Saturday, August 27, 2011

Jetlag and awesome Australian animals

Still very jetlagged and exhausted, but I want to write about things before I forget them.  Today we went to a koala sanctuary, and I got to hold a koala!  The zookeeper lady had me hold my hands a certain way to support it, and then set it in my hands facing me, with its hands on my shoulders.  It was so cute and soft!  They have lots of other animals at this place too--a platypus, dingoes (my favorite--they're really pretty and look like normal dogs), wombats, lots of birds, and kangaroos.  We got to go right in with them (the kangaroos) and hand feed them and pet them.  Most were really small ones that looked a lot like wallabies, but there were some red kangaroos, which were a little bigger and more like typical kangaroos.

We also saw a sheepdog demonstration.  The dogs were so eager to herd the sheep, and it was so cool how they knew exactly what to do.  When a sheep didn't go with the group, one of the dogs ran right over and got it back with the others.  They herded the sheep into this small fenced area where they were all packed together, and to get from one side of the group to the other the dog would jump up and run right on top of the sheep!

It was raining pretty much the whole time, which is normal since it's winter here now.  It also starts to get dark around 5, which is very weird because I'm used to it getting dark around 8.  That makes adjusting harder, because it feels a lot later than it is.  I can't believe it's not even 8pm yet.

Last night at the youth group thing was a weird time.  The first thing we had to do was wash each other's feet, and I was so tired and it was such a random thing to do on my first night in Australia that afterward it felt like a strange dream.  The whole thing was like a weird dream, actually, because after a short message we had a Wii tennis tournament.  Playing Wii tennis in Australia while exhausted and jetlagged was pretty surreal.  I lost my match.

We were there for a pretty long time.  By the time we got back it was after 9.  I was in bed about 10, and I feel asleep right away but woke up at 1 feeling really nauseous.  And then I couldn't get back to sleep; I would close my eyes and then "wake up" later feeling like I'd been asleep, but when I looked at my watch barely any time had passed.  Actually, I think I was sleeping, but just very lightly, and I kept having this dream where this man was telling me and the rest of the Houghton group about these different Australian boxes and how they were used for different things, and I had to do something with them but I couldn't figure out which box was used for what even though the man kept explaining it.  This kept going on, and I kept looking at my watch and seeing that time was hardly passing, and at one point my over-tired, sleep-deprived, half-awake brain reasoned that something in my dream was preventing me from going to sleep, and it seemed like there was something I could do about it but at the same time I couldn't do it...  That probably makes no sense, but at the time, it was very logical.

But I finally did get to sleep, and I only woke up very briefly hours later when I heard the kookaburra, which they told us like to make noise early in the morning, and then I slept right till 9:15.  I woke up feeling great, not sick at all anymore and very well-rested.  After I got up, though, I started feeling off again, and that's continued all day.  But I know soon my poor body will be adjusted.

Tomorrow morning we're going to the church where the youth group was; Prof. Kettlekamp is preaching.  Then we have the whole day free before we start classes on Monday.  Sometime soon I'll write about this place where we're staying; it definitely deserves a post of its own.

P. S. I forgot to mention our trip to the koala sanctuary.  The group was in three cars; I was in the second one, following someone who had a GPS.  It seemed to be taking a long time to get there (over an hour); I'd gotten the impression it was closer.  We were driving through the city, and had been for a while, which seemed kind of strange.  And then we got lost.  We had to stop at a red light, while the car we were following had made it through.  This had happened before, and the lady driving would pull over somewhere and wait for us, but there must not have been anywhere good to pull over that time, because when we drove on we didn't see her anywhere.  So we kept driving and then asked for directions at a gas station, drove some more, then asked for directions from a guy walking, drove some more, saw signs for the place, followed the signs, stopped seeing the signs, saw a sign pointing back the way we'd come, followed the signs again, and finally made it there, after almost two hours.

On the way back we stuck to the highway, and the drive took 50 minutes.


  1. So cool that you are doing your blog! Hopefully you will adjust soon. That's neat that you already got to hold a koala and see so many natives animals. I love you!

  2. I'm glad you're having some fun times as you adjust to being in Australia! Sounds like an awesome place! I'd love to see pictures.
    I hope all goes well with your classes when they start.