Wow, I am finally in Australia. It was a long flight aboard Qantas from San Francisco to Melbourne, approximately 15 hrs. I managed to sleep/dose for most of it. Did watch a great movie that I recommend to you all, especially the Guardians, called 2040. This film-maker looks at all of the sustainable technology that is in place today, and shows what the world could look like if we implemented this technology. Your generation is the one to do this!
The stewardesses on the plane were soooo friendly and upbeat. There were a few families on board with babies and they just made them feel very welcome and supported. I remember when Lisa and I traveled with Ben when he was a baby (then again at 3 yrs old), and the stewardesses on United looked at us like "why did you have to bring him on board, now you just ruined my flight", but not on Qantas!
I left San Fran on Saturday, 9pm and arrived in Melbourne at around 5:30 am Monday morning. Not sure what happened to Sunday? They took it away from me and never even asked my permission! I had to get my bags and leave the terminal in Melbourne as that was an international flight coming into Australia. Because everything is electronic, I went through security and customs in less than 20 mins! I then caught a flight to Canberra a few hours later, where i was met by Mum's husband Clive. I wanted to stop here to pay my respects as most of you know I couldn't get back to see her before she passed on.
I have got a new Australian phone number. Now it's becoming real, that I am actually moving to Australia. I went for a walk around the block and lake next to the house, and in the field down the road were a mob of Kangaroos. Yes, they do hang around people's back yards!
Clive showed me around Canberra today. Canberra is Australia's capital and like Washington D.C. is located in it's own territory called the "Australian Capital Territory" or ACT. It is a totally planned city, with the Parliament house at one end of a Mall and the Australian War Memorial at the other end (see photos). We also took a tour of Parliament house and went onto the roof where the giant flag pole is situated. I must say, everyone is so friendly here, including the security guards. Afterwards we had lunch at the "Press Club". Very nice. I was hoping to lobby a few ministers, but I have no idea who they are. Tonight we will go to my brother's house, Thomas, for dinner. Thomas works for the Foreign Affairs office and it's all top secret so he can't tell me what he does.
At Parliament House, there were many school groups and I was watching them with interest and asking them what grades they were in etc. All of the students here in Australia, whether you are in private or public school, have to wear school uniforms. So smart. It reminded me that by now I am guessing all of you guardians are back at school. Yeah!
Now, 8th grade I am expecting you to help Mr. D to set a good tone for the rest of the school. You have to carry on the traditions and the excellent work that last years 8th graders set. I know you can do it. Ms Malach seems like she actually knows what she is doing (unlike me), and i think you will really enjoy having her as your new science teacher. Remember, you cannot say "but Mr. Dingo did it this way..." Everyone has there own style. Pay attention and learn heaps. I've asked Ms Malach and Mr D to keep me updated. I miss you all already :(
Well, enjoy the photos and there are more videos to come, so keep watching this space. I will be in Perth Wednesday evening, and then the final Phase (3) will begin, finding a home and a school to teach in. ( I am so nervous writing this blog as I know that Ms Polizzi and Ms Reilly will be checking my grammar and spelling. Remember it is Aussie spelling).