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Lulu's Australia Adventure

Day s blog

Saturday, May 30, 2009

This morning, we had to wake up at 5 AM (!!!!) for our flight at 8:40 to Alice Springs. We left Hotel Ibis and Melbourne. After our 3 hour flight and Mrs. Jensen talking about ginger beer for the whole flight (HAHA) we finally landed in Alice Springs. We set off to the Ooraminna Bush Camp but were stopped about 1/4 of a mile later because our bus is too heavy and would get stuck in all the mud because we managed to make it to the outback on one of the ten rainy days they have in one year. While waiting for 1 hour to get a 4 weel bus, we played a couple of games to make the time pass. After finally arriving at the Ooraminna Station, we had some lunch. Then, we baked some traditional "outback bread", which is only made of water and flour. After that, we seperated into two groups to learn how to whipcrack and to learn to build swags. Then, we rotated so we all had a chance to do both acrtivities. Swags are like canvas sleeping bags. There is a foam matress, shets, a pillow, and a sleeping bag. It is put together a specific way, so it almost feels like a bed. The whipcracking was harder then I imagined. I tried a couple of diffrent tequniques but finally got the hang of it. Now I can crack a whip :). After building the swags and whipcracking, we got to taste some of the bread we made. It was better than I imagined considering it was only made of water and flour. After that, we went out for a walk. We climbed many of the rocks and had a really good time. Afterwards, we had some dinner and headed down into our swags. Because it had been drizziling all day, we had to sleep under a shed, instead of under the stars :( :( :(. It was still realy cool though to snuggle up around the fire and get some despratly needed sleep.

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Day 2

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Today, after waking up at 5:30, me and my 3 friends from school that I am rooming with, Elvira, Laura, and Sophie, went down to breakfast and enjoyed our first, although very early, breakfast at Hotel Ibis. After boarding the bus, we drove to the Otway Fly National Park. To get there, we drove along the Great Ocean Road. The Great Ocean Road is a magnificent road that runs along the shores of southern Australia. The road was build during World War I when Australian Veterans needed employment. We stopped in some sea-side towns and viewpoints. It was amazingly beautiful!!! Next we headed inland to Otway Fly. There, we had a chance to plant two kinds of trees that primarily grow in the Australian rainforest, the Mountain Ash tree and the Mortal Beach tree. The Mountain Ash tree is the 2nd tallest tree in the world, next to the California Redwoods. They grow up to 400 feet tall. The Mortal Beach tree fed dinosaurs thousands of years ago. Then our guide, Peter, took on us a tour throughout the rainforest. We learned about the different kinds of trees and how the Aboriginal people used the forest for resources. We also drank water from a stream. We hoped we would see platypus, but unfortunately we didn’t. The water from the stream tasted really fresh and yummy. The air in the rainforest smelled amazing because of all the trees around, unlike smoggy LA. Now we are headed off to dinner.

Day 2

Day 1

After getting all of our luggage at the airport, and realizing that the Colorado Kid’s luggage didn’t make it, we drove to the Moonlit Animal Sanctuary, an hour drive from Melbourne. Once there, we followed animal specialists around to experience one of their normal workdays. First, we helped fix up a wombat enclosure. Because Wombats dig a lot, the enclosure was covered in deep holes. The animal specialist, Marion, fist had to catch Rita, the wombat, which was a probably the biggest task of the day. First, we dug up dirt from another location and drove it back to the wombat enclosure. We used the dirt to cover up the holes. Then, a few of us went of to collect branches to decorate and remodel Rita’s cage. After that, we went on a Wallabies walk. We got food and got to walk around and feed the Wallabies out of our hands. They were sooooo cute J. Some were really shy, while other walked up to you. After the wallabies, we tested the fertility of squirrel gliders. We each got to fill out the official lab sheets and watch the squirrel glider be tested. They were soooo cute and had the biggest eyes. After the squirrel gliders, we were going to go and weed a section of the sanctuary, but because it stared POURING we had to change our plans. Instead of going weeding, we instead learned about diets of all the animals. When the specialist showed us mealworms, the Colorado kids and their teacher dared to EAT some!!!!!!!! It was sooooo gross. TO make the matters worse, when we got back to the cabin, we learned about frogs and their diets. When the animal keeper fed the frog a cockroach, Ashlee had the nerve to eat one herself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After being completely grossed out but also impressed that she would dare to do something like that, we enjoyed our first traditional Aussie BBQ. When it got dark outside, we went on our night walk around the sanctuary to see the animals that are night active. We petted and fed bettongs, and let a bird bite us. The best thing though on the way back was that we got feed and pet kangaroos in the dark!! It was so amazing!!! We also got to see a Koala eating eucalyptus. It was so adorable!! That wrapped up our day at the Moonlit Sanctuary and our first day in Australia. Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel to get a good night rest.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Hey, my name is Lulu and I am an 8th grader at Walter Reed Middle School. Next week, I am flying to Australia with 3 of my classmates and my technology teacher. My teacher, Mr. Shelton, received special recognition from Discovery Student Adventures, giving me this opportunity. On our trip, we will be traveling all over the continent, including Melbourne, the Outback, The Great Barrier Reef, and Brisbane. We will be participating in many exiting activities, including following a vet, visiting a banana processing factory, participating in an outback survival challenge and snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef. One of my goals in life is traveling the world becoming either a photographer or a journalist. With this opportunity, I will be able to check one of my top choices off the list.

Overall, I am most exited for snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, participating in the Outback survivor challenge, and experiencing the native culture. Ever since I am little, I have always been interested in the culture and way of life of the Aborigines. I am looking forward to sleeping under the stars in the Outback, next to Uluru. My entire life, I have been looking at pictures of the Great Barrier Reef, and that’s probably what I am most looking forward to. I think it will be very exiting to participate in the Outback survival challenge and learn from local Aborigines what the natives used thousands of years ago to survive in the bush. I think this will be a life changing opportunity, and I am SUPER exited.

Essential Programs Details

Duration 14 days
When May 25th - June 7th, 2009
Focus Marine Biology
Aboriginal Culture