Arriving in Australia was definitely a long journey! We left Minneapolis at about 5:45 P.M. on Thursday, May 24th. From Minneapolis, we had a 4 hour flight to LA. Then in LA, we boarded our 15 hour flight to Sydney. The plane was huge! There was a tv screen for each seat. We had our choice of about 30 movies & there was also tons of music. There was a map that showed the progress of our flight and the times at home & in Australia so that was pretty cool. The flight actually went better and faster than I expected. We arrived in Sydney and found out our bags were over weight and each of us had t pay $125-$150 dollars, depending how much our bags were over weight. We were slightly annoyed by this, especially after a 15 hour plane ride. Our flight to Ballina was delayed by about an hour due to windy conditions in Sydney. Finally at about 1:00 on Saturday, May 26th, we arrived at Ballina Airport to meet our host families!
April and I are staying with an older lady named Pat. She is extremely nice and has been hosting students for 26 years! There are also 5 Chinese students staying with Pat. The Chinese students are all very polite and nice. They are very serious about school so they spend most of their time studying. Pat's daughter, Taryn, also came to the airport to pick us up. Taryn is 30 years old and lives 2 hours away in Brisbane.
We got off the plane and made the 30 minute trip to our homestay house. Taryn invited us to come to an Australia rodeo with her so we quickly unpacked a few things, showered, and ate. Then, Taryn took us to visit one of her friends and to the rodeo. The rodeo was just like a rodeo we would see back home. At the rodeo, we also met Taryn's husband, Jacob. After the rodeo, Jacob took us to his parents farm which was very cool. At the farm, we tried an Australian fruit called Monstera. It was very sweet and tropical. Jacob's dad also had us try a drink that he makes from Hibiscus flowers.
After 28 hours of traveling, we were extremely tired and crashed by about 9:30 p.m. We woke up at about 8:30 this morning and ate breakfast and then finally got hooked up with the internet (yay!!) Pat then took us to an Australian shopping center which was very similar to the malls we have in the states. Today, we are going to lay low and go on a walk later to check out the neighborhood! It's pretty hard getting used to the time change, but I thought it would be worse. April and I share a room here, but it's pretty large with our own flat screen tv and bathroom which is nice. I will post some pictures soon hopefully!!
I hope everything is going well back in the States! Missing you all!
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