Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Royal National Park

We recently had a couple long weekends due to Easter and Anzac Day (like Veterans Day in the States). It was nice to get a little break from work and one day we took a day trip down to Royal National Park. To get there we took a bus, a train, and a ferry. It was cloudy and drizzly the whole day but even so, it was worth it. Take a look...

Since the weather was not great, we were some of the few people out enjoying the park. Climbing over the rocky shore, it felt like we were all alone in uncharted territory. When we finally climbed up the cliff to try and find the real trail, we found this beautiful grassy area that looked like it came straight out of a Disney movie.

Then we saw a pod of dolphins riding the waves and leaping out of the water. It was incredible!! We were so happy to see them. What a treat! We took a little video of them.

Finally, on the way back to the ferry at the end of the day, we were right in the middle of a chorus of laughing kookaburras. Here's a video of one laughing, if you'd like to see. Now, imagine that multiplied by about 10 to get what we heard. It was very cool.

A big thanks to this guy for planning the whole day. You're the best, Spence!

Two Months Until Ethiopia

Photo by Ohnsoon Kim
Blogging has been on the back burner so far in 2014 but it's about to pick up in a big way. In just two (TWO!) months we'll be in Ethiopia! On to a new country we will go. I'll be ready to explore and I'll be sharing all my field notes here, of course. Until then, here are some updates.

Some good news from the Peace Corps: I'm medically cleared! Yahoo! :D I'm so happy. I would hate to bore you with the details, but getting medically cleared took a lot of trips to multiple doctors and lots of money. I'm so glad it's over!

Two months seems so close but in the meantime, if you want to learn more about Ethiopia and the Peace Corps presence there, I would recommend this website. It's run by the Peace Corps staff in Ethiopia and has lots of good information. They really did a nice job on it, don't you think?

I feel like I'm constantly preparing for all the changes coming up. Mentally, I'm ready. I'm so ready to go! But physically, I still have a lot to do! Here's my to-do list:

  • Whittle down my wardrobe, once again (I always re-assess my clothes before moving) and possibly adding some new pieces when I get back to California (yay, for cheap American prices!)
  • Study Amharic. There are some free lessons online and Peace Corps told us to start if we had time. The alphabet is super daunting with over 200 characters to memorize! I need flashcards. 
  • Eating as much western food as I possibly can, mostly Mexican food.
  • Hugging my family and friends in California when we go visit in June. Can't wait to see everyone! :)
  • Taxes for both the US and Australia. (Ugh) 
  • Enjoying Australia as much as possible during this last month. This is such a great place and I'm so happy we took the opportunity to live here. Enjoying Australia also includes our trip to the Great Barrier Reef! I'm so stoked!!
  • Of course, the inevitable packing up everything here in Australia, visiting our storage unit in California, packing up things for Ethiopia. Pack, unpack, pack. This is my life. 

P.S. The photo above is from the Peace Corps Ethiopia website.