G’day family and friends!
We’ve had an eventful week here in Australia that began in the lovely city of Brisbane!
After arriving in Brisbane last Monday, we all headed out to explore the city. Some of us shopped, explored, went to museums, or just layed on the public “beach” and tanned. Our 3 days in Brisbane ended with a lovely Thanksgiving brunch with our new Carpe family. While this was most of the groups first time away from home for the holiday, we still enjoyed the traditional Thanksgiving feast with the 13 new members of our family. We all said what we were thankful for and truly were grateful for one anothers company. Later that night most of the group saw the midnight premiere of the James Bond movie, Skyfall.
We were up bright an early the next morning to start our week with the CVA(Conservation Volunteers of Australia). Once we arrived at the office we learned that we were camping and spending the week planting 1000 trees(WOW!) along a river. We set up camp at a local campsite 10 minutes from our worksite and got a good nights sleep for our first day of work!
Our week of volunteering was rewarding as we learned that the trees we were planting were going to help prevent the river from extreme flooding and ruining the surrounding land. We met every morning at our site and worked throughout the day clearing grass, digging holes, fertilizing, and watering tree after tree. With all 14 of us working along with the 2 CVA leaders, the work seemed to go by quickly, and before we knew it, we were enjoying ice cold water under the shade and chatting with each other. Throughout the week one of our CVA leaders, Peter, showed and taught us about the aboriginal culture. He played his didjeridu like a pro and even taught us how to make our own clapsticks out of the waddle tree. One afternoon was spent up in the Bunya Mountains enjoying the cooler weather and watching the gorgeous sunset. We also spent an afternoon learning about some Australian sports like cricket and footy(Australian football), and even played our own game of it which turned out to be hilarious and a blast. On our last day of work we were lucky enough to have some local aboriginals come and talk to us about their culture. We learned a few of their dances like the kangaroo dance and the interesting “shake a leg dance.” We ended the lesson throwing boomerangs in the beautiful open Australian bush. Some of us got the hang of it while others had a little trouble, but we all had fun trying!
As our week at the CVA came to a close we all hopped in our cars and drove back to Brisbane where we are spending our last night in the airport and then heading off to Alice Springs in the morning where we’ll begin our adventures in the outback!
Hope all is well to everyone back at home (especially mom, Rudy, Hazel, Lucy, Ana, and Kelsey!) and we’ll be seeing many of you in just a few weeks!
Rebecca and the fellow Walkabout crew