Good morning readers! The second official week is in the books and I could not be falling more in love with this country. As you may notice, I constantly say how much I love it here, so I apologize in advance, I am just having the time of my life.
Immersing myself into the Aussie culture is not as hard as I expected—well there is one aspect I struggle with. Apparently, Americans speak much louder than Australians; thus, I learned quickly that if I am to speak on any transportation service, I must whisper because my normal voice is too loud for the Aussies, especially in the mornings. In NSW (New South Wales), physical activity is very important to the people and their culture. If anybody knows me, then they know that there couldn’t be a better city for me to live in, because exercising is not just an activity but a lifestyle. The greatest catch I may add about being here, is how genuine the people are towards one another. For example, one brisk winter morning this past week, I walked into the office of Sports NSW where my internship is at, immediately the CEO yells “Catie and Jacee, get in here!” (Jacee is the other intern also a part of my study abroad program, we get along great!). As I walked into his office, my heart started pounding out of my chest. Why would the CEO call two newbie interns into his office? Had we already done something wrong? I mean I know I may or may not have been on WhatsApp the day before texting my Grams and Gramps, but was I really going to get in trouble for that? I proceeded to sit down and before we knew it, an hour and a half had gone by. The CEO of the company had just had a heart to heart with us. His only intentions were to get to know us and our life backgrounds. It was the sweetest thing and made working for this firm all worth it.
At times, though, I become a bit impatient with the commute to work. The hour and a half of travel time consists of walking over half a mile to the train station, getting on one train, walking to another train, taking that into Olympic park and then walking to my internship. It tends to get difficult on days where I must rush back for class, but I am making it work. Much of my internship work has been completing desk work for program events, which is not the most ideal abroad experience I could receive, but all the little tasks will pay off in the end. Plus, working for such an awesome company and staff makes the day go by much quicker.
Now onto the fun and exciting news. This week was filled with hiking, exploring new places, seeing Vivid (again), holding Koala’s, booking future trips, attending a NRL(National Rugby League) game, and feeding kangaroos. At times, I almost forget that the main reason I am here is to study and gain work experience; I mean can you blame me? On a random sunny day, I went exploring to Manly Beach all by myself. I am not one to do things alone, but I had one of the best days yet doing so. I came across a vacant hidden beach through the forest, far off the beaten path, to hear only the waves crashing up against the cliff walls surrounding the crisp white sand. Later on, this past weekend we ended up hiking the Blue Mountains, to see a beautiful waterfall. Sounds great right? So here’s the catch—there were sixty flights of stairs we had to climb up after seeing mother nature’s creation. Following the hike, we bused to the best part of the entire trip!! Finally, I have pet and fed a kangaroo and koala bear <3 Those two animals stole my heart. I wish I could have stuffed them in my suitcase to bring home because they are the cutest things (besides my pup, Copper). Lastly, on Sunday I went to my first Rugby League game, where I knew nothing that was going on down on that field, but the fact that the men looked too good in their shorty short shorts. Keep your fingers crossed for me to ‘accidently’ run into one of them at the local pub!
That’s it for this week’s episode on Catie’s Down Under Experience, stay tuned for episode five, I have a feeling it is going to be a good one!
P.s. New Zealand might be getting a new visitor soon!