So today I had my lab for my brain class which required... Me to disected a lamb brain! It was so cool until my lab partner did the Australian form of noseys and I was the one who had to cut it up.. So the tut (tutor) gave me a compliment that I had very good cutting skills... Bahaha. So I mean if psychology doesn't work out I can be a surgent or maybe a knife thrower or something cool like that. But regardless this hands on approach to the brain is great and I'm learning so much! And having multiple people tuts around the room helps heaps!

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Safety first
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My craftsmanship :)
 
 

So g'day mates today I traveled to the lovely Sydney... Again! I can't stay away! Every time I go I fall more inlove with the city. It never ceases to amaze me! This time we traveled to paddy's market which is on the corner of George street as hay street! Right in Chinatown! Man was the market so cool! But so overwhelming even though we didnt have a lot of time to spend at the market and we were defiantly not prepared for this event. There where rows upon rows of vendors! Some selling clothes, others selling purses, crafts from the aboriginal tribes and this market even had vendors selling wigs and hair extensions (hmm I could go for some purple hair to show so high point pride... Joking joking!)! But i did meet a really cool vendor who was selling aboriginal boomerangs and didgeridoos. Each craft was had painted by a certain tribe instead of the usual sight of the made in china sticker. But as we browsed through all the crafts he told  us about the meaning of each symbol and drawing and dot. It was like hearing a story through something simple like a boomerang... For instance a turtle represents love, a footprint is the symbol of warrior! Honestly I wish I got to sit and listen to him longer but we were a bit pressed for time. But paddy's market place had a little bit of everything for everyone. So needless to say the shopaholics will be back and will have a game plan!

After our wallets were hurting from a bit from our shopping expedition we walked around circle quay. Where we saw a cruise ship and got to enjoy the water and the Sydney opera house and bridge at night. Words can't describe how beautiful and calming it was. Every time I go to Sydney I just find more reasons to go back. 

enterance to Paddy`s Market
meaning of the paintings (SO COOL)
 
 

So this Sunday Rayna and Jason 15 of us and their kids went to Oakvale farm. Where we saw koalas, kangaroos, dingos, wallabies, camels and a wide variety of animals. Some we got to touch and others we didn't. We took a bus to get there and it was a little hole in the wall farm that was absolutely worth my 4.60 spent to get there! As fun as it is to see baby goats and lambs and cows and other farm animals. The group as a whole was more excited about the feeding of the kangaroos and wallabies and patting the koala. Going into this small field with wallabies and kangaroos was a bit daunting. If anyone has seen the movie kangaroo jack you would understand my apprehension. With my bag of feed in hand, we started taking selfies and photo ops with the 30 some odd jacks. And it was nothing like kangaroo jack for the record except the movies portrayal of kangaroo and how each one had their own separate personality.. Some where outgoing and friendly and other were more extroverted and tended to done and dash after tentatively eating some of the feed. When you gave them a pat they were fluffy and soft and the same feeling went for the sleepy koalas we pet. But regardless I got a great picture with the joeys. But   I got some really great pictures with a kangaroo that I named hank on the count he eat like it was his last meal and was quite the ladies man. Let just say he put some moves on me. Haha. Hank in fact was so hungry he proceeded to stick his head in my feed back and then ended up eat part of my feed bag. After my lovely encounter with Hank I fed a camel and some miniature horses but stayed away from the alpacas and llamas because I wasn't sure which one spits and I didn't want to take my chances.  After spending time with the more exotic animals I got surrounded and feed mugged by some very cute and pushing goats! After a long day that concluded with ice cream (not from McDonald) we went home and got ready for our third week of uni. Which. Is crazy how fast the time is flying.... Honestly it feels like we have only been here for a week! Ahhh where did the time go! For more pictures of my trip to the farm see Facebook!

a cute joey and I bonding.
Roo loving
im quite popular with the kangaroos
 
 

sorry I haven't written in a while. The first week of Uni was a lot to take in with finding new buildings and lecture rooms and meeting new people. But over the weekend we ventured out a bit. We visited this community market which sold anything from sweets and clothes to music and toys. talk about one stop shopping. It took a while to get to it seeing as we got lost a few times and came to the conclusion that australians directions like "take a right at the roundabout and then fallow the crowd" needed a bit more elaboration. The market was a great place to just look around and see what all the local venders had to offer. Although I didn't find anything personally my flat mates came home with a couple of trinkets. 

