Saturday, May 27, 2006

You can kiss...



Ha ha! Just couldn't resist that one.
Yass is a town just a few miles north of Canberra.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Neglected

Oh, my poor neglected blog. Not to mention my husband and my house...
I've been plodding away on all of my essays and presentations and it all should be done by about the second week of June. Then we are taking a well deserved holiday. Other students at uni keep commenting on the excessive amount of work we seem to have in my department. I love it though; it's all fascinating. Though sometimes it's hard to remember that I'm here to learn and not just to pump out work for the sake of work. When I focus on that, it's all much more enjoyable.

Anyone heard of Google Trends? It's at http://www.google.com/trends and you can put in a search word and see where in the world that word is searched for the most. So if you type in "sustainability" you will find that Canberra, Australia is the number two city in the world for the most searches on "sustainability." Crazy eh? As I'm writing a major research essay on the need to incorporate the concepts of sustainability into our educational systems (all levels of course, but I'm focusing on Education for Sustainability in the university), I like to think that I have a small part to play in that :) Melbourne is the number one city and a US city doesn't even show up until number eight. Any guesses? Answer at the bottom.

Went to a very nice Rotary lunch the other day with the scholars in the area and our host counselors. Quite nice. My host is off to the US and Canada for a two month holiday with his wife. They've just retired and are busy remodeling the house and traveling. Lovely people.

Oh, and to answer the question from Janet's blog comment...no, I have not yet said that I'm from Canada.

We've now set up web conferencing so we've been able to chat with family at home. Brian's family had a reunion and we of course couldn't make it so we set up the web conferencing and I even "met" some of his cousins for the first time. And we got to play virtual peek-a-boo and blow virtual kisses to my year and a half old niece...so cute!

A: Portland, OR.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Bike Friday Canberra

We went on our first Bike Friday group ride this weekend. First ever and first in Australia. Quite nice. Though we did manage to cover a little distance (55 km on Saturday and 35 km on Sunday), it was mostly some peddling between coffee stops and sightseeing. And though it rarely rains here, we had to set off in a downpour on Saturday morning. Glad we didn't talk ourselves out of it though as we saw some new parts of Canberra and got to know some local cyclists. And the sun was out by early afternoon. Hopefully there will be some photos of this soon.

I've noticed a funny thing. It's fairly obvious that I'm either from Canada or the states, but no Australians ever ask if I'm from the US. They always ask if I'm from Canada, assuming that I won't be offended if I'm an American. It seems they think a Canadian, on the other hand, might not like to be confused with an American. I take my fair share of good natured criticism as "the American" but rather enjoy being able to add my perspectives. Australians are pretty well aware of world events...they are certainly more aware of what's going on in the US than Americans are of what's happening in Australia. How many of you knew that in 2003 massive bushfires raged through the capital, destroying hundreds of homes on the outskirts of the city? I think the whole world would have known had Washington been on fire. For that matter, how many of you knew what city is the capital of Australia (before I came here anyway)?

Anyway, here's an interesting bit on the bushfires if you're interested in further reading. Damage is still visible everywhere once you leave the city, mostly in charred trees.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canberra_bushfires_of_2003

Have a great week!