Quick little side trip

Everything is starting to wrap up now as I’m approaching the end of my exchange at Southern Connecticut State University. I wanted to fit a few more travels in before the end.
To start I met a friend in NYC for a brief overnight break. We managed to go on a river cruise to check out Manhattan from the Hudson and get up near the Statue of Liberty, checked out the Intrepid museum, went to Times Square for the Marvel S.T.A.T.I.O.N. Exhibit and madam Tussard’s wax museum (where we made a video for my team back home for their grand final game) and then headed to Harlem for some gospel church experience and some soul food. We topped the night off with a visit to the top of the (very windy and cold) rock for some pretty night views of NYC. It was all pretty full on, we just went ice skating in Bryant Park the next morning and then for a quick wander around Central Park before I had to skip off back to Connecticut for my last training with the CT rollergirls.
To continue the travel Kate (another Aussie exchange student) and I decided to take a few days over the weekend and head down to Orlando, Florida to Universal Studios & Island of Adventure with the main aim of going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! I went last year whilst on holidays but hadn’t seen the new edition of Diagon Alley so I was pretty excited!
We stayed for 4 nights and had three days at the park drinking butter beer, riding roller coasters and shopping far too much and narrowly avoiding a tornado warning on the way out!
Three things were lost to this trip:
– my favourite sunglasses
– my student ID
– my credit card
So essentially all things I could do without loosing really. The trip was still a massive win and we had a great time so bring on the next one!

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2 weeks down, 1 to go.

“You CAN”T leave!” The most wonderful thing to hear while on placement. I have created some life long memories while in Canada, but by far the memories from placement are right near the top. Every single day I feel so blessed to wake up and teach these students and learn so much from my AT. It has been the best experience! With only 5 days to go I can feel my chest tightening and the resistance to leave. The least I can say is that the next 5 days are going to be magical. For the last week of placement I have managed to arrange for the Canadian students to pen pal with my Australian students from the June placement. I seriously cannot wait to see their faces when I tell them they have mail from Aus. It’s going to be amazing!

Since my last blog, not all that much has occurred. This weekend has been full of preparation and assignment writing, it’s Sunday afternoon and I haven’t left my apartment since Friday. That is a sad realization, 8 more days and I’m free as a bird. 9 more days and Nath will be in Canada, 15 days till our trip to Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec and lucky last, 25 days till Christmas!! Over and over again my life proves to me how blessed I am.

Everyday I reflect on how lucky I am to be here. I know you’ve all read it a trillion times before, but this time last year I was applying to come to Canada. It’s been a whirlwind year, I still recall conversations with people about wanting to come and knowing deep down that they didn’t believe I would go. Every day I cherish this experience. While being here, I feel I’ve really found myself. I’ve proved to myself that I can be independent and I don’t need to rely on other people to live my life the way I want to. I guess it’s a refreshing feeling to have. 

Anyway, short blog this week! I’m off to leave my apartment and walk along the lake!

Love and miss you all!
Miss Greene
xoxoxoxo
(p.s will never, ever, ever get sick of hearing this).

Do want to build a snowman?

Morning everyone!
(this is where you sing song back “good morning Miss Greene haha) I hope everyone is enjoying the heat that Aus is producing right now. I know I’m definitely enjoying the SNOW! Yes you read correctly, snow! Snow in November (apparently it’s rare, not that I’d know). I’m excited over it, the Canadians, not so much. My AT keeps reminding me that I love it because I know I get to leave it, which probably has a little truth to it. Anyway the snow is absolutely magical, it’s really soft and fluffy. It actually feels a lot like sand when you walk on it. The first day it really snowed it was sitting on the tree branches and roof tops so perfectly, it was a breath-taking sight. It does look really pretty, but there have also been times where I’ve nearly rolled my ankle because of it. Because there’s been a fair bit, you can no longer see the footpath and don’t know where the edge is and I’ve kind of slipped off it a few times. Nothing too major!

Stacey and I went to Niagara Falls last weekend for a weekend away before placement started! It was definitely a much-needed rest! We left Thursday morning and came back Saturday afternoon! This time we got to experienced Clifton Hill, which is a really cool street that’s filled with sideshow games and places like Ripley’s believe it or not, wax museums and mini golf. We also did a bit of shopping at the outlet malls and touristy souvenir shops. And my favourite, dinner up the Skylon Tower that overlooked Niagara Falls. It was yet another wonderful experience in Canada, Niagara Falls twice!

Anyway, another exciting experience has begun, my 3 week placement. One of the major reasons I’m here! First week is done and dusted 😦 It kind of breaks my heart knowing I only have 10 days left with these amazing kids. They’re so wonderful, they really are! My first week was eventful, to say the least. Teachers are so much more than just people who teach children English and Math. This week alone I’ve become a mediator, a friend, a nurse, a tailor and probably a lot more to come. It has been a wake up call and a reassurance, not that I didn’t know it before, but it’s a demanding job. There is constantly things to be doing. You really need to find a cut off-line I guess, know when you need to stop and take a break. The reassuring part is knowing that yes this is going to be hard, but it’s definitely what I want to do. This placement has completely reinforced that teaching is what I want to do.

