’m definitely going to miss back in America.
I’ll post more pictures, but I’m having some technical difficulties with photos. Sorry!
During our break, I was so lucky to be able to have my mom come out to visit and hang out. It was so great to see her and show her what I’ve been up to. I kept us heaps busy, but we had a brilliant time.
Here’s what our list of things to do looked like:
I was bummed that she had to leave so soon as it seemed like she just got here, but I know my Dad and sister miss her too. At least I know I’ll see her soon again. All in all, I had a great break!
This past week was one of the hardest weeks I’ve ever had to go through emotionally. And being on the other side of the world, away from my family didn’t make it any easier. Thankfully, I’m surround by my friends, who have become my Australian family.
My family suffered a hard loss. My uncle passed away after a hard-fought battle with cancer. When I heard the news, I was in a state of complete and utter shock. I didn’t know how to react. I mean, there’s no instruction manual on how to deal with things like this when you don’t have family around. I was on skype with my family, so at least I could see and talk with them even though they couldn’t be with my physically. From Monday afternoon to Saturday afternoon, my eyes were red from all the crying and tearing up. But since I didn’t have anyone to look to who had gone through this before, I want to write for future study abroad students ways to deal with the emotional pain of loss.
I’m not going to lie or try to put some fluff around this kind of situation. It sucks. It really sucks when all you want to do is hug your family and tell them it’s going to be okay or call up your aunt and cousin and tell them you’ll be there for them because obviously you can’t. I felt awful about it too because I always told my cousin that if she needed me, I would be there for her no matter what. Well, I found out the hard way that there are some times I just couldn’t make that happen. But what I am happy to say is that I was able to get through it, thanks to my friends and their support and the technological wonder of skype and email. Being able to talk over skype eased the hardship a bit and being able to talk with my aunt really made me feel so much better as well as emailing with my cousin. I can’t even put into words how much better it made me feel, which is weird considering that I probably should have been the one comforting them rather than the other way around. But that just goes to show how incredibly strong they are. I’m also happy to say that my family was there to help them when I couldn’t be and their friends were an amazing group of support. It brought tears to my eyes when I heard about all they were doing.
But for anyone studying abroad, if this happens, please tell someone. Just being able to hug someone and let the tears out does wonders. I talked with a few friends and they gave me so much support. Even some of the staff who I told were helpful. I did attend my classes, even though my mind wasn’t completely tuned into it, but hey, it’s hard to concentrate when an event like this occurs.
Because I couldn’t be there for his memorial, a group of us went to Bather’s Beach at the exact time the memorial was being held in the States and lit some candles in his honor while I shared a few things about him and stories that I love. Having them there with me not only showed their love and support, but just made me realize even more that you don’t have to be related by blood to be family.
However, this week wasn’t all bad. I had some good distractions like our Twilight Sailing experience at the East Fremantle Yacht Club. All the study abroad students (who signed up) got to ride in sail boats with the members of the club. I got to steer for a bit and be on the water watching a beautiful sunset. It was heaps of fun to stand and sit on the bow of the boat too. After, we had a delicious dinner. Now, to get to the club, we took the bus. But one of the families offered us a ride back to our dorms not in a car, bus, or sail boat, but on their…wait for it…YACHT! It was absolutely amazing! We rode all the way from East Fremantle to Cicerello’s which was at least a 30 minute ride. Sitting on the bow of the yacht, feeling the wind in your hair (that sounds cheesy, but it’s true), and the smell of the ocean water was so great. Of course, I took numerous photos. I definitely would love to have a yacht when I get older…I guess I’ve got a lot of saving to do!
Another fun event was the International Student Barbecue hosted by Student Life. They had a powder paint fight and I took photos of it (they’re going to use them for a multicultural event advertisement). I’ll post some of those pictures as well. I got to meet heaps of great people from all over; South Africa, Kenya, France, and Germany. Everyone was really nice and we had great conversations. I love meeting new people from different places all over the world!
Before I forget, I want to extend my prayers to all those that were affected by the Boston bombing as well as the Texas explosions. We’ve been keeping an eye on the news.
Now, for a few last things. Remember the jellies shoes? The plastic shoes you maybe wore as a kid and came in all different kinds of colors? They are here in Freo at the markets! I was so excited to finally get a pair. I’m hoping to get 1 or 2 more pairs before going back home. Also, I can now say, finally, that I’ve seen the movie Pretty Woman and loved it!
