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Journals from James Cook University

2014-03-22 Oregon? Is That You?

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The path to school runs directly by this river, and can get quite adventurous with the torrential downpours!

Hello again!

The calm before the storm. This isn't just a saying; a phrase thrown out for the fun of it. It proves to be true on countless occasions. Last week, we had GORGEOUS weather. It was insanely hot and sunny, with the most perfect of breezes passing through our long locks. After about three days of good fortune, the storm came. It has been pouring torrentially for about five days straight now. When this happens, the river that runs the course of the entire pathway to school begins to flow at a swift pace and floods over. My roommate and fellow Linfield-ian was walking back to our place, at the Lodge, one night after it had been raining. Right before she was able to exit the highway underpass, she encountered a fairly large black snake. I believe this is the same snake I ran into the other day, barefoot, in roughly the same spot. She called me, but I couldn't do much about it so she walked back to the campus and rode the bus back to the Lodge. It's always an adventure here in Australia!

I forgot to mention in past blog postings that I tried kangaroo steak for the first time! It was really quite interesting, but not altogether much different than other steaks I've tasted. It was a bit chewier, with a heartier flavor, however. I'm so thankful I was able to try this because it was on my bucket list! In downtown Cairns, there are TONS of tourist shops (if you haven't figured it out, Cairns is a major tourist destination). Anyway, we've stopped in to quite a few to just get ideas of gifts to get our friends and family back home, and the other day I picked up a bag of kangaroo jerky. I was hesitant to try it, but after having kangaroo steak, I'm fairly confident I can stomach it! They also have crocodile jerky, but I've tried alligator before, and I figured kangaroos are pretty unique to Australia, so I chose that. 

The rain here is LOUD. Some nights, I wake up in the middle of the night to the roar of the downpour. It absolutely dumps it. For someone fascinated with flooding, this is great, but it is a  mess to walk in. After about 5 seconds out from undercover, you are soaked and you might as well embrace this fact and the fact that you will be for the next couple of hours. Advice to students coming here in upcoming semesters: bring the best rainjacket you can find. I brought a thin, dinky little jacket, and it is absolutely worthless against this Australian rain. 

Maile and I are planning a trip to adventure around soon and take photographs for our photography class. Apparently, within walking distance is a beautiful place called the Cattana Wetlands, so I may choose to go there. 

Lecture recess is only a mere month away!! I am getting so excited to venture out of the little lodge bubble I have been in recently. Homesickness is starting to creep up, but I am still so grateful to be here. I think a trip around Australia will definitely add some spice and cheer me up a little bit, however! My main goal for this lecture recess (I have about 10 days free) is to travel up to the Whitsundays. These are the most gorgeous islands and beaches I have ever seen. It turns out that planning vacations is more difficult than I ever realized, which makes me appreciate my parents a whole heap more!!

When we hang out in the courtyard, we play card games. I find it so entertaining: in one of the games, when you pull a certain card, you must provide a word that the whole group needs to rhyme with. There is definitely an "accent barrier" because our American pronunciations and their Australian pronunciations make it so that some words rhyme and some of the words definitely don't. 

Until next month, 
Sara Schurter

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