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Ashlee's Australia Adventure

The Ooraminna Bush Camp

Sunday, May 31, 2009

What a day! When we first arrived at the Ooraminna we had some lunch. After lunch we learned how to make bread because I got to get my hands dirty with flour. We first mixed flour and water together and stirred it till it got doughy. Then we each took turns kneading the dough. Kneading the dough mixes the ingredients together. After the bread we were split into two groups. The first thing my group did was learn how to crack a whip. The flick of the wrist is all you need to get the right sound. It took me a while to get it but after a couple of times I finally got the right sound. I was thinking about it as whipping my brother when he is annoying. I also hit myself in the back with it which wasn't a pleasant feeling. The next thing we did was learn how to make a swag where we were going to sleep. Making the swag reminded me of making my bed in the morning. It contained a foam mattress and sheets and a sleeping bag. One thing that I did not know and was surprised about was that the less layers you wear the warmer you are. The Ooraminna was 150 thousand acres! Most of the land was red dirt and trees. The red dirt got all over everything!!

After the swags we had dinner and learned about space and the night sky. I was very surprised that the stars are not white they are actually red or blue or sometimes a yellow color. I also was surprised that the stars that are red are cooler and the blue ones are hotter. Meteor happen to be about the size of a grain of rice. I would have guessed at least the size of a basketball. At the end of the day we climbed to our swags and slept through the cold night. Unfortunately we didn't slept under the stars but we did slept outside. That's it for now, c ya!

The Interesting Day

Friday, May 29, 2009

Day 3 started off at the Healesville Sanctuary. First thing that we did was visit a sugar glider. The average age that a sugar glider lives is around 5 years old. The glider we visited was 10 years old! I was surprised about the age because I thought they would live longer. It kind of sad that they die so young. We also got to touch the sugar glider's fur. It was very soft compared to other fur I have touched. We also got to touch the skin of a snake, unlike the sugar glider the snake's skin was warm. The next thing we got to do is watch a kangaroo autopsy. The smell was horrible. I don't think I have smelled anything as bad as that. Even though the smell was bad I still liked watching it because I have never anything like that before. I did learn that the spleen is shaped like a t shape and that is only in a marsupial. My favorite part of the day was the last thing which was the bird show. We got to see the wedged tailed eagle. It is the largest bird in Australia. The bird that I liked was the Black Breasted Buzzard. I liked that bird because it cracked an emu egg open by dropping a rock on the egg. The reason I liked the bird so much is because it was so funny watching this creature use a rock to crack an egg open This is the one way they can find food in the wild.

To wrap up an exciting day we did some shopping! I was very excited about this because I absolutely love shopping. The shopping wasn't what I expected. I thought we were going into stores but instead it was all outside. It was fun walking around and being in the fresh air. I have to say one thing that was really hard about the shopping trip was shopping for my older brother. In the end I bought some cute things. It was a good way to end the day for an early morning tomorrow. C ya!

We Finally Made It

Thursday, May 28, 2009

WOW! The first day of this amazing trip was filled with many fun things. Once we got off the airplane in LAX we had to run from one side of the airport to the other to make our flight. We made it with just minutes to spare. The flight to Aussi was long and boring. Sitting there for 14 hours isn’t exactly what I would call fun. As we arrived into Australia so many things were going through my mind. We were actually in Australia, it was crazy. When we got off the airport and went to luggage unfortunately our luggage hadn’t made it through. But that wasn’t going to ruin our first day. We left the airport and we went straight to Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation.

The first thing we did was have some lunch. Then a worker brought out a live snake. We each got to hold the snake if we would like to. Then we made a habitat for a wombat. We made it out of branches and more dirt. While everyone was digging up dirt, I got to feed a wallaby. It was so adorable. Next we had some lunch. Then it was off to pull weeds but, it was raining so much instead we learned about the food that they feed the animals. The worker took out worms that they feed some of the animals. I was so grossed out that I didn’t even want to touch them. But I actually up eating two worms!!! YUMMM! It didn’t really taste like much. After that we learned about frogs and the different things that are running them into extinction. Frogs eat cockroaches and well so do I now. I was the only one that ate a cockroach. DOUBLE YUMM!! It was very gross but it didn’t taste like anything either. I think I am done eating bugs. At the end of the day we finished with some delicious dinner and a night hike learning about nocturnal animals. The first day was amazing, I learned so much and I got to try some once and a life time things. The day started off a great trip. C ya.

A Day in the Rain Forest

(Tonight’s blog post was a group effort. All students collaborated to create the post.)

There was a spiral road that never seemed to end. After three hours on the bus, one of our teachers even got sick. (And no – it was not Mrs. Jensen.) On the way to the rain forest we got to see our first wild koalas in the trees along side the road.

After arriving at Otway Fly, it was fun getting our hands dirty as we each planted two trees, one Myrtle Beech and one Mountain Ash.

The Mountain Ash tree is the second largest tree in the world. It can grow up to 150 meters in height. You can tell how old a Mountain Ash tree is by measuring its diameter at about chest high. For every centimeter it is one year old.

The moss grows on the south side of the trees because it avoids the sunlight. This was surprising to us because back home it grows on the north side of trees.

Some of the trees in the rainforest are shaped like a boomerang because another tree has blocked its sunlight. It curves to find the sunlight. This movement of the tree was interesting. The aborigines would make their own tools out of trees, mollusk and kangaroo tail.

We also learned that there are lots of threats to the rainforest including people cutting trees. In just one minute about 10 regular-sized football fields of Amazon rain forest is cut down. Realizing how much forest this actually is, it seems that it could all be destroyed in a matter of years. Without our rainforest, we would have less oxygen and water…both are necessary for life. Yesterday we learned about many endangered frogs. They are endangered because their habitat is being destroyed, due to deforestation.

We walked up the Otway Fly, which was 47 meters high. We got to see a great view of the rain forest below. The rain forest gets 2 meters of rainfall a year. While in the rain forest we got to drink some of the fresh creek water. We were surprised at how clean this water was.

Our second day in Australia was successful. Although it was raining most of our time in the “rain forest” we were still able to soak up some great information along with all the water.

Australia a Dream Come True

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I am so excited for this trip. Like no joke. I have wanted to go to Australia since 5th grade. When parents told me I was going they asked me if I wanted to anywhere in the world where would it be and I said Australia. Then they told me I was going. This is truly a dream come true for me. I cannot wait for the zip line. I have only been on a zip line once and I had so much fun. So the zip line is one thing I am most excited for. Another thing I am excited about is snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. It just sounds like so much fun to swim with the fishes. A thing I am nervous about is spending the night in the aquarium. I am a little afraid that the glass will break and the sharks will eat me. I am really speechless on going on this trip. It's coming so quick. I am also looking forward to just listening to people talk in Australia. I absolutely love their accents. Thats all I got for now. c ya! 

Essential Programs Details

Duration 14 days
When May 25th - June 7th, 2009
Focus Marine Biology
Aboriginal Culture