Monday, July 19, 2010

Cairns, Australia!

Okay, so I know I'm a little behind on updating this thing... but here's a short summary of what I did last week in Cairns, Australia!

Since I'm studying abroad through the Australearn program, I had an orientation week in Cairns with 150 other Americans. I hated being with so many other Americans! It made me feel like such a tourist (which I was... but still!). It was really nice meeting other people doing the program though, and I feel like I made a few friends.

On the first day we were there, we planted fruit trees for cassowaries. Cassowaries are an endangered, dinosaur-like bird in Australia. They are major players in Australia's ecosystem since they are they only birds that eat the fruit from specific fruit trees, which allows the trees to spread their seeds.

On the second day I was there, about half of our group went snorkeling on the reef. It was amazing! We took a two hour boat ride out to this bird sanctuary island and snorkeled right off of the beach. I saw many colourful fish and coral, jellyfish, and even a tortoise! Here's one of the only pics documenting my crappy swimming abilities:

On the third full day, we went to this place called 'rainforestation.' We held koalas and pythons and pet wallabys and kangaroos. It was AWESOME.

Here's a picture of our whole group:

On Friday, Ashley (my housemate in Brissy... who is a raw vegan) and I went to the largest farmers market in all of Queensland. It was a city block long! I decided that I wanted to go raw for a day... and this was literally the best day I could have chosen. I ate tons of avocados and carrots all day long.

All in all, it was a great week! I'm glad I got the touristy shit over with though...