I’m here! It hasn’t ¬†quite hit me yet, even though I’ve been here for 4 days. We’re staying at the Moreton Bay Research and Study Station. I love the environment out here. It’s a tiny town on a small island. We’re on the bay side, and it’s just beautiful. We’ve spent part of the past couple of days collecting and observing marine species. I’m completely eating it up. I love find out about all the different critters, and it’s so cool to see our textbook come to life in a tidal pool. I have seen so much wildlife. Koalas, sea cucumbers, a shark, lorakeets… It’s awesome. I am really loving hanging out with the other students, for the most part everyone is really chill.

It’s not all sunshine and roses though. The flight from LA to Brisbane is probably the longest sustained period of discomfort I’ve ever experienced. Even a Boilermaker or a black belt test only lasts a couple of hours. Sitting in a plane seat might not sound like a test of endurance on that scale, but trust me, it is. We were told to sleep on the plane, and I tried, but I could only manage an hour or so at a time. I watched plenty of stuff on the mini tv screen, including The Avengers. Still an awesome freaking movie, btw. The food here is ok, but really not great. It doesn’t taste too bad but it doesn’t settle well. There was another group of students here, young girls from Japan. I’m just going to be blunt here, they were really annoying. They talked incessantly, loudly, and in high pitched voices in a language I don’t understand. I don’t grudge them for speaking their native language, I do grudge them for being loud and constantly in the way. But, they left today so we have the place to ourselves tonight and tomorrow.

Overall the experience has been really good. Every Australian I’ve meet, even the customs officials, has been polite, helpful and funny. I was a little worried about making friends and fitting in, introvert that I am, but that has really not been a problem. Tomorrow we meet our host families, and I’m so excited for that. I really can’t wait to settle in, unpack my suitcase and start a routine. I’ve had a great time on Moreton Bay, but I’m ready for the next thing. Stay tuned!