On a less intense note, Nath donated some AFL footballs for me to bring over to Canada and I taught a PE lesson with them. The funniest thing to see grade 2/3s try to bounce them like normal balls. They couldn’t understand why they bounced in different directions. We focused on handballing, they kind of got it, but a little more practice is necessary. Oh and I also had a child throw up during one of my lessons, interesting experience. I forgot that children get sick like that, it was definitely shocking and smelt awful but we just carried on while the janitor swept it up like it was dirt haha

Oh and lucky last, Nathans here in 16 days and it’s only 5 weeks till Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year!! Christmas in America and now Christmas in Canada! Pretty blessed with where my life has taken me!

Love and miss you!
Jess

xoxo

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Niagara Falls

3 girls

Bec Stace and Jess

Snow

Picture Perfect

What Calum’s been up to.

Sorry for the late update! I guess I’ve been having too much fun in Canada… Since arriving in Thunder Bay I’ve had the most fun, entertaining and eye-opening time. At first when Jack and I arrived things seemed a bit backwards and the city was pretty quiet, but that was only because Uni hadn’t returned yet and students were still arriving. In that way its very similar to CSU Bathurst back home, where the City really revolves around and relies on the student population.

I was unsure how easy it would be to meet people here and then what they would be like. jack and I are not in the same residence but we found this was a positive thing. It let us meet each others roommates and since then we’ve all become good mates. By chance a guy I met in Croatia prior to coming to Canada goes to Uni here and we’ve become good mates since. His family even invited us to their home for thanksgiving dinner which was a great experience. We got to eat a classic turkey dinner with plenty of stuffing, as well as a fair share of wine and beer. It was a perfect way to gain some more knowledge of Thunder Bay as well as the chance to have a contact for future travels. Myself, Jack and Rachel have been lucky enough to make a good group of friends here and with them have already travelled around both Thunder Bay and the States. Not long ago we went on a road trip to Minneapolis in the US for a concert which was unreal. We saw some amazing scenery on the way there as we drove around Lake Superior (the largest body of fresh water in the world) and then the different scenery as we entered the US. It’s starting to snow here which is exciting (not so much for the Canadians apparently). We’re also in the process of organising a ski trip with the snowfields and slopes only a short drive away. We’re starting to realise that its a shame we’re not staying for the entire year as we’re just getting to really know the people and the area well. If it was possible for me to continue for the rest of the year I definitely wouldn’t hesitate to.

Until next time ! Calum

Cardiff, Wales

Hi there!!

It has been a very very busy past few week since my last post. I know that everybody says that, and that they only find a little bit of time to keep blogging. However, I am glad I have been really busy with travels and studying. I promise though I will keep posting about all the major things I do, even if they are a few weeks late.

Going back a few weeks to the 23rd October. I had an exam in Cardiff that was sent from my home university. It was a law exam and so I spent a lot of time hiding in my room studying. As a reward I decided to spend a few extra days in Cardiff, because that was where my exam was located. These two days were a lot of fun!! I decided to see my first ever castle (YES my first). The castle was Cardiff castle.

Cardiff Castle

The castle is about 2000 years old! It was first built as a fort by the Romans. Remains of one of the Roman walls is still able to be seen. Several years later after the conquest by the Normans, the castle was built over the site of the Roman fort. It then got passed to different families throughout the years before being given as a gift to the city.

The day was a bit wet. However, I still managed to take many photos 😀

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The remains of the Roman Wall

The remains of the Roman Wall

After visiting the Castle, I then had to go to the Doctor Who Exhibition!!
I am a fan of the show, and I have a good friend who is probably the biggest fan. I knew that if I went I would have to get him a present 😀

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The next post I will make is of my International Trip to North Wales.
Cya later
Joe 😀

I still can’t believe I’m here!

It happens on random occasions. When I’m in the shower, sitting on the bus or attending a boat cruise in Toronto. I’m in Canada, completing an exchange experience that I have wanted to do for so long. I’m in another country experiencing something I know I’ll look back on in 10 years and feel excitement for. I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE I’M IN CANADA! Although I have been here for almost 3 months!

3 months without Nath, my family, my friends, my old puppies and my new baby Butters. I cannot believe how quickly time is flying by. It’s ridiculous! Not next week but the following I’ll be on my 3 week block and then I’m done studying for the year! It’s a bittersweet feeling. I don’t want it to end, but at the same time I’m so excited to explore. Especially with my partner in crime! 32 days and Nath will finally be here! I cannot believe it’s already been 85 since I left. It went fast but at the same time, really slow. Anyway, 32 days and I’ll be free to explore more of Canada and eventually head over to the states to hit up New York, Florida, Las Vegas and Los Angeles! But anyway, back to the present and what I’ve been doing since I posted last.

