Hey, hi, hello from beautiful Brisbane!
It has been about a week and a half since first stepping foot “down under” and day by day I am settling into this new Aussie lifestyle.
The first couple days I’ve spent exploring our temporary new home which included, but is not limited to:
- Unpacking into our lovely apartment in New Farm. Our apartment has the most beautiful view of the river, Story Bridge and the city. Phones and cameras have been out every single night to document the light peeping through the buildings while the sun sets behind the city, accentuating the colourful bridge lights. I don’t think the view will ever get old.
- Stopping to smell the flowers at the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens.
- Window shopping (and admittedly, real shopping) closer to the city centre.
- Travelling up the “Sunny Coast” to snag a couple early spring beach days. Thirty-degree days in East Coast Australia’s spring had us itching for the ocean so we rented a car and drove up to Mooloolaba and Bribie Island! We were all blown away by the treasures that the beaches held. The sand was so white and fine, and absolutely littered with the most beautiful shells. There are plenty of fish swimming alongside you in the ocean and low tides allowed for peering into so many little ecosystems in pools on the rocks. On Bribie Island closer to the end of the day, yabbies’ (a small, burrowing Australian crayfish) and small squids started washing up on shore!
- Browsing through a few local markets. One of my favourite things to do when in a new place is exploring the locally made goods, food, trinkets, and clothing.
- Trying some of the favourite foods among the Aussies! We have tried vegemite on toast (you would not believe the number of girls in the primary school that bring Vegemite sandwiches for lunch) and done a TimTam Slam. Finally, agreeing we couldn’t commit to a full one by ourselves, we even shared a kangaroo burger!
- Running on the Brisbane River Walk.
- Receiving the warmest of welcomes at both QUT and our first “prac” school! I am so grateful to have Melinda as our liaison at QUT. She has been so helpful in ensuring our transition into Australia is as easy and as comfortable as possible. Tina and I are starting in St. Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School, a K-12 school in a wealthier suburb outside of Brisbane. I have been placed in a Year 1 classroom. The staff and students at St. Aidan’s have been so welcoming which has made my first two weeks in the school seamless and so much fun. I have attached a picture of the hats that are a part of the uniform the girls wear. Hats are mandatory during morning tea, lunch, and Phys Ed to avoid the hot Australian sun!
There have also been major bushfires along the East Coast of Australia due to droughts and high winds. This has made it feel a little more like late Calgarian summer than a humid and sunny Australian adventure! The Australian schools have a mid-term spring break coming up meaning we have 2 weeks off prac and it seems like our travel plans are just about complete! We will be going up north to camp on Fraser Island and sail the Whitsundays.
The first (almost) two weeks in Brissy have flown by. I am feeling so lucky to be on this journey with Nancy, Nathan, and Tina and I am so grateful to have been presented with this opportunity. I cannot wait to continue learning all about the education system in Queensland, Australia and I am excited to see what the next 8 weeks hold.
Thanks for checking in! Until next time,