Strangely, the first thing I noticed about Australia was the Asians. As I walked around Sydney’s airport they were everywhere. I didn’t think too much of it at first, but then I noticed that several of the signs are translated to chinese and japanese. Suddenly it made sense that the last meal we were served before landing was sushi. Arriving in Cairns, Queensland, several hours later, I’m not sure it I expected less of them, but I certainly didn’t expect more. However, they were around every corner, present at every store, and audible at every attraction. Why has it never occurred to me before that a lot of Asians travel to Australia? Were there Asians in Crocodile Dundee? It makes total sense now, when thinking about it – they are quite close; why wouldn’t they go?
The second thing that hit me, was the heat. It’s almost winter in this part of the world, but it is still much warmer than Scandinavia in summer. Lucky for me the humidity has decreased drastically since summer, making it less likely to happen tropical cyclones. The humidity these days only makes it feel warmer, although in my opinion it would be hot enough without it.
Thank goodness for pools!
Now, this is where this post goes from a general Australia first impressions, to a specific Cairns and volunteer project first impressions. The hostel I’m staying at is nice; we have a pool, a large kitchen and helpful people at the reception (I would know as I already have had to change my keycard three times!). I live with four other volunteers (all Danish girls) and a random woman from Switzerland. It can be noisy in the evening, which definitely is a downside, especially the German guys playing beer pong every night have a tendency for being loud.
Welcome to my home for my next four weeks!
The project itself seems fun and different from the project I did in Namibia. We’re talking Koala’s, Kangaroo’s, crocodiles and other Australian animals. My job is to clean the enclosures, prepare food, and in general help out where it is needed. We work from 9 am to 4 pm and have two days off a week (remember i had none last time?) This leaves us plenty of time to explore the areas around the three locations we work at: Rainforestation, the Butterfly Sanctuary and the Dome. I haven’t been to the two last ones yet, but Rainforestation has friendly staff and an awesome rainforest.
PS: sorry for the mishap earlier!