There and Back Again - an Australian Tale

There and Back Again - and Australian Tale

As of Friday, October 1st, 2010 I have officially been accepted to study abroad in Cairns, Australia. This program marks a new page being turned - another new start. I feel like my life is in need of some revamping and by traveling, submitting to my wanderlust, going somewhere new to learn new things in new ways - well, this trip is just billet I've been looking for. Come along and laugh at me, with me, or both as I prepare to tally forth, wander en and return from, the Land of Oz.

Australia's New National Animal

Australia's New National Animal
A Fez ?!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

You don't move your body like a Cyclone - you move it like a Hurricane (loser)

Howdy all,

So It would seem that Cairns was spared the full brunt of the tropical cyclone Yari – although there is quite a different story in the smaller tourist towns of Mission Beach and Tully, just over 100km south of Cairns. Individuals who have called into the local news stations have begun comparing the damage to the aftermath of napalm and Agent Orange. Based on the looks of things – especially reports from Australian News Channel 7 (Click Here for the jump), students making their way to Townsville are going to have an especially hard time getting adjusted to their new living situations with the after flood of a 9.5 meter storm surge that has hit the area, lost power and lack of clean drinking water. In fact, according to local news reports, Magnetic Island is already receiving emergency bottled water due to damage sustained to the water line as Yasi passed (Click here for more on the story).

It is amazing how wide-spread the damage is and how devastating it has been to the area. Not only have homes and businesses been shed of their roofs but marinas have been impaled by their 50-foot-long yachts, shopping strips have been repopulated with giant trees and the costal area has been showered with unripe bananas and immature sugar cane. Most of the economy of this area comes from the banana and sugar industries - both of which have taken at least $1 billion dollars worth of damage thus far in destruction of infrastructure and in the loss of over 90% of their crops. Hit the jump below for more news:

I have found some images from the Cairns area as well if you are interested in what my destination town is going through. By comparison to Mission Beach and Tully the damage here is ‘tame’.

I am still waiting to hear back from the St. Lawrence University International Studies office with more news about altered travel plans. As of right now the Cairns airport has been cleared and reopened for travel and are again accepting commercial air traffic and I have a place to stay (thanks to a very supportive pen pal and good friend who has opened her doors to me if needed) in the Sydney area just in case the way is made impassable again. As it stands I'll be heading out to LAX at 7:27pm on Saturday from Boston and hanging out in a Hotel for 2 days. Alone. Its gonna be a blast. I might go to a sports bar and watch the Superbowl but beyond that - it'll be a slow few days waiting for my Quantas flight out. I'll be posting all of the remaining hints i've lined up for future study-abroad-ers to this program during that time and, as expected, keeping you up-to-date on the storm recovery in Australia.

Keep your ear to the ground and digeridoo at the ready,

~ S.S.

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