Saturday, June 1, 2013

My life down under in Australia

I've decided to start blogging for a few reasons: I've been wanting to for a long time, my lifelong dream is coming true and I am going to Africa and this way friends and family will be able to know I'm alive and well, and finally because in a way this will be my diary and I want it online because I have a fear that my apartment might catch on fire someday and all my pictures, and written thoughts etc will be gone forever, BUT it will all be okay because I thought ahead and started a blog.

So without further ado, here is a summary of what could be the sort of beginning to "my Journey around the world," my experience down under in the southern hemisphere. So It's been 5 months since I arrived in Sydney and although it is my third time here, the experience of living here has been quite different from my first two visits. I moved into an apartment in the Central business district (CBD), right across the street from central station (so you could say I'm in a pretty central location). I have 4 amazing roommates and one I don't really talk to because she is overwhelmingly shy but very nice. Anyway, we are all from different countries and have varying personalities which makes for an interesting and fun dynamic. There's Minja, from Canada (Serbia originally), Manisha from Pakistan, Fay from Singapore, and Heloise from Mauritius. They are all great and bring something different to the table and have each taught me a lot! Luckily none of us knew people here and became close friends quickly. Then there is Megan, my only friend from school who is also American, but from Wisconsin (which I like to make jokes about, but all in good fun). Overall, I couldn't be more grateful for everyone I've met and I really feel that I've made some life long friends here. 

For the first few months I was bartending at a place called Star Bar which wasn't very glamourous but it was good to have some extra money and now I can say I was a bartender. Then I got an internship with Save the Children as a project support officer, which entails a lot of sitting at a desk and doing research and writing reports (much like going to school). Because that wasn't as fulfilling as I anticipated, I told my boss I wan't to do something more hands on, which is why I am now volunteering as a mentor for young boys in a Juvenile Detention Center. Juvi, has been unexpectedly nice, I teach them how to cook (which basically means I'm learning to cook), and next semester I will be working on literacy support one-on-one with a few boys. All I can say is I really hope I can get a job at the end of all this! 

So that brings me to school, I've been going to the University of Sydney for my Masters in Development Studies, which in America is called International development, which translated is the study of community and economic development in developing countries (poverty alleviation). This has been interesting to say the least. I have certainly learnt a lot, but the whole program is very pessimistic and depressing. Somewhat like my undergrad in Sustainability when they pretty much told us we're ruining the planet and no one really cares so good luck! This program is all about human rights violations, studying conflicts, and failed development projects- basically how we as a human species all suck!

Then there is Jed, my amazing wonderful boyfriend who makes my hard days better. I'm not sure why he loves me sometimes, but I'm glad he does! 

In saying all that, sometimes living across the world from friends, family and everything you know gets lonely and sad. I really miss a select few friends and I've learnt that it's easy to determine who you're good ones are by how hard they try to keep in touch. I also really miss my little sisters because they are the cutest darn kids in the world! Luckily they each have their own Skype accounts now and we have lovely chats where I get to see all the pictures they've drawn and new stuff they get. Even more luckily, I think I've finally taught them about the time difference and I no longer get 3 am calls. I especially miss my mom who is truly my best friend and the older I get the more I appreciate her! Then there is Bailey boo (the cutest dog in the world), but we get to catch up occasionally on Skype as well.

Most importantly though, I got accepted for a volunteer position as a teachers assistant in Kibuye Village in Uganda. I will be there for one month during my winter break and I leave in 24 days! 

So there you have it, I'm 22 living in Sydney getting my Masters, trying to create myself, and I am finally going to Africa!

Stay tuned for more updates about my life and Uganda preparations...

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