Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Gudbye Whitefellas!

This will likely be my last entry for a month. It will also likely be a disjointed and short entry, as I'm using an Internet connection that you'd have to find a time machine to experience in North America. (Seriously, I feel like I'm using dial-up circa 1995. But I'm surrounded by masks and some harpoon-y objects, as well as custom mats*, so I guess it's all good.) My logic on the lack of blog entries is that I'm saving my stories for coffees and late night wine drinking sessions when I come home. I all know you would prefer that anyway.

On Saturday after hiking into the boonies of the suburbs of Sydney and showing up 1/2 an hour late, we met the Australian challengers, and the rest of the Canadian challengers, bringing our group number to 18. The day was filled with a lot of bureaucratic necessity, and therefore not worth writing about.

We arrived to Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu on Monday. We were easily the most popular passengers on the plane, and I think our excitement was obvious. (I think the fact that I started doing "the wave" as soon as we saw Efate Island might have given our excitement away.) We were driven in a van to the Scout-Hole, which is our very glamourous accomodations for the week, and I spent the next half hour attempting to put up my mosquito net properly.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Edmonton may have riots, but Sydney has football.

I awoke at 5 a.m. this morning to screaming.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" and "NOOOO!!!!" and finally, the always classic, "GET IT IN THERE!"

I sprung up in bed, terrified, trying to get my bearings. After remembering what hemisphere I was in, I gathered my wits enough to think to myself, "We're being broken into!"

But then I heard another yell. "C'mon mate, you can do it!"

Suddenly, it all became clear; Chloe's roomate had woken up at 4 a.m. to make sure he didn't miss a moment of the Croatia vs. Australia football game. Awesome.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Snow Snorkelling

"Do you live under the snow?"

"No. Just because it's cold doesn't mean there necessarily a lot of snow."

"How cold does it get?"

"In my hometown it can get as cold as minus 40 degrees."

"But, then. . . how do you get water!?"

The 7 a.m. drive from the airport to Chloe's house was a funny one to say the least.

I'm alive and well in Sydney, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. (Bushy-tailed indeed, a product of the humidity.)

And now, my time at the Internet cafe is up.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Greenwich Time Line has nothing on me

After a final trip to Mountain Equipment Co-op to pick up some last minute items (a sleep sheet, because I ran out of time to sew a sheet together before I left Toronto, and a compressible travel pillow) my bags are packed and I'm ready to go.

I find it both terrifying and powerful that my entire life for the next three months (or, if you want to get exact like my mom insists, the next 2 months and 3 weeks) can fit into a bag that is smaller than Courtney's biggest purse.

Whenever I leave for some place, I feel like it should be some sort of monumental event. Like, I feel like I should be mentally preparing myself and thinking horribly cliched thoughts like, "This is the first day of the rest of my life," and scribbling them furiously into my journal.

Monday, June 19, 2006

We're both on my vacation. Mine's just better.

The soles of my feet are cracked, dry, and covered with a thick coat of dirt. Every morning I've been woken up much too early, sticky with sweat and my hair in a tangled mass. I need to do laundry and take a long shower. I can't remember the last time I've eaten a home-cooked meal, and each morning is started with a empty search for a satisfying and nutritious breakfast.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Go a Little Further

“Here’s the double-sized one,” said the clerk at the travel adventure store, “it fits comfortably over two people or two-sleeping bags.”

His gaze was directed at the spreader-type treated mosquito net for malaria-ridden countries.

“Um, but I’m only one person,” I pointed out with a laugh.

“Well, you never know. . .” he trailed off, suggestively grinning at me.

Parasites are sexier than malaria, I thought silently to myself before telling him, “We’re not allowed to fool around with anyone. It’s against the rules.”

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