The Great Outdoors

A Beaded Bracelet – Day 8

Today we woke up early and went on our full day drive in search of animals. Our driver took us a bit further into the park relative to yesterday. We had seen most of the animals on our evening drive, but there were a few special treats in store. We saw a cheetah and a leopard in close succession! Our driver said that they don’t often see leopards, usually only once or twice a year! After this animal sighting we had seen four our of the Big Five: lion, water buffalo, leopard, elephant, and rhino. The rhinoceros which live in the…

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Maasai Mara – Day 7

Last night we dined at a restaurant in the hotel called “The Spur.” It was furnished with Native American decorations and its logo featured a chief in a headdress. We found this amusing because this sort of restaurant would never fly in California. It violated the laws of political correctness on so many levels, so maybe it would do better in Texas (or Eastern WA for that matter). But we weren’t in the US, we were in Nairobi, Kenya so …. we let it be. We enjoyed ordered buffalo wings and burgers as a nice change from the more traditional…

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The Great Barrier Reef

The pinnacle of my scuba diving experience in Australia was our trip to the Great Barrier Reef. My family and I lived on a dive boat for 3 days, completing a total of 11 dives including two night dives. The sheer number of dives gave me confidence with my equipment and made me especially grateful for the experience I’d gained in Sydney. I was surprised to learn that over half the people on our boat were new divers, either just certified or becoming certified on the trip. My Advanced Diver Certification was especially handy since the dive leaders trusted me to…

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Days 106-114 – Fraser Island & the Whitsundays

So on Wednesday I had the pleasure of picking up my friend Emily Ferguson from the Sydney International Airport. Believe it or not she came all the way from America to visit me (and Australia)!! How awesome is that!? After getting her phone and finances sorted out we went to Bondi Beach and did the Sculpture By the Sea walk.   On Thursday our adventure to Fraser Island began. By 10 am we were on our way and made it to Hervey Bay about midday. We took the ferry over to Fraser Island and then had the afternoon and evening…

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Days 97-103 – Shark Dive

Has it really only been 100 days? It feels like I should be here longer. I’ll be very, very sad to leave in November, but it won’t be forever. I’m already determined to come back sometime soon! This week I worked on my programming assignment for Networks. It felt fantastic to code again and feel the intensity of focus and strategy. All semester I honestly haven’t had much academic challenge, but this project was the first true challenge that I had. A couple nights ago I stayed up till 6 am finishing it. Somehow all that uninterrupted time at night…

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Days 90-96 – Foodie

This week I finally realised how close finals were and how much work I had to do! AHHHHH. I wrote my essay about Fire’s On, a painting by Arthur Streeton, which was actually quite enjoyable (much more so than my English Literature essay on literary criticism). On Tuesday I met my friend Stephanie for lunch and we went to Pancakes On the Rocks (Trip #5?). After lunch I worked at my essay at the Art Gallery: NSW until they closed. I really like that place. It’s a great environment for study and writing and they have a nice cafe to reward…

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Day 85-89 – Back From Vacation, Still On Vacation

I’ve been neglecting my blog so now it’s time to catch up! On Saturday a couple weeks ago I went on an adventure along the Heritage Foreshore Walk from Rose Bay to Watson’s Bay. It’s been really fun becoming familiar with Sydney by bicycle and finding all sorts of interesting places! I’m glad to be a tourist because I don’t take these expeditions for granted!  

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Day 68 – Jervis Bay

On Sunday morning I got up super early and went on a trip to Jervis Bay with a club called The Mob. Our first stop was the Kiama blowhole just south of Wollongong. The drive to Jervis Bay took about 2.5 hours. I attempted to sleep, but ended up mostly staring out the window at the beautiful countryside. These cows have the good life, let me tell you. Once at Jervis Bay we had about an hour to spend on the beach before catching a dolphin-watching cruise. I spent that hour juggling on the beach. It’s so much fun and…

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Day 67 – Bicycles on Ferries

This morning I woke up fairly early and made a long bike trip to the North Shore to visit the Northside Produce Market. It took about an hour to get there since I had to cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge and continue even a little further North into Mosman. This market was awesome a worth the trip. It was one of the largest I have been to and takes place in a community park. There was plenty of fresh produce along with vinegars, mushrooms, wine, and baked goods. I am really loving this Saturday morning tradition. I’ll really miss it when I…

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Day 61 – The Day That Actually Happened

This was a day which I can scarcely believe occurred. It was a day that exists only in movie and books where it is easier to wrap a whole life into a short space of time. It was a day saturated with colour, texture, and force. Let me tell you about this day. It started early in the morning at about 6:30 am when I got up to go scuba diving. I caught two buses in order to get it to Rose Bay Wharf. At that early hour the CBD of Sydney is almost deserted; it’s eerie to see those huge concrete and…

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