My trip to Australia began with a bit of a rocky start…about an hour before I was to leave we got a call saying my first flight was delayed due to mechanical difficulties. As we looked into it the plane was more and more delayed and I knew I wouldn’t be able to make my connecting flights on time. After a stressful period of time on the phone with the airlines they were able to re-book my flights..for the next day. I was initially disappointed and upset because of the hurry up and wait situation, but quickly put things into perspective and chose to appreciate the extra day I got to be fully prepared and spend time with my family.
So the next day, I was off! My travels were relatively uneventful, thankfully! I had pre-arranged to have vegan meals on the planes and I was pleasantly surprised at the quality for airplane food and very thankful to be given some fresh fruits and veggies along the way. I had a pretty solid rotation of eat, sleep, watch a movie throughout my long flights and apparently I did something right because the jetlag never really hit me too hard! I arrived in Perth around noon (midnight back home) and was greeted by the other 3 COST students in my program and our advisor, John. We dropped my luggage off and I met my new host parents very quickly and then hit the ground running to explore a nearby suburb, Fremantle. We had fish & chips (supposedly the best around) at Cicerello’s and explored the markets, which I instantly loved!
I began teaching at my school the very next day, which actually proved to be really nice to just jump right in and get acquainted with things from the beginning. I am teaching at a secondary school in ed support (special ed) and have different Maths, Science, and English classes with students in years 8-12 ( which means they are 13-17 years old). It is a huge shift going from teaching students with intensive needs to students who often may not seem like they have a disability when in conversation. I am definitely enjoying the new challenges and insights it has brought me so far, as well as very different lessons from what I have taught in the past.
My weekdays so far mostly consist of school, exercise, delicious dinners with the ‘family’ (my host mum Janette, host dad Steve, and fellow COST student Tim), and watching Aussie tv/lesson planning. I’m hooked on Aussie X-factor..there is some serious talent!!
The weekends have been packed with exploring different parts of the city and meeting new friends!
My first full weekend here Tim and I ventured over to Karrakutta cemetary to locate Heath Ledger’s family plot..after almost giving up, we found it!! It was too bad he didn’t have his own headstone there, but still exciting.
We also traveled up to Mullaloo for the evening where the other two girls in our program, Jasmine and Lauren, are staying. The following day our host parents took us to Kings Park, which is a huge, famously beautiful park overlooking the city and Swan River. Janette acted as our tour guide and told us all about different plants and Indigenous stories which was really cool!
This weekend we spent our Saturday (the first day of spring!!) on a wine & food tour of the Swan Valley. We had so much fun and made new friends with a pair of au pairs (haha!) from Germany, and a huge family with people originally from South Africa, England, and Perth. They were so kind and welcomed us right in, which was just great.
Today is Australian Father’s day AND our host mum’s birthday, so we’re off to celebrate with a cookout on the barbie and hopefully some Kangaroo sightings as well!
More to come later…