Kununurra to Perth to Geraldton

Sorry you all have to keep reading just my experiences… hopefully the other team members will catch up soon! 🙂

It’s been a bit difficult to get online with our busy schedule (pronounced shed-ual).

On Wednesday we toured the Argyle Diamond Mine with an excellent tour guide, Rhys!  (Thanks Rhys!)  Unfortunately, there were no clearance bins at the diamond mine, but we did get to wear super-cool hard hats and safety vests 🙂  We also saw wild horses, a stray cow, and a wallaby on the way to the mine.  We also met a ton of long trucks on the way– called road trains for a very good reason.  These were 4-trailers long, but Rhys said they can actually get up to 6-long.

We changed into our swim suits to head with another Rotary member to Lake Argyle for the sunset boat tour.  What a beautiful lake!  Spotted wallaroos, euros (even smaller kangaroo type animals), and crocodiles.  There are actually 35,000 crocs in this lake!!  It’s so large it is called an inland sea.

At sunset we stopped in the middle of the lake for a swim.  Stephanie and I jumped off the roof of the boat– fun!  Ryan also joined us for a swim while Randa yelled things like “what should I tell your 4-H’ers?” and “has your will been notarized?”

As the sun finished it’s incredible show over the lake, a bright star appeared– Venus!

On Thursday, Stephanie and I booked a 2-hour plane tour of the Bungle Bungles.  They’re on the world heritage list, and are just gorgeous.

Then it was off to Perth for all of us, with Narelle and her daughter Ashley flying along to Perth.  Ashley was headed back to boarding school, and Narelle flew on to the conference here in Geraldton.  We spent one night with new host families (Stephanie and I even enjoyed fresh caught crayfish– lobster!! with Graham & Cheryl), then drove with them to the conference.

We moved in with another new family last night (Stephanie and I are staying together again, and we have pet birds at this house!), and spent last night and today at the conference and around Geraldton.

This morning’s speakers have been excellent– my favorite quote of the day is “beware the prism through which you view the world.”  Expect to see that one in a future column 😉

Last night we walked in a parade led by the Geraldton City Band, alongside the German GSE team and just in front of all the many Rotary exchange students here.  So neat to see this large, diverse gathering from around the world!

Hopefully I’ll have more time to post photos soon– until then, “g’day!”

Are we there yet?

Photos so far: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.125224794268452.2500.113821622075436&type=3

We met up at Hartsfield-Atlanta at 7 a.m. EST (7 p.m. for our WA friends) on Friday, April 13.  Friday 13th is my lucky day, and it was Ryan’s birthday, so we were set for a great trip!  Must be lucky, because it turns out all our checked luggage is FREE! 🙂

We caught our flight for Chicago, had lunch with Randa’s brother Mike, and re-entered security.  And waited. And waited. And waited.  Left over 2 hours late, which made us miss our connection in Hong Kong by a mere 10 minutes!  We practically sprinted across the airport to catch our new flight to Adelaide (on the southern coast of Australia), but I guess our luggage wasn’t quite as quick.  The folks at Qantas Air were excellent in Adelaide, taking down descriptions of all eight suitcases and escorting us through the airport, including customs & security (again!).

We finally arrived in Perth at 1 p.m., and were very thankful to discover our Australia Rotary friends had been great detectives– when we didn’t show up at 5:30 a.m. they had to do a lot of research to figure out where we were 🙂  The guys were great, dropping us off at our hotel and passing out schedules.

George caught up on some sleep while the rest of us went out to purchase cell phones, see a bit of downtown Perth, and have dinner.  We’re doing laundry now just in case our luggage doesn’t show up before tomorrow’s flight to Kununurra!

Hello from Terri!

Okay, I’ll be the first guinea pig– it turns out we’re all new to blogging on this GSE team!

(So for my more experienced blogger friends– please feel free to make comments as to how we can do this better 🙂 )

I’m Terri, and I am so incredibly honored to be a part of this Rotary International GSE team from District 6910.  Two years ago I served as the alternate for a team headed to England, and I have to admit it was very sad seeing them off to have such a great time– so I’m really glad I’ll be on the plane this time!

I run a 4-H program, which is a club for kids in the 1st through 12th grades.  I love my job because it is something different every day– we’re in 5th grade classrooms teaching leadership, public speaking and science part of the time, on a farm learning about livestock judging another day, and at the State Capitol meeting the governor the next day!  You just never know what you’ll be up to next, and I get to wear comfortable shoes nearly every day. 😉  I work for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences as a County Extension Agent in Cooperative Extension.  A mouthful, I know!  We also work in cooperation with our county government (Newton County) and school board.  You can see our website with recent newsletters at: http://www.ugaextension.com/newton

A little about me personally: I love to read (my Nook goes everywhere), write (I write a weekly column for The Covington News http://www.covnews.com), take photos, scrapbook, camp, explore, and play with the most adorable puppy on earth, Belle.  She’s an eight month old blue pit bull.   (I’m waiting on Stephanie to counter this claim to the most adorable puppy when she posts…)

I am most looking forward to meeting people in Australia. I’m sure we’re going to see a lot of cool places and try interesting new foods, but it’s the people I’m most interested in!  I’m also hoping to see a platypus and find a few smushed penny machines 🙂 (www.pennycollector.com)

For my local friends: If you’d like to record a question for someone to answer in Australia, come by so I can video you, or plan to take part in our 4-H “Australia Day” on April 4.  E-mail me for details!