Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sorry this video took so long to upload! Christina and I were lucky enough to see this baby Joey come out at the Koala Sanctuary!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Last night in Sydney

An Edward Hopper moment, prior to a rock and roll production of Henry IV at the Sydney Opera House. I fear I have too much Falstaff in me.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Desert photos

Below are some photos from our exploration of Kata Tjuta, Ularu and the West MacDonnells.  I fell in love with these places, which reminded me of the landscape of the American southwest (southern Utah, Arizona and New Mexico) while also being quite different.  A magical place that I am eager to explore further some day.  (And to those of us who were quiet enough to observe the endangered black footed rock wallaby, yeah for us!)

We're gonna pop some swags . . .

Our friend the bus

Experiencing the Rare side of Alice Springs

We of the group find it funny that when we flew into Alice Springs, that it was raining one of the few times it ever rains a year. The last time it rained before we arrived was all the way back in January during one of there summer storms. After the first day we were kind of getting tired of rain from our  time spent in Cairns. So you would think the next day would be bright and sunny right? Wrong! We experienced a few more days of cloudy weather with spots of rain here and there. Why are we soo special to received this rain here in Alice Springs? We do not know.

Out on our four day long camping trip we traveled on Rock Bus tours with tour guides Fitzy (we are not sure if thats his real name), Princess (the stuffed kangaroo with her joey) and finally a camping expert Mark. We had a great time learning about the geography of the land and learning about the Aboriginal culture. Also we spent most of our time hiking and traveling the road in our Bus cause you have to drive at least an hour or so to get anywhere in Alice Springs. Throughout the trip Fitzy shared his "wisdom" and warned us of many terrifying things that can happen to us if we did not listen to what he had to say... Unfortunately for the majority of the girls did not catch his sarcasm and over emphisis on certain subjects. Some of the girls were soo scared at what might happen to them that they were more prone to die from worrying than from actually getting hurt.

Fitzy was a very well knowledged person and a great comedian. We all had fun camping out with him and Mark. Now, I would also like to share this important tip... Do not go out camping with just a swag! You are most likely going to get cold and damp from morning dew. Even though the swag is suposed to be waterproof. Just in case you dont know, swags are modified sleeping bags that are waterproof and come with a thin mattress and flap to cover your head. But it is highly recommended to bring an extra sleeping bag to put inside the swag.

Despite the troubles we had sleeping in swags, I believe that a few of us on this trip can say that camping out near Alice Springs was our favorite part of the trip. Unfortunately for one Christina she still hates it here...

First, a belated Mother's Day post

With apologies for the self indulgence, my mother requested that I post a picture of myself as a Mother's day present for her while we were skyping last week (and the fact that my mom skyped is an earth-shattering event). So here is what amounts to a panoramic view of me, at least, taken at Kata Tjuta:

Aboriginal Encounters

Hello all! I would just like to take note on how interesting and complicated the Idigenous Australians live their lives. These peoples just obtained citizenship within the last 50 years and they are still struggling to survive with the White Australian culture. Many people also believe that these Idigenous Australians are dangerous and cause nothing but trouble for the White Australians. But in fact the Idigenous peoples are good natured towards Whites, and are instead more aggressive towards one another. They are having an extremely hard time adjusting to white culture. These people have been alone on this continent for the past 50,000 years till white man came and changed their lifestyle. There are only a few standing Aboriginal tribes that still live traditionally. Many have changed lifestyles to coincide with ours. Unfortunately for many that lead to more problems than it solved. Many Aboriginals fight amongst themselves for various reasons such as alcohol, drugs, previous fights, payback ceremonies, stealing and anything else that cause trouble.

Here are a few encounters that I have experienced with the Indigenous Australians while on the trip.

First Encounter: Thursday May 9th, 2013

I had been on an adventurous tour of the city of Cairns and on my return trip I almost got trapped into a fight... I had been walking down one of the main streets when a white Australian girl pushed me out of her way. I wondered what she could be in such a rush where she would purposefully push people out of her way when it wasnt that crowded. She then proceeded onward toward an Aboriginal girl and a group of young adolescent Aboriginal males. As the white Australian girl closed in on the Aboriginal girl she stepped on her thongs (flip-flops), and pushed her into a puddle. The young adolescent males rushed to the girls aid. Then moved on to get into the face of the white Australian girl, and since I was right behind her the moved towards me thinking I was with her. Quickly, I signaled that I didnt want any trouble and I power walked my way not looking back to see what else that happened... As you can see from the above instance, some Aboriginals are still being treated poorly by some of the white Australians.

Second Encounter: Friday May 17th, 2013

This second encounter is a mix of three or four other encounters, I have done this simply because of the same occurance happening repeatedly. That day I just ran into many different Aboriginals who were fighting amongst themselves in the streets of Alice Springs. Fortunately, they looked out for me and the others that were walking with me. By looked out, I mean they made sure they didnt touch us. I saw many different kinds of fights that went from verbal to physical violence. Hopefully these disputes will be settled soon. Another interesting fact that the group and I have learned is that Aboriginal people feel uncomfortable being inside buildings so they tend to crowd streets and just hang out outside.

Third Encounter: Saturday May 18th, 2013

In this third encounter I was eating by myself at a nearby KFC, and there were a few elder Aboriginal people hanging around. After I was done eating I was approached by one of these older Aboriginal. He did not speak but used hand motions to indicate that basically he wanted to eat whatever food I had leftover. Now I know that giving money away to people is against the law here, but I also did not know how that law would apply to food... But in any case I had no food leftover because I have a huge appetite. I felt really bad for the guy, but I did try to signal back to him and I showed him that I had no food left. I felt bad but I also did not want to get in trouble and I left after throwing my trash today. Aboriginal people are still being short-handed with wages and are the poorest people in Australia. Many find it difficult to find jobs in todays society because of a lot of misleading stereotypes.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Animal Observation

While walking through Alice Spring on this beautiful sunny day we came across a wild Charlie eating his lunch.  It is very rare to see these creatures in the wild.  We do believe that it is of the Mitchell family of all the Charlies here in Australia this one is the most rare.  We were even lucky enough to see him wearing the famous Charlie hat.  Observed at Monte's Lounge around 3:30pm.