Final Week in Brisbane, per se

We have a busy week ahead of us. We have our research papers due Tuesday. We have an exam on Thursday. Friday we have another writing assignment and three urban wildlife observations due. Our Monday and Tuesday lectures were pushed earlier into the morning due to a scheduling conflict.

On top of it, this is our final week of homestays. This weekend, we move out of homestay and back into the backpacker's hostel for a night before we truck off to Carnarvon Gorge next week.

The general sense of the group is one of gentle panic, as we realize how little time we have left. At the same time, we are in Australia for another month. That, however, seems lost on everyone. We all talk as if our time here is finished. Some of the talk almost seems to reflect a loss of understanding about object permanence. Almost as if we were babies, we are acting as though UQ, Brisbane, all these lovely people, even the entire continent of Australia will cease to exist once we are no longer here. It's as if our presence gives this place life and meaning. I must look for means to force some consideration out me to counter-act all this self-absorption. It's hard being the centre of the universe...

One thing it has done is encouraged some of us to really use the weekends to explore a little more of Brisbane. Mia and I were doing it the weekend before, and we continued so this last one.

I finally made it to the one meeting held in my suburb each week. Every time I tried to find it before I would get lost, but this last Friday I made it. It was a terrific group, even though they meet downstairs from a dance studio, and hearing people share over the din of a tap class can be a bit rough.

Heather and my roommate Andrew left town for the weekend. This meant I had the house to myself. Oh how easily I get used to being on my own, and how hard it becomes to re-train myself to close the door when using the toilet and not stroll around the house naked!

Fortunately, I had Erin, Leah, and Mia come over for breakfast on Saturday. Then, we took advantage of the hiking trails on Mt. Coot-tha that start right at the end of my street. It was a beautiful day out, even if the dry weather was such where Simpson falls was pretty fall-less.

Leah on the trail

Mia and Leah, looking fierce

Erin making faces

We were out in the woods, and yet the city was not so far away.

The ladies bridge club

Take it in: Simpson Falls!

naptime on the bridge

Lovely hive

Peacocks have moved into the neighborhood

Afterward, we had lunch and met up with Alissa for some thrifting. There is an amazing op-shop in Rosalie Village that we enjoy. There is a bargain room that we turn into our own little theatre/changing room. Needless to say, we had a great time.

Such tomfoolery.

Anyways, the week was a busy one. We had our research write-ups due Tuesday, as well as our final lectures for Marine Biology, covering the impediments to and progress made in making aquaculture sustainable and reproductive strategies of reef fish. We had a study day, and then our last exam was on Thursday. It was nice to have that done.

After my exam, I got to meet with Dr. Berndt van Reesburg, a UQ professor who hails from South Africa. He was kind enough to meet with me to discuss my upcoming term in Cape Town, give me pointers about travel there, and ultimately fulfill the UCI requirement that I interview someone in lieu of a country orientation. I am very grateful for his acquaintance and input.

Friday found us with a double-whammy Terrestrial Ecology lecture that was intensely emotional. It is difficult in that field, as you always end up on the note that human society, as it stands, is just not sustainable. You often leave feeling as though you are horrible monster just for being a human being. Dr. John did a good job of infusing hope for a brighter outcome into his lecture, but it can be difficult. Many were crying. Being the emotionally stunted beast I am, I did not...and felt bad for it. I took my lunch down to the lake, and contemplated some of the animals around there for a while before making my way home.

I made my meeting tonight. Heather and Andrew picked me up. We went out for dinner at a Punjabi restaurant, which was fantastic. While the chicken tikka was sweeter than it should be, contextually it made a nice complement to the intense heat of the korma. We stuffed ourselves on this, adding ridiculously good garlic or date/nut naan.  Afterward, the three of us went up to Kangaroo Point to see the nighttime city skyline. It was beautiful.

Andrew and Heather

The gorgeous cliffs

Andrew and the view. A boy enchanted

This weekend will be full with Terrestrial Ecology writing assignments, laundry, packing, seeing a couple friends, a couple special meals with various people, and then moving back to the Backpacker's Hostel.

Monday we leave for Carnarvon Gorge.