Wednesday, November 28

From a group email... (multitasking!)

For those who are interested, I'm just about finished my time with mycousins (mum's cousin Philip and family Jenifer and David), andtomorrow I head back to New York. I've had a great time down here. Itstarted off well with Thanksgiving Dinner the minute I got off thetrain - turkey and all. I had a nice mix of some quieter days, sortingout my time adjustment and so on, hanging out and playing computergames with David (mostly Civilisation IV) as well as heading intoWashingtong DC and seeing the sights.

One day we went to the museum ofHealth and Disease at an army base - some interesting bits and pieces,from civil war days to cutting edge M2A camera pills - they go frommouth to anus!! We spent a good few hours at the International SpyMuseum - being given an identity, learning the tricks of the trade,and then being tested on our identity and mission. There were somecool gadgets - cameras, guns, recorders etc.On Sunday, our sailing plans fell through and although Philip andJenifer decided to buy some kiyaks, we decided it wasn't the weatherto test them. We did make it over to the Annapolis Naval Base for awander - famous this week for Bush and his token Peace Talks!Then I spent the last 2 days in Washington DC itself looking in someof the Smithsonian Institute museums. They're all free, and huge. I looked at lots of art - at Hirshorn Sculpture Museum, also a quick look in the Air and Space Museum and also the Treasures of American History temporarily in there -Dorothy's shoes, R2D2, C3P0, famous peoples hats, dresses, walking sticks, and Einsteins pipe. I also went to the National Gallery of Art- yesterday and today! It was huge as well - there were some goodspecial exhibits on including Edward Hopper who is a clever Americanartist. Also snapshots of American photography over the last 100years, and an exhibition about African American photographyparticularly of people that resisted opression.

Anyway, lots of fun, and it was good to stay with my cousins for awhile. Tomorrow I'm up early for the train so its time for me to pack!Its been surprisingly mild, although the temperature drops significantly once the sun goes - but it was only below 0C or 32F oneday so far. Still, my warms clothes are appreciated.



ps whilst I have taken pictures, my current internet access isn't really up to posting them! Hang in there....

Saturday, November 24

Happy Thanksgiving

Well Turkey Day has come and gone, but for the first time in my life, I had a proper Thanksgiving Dinner. This may be because usually I'm in Australia, but now I'm in the US. I joined my cousins at their friends place for a feast including (of course) turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potato, mashed sweet potato, excellent lemon stuffing made by Philip, vegetables, and followed by pumpkin pie and lime pie. So good!

All going well... more later!

Tuesday, November 20

Off to see the world!

The day has come and I'm heading off. I'm all packed (good thing too..) and surprisingly enough, this was more or less the case before midnight last night! First flights are Sydney, San Francisco, ending up in New York. I've got a hostel booked and I'm set.

Also, its crazily expensive to even receive text messages and more so calls, so I'll be turning my message bank off and it would be better if you don't text me for the next 6 weeks unless it is urgent! I'll be back in Australia on the 31st of December. I should have fairly regular email access so if you have my email address, use it, or leave messages here or on facebook!

I'll do my best to put some updates on here from time to time! Or failing that, a whole lot when I'm back!

Sunday, November 18

Birthday and Party (belated post!!)

I had my 21st Birthday on the 26th of October - amazingly already close to a month ago. As I often tend to do, I managed to string the celebrations out for quite some time. I had a birthday party the week before at Republic Bar with the very talented band Tracksuit (Thankyou again to Tahnee for coordinating that one!!) and some nibbles provided by various family members. We even put up streamers and balloons - Dad inflated them, we tied them with ribbons and Jack, Ruth and I decorated the place. There were some speeches, some dancing although we took a little while to get warmed up, some catching up and then for a select few, Syrup afterwards for some more dancing.

Dad, Kate and me

The week of my actual birthday, I had another party/dinner at my cousins house with some family and family friends that have known me quite some time. It was another most enjoyable evening - and it was great that all the different people could come along. The extras made the juggling of different ends of my family that were present a little less daunting - and the whole event went quite smoothly.

Sirocha, Tahnee and Sarah

I think I previously mentioned some of my presents, so now for some much more interesting details - some photos! It is important to mention that the party was themed 'Babes and Bogans' which might explain some of the otherwise curious attire.

Tequila shots all round!

Tahnee making a speech.

Sarah, Sirocha, Me and Carmen

Mum, Me, Jo and my aunt Katherine

Louise, Me and Jo

Me and Tim with bling!

The whole family (Mum's side)

ANTI Pulp Mill Rally

On Saturday I rushed home from sailing, threw on a rain coat and headed down to a very packed Franklin Square. There was a good crowd despite the drizzle and after some well spoken speeches we marched and chanted our way around the Argyle/Collins/Murray/Macquarie st blocks. The suggested chant of 'We can, We will, Pulp the Mill' was quite catchy - however I was concerned that in order to pulp anything, even a mill, it would require a pulp mill to be built...

Here are some photos Tahnee took on the day...

Tim, Sarah, Tahnee and I - not too soggy.

Tuesday, November 13

Amnesty International

Yesterday I was at an Amnesty International meeting for the UTas Amnesty Society for which I somehow became part of the committee at the recent AGM. This is despite the fact the AGM was the first meeting I'd been to. As part of their current China campaigns, they have a link which is supposed to be able to be put into facebook, blogger and many equivalents to highlight some of the many words that you can't type into Google/Yahoo in China due to the insane censorship. For example some guy searched for something relating to Tienanmen Square and was promptly arrested and is doing hard labour. They have cartoon cops that stroll across your screen checking up on what you do - and if they don't approve, you'll have a visit from the real cops. This is in the face of the Chinese Government getting the Olympics and claiming that this will be an opportunity to improve Human Rights in China. There are many facets to the China campaign, but one that seems particularly relevant to a blog is the internet suppression. There are many site you can't access from within China - for example, Amnesty International (unsurprisingly), but also BBC, and even the IOC - International Olympic Committee.

If you like, there is an Amnesty Petition you can sign HERE relating to these matters.