The  next day (sunday) we took the 3 hour train ride into Sydney. which lived up to everything and more than I imagined. Im sad to say photos do the area no justice at all. We explored another market and went into an opal place where I did find something to bring back.  We realized that UGG boots are the same price here as they are in America, which was slightly disappointing. But was quickly forgotten when we explored sydney a bit more. As we started to get our barring (thanks to Sam). We decided we were hungry and we ate at McDonalds...How American of us. Two ice cream cones later (don't judge...they were 30 cents each). We decided to make moves and head through a park to darling harbor. Word cant describe how pretty it is at night. A couple of the girls joked that stopping here would be the perfect date. haha. When we got to the harbor we saw a live street 
performer name Tiah from japan and lets just say he was funny and kept flashing passers by who weren't interested in his show. He ate fire and juggled swords..you know...that sorta thing. But we got to see this cool water swirl where you could walk down, im not sure of its purpose but it looked really cool and of course Caroline and I had to try it.  After that we took the train back home and passed out after a good 2.50 spent to get to Sydney. Lets just say I will defiantly be going back.

street artist we saw when getting off the train
the bridge i will be climbing september 14th
Darling Harbor
The cool water swirl in the sidewalk at Darling Harbor
 
 

going to class my first day was honestly not too bad. Partly because I knew the general area I had to go and also I had my first class with Caroline (thank god). Our Australian Pop Culture class was a little intimidating, since we still don`t completely understand all the terminology and we are not familiar with their major figures or movie stars etc. So a lot of looks were exchanged between Caroline and I. Also there is an Australian slang word for someone who is the equivalence to our redneck or hick, its called a Brogan. They tend to have VERY thick accents and usually can be found walking around campus and stores without shoes. Even though i have no idea what Triple J or what a Bugler is I feel like I will get to know the culture so much more. But it seems like certain Areas of Australia are stuck in a time warp, where going to uni (university) is rare and major like history are not considered practical or as useful. A lot of people in my age group over here will not attend uni but will going into manual labor of some type and tend to be married earlier in life then back home. Which is crazy because Australians socially are more accepting of different people. By different I mean they accept gay & lesbian rights and race or looking different is almost not noticed (granted this is not always the case but the grand majority feel that way of equality). For instance, I was grocery shopping and I passed a guy where no shoes, where in America they would not be let in the store he was casually grocery shopping and locals payed no attention to his lack of shoes.  
As for my second day of class it was almost like a test. I had a 8 am lecture, which means getting up at 6 and catching the 6:47 train into uni. This time I did not have with anyone I knew and I was a big girl and walked and took the train without any glitches. However, buildings are not opened until about 7:30. so I got a really nice security gaurd by the name of Tony to let me in early. So I caught the right train, I found the right building , I found the right classroom......BUT for some reason only one other girl showed up and the teacher didn't even show up... BUT it my schedule said to be there so I was there! SO TECHNICALLY I passed getting places on my own. But i didn't really know what to do other than go to the Library so I spend time there until my next class with Rayna (program mentor). So yes mom I am learning! But the coolest thing about my class with Rayna is we talk about our excursions!!! like Septemeber 14 we are doing the Sydney Bridge climb and we are going to the opera house. Then in the next up coming weeks we are going to a place where we can see wild Koalas and Kangaroos and all those types of critters! I cant wait to actually start traveling! 

 
 

today we went to a footy game which is what the Australians call rugby. While we were getting our tickets, a women came up to me and gave me a free ticket. She had bought the ticket to watch the national anthem and didn't want to stay for the game. Her kindness and generosity caught me a little off guard especially when she didn't want money for the tickets. In America usually they would be fake or someone is scalping their ticket, but this was not the case. It was a genuine random act of kindness that really showed how kind and friendly the people of Australia actually are. 
Our program coordinator Jason told us we should root for the New Castle Knights, who were playing against the Sydney Roosters. In my personal opinion Im not sure how intimidating a rooster is, but whatever they are called these guys where HUGE! Unfortunately our knights were blown out by the roosters.... 12-28. Other then our team loosing it was such a great game! The atmosphere was great between the cheering between the two team`s fans. Australians really know how to support their team, wether it was a super hero costume or flags and banners or just simply the colors of their team (what we did). Everyone was enthusiastic which only made the game more fun. I have a feeling that footy/ rugby will be my replacement for american football while Im over here.  If I dare say it I think I like it a bit more then football. Since there is a constant running clock there is a fast pace of game and the team is very passionate which is partly fueled  by the fans (I really wish I knew the chats besides NEW-CASTLE). but man these guys were rough for the lack of padding and protection . The best part is fighting and being rough is completely "legal".  I defiantly plan on attending more games! Especially since after the game you can go on the field and play around and run around! it would be SO cool to see what the stadium looks like from the players perspective! 

representing blue and red for the knights at the stadium =]
the knights after the scored...( which was rare)
protecting Australia one footy game at a time!
my flatmates for the next 4 months
 
 
So a couple nights back my roommate Melissa and I were down at a pub watching the Liverpool soccer game and meet two guys who told us all the ins and outs of being an Aussie... Like don't say shrimp on the barby.. Because nobody knows what it means. We found out one of our new friends spent some time in the states and loved bud light...( you can't get it in Australia).



