G'Day Mates!!!

Welcome to my blog! I am a senior at Baylor University and will graduate on December 18, 2010. Before I graduate though, I wanted to experience the educational system in another country…and have a little vacation at the same time :) When I was younger, I always said that if I had the chance to visit any country in the world, it would be Australia… That sounds corny but I’m not kidding. I actually have a survey from third grade that asked... “If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?,” and my answer was Australia!

Well, the opportunity arose through Baylor to study abroad in Brisbane, Australia, to teach and assist at Whites Hill State College (a middle school in Brisbane), to independently travel to Sydney and Cairns, and also to travel to New Zealand on the way back to America. The trip will last from November 9 to December 12. Needless to say, I am super excited to travel to Australia and learn about the people and culture in this country!!!

I hope you enjoy reading my blog and I look forward to sharing my adventures with you! G’Day mates! Let’s go to the land down under!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving in Australia

When Deanna, Kelsey and I walked into the teacher's lounge this morning with our backpacks and hands full of groceries, the teachers asked us if we have a special greeting, dance or handshake for Thanksgiving. Deanna responded with "gobble, gobble!" It's weird to think that right now Thanksgiving day is practically over in Aussie Land, while the holiday is just beginning in the United States.
Kelsey's teacher, Robyn, is the home economics teacher at Whites Hill. Since we do not have ovens at our apartment and we did not want to have to haul all the dishes to Whites Hill on the bus, she let us cook our 3  dishes including scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole, and cream of corn in the home economics room.

We prepared the dishes very quickly and had time to go to the classroom and present a Thanksgiving PowerPoint to my class. The students enjoyed learning about a holiday that their country does not celebrate. One of the girls in my class even baked cupcakes for the three of us and decorated them as turkeys!

All the teachers pitched in and helped make the Thanksgiving dinner a success! The men bought the chicken and rolls, a lady made the stuffing, another lady made a moose cake and Kelsey's teacher made the pumpkin pie and gravy. At 12:45 p.m., our food was prepared and the teachers were ready to dig in. The one thing that felt the most like home was the fact that the men teachers were glued to the television during the feast. Instead of the traditional football, the men were watching cricket. At this time, Australia is competing in what is known as the Ashes, which is a cricket tournament against England. It cracked me up to see these men acting the same way the men at my Thanksgiving in Texas act. Everyone enjoyed the meal and many went back for seconds of our dishes.

The students in my class have been creating movies for about 8 weeks now. In the afternoon, we watched several of these movies. Parents will be able to view these movies next Wednesday night. I am very impressed by their technology skills and the freedom these students have to be able to complete assignments like this.

Kelsey, Deanna, Ms. Baker and I
At the end of the school day, all the students said "happy thanksgiving!" as they were leaving the classroom.

Kelsey's teacher kindly offered to take us to the Scholastic bookstore sale after school. We were able to get a free ride and tour of another part of the city... and we didn't waste time getting lost, which was a plus! We all got really cool Australian children's books including My Aussie Mum and The Night Before Christmas Aussie Style. Once we spent way too much time and money at the store, her teacher dropped us off at the CityCat (the boat transportation) so we could ride back to our apartment. We felt very accomplished today because we were able to cross off some things on our To Do List :)

Tomorrow we head to Cairns for the Great Barrier Reef tour! Yippee!!!!

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