marianne's musings

Monday, February 19, 2007

life in sydney

Ok, so it's been a little while and so much as happened since the last time i blogged. I'm still learning my way around the greater Sydney area and about life in Australia, but I am getting my head around a bit of it. So far, I am enjoying life here. Work has been fairly consuming, the students arriving last week, on Wednesday, and the three day orientation that followed. The students are great, and I truly enjoy having them here. My job has an entirely different feel when they are here...i love it. We have 25 students from all over the United States, their schools being a part of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, except for one student from Notre Dame. Oh, and there is one student from Kokomo. She graduated from Northwestern High school. I look forward to the semester ahead and the transformation and growth I know I will have a chance to see within students!

Back to life in Australia. You might wonder what I would have to adjust to...they speak english least, some form or it...and they have a history of British colonization (like we once did)... and i don't know, there are other things I think most of us assume would be the same. Actually, there are many similarities, but there are also many differences and many of them subtle, which can make learning them even more difficult. All this to say, I am enjoying learning all the differences and similarities, and I hope to grow and change in new and positive ways.

One difference...indoors and outdoors...what's indoors is outdoors and what's outdoors is indoors. yes, some places have screens, but way use them when you can just leave everything wide open. when there is a large lizard living under your long as it's not bothering's all good, no worries.

One similarity...commercially speaking, they have quite a few american businesses and, kmart, mcdonalds (of course), kfc, etc. and they have many american tv shows. yes, i can feed my heroes, grey's anatomy, and ugly betty addictions!

One misconception made by people when it comes to the make up of Australia's population, in particular, Sydney's population is that apart from aboriginal peoples, all australians are caucasian. Australia has one of the highest (maybe the highest) rates of immigration. Sydney is an exceptionally diverse city, including all sorts of nationalities and ethnic backgrounds...i love it!

Ok, so some of you know that one of my major tasks upon arrival (not including figuring out my new job, dynamics with my boss, and general life in australia) was to find a place to live. my first attempt was disasterous...i moved in with a woman into witchcraft and wica. i moved in in the morning and moved out later in the evening...oops. so my second attempt at trying to find a share...that's what they call finding a roommate...was begun with a bit of apprehension and even more prayer. i am happy to say, last weekend i moved into a place. i share a house with erich and his dog wolf. wolf is a german shepherd...very well behaved, but very protective. erich, is first generation australian, his parents were from germany. he works for himself, in building/construction, and is very nice. he is into cycling and healthy very good influence. the house is situated on a little bay of the parramatta river...the river that flows from and is connected with sydney harbor and the ocean (check out your maps). the main floor ends with a balcony overlooking the water, which faces east (great sunrises). my room is on the main floor, along with the kitchen, den/study, family room, and bathroom. Erich's room is in the basement, which is a walkout. The area is nice and quite... about 30 minutes from the city by bus or by ferry, and about 15 minute walk from my house to work. part of the walk is along a path around the water that everyone goes on for exercise.

Outside of work and students, I have made one friend through Royal Benjamin at YFC (thank you!), and one friend through my housing search. i have also begun to look for a church. we'll see where i end up. I am excited to get to know people and explore my new home. Of course, there are definitely times when i miss you all and rough spots in the transition, but I know God has brought me here for a reason(s) and I am excited to learn what those are.