Well, I’m so excited for this coming week because my mom will be arriving, and I’ve got a week full of fun things for us to do since it’s study week/mid-semester break. Hopefully the weather cooperates…but either way, I know it’ll be great just to have my mom here. Bye!
I was doing well in keeping up with my blogging, but man, things, no life, just keeps happening.
This post is for the week of 8th to 14th April. This was an interesting week as almost all of Port Lodge, my housing accommodations, was empty. About 20 or so of the study abroad students were gone to Broome, WA for their Australian History class for the week. From what I’ve heard, they had a great time but are happy to be back to water pressure in the showers and air con. Since Port Lodge and the P & O Hotel (another student house) both had over half of their residents gone, they had us over for community dinner one night and we had them over for another. It was nice to be able to hang out with them and talk since we don’t always get to.
I had my first mid-semester exam this week in my marketing class. I think I prepared well for it; I made well over 100 flashcards with the vocabulary on them from all 6 chapters. I felt I did well, but I don’t want to jinx it. I just felt very relieved once it was done. Now I have some breathing time before I all my other papers and group project are due.
On Friday, I had my boot camp at 7 am as usual, but this time I was heaps nervous because I thought we would be doing heaps of running and I suck at running. But luckily it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I was also nervous because I had the TSWA Volleyball Competition that afternoon and didn’t want to be sore during that. But luckily I wasn’t.
The volleyball tourney was one of the BEST times I’ve had here in Straya (another shortened word). I had a blast being a part of the women’s volleyball team. We played against UWA, Murdoch, and Curtin. I thought I did pretty well considering that I haven’t played since December with the Saint Mary’s club team. Everyone was really nice and cheered each other on. One thing I’ll remember is that if someone made a mistake, someone would say “Ah, unlucky.” At first I was thinking, isn’t that considered rude to say that?? but then I realized that it mean something along the lines of, “nice try!” or “next one!”. We worked really hard and at times found ourselves down by heaps of points, but we never gave up and fought our way back for the win. It felt so good when we got that last point during the final game. So exciting!! It took me awhile to not be so hyper once I got back to uni.
Even though I wasn’t sore at the tourney from boot camp, I was definitely sore on Saturday in my shoulders from a combination of bench dips during boot camp and from serving so much in the games. I guess I should’ve stretched out afterwards. Oops. I also got sore in my neck from falling asleep on the couch for a bit the night before, trying to stay up late with a friend watching a footy game (AFL). I went to Harbour Town with a group of friends for some outlet shopping.
Sunday, I slept in a bit which felt nice. I’ve been trying not to sleep in too late while I’m here so I don’t have a late start to my day and not get any work done or miss out on going places. I went with a couple other residents to the E-Shed Markets in Freo and had lunch there. Afterwards, I enlisted the help of a friend to model for my digital photography class picture. Our word was ‘colour’ and I had her put on lip gloss so she could stick 100s of 1000s (sprinkles) to her lips. Even though it took a few tries, I was pleased with how the photos came out.
At night, pretty much the whole building watched The Parent Trap. We had fun quoting the lines and reminiscing about how much we loved that movie and still love it.
The weather has been kind of funky lately. It’s turning into Autumn weather; it looks like it should be nice and cool outside, but it’s become rather humid. I reckon it’s trying to rain but just won’t for whatever reason. When getting dressed, it’s almost become a guessing game to see what kind of weather we should dress for.
Hopefully soon, once the weather is a bit nicer, I’m going to try to do add a video as my blog post instead of writing. I’m planning on doing one at Bather’s Beach and one in the park, The Esplanade. I don’t know when that will happen, but we’ll see what the weather becomes.
In the words of Tigger, TTFN! Ta ta for now!
UNDA Women’s Volleyball took 1st place at the TSWA volleyball tourney!
I know I said I’ll be posting normally on Sundays, but I was too excited to wait until then to write this:
Today, Friday, I competed with the UNDA women’s volleyball team at the TSWA volleyball competition (tourney) for women and men. For the first time since 1993, the UNDA women’s team placed 1ST!!!!!!!!!! We worked really hard and had many comebacks when it seemed as if we couldn’t win, but we DID come back and took the tourney!
Our TEAN event filled Saturday of sailing and a bbq! I wasn’t able to get any pictures of us sailing, but I’ll hopefully get some soon from our TEAN rep. And please ignore the major contrasting in the photos; I forgot to change the settings on my camera from class…
Photo Credit: Nicole Gomes