It's hard to believe, but my time in Melbourne, Australia is finished. Tomorrow morning we begin our long journey back home to Canada. We've been here nearly two months, and the time has flown by so quickly.
Last week was my last week at the school, with Friday being my last day. Actually, we were there only half a day since we left for Sydney after lunch. Two of the teacher's from Sarah's school took us, and we stayed at the apartment of one of the teacher's brother. That last day of school was sad - I'll definitely miss those kids, as well as my host teacher and the other teacher in the room.
On Wednesday of that week, they had a little Australian party for me. They had the kids bring in some different foods that Aussies eat (and they were allowed to bring in food from other cultures if that is what they eat as well). There were lots of different things to eat, and the kids enjoyed it (I did too). There were several different types of cookies (or biscuits as they call them), some sandwiches, sweets/desserts, and one of the teachers brought in a little BBQ and cooked sausages on it. One of the "sandwiches" that were brought in tasted great - I loved it! It's called Fairy Bread and all you do is butter a piece of bread and put cake sprinkles on it. Sounds gross, but it's not.
I also had my first taste of Vegemite. That was totally disgusting! My host teacher, C, captured the moment on video. I thought she was only going to take a picture, but she taped the experience. She then showed it to some of the teachers, and then on my last day she showed the kids. Everyone thought it was quite funny (so did I). I really don't know how they can eat that stuff! I suppose, though, that if it's something you are brought up on you get used to it and grow a fondness for it.
Back to my last day...the two classes I helped in got me an Aussie kids book and they all signed it and put a picture of the classes in it, as well as a picture of me tasting the Vegemite. It was quite sweet (the book, not the Vegemite). C also got me an Australian kids book as well. The principal gave me a school mug and several different chocolate bars (one or two we have back home, but the others we don't have). When it was time for me to go, the kids all came over and hugged me, and one little boy says to me, "Ms. S, Tom's crying." One of the little boys had tears in his eyes, but just walked away after hugging me. I don't know if he was sad I was leaving, or if it was for some other reason, but I like to think he was sad that I was leaving.
That afternoon we flew to Sydney. We were there until Sunday night, and had a great time seeing the sights. The main reason we wanted to head to Sydney was to see the Opera House. We got to see that, the Sydney Harbour bridge, and several other places.
Early Monday morning we headed for the last leg of our vacation (the internship part wasn't vacation) and flew up to the Gold Coast. We stayed in a cute little town called Coolengata. Our hotel was a two minute walk from the beach. It was a beautiful place, and there was gorgeous weather. Unfortunately, Tuesday morning I wrenched my back and couldn't do much of anything the rest of the day and most of the next day. The girls went to a chemist (the Australian version of a drug store) and got me some meds after talking to the chemist/pharmacist. Those seemed to help as they had codeine in them. Thursday I walked around and took some pictures. I didn't go swimming because I didn't have a bathing suite, and my back was still sore. I was actually trying on a bathing suite when I wrenched my back...go figure.
Thursday evening I went to an after hours clinic to see a doctor for my back. He agreed with me that it was a muscle problem and wrote down two different types of pills to get (over the counter kind) as well as a prescription for an anti-inflammatory and Valium. He said the Valium was for the plane trip (it's a long flight) and that both the prescribed meds would make me drowsy. I have been taking all but the Valium and it's helping. I plan on only using the Valium on the plane ride.
All in all, I had a great time here in Australia. If you ever get the chance to visit this country, you should go - lots to see and do! I don't know if I'll ever have the opportunity to come back here, but if I do, I'll head this way again; I'd like to see the teachers/friends I've made on this trip again.
But for now, I need to get some rest (the pain pills I took a little while ago are kicking in and I'm feeling tired), and then do my packing. I'd like to take my host family out for supper tonight to show them my appreciation for all they have done for me while I was here. They are great people, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to meet and stay with them.
The next time I write, I'll be back home in Canada. See you soon!