Packing List

This is what I have as of now… It may change as time goes:

Things to Bring

The obvious – under ware and socks, tooth brush/paste, deodorant, contacts/glasses, etc….

Backpack

Calculator(s) – Depending on your classes maybe 2 calculators, TI-89 (or similar) and one non-programmable

Clothes for hot and cold! – Including a heavier coat (depends on season, for Aus autumn only)

Be sure electronics are 110v – 240v compatible!!

Camera

Computer

Phone  – Be sure it has a changeable sim card

All electronic chargers (camera, phone, computer)

Flashdrive(s)/USB Stick(s)

External Hard Drive – back up everything on your computer

Adapters – 2 to 3 depending on number of electronics

(Walkabout Travel Gear http://www.walkabouttravelgear.com)

Sandals – 2 pair

Tennis Shoes – 2 pair

Boots – For cold and wet weather (depends on season)

Pack as light as possible, you’ll want room to bring home things you acquire over seas. Unless you need a specific brand, you can even leave things like bottles of shampoo/conditioner.

Things to Not Bring

Too many shoes

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The Worst Luck

Australia has something called instant coffee. Being as I am not a big coffee drinker, I’m not sure if we have that in the states, but if we do then it isn’t as common as it is here.

Tahnee my house mate bought some French vanilla flavored instant cappuccino packets. It was about 7 in the morning and I’d just heated up left over chocolate chip and banana pancakes for breakfast. I decided a nice cup of hot cappuccino would be nice because it was a bit chili outside.

I boiled some water in our electric kettle and mixed in the packet of coffee. The coffee mug was too hot to hold, so I put it on a small plate to carry it over with me. I had my pancakes in my right hand and my coffee on its small plate in my left. As I went to take a seat I was favoring my left ankle while also under estimating how far down it was to sit on the couch. I lost my balance and tipped the little plate and boiling hot coffee all down my front and into my lap.

I ran out back because it was cooler there and I don’t think I’ve ever stripped out of my cloths so fast. I had steam coming off my red body. I was in pain, everything the coffee touched was hurting.

The loud crash woke Tahnee and she rushed in to see what was going on. All I could say was “I burnt myself”. She ran and got me a towel, but the burns hurt so much I had to go take the coldest shower of my life.

This all happened about 3 days after I hurt my ankle so I was feeling like I had the worst luck! It took my skin about 2 to 3 days to stop constantly hurting. Then as it healed and formed scabs it was itchy. Now, about a month later life is back to normal, only a small burn mark remains on the inside of my leg. I anticipate it will not be permanent.

Lessons Learned:

Do not put boiling hot coffee on a small plate without two hands to hold it, just don’t do it!

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Bad Ankles

I first hurt my ankle in 8th grade when I fell while running to the bus stop. The ankle troubles showed up more when I started pole vaulting sophomore year. I had three ankle injuries during my last 2 years of pole vaulting. My last ankle injuring was in Colorado while out taking night pictures of the stars in October.

Well now I can add Australia to my list of ankle injuries. I bought an ankle brace for $21.65, which if you have been shopping for ankle braces recently, is outrageous.

I think I am most disappointed because I had just gotten back into pole vault and was excited about training and getting into shape while I was in Australia.

Since the ankle injury I’ve been taking it easy and thus taking the tram to school. Hopefully I don’t get addicted to not walking. =)

Lesson’s Learned:

Bring medical braces for recently injured parts of your body.

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Massive Hail Storm

Melbourne had a huge storm, only golf ball sized hail at my house, but up to baseball sized hail around the city. The Southern Cross train station roof is made of glass and was smashed. Other stations were flooded and even Flinder’s Street was flooded several inches.

After the hail stopped the rain kept coming, and hard. Dan and I noticed Tahnee’s ceiling was leaking all over her mattress! It was awful. We found pots and towels, but we tore her room up moving the bed and everything out of the way.

The second day of rain we thought we were lucky because Tahnee’s room wasn’t leaking anymore, but then the living room started leaking! There was water pouring out from the light bulb, which was conveniently located over the 52″ flat screen television, all the electronics, and my lap top.

It was a scramble to move everything and to minimize damage.

Come to find out, after all the mess, that the roof leaked due to the gutters being blocked with tennis balls.

