I have lost track of time. I know I left on a Friday night. I think I arrived on a Sunday morning. I believe today has been Monday. But, I will attempt through tiredness to be more witty with titles. Numbering days will not work.
After the afternoon spent wandering around Brisbane, obtaining a cell phone, and getting acquainted with some of my cohorts on this trip, we returned for dinner at the backpacker's hostel where we are currently residing. It's a nice hostel and very Australian.
We went for a walk in the evening, originally setting out to take some night photos of the city skyline from the ferris wheel on the river. The architecture of the Brisbane skyline is a really interesting blend of old colonial era buildings with a broad spectrum of modern architecture. We never made it to the wheel, between jetlag and the diversions of celebrating the 21st birthday of Tyler in our group, we splintered back in smaller groups back to the hostel and turned in.
This morning, we loaded onto the bus and made our inaugural trip to the University of Queensland campus (St. Lucia). In addition to some house-keeping orientations and our inaugural lecture for terrestrial ecology (Dr. John Hall is an amazing lecturer, complete with themes, titles, call-backs, and the chilling tale of the drop koala, which drops from trees onto prey and twists its neck to kill it...including humans), we were introduced to the idea of tea-time. I needed the break, as I was feeling a bit dizzy. Having tea and tim-tams on the grass with professors and classmates was marvellous. The day ended with a trans-campus scavenger hunt. We had to find specific locations on campus and document our teams' arrival there with a group photo (cameras provided). Bonus points were available for interesting group photos. The much laughed about photo of my group standing over my twisted form at the bottom of the stairs in the social science library was unfortunately lost since our photographer pressed the wrong button, a fact we didn't notice until we had all walked on. Our team got some good photos (all in possession of the program coordinators, not yours truly) including our hungry eyes lurking over the counter at the pizza place, getting mock-ejected from the campus pub by a surly bouncer, and reenacting the scene from Titanic at the river-taxis. At a certain point, our group reached an unspoken understanding that regardless of the list, we were done.
We made it back to the program office and they escorted us on the public transit back to the hostel. The program provided a Brisbane go-card, which is a money-loaded card you swipe whenever you get on and off a bus, train, or ferry and charges you based on zones. I am quite sure I will get more acquainted with the whole system as my time here progresses.
I need to sort out how to obtain remote access to the UCI science periodical database and now that dinner is over, sort my packing for our first field trip. We leave Wednesday morning for Girraween National Park. Everything we do not need for the trip we can take to campus tomorrow morning and leave in the program office.
When we return from Girraween, we will be moving into our homestay. I am really looking forward to meeting my hostess, and discovering my temporary home-away-from-home in the Bardon suburb of Brisbane. It looks like it will be lovely.
With regard to the drop koala, did you know that there is no entry in the dictionary for the word gullible?