I hated being one and then decided to spend my life teaching them and being surrounded by them on a daily basis…a LOT of people ask ‘why’?!
It’s difficult to explain, and I don’t know what it says about me, but, I just get them. Yes they can be gross. Yes they can be rude. But what a lot of people don’t see is that most of them are amazing. I’ve had my run in with some very unpleasant, rude, mean spirited and sly teens (and I’m positive I have had dealings with their future grown up selves) but when you look deep inside, and really get to know them, teenagers are inspiring. They are dealing with an incredible amount of pressure and are still trying to develop emotionally…it is the time in their lives where their adult coping skills are being developed while at the same time having to deal with their still present internal little kid. I have the greatest respect for the struggle they face on a daily basis.
Just over a month ago, I had the pleasure of joining my homeroom year 9 group on their camp. (In Australia each year group goes on a camp for a few days during the year…I LOVE this idea and wish we did this at home but due to numbers it’s near impossible). It was an intense week (16km canoe, 20km hike and a 50km bike ride) and there was whinging and some not-so-shining-stars…but I came away completely inspired by my group of eighteen 14 year olds. They were challenged both physically and mentally but they came together as a group and made it through…and as an outcome, a much stronger group because of it.
I am so incredibly happy that I got to experience Australian camp and even more so because I got to experience it with so many outstanding human beings.
Wow it’s been way too long and so much has happened!
I am currently on my first round of school holidays and have some time to sit down at my computer and share some of the adventures I have been on. Way too many for one post so I will post a few times this week to space them out!
Rewind in time to over a month ago and that’s where I’ll begin. It was Labour Day weekend here in Australia and I had a long weekend ahead so Simon and I planned a little road trip to a place I wanted to get to the first time around but never got there: Philip Island.
We packed up and hit the road after work on Friday (March 7th) and drove down to the Island. We pulled into the little town of Cowes around 10pm and headed to his family’s holiday house where we would be staying the weekend. It had been a long day so we made it an early night to bed and planned for our exploration to take place the next morning.
I was up just before the sun and headed down to the beach for a little solitary explore and as soon as I stepped outside it felt like I was back home…that it was the middle of July and I was walking down to the beach at Sauble to chill out. It was eerily familiar…I don’t think I have ever felt so much at home in an unknown town during all of my travels….that feeling will never leave me.
Saturday: woke up, went for a walk, explored the island, went out to The Nobbies, got tickets to see the little Penguins later that night, ticket entrance to Churchill Island Farm, explored around there for sometime, also picked up tickets to a koala conservation and saw some sleepy Koalas…headed back to town, changed, went to a very cool art/food festival and had something to eat then headed back out to watch the Penguin Parade. At the Penguin Parade you are not allowed to take any photographs and I was such a good girl so I sadly have no personal record (except in my brain) of what I saw, but let me tell you this…it was freakin’ super cute! These little foot high penguins come out of the ocean, on to the beach in little groups and wait for a few more, then a few more, until they feel confident enough to walk up from the shore to their little nesting grounds in the hills of the conservation area…was I silently running a commentary of their little conversations to each other while getting out of the water, getting washed back in to the water and during their climb?? uh…YA (also it may not have been so silent…) Since I couldn’t take any pictures here is a little video about the Parade: Penguin Parade
Sunday: up early again, walk, trip into town for some shopping, trip to the beach close to us…saw some (100’s) of crabs come up from under the sand, had lunch, went to a surfing beach…tried to bodysurf in a bathing suit not made for body surfing…while catching a wave I got caught up in it and it grabbed (yes, the wave had hands and grabbed me) my feet and proceeded to pull them up backwards, over my back, then head, forcing me into an underwater backwards somersault manoeuvre …a boob may have popped out…I was finished with body-surfing. Back to the house, dinner out and back to chill.
Monday: early wake up, walk, packed, clean the house, visited with family, headed off with one last stop to see Pelicans being fed. Pretty cool and got to see a sting ray in the water afterwards as well!
It was a wonderful weekend away and the perfect start to what turned out to be one incredibly busy month ahead!!!
Next stop: A special birthday dinner and a week with eighteen 14 year olds!
My friend and I packed up and went for a drive Saturday morning and we headed to a small town in central Victoria for some hiking…or ‘bush walking’.
We wanted to get to a place called Hanging Rock but upon arriving the park ranger was turning people away as he was closing up early due to weather conditions…the dry, hot temperatures (at or above 40 for pretty much the entire time I’ve been out here) had cause a total fire ban for the state and was great cause for concern for that particular park. He was helpful though and directed us to another park that was open so off we went…staying cautious of the conditions.
We explored a very nice wooded area (with a very short walk) near Mount Macedon and then had a lovely drive through the town named the same. Still wondering where to get in another hike, we eventually found the Camel’s Hump and proceeded on a short, but very steep, hike up to the top. We were about 1km up and the view was amazing!!
We continued to explore in the park and found Memorial Cross which has a strong history as a monument to a fallen solider in WWI. Very beautiful location with another gorgeous view.
After exploring and cleaning up we headed off to dinner in the tiny town of Macedon and ate at a local restaurant called Olive Jones and had a very entertaining night! When we were getting out of the car we heard live music and decided, even with the heat, we would sit outside in the garden to listen to the music…well it turned out the music was a one man karaoke singer who enjoyed his own jokes and dancing like a fool to his singing. Simon and I made a pact…”no eye contact”!! It was funny and a good night all around….even if it did take 2 hours to order, eat and pay!
It was an excellent start to my adventure here and I am looking forward to many other road trips and trips in general!