It has started to get cold, like Australian winter cold. And while I think it’s freezing, the Canadians keep reminding me it’s only going to get worse. Although I don’t mind, because I want to see snow and test out my new, but expensive, coat!

Recently I got to catch up with my oldest friend Miss Kasey Little while she visited Canada! How amazing that we got to have dinner half way around the world together! And did I mention it was up the CN Tower? So I met Georgia and Kase in Toronto and we spent Kasey’s last full day together. Exploring the Ripley’s Aquarium, shopping at Eaton Center and having a 3 course meal at the restaurant in the CN Tower. It was a pretty wonderful day, one that I’ll cherish for a lifetime!

What else, hmm HALLOWEEN!! Never have I ever had so much fun celebrating this day, maybe because I never really celebrated it before?? Anyway, in the morning I went to my placement school and saw all the students dressed up in their costumes! So many Elsa’s!! The kids were so excited for this day, they had been talking about it since thanks giving and were so excited for the whole week prior! After the parade around the school, I dressed as Cinderella for this, I went back home and got ready for Toronto! My good friend Chantal picked me, Stacey and Bec up from our apartment and we headed for Toronto. During the week people were saying it was forecast to snow on Friday night, but I couldn’t believe it. Stacey and I dressed up as a devil and an angel, we wore dresses but compared to other people, we were over dressed. Ever seen mean girls and Halloween is where they dress in lingerie and wear animal ears?? Literally what some people were wearing. Underwear and that is all. Keep in mind it was out on a boat and it was snowing. By 2am when the boat docked I was so tired and fairly cold, but once I stepped off that dock, never have I ever appreciated warmth so much! It was freezing and we were standing in it for at least 20 minutes trying to find a taxi. It was coldness I have never ever experienced, it was snowing and I was dressed in a jumpsuit. Not a good match. Eventually we found a cab that made us pay a $35 tip just to unlock the doors. At this stage I would have given him more, my legs and feet have never felt so numb and achy before. We eventually got to where we were staying and had to stand in a huddle until the owners came home to unlock the door. It was a fairly fantastic night, even with the numbness.

Yesterday was Stacey’s Canadian birthday so we went out for dinner and will continue to celebrate at our first ever ice hockey game on Friday night!

Other than that not much else has happened. The scenery is slowly starting to turn grey and stick like, all the pretty leaves are falling and winter is fast approaching! Well it feels like it for me anyway.

Talk soon!
Jess
xoxoxoxo

CN Tower

CN Tower

Halloween night - Snow

Snow in my hair

Halloween - Boat Cruise

Halloween on a boat cruise! An Angel and a Corpse Bride

WASHINGTON D.C!!!

Tuesday November 4th 2014

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The Saturday just gone Ashlee and myself and many other students went to Washington D.C for the day! After an eventful and busy Halloween we had to get up around 5:30 am as the bus was leaving at 6:30 am.

Ashlee and I slept most of the way to Washington D.C which is about a 5 hour drive from Mansfield. I went to Washington D.C 5 years year ago with my family so i luckily had done most of the museums and monuments before however I was more than happy to spend at least one day in Washington D.C as it one of my favorite places in the world!

We arrive at about 11:30 am in Washington D.C and the first thing we do is go straight to the Pentagon mall as Ashlee needed to get some winter clothes. We took the metro to the mall which was about a 30 minute trip and left the mall around 3 pm.

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Then we went back to do touristy things  such as we walked past the Washington Monument in which Ashlee calls the pencil. Took the typical tourist photos of course.

We then walked up to the White House which the last time I went to the gates of the White House it poured down with rain so it was nice this time not having it rain!

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After that Ashlee and I decided that we wanted to go into a museum so we went into the Smithsonian museum of natural history which was pretty interesting the only sucky part was that it closed at 5:30 pm and we got there at 5..

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We then decided to sit at Starbucks  for about an  hour an a half as we were extremely tired from the night before and it was bloody freezing outside.

We left Washington D.C around 8 pm that night to head back to Mansfield in which we didn’t get back until after 1 am. However it was  a pretty good day after all!

some facts about Washington D.C!

Washington D.C is the capitol of the United States

It is the 23rd most populous city in the United States

Tourist attractions include

The Washington Monument

The capitol Building

Smithsonian museums

the White House

Lincoln Memorial

National Mall

Washington D.C sits between the states of Virginia and Maryland

It is a relatively large city in which you can not see everything all in one day or even in a few days!

Hopefully I will go back to Washington D.C sometime in the near future 🙂

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Keep posted for my future blogs

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