Curry and Spice

Posts Tagged ‘sfs’

The End of Days

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2012 at 6:58 am

Tablelands 2

It’s time for one last blog post from Australia.

Rock Wallaby 1

Rock Wallaby 2

Last week, like all of the ones that preceded it, was a total blur. It was a bittersweet week, a week that simultaneously dragged on with the knowledge of imminent good-byes, and moved at the speed of light, hurtling toward the departure of my students. Monday began, bright and hot, with our “Magical Mystery Tour”, a final day-trip around the area. We went to a couple of shops (back to CoffeeWorks in Mareeba, to the Tolga Wood Works), and most importantly, to Granite Gorge. In the wet season, I imagine that Granite Gorge is full of swimmers in a cool, quickly flowing creek. In our current drought, however, the gorge is stagnant. Our students found great enjoyment in playing in the Australian water one last time, however, and explored the area as a whole. It’s one of the only places that still has rock wallabies, which are critically endangered. Our students got to hand feed them (which I have a lot of controversial feelings about), and they were very enthusiastic about it. The entire area is very dry, but incredibly picturesque, and I loved getting to take pictures there. Read the rest of this entry »

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Thanksgiving

In Uncategorized on December 2, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Bats 3

I always start off by saying the week was quiet, and realizing that it was anything but. When I look back on this past week, I can truly and immediately say that it was not quiet. We didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving when the States did, in part because our Australian director didn’t know when it was, and in part because it ultimately fell during one of the data collection weeks. Instead, we celebrated on November 29th, and, in the spirit of a true Thanksgiving, we invited a lot of the community members. Our estimated head count was 69 heading into Thursday, and as a result, we knew that we needed an incredible amount of food. Read the rest of this entry »

Interviews and Interludes

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Kuranda 1

For my directed research group, and myself the week began with a trip to Cairns. The Environmental Policy directed research group is in the process of analyzing the future of tourism in Far North Queensland, and the students have been exhaustively conducting interviews with tourists, tourist companies, information centres, residents, and experts on their topics. Read the rest of this entry »

The Calm and Quiet Before the Storm

In Uncategorized on November 20, 2012 at 1:03 am

Mission Beach 1

Our students started last week with their directed research projects. My group, the group of social science students, headed off to Mission Beach, which is about two hours south of Cairns. This was the first time all semester that any of us had truly been at a beach; the waves weren’t large, but for the first time, there were indeed waves. The ocean was a beautiful color, and as it pounded the sand, I felt very much at peace. The coast of Australia is a beautiful thing to behold; the coast juts out into the sea, and while you might be sitting on part, another part is right out in front of you, full of beautiful trees and mountains. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s been a while…

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I’ve been away from this blog for over two weeks, for which I apologize. It’s not for the lack of exciting things that have happened that I haven’t been here, but I would say rather that it’s due to a pervasive feeling of disinterest in what’s been happening. It’s been hard for me to connect here; I’ve often felt like I’ve been managing, or coping through each day, rather than embracing it whole-heartedly. This is an uncomfortable feeling for me, and I have been increasingly unhappy with feeling this way, and with being here in general. I am at a crossroads; I am trying to decide whether to continue spinning my wheels in Australia, or to head home for good and spin my wheels there. It’s a very tough choice, because neither one makes me feel particularly comfortable. However, one way or another, I will make a decision soon. Read the rest of this entry »

Field Exercises and Folk Festivals

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2012 at 2:55 am

The week passed in a blink of an eye. Our students, and therefore we, were incredibly busy with their natural resource management field exercise. The students go through a field exercise with all three professors in the three different subjects in order to get experience with research in their fields, and also to give them an idea of what doing directed research in those fields would be like. As the last in the field exercises, the students were somewhat excited about the prospect of the research, and were mostly excited to have the last of their major assignments out of the way.

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Chillagoe

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2012 at 11:55 pm

First of all, I apologize for the later update; the weekend somehow got away from me, and because we camped last week, I was unable to write as the week went. Monday started out with a great amount of running around as we began to prepare for our camping trip to Chillagoe. Chillagoe is approximately a four hour drive west of here; as when we went to Daintree, we passed through the town of Mareeba. Instead of continuing along the main road, however, we turned west and headed into the savannah. The land steadily dries and flattens as you head west. While you may start in the lush rainforest and rolling hills of the Tablelands, within an hour or so, you hit the drier part of the Tablelands, and finally, the savannah. It was quite the change in landscape; while I like the rainforest, the desert, I’m realizing, is much more what I’m used to. Read the rest of this entry »

Love for the Land

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2012 at 4:25 pm

The week began with thousands of flying foxes flying over the vans at dusk on Sunday night. After picking the students up from their homestays, we ate dinner in the park in Yungaburra, and watched the flying foxes winging low over the fields, their shapes barely illuminated by the remaining night. It was among the most beautiful things I’ve seen here so far.

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Pythons and Cane Toads

In Uncategorized on October 6, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Platypus 1

This week passed by in a total blur. I posted my last piece a bit early because, upon returning from Daintree, Ashley and I had Saturday off. We were able to spend some time in Yungaburra, which is an incredibly friendly small town. It’s a bit quaint; there are very few places to eat, but they are all good. The few shops are run by incredibly kind, interesting, and wonderful people, who immediately managed to make us feel welcome. After a very stressful and frustrating week, they made us feel like we were home and safe, and it was a truly wonderful feeling. We spent a nice time at Groovealicious, the local coffee shop (which has excellent WiFi, thus the early post) before popping next door to Meg’s. Meg runs a fantastic shop, which is an amazing combination of her art (she does lithographic prints), vintage clothing, and other lovely things. She is funny and kind, and it was very exciting to meet someone with whom I share a name. We then popped in to Rockingbird, which is run and owned by the amazing Bernadette. Rockingbird is a beautiful vintage and vintage-inspired store with incredible things. I literally could have stayed there all day (and managed to stay an hour, just chatting with Bernadette about crafting, women, and a sense of community; she’s truly lovely, and she really made us feel at home). I finally managed to feel relaxed, and to feel like I had people to turn to in the broader community when I needed someone. Read the rest of this entry »

Strugs and Tribs, or a First Field Trip

In Uncategorized on September 28, 2012 at 7:34 pm

As a student of SFS, I remember the first field trip being exhilarating – we were going turtle monitoring, sleeping in (admittedly very janky) tents, snorkeling, and running around in boats to and from our camp site. We ran around preparing food and coolers, learning about turtles and packing like it was going out of style. Our first field trip was…not exactly like that. There were janky moments; our trailer popped open and spilled pasta all over the access road. There was learning; our students learned about mangrove forests, crocodiles (and why they weren’t allowed to swim at the beaches), and cassowaries. There was definitely packing like it was going out of style; see the trailer.  Read the rest of this entry »