Wednesday, 8 October 2014

It Snows In Australia, But Ballarat Warms The Heart.

Two months have flown by for Brad and I and we have done so many exciting things in and around Ballarat.  This blog entry focuses on a few local excursions and highlights of the last two months, but it also has a long awaited school focus. Yes, we are actually working in Australia even though our blog is filled with all our holiday adventures.  Happy reading!

First up, a visit to Ballarat Wildlife Park to stalk the emus.

Tasmanian Devil!

The most adorable Koala that hasn't figured out if he is a boy or a girl, and is the favorite amongst the animal keepers.

Cuddly wombat.

Not so cuddly crocodile!

I learned the game of rugby this year.  I made it a personal goal to train and play at least one game while in Ballarat.  I did it! I was terrified and excited all at the same time, but I played rugby.

The Melbourne Rebels had a number of women that were learning the game and made the trek to Ballarat to play with us.  They were very welcoming, supportive, and holy hell could they play.  My side lost, but I didn't realize that until four days later.  I was having such a great time that I forgot to ask the final score. 

Thank you to this guy, Luke Miller, for making it all happen.  He remained positive and continued to coach us even as our number dwindled from 15 to 4 by the end of the season.  Shout out to Nekitta Mutimer, Emily Lowe, and Fi Roberts. Thank you for making this happen!

All dressed up for Presentation Night with St. Pat's Rugby Club.

Our favorite watering hole.

Still working on making it on the 100 Pints wall at Irish Murphy's...we have a long way to go.

Banongill Station in Skipton

The boat sheds on Lake Wendouree, in front of Pleasant Street Primary.

Brad surprised me at work for my birthday.  Being an August baby, I celebrated birthdays during summer break.  This was my first birthday celebrated at school and he made a big fuss and caught it all on camera.  I felt like a princess.

This is a typical fridge in the staffroom at work.  I posted this because I know how much some staff at home would appreciate everything about this shot.  No, we do not drink during school hours and to clarify, the wine and beer are for special events hosted on site, but how awesome does this look?!

Coming from a small school I was surprised to see TWO secretaries manning the front line.

I also thought the size of the Principal's office quite impressive.

And look! THREE laminators...there are also two in the Senior Unit end.  Another aspect that I know the staff at home will get a kick out of.  This is the very talented Ms. Linda Ogier.

Two gorgeous ladies that I have the pleasure to work with, Miss Suzie Armstrong and Miss Jess Nicolin.

The students play cricket during breaks, not something you see at home.  And how adorable are their uniforms?! So happy that royal blue is my favorite colour.

Instant boiling hot water...can we install one of these in the staffroom?!

My turn to try a few Aussie sports, first up, cricket.

Tried to play tennis against these two pros, didn't stand a chance.

How about a little footy? AFL is HUGE in Victoria.  Who do you barrack for? I chose the North Melbourne Kangaroos.

But I think I'll stick to watching the game for now.

Students at Pleasant Street are responsible for raising chickens and collecting their eggs as part of their Year 4 curriculum.

The oval after a rain shower where the students play.

My trusty Teacher's Aid! Brad got hired on as my Friday support worker and works on call.  He is adored by the students at Pleasant Street Primary.

It snowed this winter in Ballarat! Yep, snow in Australia, it was the first time in five years.  I feel so fortunate to have witnessed the genuine excitement of these children seeing, feeling, and tasting snow, most for the first time.  The energy was truly uplifting.

Brrrr, Ballarat is the coldest place in Australia but definitely a place that warms your heart.  Our next adventure will be posted soon as we have just returned from a trip in the outback and Sydney's iconic beaches.

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