Dear family, friends, and blog followers,
We arrived safely in Melbourne and can hardly believe that we have almost completed our first full week here! We are currently staying at Mannix College (a dorm at Monash University), and have had four full days of class lectures by various Monash professors, or tutors. The lectures have covered topics in terrestrial ecology and anthropology.
In addition to this classroom time, we have also spent a couple days going on field trips. The first day, we explored the city of Melbourne, riding the public transportation to get around. We all were able to experience the open-air Queen Victoria Market. From here we split into a couple different groups, with some visiting the Royal Botanical Gardens and others traveling to St. Kildas Harbor to watch the gay pride parade.
Our second adventure occurred on Wednesday, when we travelled to Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary. We were able to see many of Australia’s iconic wildlife, including the kangaroo, koala, dingo, echidna, and the kookaburra. As a group, we had the opportunity to pet a Ring-Tailed Opossum, a Magnificent Green Tree Frog, and an arboreal boa constrictor. Some members were actually able to pet a Rock Wallaby in it’s open enclosure, as well. So far this has been one of the major highlights of the trip.
Tonight marked the last night of our snippet presentation. Individual short presentations on a topic covering an aspect of Australia. Everyone did a great job, teaching the group about Australian culture, people and creatures.
Besides that our free time has consisted largely of puzzling, reading, playing cards, and exercising around the campus. We spend some evenings heading to McDonalds for free WiFi and 50 cent ice creams (currently the cheapest item we have found so far). We also have been cooking group meals to conserve monetary funds, using only a panini maker and microwave. 🙂
Tomorrow we head off to the Lethbridge Winery, which is organic and eco-friendly and makes biodynamic wines. Saturday will be our last day at Mannix College and is a free day to further explore Melbourne or study (haha). From there we head off to the Salt House in Queenscliff.
We love and miss you all and we will report back soon!!
Slang Words of the Day:
Husband beater – a very long, narrow loaf of bread, AKA a baguette
Chuck a micky – to throw a tantrum; to bung on a show. Aussies don’t really approve of people losing there temper, it is seen as overreacting and this phrase is meant to belittle the behavior.