4/17 Vocational & Service Day

Photos (beginning with bottles & bowl of cereal) https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.125224794268452.2500.113821622075436&type=1

Today marked our first vocational day. ¬†I’ll let the others post about their excursions ūüôā ¬†

I had the privilege to visit Save the Children this morning.  On one side of the building are the early childhood folks, serving children up to 5 with educational and fun playgroups.  They also work at the literacy center, and encourage kids to learn their native languageРsomething like only 27 people fully speak the indigenous language!  

On the other side of the building are the youth-aged programs. ¬†I went shopping with Ed to get ready for their camping trip (wish I could have gone!). ¬†My 4-H friends will never believe it– they had permission slips ready to drive around with, pick up kids and get a parent signature to go camping. ¬†The kids didn’t know this morning they’d be camping tonight!! ¬†Actually sounds like a pretty good¬†arrangement¬†to me– less luggage ūüôā ¬†They also gave me a great set of postcards and poster from their new ad campaign featuring local kids. ¬†Some of the families don’t even have a camera to take a photo of their child, and all the postcards feature words in both English and the native language. ¬†

The grocery store was a lot of fun, although they all laughed at me for taking photos ūüėČ

We all met back up for lunch at the Wild Mango.  If you stop by, be sure to have some bacon, lettuce, avocado & tomato sandwich.

After lunch I dropped by the aboriginal art gallery to make a few¬†souvenir¬†purchases and joined Nkandu at the Youth Centre for a dance practice. ¬†As it is school holidays, and so many local kids went on the camping trip, we had a small but fun group. ¬†Found some more Vampire Diary fans and passed out a few 4-H silly bandz. ¬†(And we danced the electric slide and macarena, plus a few moves from Montreat ice breakers…)

Nkandu dropped me off at the Warringari Chilling Space, a community room in the aboriginal community where kids can come 5 nights a week to eat and hang out with Save the Children folks . Ryan and a Rotary exchange student grilled some great snags (sausages) on the barbie (grill)!  Another student and I cut up the fixings (lettuce, tomato, capsicum[red bell pepper], onion and cheddar cheese).  Okay, so some of the cheese may not have made it to the table, but I was fair and let the kids sneak pieces, too!.  

Ryan played a game of ping pong with one of the kids while I enjoyed coloring a wombat coloring sheet with some other kids.  Small crowd tonight, with more adults than kids in attendance, but they say it is usually pretty packed.  

While many of the programs and aims of 4-H and these programs are similar, they also face some very unique challenges working in this community. ¬†The diversity of this town is probably the closest to home I’ll see on the entire trip. ¬†

Tomorrow is full of touristy and cultural things, so we’re looking forward to another big day!


Perth to Kununurra

More photos today, beginning with the Pepsi bottle about 50 photos down: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.125224794268452.2500.113821622075436&type=1

About an hour after our luggage finally arrived, we were repacked to fly to Kununurra (with a short stop in Broome) on the northern coast of Australia.  It is in the northeastern corner of Western Australia.  

Our lovely hosts picked us up at the airport and took us to our first host family homes, then we were off to Ivanhoe Cafe (home of Ryan’s host family) for our first Rotary meeting. ¬†They had a great crowd (50+ people?) and incredible food. ¬†We also gave a brief presentation.

(Will– if you’re reading this you’re the lucky first person to find a pen pal! ¬†A student who loves science, music & language!! ¬†)

Tomorrow we have vocational experiences, and each of us are so excited about the places we’re going. You’ll have to wait for photos and blog entries!

4-H’ers learn about Australia

Prior to leaving, I worked with our 4-H’ers to learn about Australia and prepare a few things to bring on the trip. On Australia Day, we made and ate Fairy Bread (for my American friends, this is something Australians would make for a child’s birthday party– white bread, butter & “hundreds and thousands” which are round sprinkles), wrote pen pal letters, listened to “Six White Boomers” and made a scrapbook of our favorites to share with Australians. ¬†They also recorded some questions I’ll be sharing with people I meet.ImageImageImage

31 days, 21 hours, 31 minutes, 56 seconds…

It’s hard to believe that in just over a month we’ll be boarding a plane for Australia!

Our team has uniforms on order, a presentation in the works, and all sorts of odds and ends to take care of in these last few weeks… all the while trying to set up everything at our workplaces so things will run smoothly in our absence.

Over the next week we’ll each log in to introduce ourselves to you.¬† We hope you will bookmark this blog so you may follow our trip (we’ll post as much as possible– but no idea on how often that will be!).

You can also follow us at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Georgia2Australia
Google Maps: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=218101303781515893183.0004bb02420a0ae41e837