But today we got an invite to go to a BBQ and their place and meet some locals. So of course we said yes. And mom before you go and freak out about stranger danger and all that. We made sure they were upstanding citizens. So we were talking and one of our flat mates was kidding around and said to watch out they might try to feed you kangaroo... And as a matter of fact I tried my first roo-dog. Their apartment was on a hill side where we got to see the sun set and see the whole city of newcastle lit up! It was so pretty! However the walk to the apartment was a bit more dodgy. But we chatted with our new friends about the differences of Australia and America which was really Interesting and was a very fun time.

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BBQ time
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Sunset at the bbq
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New castle
 
 

so for Sara`s 21st birthday we had a compulsory class with our on site coordinator Rayna, who thought it was important to know the ins and outs of Australian culture. So I had the slightly unpleasant experience of trying Vegemite. Which is a brown paste that the Aussies here go crazy for. After doing a bit of fear factor I got to eat Tim Tams, which made the whole Vegemite experience a very distant memory. Rayna and Jason got Sara a cake to make it a very special day. After our class and a loud chorus of happy birthday, we took a detour to the local McDonalds where we got a treat and caused some mayhem.  Then we headed to bar on the hill to have a BBQ and some Karaoke. Of course being the loud and proud Americans we went first in karaoke, singing "my milkshake" (by request of Sara). Then we fallowed it up with Sweet Caroline (Durkee) who had a front row view to the show as we serenaded her. I actually met someone who is friends with one of my AXO sisters and met a  guy from Zimbabwe and a group of people from Germany. Also I was taught a few phrases in french by my new friend Elouen. Lets just say he had a good laugh at me trying to copy what he said. haha. 
ill catch you later mates =] 

my face clearly says it all...... but FEAR FACTOR HERE I COME
clearly the love of my life...TIM TAMS FOR DAYS!
the mayhem caused...
happy birthday SARA!!!!! 
 
 
So we just got through our first day of orientation. we got to see just a fraction of the number of students that are on this campusthere are 49 countries represented by the international student body which we meet today. I met some americans who live in a flat nearby. Then i met a really nice guy who is from Switzerland, and he has the a really interesting name (Elouen). Then we got some very cool goodie bags, but I was kinda upset with the fact that the mug we got does not have the university emblem  on it, but hey its free! Wow, I have offically become a poor struggling college student. something that is never felt at HPU with our full size beds and meal plans. We got free lunch at the Bar on the Hill and got to listen to a live band. Everyone seems so nice and down to earth and welcoming. Also we met some cold blooded friends. They were so cute! I got to hold a bearded dragon but we saw a turtle and diamond back python and a blue tongue lizard. Also i have discovered my new obsesion over here in AUSSIE land... They are called TimTams and they are like a mouse chocolate version of Kit-Kats! They are honestly to die for and I am totally hooked. 
my cold blooded bearded friend. 
the type of snake that roam around my campus... YIKES!
 
 

So finally I was able to take some photos of the flat ill be staying in for 4 months!! It's small and cozy! I finally got my little go phone and put up some pictures that will remind me to come back to the states.

Just for the record the wild life is weird over here... We finally discovered what was responsive for our 6 am wake up call.. These Aussie birds sound like monkeys and screaming goats and other odd sounds... Also we have learnt that Australia guys don't like being shown up by knowledge of sports. But as we explore more the the city we see more and more of its charm...

I've learnt that Saturdays and Sundays here are nothing like the states. It's very seldom shops and cafes are open. Also new castle requires a lot of walking and the uni (university) is just the same. The campus is like one large and confusing jungle. I sometimes think Africa was easier to get around. But I love the campus and the city and the style here. But there is a lot to get used to. For instance people call the restroom tiolets and chips are French fries and crisps are potato chips and its a little confusing. But the Australia's seem to love Americans unlike the French :)

I miss you all and sorry if I've been a bit out of touch the weather has made mobile connection difficult

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Two crisps for the price of one at civic station
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My new and improved mobile
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Where all the cooking takes place or lack of it..
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The common area
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The "toilet"
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My bed
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The wall of fame :) miss you all :)