Thursday, January 11, 2007

Busy Week!

Wow! Since Christmas, I haven't had a chance to slow down!

On Dec.30th, I had to say good-bye to Warren and all of my friends of all ages, and what now feels like family, and come to Newcastle. I went down to Sydney with a host relative and got the train up to Newcastle, where I was greeted by my fellow inbound exchange student friends! It was good to see them again, and we just dropped my luggage off somewhere and headed to the beach straight away! The water was freezing but it was still great to finally feel sand and see a large body of water; all in one place!

For the rest of the week I stayed with a friend from Denmark at his host family's house on Lake Macquarie, and another student from Belgium. Of course New Year's Eve was the next day, so we caught the train to Sydney and started enjoying the masses of people and holiday festivities! We managed to find a really great vista to watch the famous Sydney NYE Fireworks, right on Blue's Point, a perfect view to the Harbour Bridge with the Opera House tucked underneath, and the city skyline to the right. There were some other inbounds from Newcastle there with us, as well as some from the Sydney metro area who we got to meet (they will be going on the Big Trip with us at the end of our exchange).

The fireworks were pretty spectacular, but the crowds of people increased dramatically and it was crazy! Luckily we got through it, and we just hung around the city eating until about 5:45a when we caught the train back to Newie.

Over the next few days we went to Newcastle beach almost every day, and I tried my hand at Dragon Boating (the big canoe with synchronised paddling), wakeboarding, and sailing. Speaking of sailing, as I was swimming back to shore from the yacht (we decided not to take the tender to shore, to cool off) I got stung by something. I climbed onto the dock and had these three tiny little punctures right below my small toe. Over the next few minutes it began to sting considerably, and I still don't know what it was, but the pain didn't subside until after about an hour. Anyway I was lucky it wasn't a deadly species and now it's over so there ya go.

On January 7th I moved in with my third host family, the Parkes, in the suburb of Valentine across the lake from where I was staying since the 30th. Luckily there's a great public transport system in Newcastle Metro, and I can take the bus into City in about 50 minutes.

Thus begins my official exchange in Newcastle! I think I'll really enjoy it here...there's so many great people to meet, so many things to do; you really can't go wrong.

Until next time....


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