“Winter” is winding down and school is, unfortunately, starting up. USC classes are structured quite differently from UND. There are three big assessments due throughout the semester, which make up the entirety of your final grade. Week 5 is when Task 1 is usually due… it’s currently Week 4. I’ll let you know how it goes.
My mom and friend, Andrew, just arrived in Brisbane Friday morning. I took the earliest train down to meet them. They didn’t much care for dragging their luggage along as we hopped on buses and trains back to campus. I made them food, let them shower at my place, and then we made our way to the apartment we rented in Mooloolaba (A suburb of the Sunshine Coast).
Buderhim Forest Park
Renting an apartment in Australia was definitely not anything like staying in a hotel in the U.S. I expected to be able to receive my keys at any hour of the day from a reception desk; however, I needed to pick them up from an office a mile away before 5pm. It was 5:30 when we arrived.. Thankfully, Australian Uber drivers are kind-hearted and very, very helpful. We did, eventually, get into our apartment, and then we were off to supper at the Surf Club.
My #1 goal in coming to Australia was learning how to surf. Finally on Sunday my local friend, Ryan, took Ben, Andrew, and I out to Noosa Heads. He’s definitely an incredible teacher because we were all able to stand up at least once throughout the day. Apparently, I have a knack for it because I stood up on my first try. The waves were small, so we were just going through the motions of paddling and then jumping up. I can’t wait to continue this new hobby!
Baby Mash holding onto Mama Tater. (Yes, they are named after potatoes)
Most of my friends have already gone to the Steve Irwin Australia Zoo; however, I was saving it to go with family. The public transportation is very poor in the Sunshine Coast, so we had to take a bus two hours before our Koala Cuddling experience was meant to start. Everything was going smoothly until we hopped on a bus too early. This bus was the right number, but was headed in the opposite direction of where we wanted to go. The zoo employee’s called asking where we were and ended up coming to get us since we couldn’t get back the right direction until after our scheduled time.
Once we arrived at the zoo, we spent a half hour with the mama koalas in the maternity area. Each of us were able to hold Kiki and had our picture taken with her. These experiences cost extra, but I highly recommend them. After our session, we explored the rest of the zoo from 9am- 3:30pm. There are so many animals to see! The zoo even has sections for animals from Africa and Southeast Asia.
I’ve been here for over a month, and still make mistakes from time to time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it! Australians may even be nicer than North Dakotans, and they will go out of their way to help if they’re asked.