Greetings from down under!
I hope all is well. Shout out to my friends battling the Juno blizzard. I hope you guys are staying warm out there! I will be posting more beach pictures to keep you warm. 🙂 The past few days have been filled with rain and coursework. Just to provide a quick recap. This past weekend we had a long weekend due to a nationwide holiday: Australia Day. This past Thursday I went to multiple historical buildings with my classmates for my Australian Culture and Society course. Friday I went to Coogee Beach with some friends, then to our favorite bar. Saturday we went to Sydney’s famous Taronga Zoo. Sunday was full of homework. Monday (Australia Day) we enjoyed the city’s festivities, although the weather was disgusting.
In order to prepare for a quiz, my peers and I have been charged to read 10 inserts from books and articles ranging 10-20 pages each (front and back). Unfortunately the content is not very entertaining. Coincidentally I read an insert on the history of Australia Day on Australia Day. Unfortunately the read made me a little uncomfortable celebrating the day afterwards. January 26th was the first time that a ceremony took place by the British in honor of the king. However, it was also the day that a massacre was committed on the Aboriginal people. Therefore they refer to this day as “Invasion Day.” The document went on to discuss the power struggle between trying to make the holiday a patriotic celebration versus making it a day of remembrance and observance. The more I read the more I was unsure on what was being celebrated. Australia has a very similar history to America, although 100 years younger. Their wounds are a lot fresher, and they are still growing and learning as a nation.
Although I felt uneasy about the holiday, I enjoyed the traditions that took place. Some of my peers and I left campus at 7:00am, in order to see the opening ceremony. An Aboriginal dance company was suppose to be performing, however due to the rain they did not come. It was a bummer, but we did get a chance to meet the governor and a world champion surfer. Security detail was light. Apparently Australia does not have as many threats as US politicians. After the ceremony at the Sydney Opera House, we moved on to watch the beginning of the swim series. It is a race with multiple heats that many people participate in a cove near the harbor. By this point everyone was hungry and in need of coffee, so we went to a 24 hour pancake place. They are famous for their pancake specials, which surpassed my expectations even though it felt like I was eating dessert for breakfast. Once we finished, we moved on to watch the Ferrython. It is a race that about a 100 ferries participate in. It was confusing and hard to determine the winner, but we cheered anyways. After the Qantas airline did their jet flyover, everyone was pooped. We headed back and chilled for the rest of the day. Although it was raining, we took a chance on heading to Darling Harbor and possibly catching fireworks. I’m glad we did. We ran into a ton of BU people and danced in the rain for about an hour to the music from the concert. Afterwards we watched a beautiful thirty minute display of colors in the sky in sync to music. In order to top it all off, we got gelato on the walk back home. Indeed it was a great experience for my first Australia Day.
The rest of my week has been pretty uneventful, so I will spare you the details. Below are pictures from my long weekend. Also, I am excited to announce that I attended surf camp this weekend, and successfully stood up a few times. Look out for the pictures in my next post!
Below are pictures from one of the many historical buildings that my class visited. The building used to be home to England convicts who were exiled to Australia.
Zoo pictures (I did not take many, because I was too hot and dehydrated to put in the effort after a while)!