Lesson’s Learned:

Don’t throw tennis balls on the roof because they’ll get stuck and make your light bulbs drip water  =)

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My Room in Australia

Just wanted to show my bedroom not that I am all moved in. Basically, it’s a room with it’s own front door & lock. Like a mini house away from the house. Rent is only $812/month plus internet, cable, gas, elec, and water. The flowered bed spread is Tahnee’s. She’s had it her whole life and now she is letting me borrow it  =)

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Footy – Australian Rules Football

I enjoy watching sports, so when I came to Australia and learned about their version of football, I knew it would be a must see.

The first game I went to was Geelong v North Melbourne (NM). Adam bought the tickets online and I got a youth ticket for $6, pretty affordable for Australia. When I was at the game I learned that Geelong has won the National AFL Championship 3 out of the last 4 years, so I wanted North Melboure to win. NM was ahead the majority of the game, but in the last few min Geelong made 3 goals! Still, some how NM pulled it out and won the game!

My second game was St. Kilda v Sydney. I went with Tahnee, Chole (her cousin), and Paul (Chole’s bf). We splurged on tickets this time because Chole and Paul had traveled from Sydney for the game. Prime seating is on the second level (better than the top or bottom level) because you can see down the enormous field. Normal 2nd level tickets cost $21, but we convinced the ticket agent to give us the “family” discount of $52 for 2 adults and 2 children. Pretty cool to get great tickets for $13 each.

Even more amazing than the seats was the game. St. Kilda was largely ahead of Sydney, it seemed clear who would win until Sydney came back and tied the game. Because the clock for each quarter never stops, but the ball is only in play for 25 min there is no set time the quarter ends. Basically, the clock could run up to 26 or 29 or 32 min based on how much time was spent with the ball not in play. As it came to the end of the game, no one knew when the horn would blow, but St. Kilda kicked a 1 point goal making the game 78 Syd to 79 St. Kilda… and then the game was over!

I wanted St. Kilda to win because they were from Melbourne, but Chole and Paul weren’t as happy =( … but they got over it quickly, good sports.

Footy as defined by Wiki:

The primary aim of the game is to score goals by kicking the ball between the middle two posts of the opposing goal.

The ball through the middle is 6 points, and through the outter sides is 1 point. The team with the highest score after 4 quarters wins. In case of a tie, there is no overtime and a draw is declared.

Players may use any part of their body to advance the ball. The primary methods are kicking, handballing and running with the ball. There are rules on how the ball can be handled, for example players running with the ball must intermittently bounce or touch it on the ground. Throwing the ball is not allowed and players must not get caught holding the ball.

Unlike most similar sports, there is no offside rule, and players can roam the field freely. Possession of the ball is in dispute at all times except when a free kick is paid. A distinctive feature of the game getting a mark, where players anywhere on the field who catch a ball from a kick (with specific conditions), are awarded a free kick.

Australian rules is a contact sport, in which players can tackle using their hands or use their whole body to obstruct opponents. Not following the rules leads to penalties such as free kicks, neg distance, or suspension. Frequent physical contests, aerial marking or “speckties”, fast movement of both players and the ball and high scoring are the game’s main attributes.

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First Day of Class

It has been so long since I was a freshman that I forgot what it means to be nervous for classes. In one way, not being nervous for classes has caused less anxiety, which is great! But in another way, with a lack of anxiety I have failed to plan ahead adequately.

For instance, when I lived in Wichita I always had extra notebooks of paper, pens, pencils, and even backpacks lying around. Now, in this new country, I have no extra school supplies. I didn’t think it would be an issue to go buy supplies at the store on the way to my first class… I was wrong.

Seems like everyone had the same idea as me. When I went to the store to buy paper all I found were empty shelves. The few notebooks left were “fashionable” and cost between $4 and $8 for very few pages. I know items are more expensive here, but GEEZ, $8 for school paper! It was a shocker.

Other than the lack of cheap paper my first class (Intro to Financial Planning) went well. The teacher is Middle Eastern with an Australian accent so it is difficult to understand everything he says, but he seems willing to help outside of classes if I fall into trouble.

Lesson’s Learned:

Buy school supplies early to get the best selection and prices

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