Hello all! It has been a very busy week. My first large assignment was due on Wednesday and I have had such a huge weight lifted off of my chest since it has been turned in. Luckily, the paper was on an interesting topic, Perth City Farm, which I mentioned in a previous blog post. Now that the paper is turned in, it is time to start working on my final paper and presentation for the class, since the end of this class is only two weeks away! Surprisingly, the next paper is shorter and the topic is less specific, which gives me some freedom to write about something regarding sustainability that I feel passionately about.
BUT FIRST, before stressing about another paper I rewarded myself. The paper was due on Wednesday and I did an early submission on Tuesday, allowing me to go out to a bar in Northbridge called Universal Bar on St. Patrick’s day. Two of the girls in my program live with a keyboardist whose band was playing a gig that night, so we all went to support him. Most of my fellow American friends had been drinking since 3pm (while I was finishing my paper), so when I arrived at 8pm for the music and to get a drink to celebrate completing my paper, everyone was wiped out and already ready to hop on the train and head back to the university village. The band was fantastic! Apparently all of the band members besides our pal Matt are Italian and speak hardly any English, so Matt was the spokesperson for the band and introduced all of the songs. He was very grateful that we came to support him. I plan on going back to the bar because they have live music 5 nights a week and I really enjoyed the vibe.
Wednesday was a long day of class. We went to Curtin Uni for morning tea with the PhD students and professors of CUSP before we all headed over to hear the weekly CUSP Seminar, which was lead by Cole Hendrigan who recently obtained his PhD. He shared his work with us and informed us about the benefits of transit in metropolitan areas and what Perth in the future needs to look like in order to accommodate population growth. It was fascinating.Then we had an hour break before sitting in class for three hours. Thankfully, the lecture and tutorial were very interactive. I didn’t have enough coffee on Wednesday so three hours of simply staring at a PowerPoint would have been awful.
Thursday, today, was adventure time! Our class for the day got rescheduled for next week due to conflicts with the professor. I woke up and got ready to go to Bathers beach in Freo, but the clouds rolled in and people were lame and didn’t want to go swim and play in the ocean like I did, so they rescheduled. I was caffeinated and ready to explore, so once my flatmate Meredith was done with class, we decided to go and find Kings Park and walk around Perth for the day. On the left you can see the beautiful view of the city from Kings Park. The park itself is absolutely gorgeous. I didn’t take a picture of the grass areas where people were having picnics and studying for uni, but I plan on taking my work to the park very soon so that I can enjoy some sunshine and fresh air. It was absolutely beautiful.
All around the park are plant species from different regions of Western Australia. We saw plants from Rottnest Island and plants that were brought here specifically from The Kimberly. This is the area in which I finally got to see a boab tree! This was on my list of things to do while in Australia (yes, I know I am a weirdo). They are just so awesome. Boab trees can live up to 1500 years and have SO many different uses. The native Australians consume boab roots because they have heaps of Vitamin C-about 10x more Vitamin C than what is found in oranges. In fact, boab trees are now being grown COMMERCIALLY in The Kimberly. Fascinating, right? The boab nuts are also commonly used in aboriginal art. And last but not least, the oddest boab fact of all: a boab with a circumference of 14 meters was actually once used as a prison in the late 19th century. On the right, I am with a 700+ year old boab tree and below I am hugging a baby boab. I hope to some day be able to see these lovely trees in their natural habitat. I sure hope that I can find a way out to The Kimberly.
Meredith and I stopped and had lunch at a nice restaurant called Dome and were contacted by our friends who told us they were coming into the city for the first night of the Night Noodle Markets in Perth. These events have been hosted in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney, and now they have finally made their way to WA. I ended up getting bbq chicken kebabs and kanin (a pickled papaya dish with rice). It was absolutely wonderful, but it took an HOUR of waiting in line to get it. Luckily, I knew some people in line, which made the wait much easier. It was a wonderful event in the city with music playing and people chatting and enjoying themselves. I am so grateful to be near a city that has so many exciting intercultural events
Tomorrow I look forward to running around and catching up on my reading. Our CUSP group is going on a field trip tomorrow to the Perth Cultural Centre, which ironically is where the Noodle Markets were held. While waiting for the markets to open, I stumbled upon this little wetland feature in the city. It was peaceful to hear water flowing and have a nice patch of reeds and other plants growing near the city centre. After our tour of the Cultural Centre tomorrow, the study abroad group is grabbing burgers and doing a nighttime tour of Fremantle Prison. I have heard that it is scary, so hopefully I make it out alive. I will try to post this weekend after I go and explore some new beaches and national parks!