The worldwide Augustana College experience

So I saw a kangaroo…

Dear Sydney,

Thank you for the beautiful weather you have given me this week. I am a little resentful I had to work through most of it, but I would be lying if the sunlight hasn’t been good food for the soul. While this week wasn’t completely filled with adventure and traveling excitement, I did have some pretty cool experiences both at work in good ol’ Sydney.

Thursday: So I this was my third day of work this week due to the public holiday of Australia Day on Monday. Not too bad of a gig if you ask me. However, Thursday was a long day all the same. I had been given my third project of the internship on Tuesday and had been furiously working through updating the data for the International Wine and Spirits Research. I’m trying to impress my supervisor since he had a phenomenal intern before me apparently. I was able to finish by lunch time on Thursday, but then I spent that whole afternoon validating the data and information with my supervisor’s assistant, Roy. I was a headache and half to say the least and I was so tired of looking at an excel sheet after 5 hours. However, Roy and I made it through the data and I was extremely proud of myself for getting through my third project within 3 weeks. I’m hoping it is enough to keep my supervisor happy. So in combination with my excitement at finishing ahead of schedule and my pounding headache, it was meant to be when my fellow interns’ supervisor, Charlotte, offered to take us out to dinner and drinks at a local pub. We ended up at a place close by called El Loco. It was a pretty cool Mexican atmosphere. We got Jack (obviously) and ginger ale because it was Charlotte’s favorite. She also ordered some Cherizo Quesadillas for us as well. We socialized a bit, learned more about Charlotte, her career path, and what she thought about Sydney and Australia. We also learned more about Brown Forman and some of the back ground and history of they place. It was a really great time and I appreciated her reaching out to us and including us to hang out and talk like equals instead of just interns.

Friday: So I am not technically scheduled to work in Fridays, but since we missed hours on Monday, and the HR people asked us to come in for “man-power” purposes, we didn’t say no. We came in pretty casual as dress code is different on Fridays, and were quickly put to work. Apparently our office has a “brand of the month”. January featured the HR department and had positive, professional messages on Brown-Forman related window posters and canvases around the office. They looked really nice and I thought they were permanent pieces of work for the office. However, February is themed for Jagermeister and so we had to take down and put up all new canvases and window posters. They were black and had either iced over bottles or shot glassed on them with the phrase, “Best Served Ice Cold”. They were absolutely AWFUL  to put up (my OCD was going insane) because they had to line up perfectly with no bubbles on the windows. and there were 60 of them to put up around the office. However, after that were invited to attend a Spotify event that Jack Daniel’s was sponsoring. It was just down the street, and a band called the Cairos was playing for a spotify video shoot. Since Jack Daniel’s was sponsoring it, there were free drinks for those in attendance in order to kind of push networking and relationship building between the music peopl, spotify, and ourselves. It was a really unique atmosphere and I am really glad they invited us. I can’t really say I enjoyed the music, I couldn’t really understand the songs or what they were trying to say, but it was cool atmosphere, I learned how to network, and the most important part, I learned that Jack Daniel’s and Applesauce is AWESOME!

Friday night was also pretty great. Me and two of my roommates and fellow Delta Chis, decided we wanted to go up in the Westfield Tower in downtown Sydney. It’s like a great big Spindle and shoots up into the air far above even the Sydney Bridge. You can pay to up to the observatory on the top of it for $36, or you can go a few levels down to the fancy 360 Bar and Restaurant that slowly spins as you eat and drink in it; and this only has a minimum spend of $20. So you go up for nothing and by the time you pay for one cocktail, you are have spent your minimum pay amount AND you get to slowly spin and see the whole city. We went up around 7:30 PM so that we could see the sun set from up high over the city. The view was absolutely stunning. We saw both Sydney and Darling Harbor, all the way out to the Pacific Ocean, and all of downtown Sydney and it’s suburbs. It was great. I also ordered my $20 cocktail (nearly choking on the price) of kiwi and watermelon. Super girly I know, but it was awesome, so I don’t care if you judge. We saw the sun set and go from a bright city to the lit of lights of down town. A great view and one I am SO glad I did.

Saturday: So yesterday was kind of awesome.. I went to the Sydney Zoo!! (hence the kangaroo title) The zoo is actually called the Taronga Zoo and it is nestled across the bay from the Sydney harbor. All this waterfront property is taken up with exotic and nearby creatures in the most creative of exhibits. They had the most extensive reptile house I have ever seen and possibly the only one I have enjoyed being in as I am not a natural fan of snakes and iguana-like animals. However, their exhibits and beautiful colors made it so worth it and a great time. Especially with Lindsey who is a reptile freak. I also saw about 10 different breeds of sea lion because of all the arctic, New Zealand, and Australian strands of the sea lion. So that was pretty cool how different they all looked from each other. I also liked the massive amount of cool birds they had to look at. Some of the coolest parts though were the Giraffe and the Lion. The Giraffe exhibit had the most gorgeous view across the bay and I was only 4 feet from a giraffe! They were the largest ones I have ever seen and I got to see them play which was really neat. The Lions were also the largest in size that I have ever seen. They were absolutely massive and were so close to the viewing window that you couldn’t help but be completely overwhelmed just looking at them. I also saw the cutest koalas! One was so cute I swear it had to be fake. The other one was actually moving around which is pretty rare to see in a koala, but I actually got to see it climb and hop around, so I felt pretty blessed. But as always.. the Kangaroos were the best! They were much bigger here than the ones I saw at the petting zoo early in the trip. They move so funny and they have such interesting features that are nothing like any animals in the US. We also got to ride the “Sky Safari” which was a tram that went over the whole park and that was so freaking cool, even though it freaked out Devo. We ended up taking the ferry from the Zoo to Sydney Harbor and catching a train and a bus from there (I am so tired of public transportation) in order to get home. It was a beautiful day and after all the water and boats we could see from the zoo, all we wanted was to get out on the water anyway. It was a great day and I couldn’t have asked for better. 🙂

Tonight: today is Sunday so I am doing the usual. Went to church, grocery shopped, and now I am uploading photos and reflecting to you all. 😉 However, tonight will be a bit different I hope. My CAPA organization has set up a “mixer” for the two CAPA groups which are in Sydney at the moment so that we can meet each other and make more friends. So we are meeting at a Chinese Restaurant in Chinatown in order to learn more about that prominent culture here. So that will be pretty cool and full of new food and people. But I am most excited for afterwards. It is the Chinese New Year here and tonight is the Moon Parade in Chinatown. Which is the second largest Chinese Parade outside of China itself. So I am pretty excited to see all that. 🙂

For now, I will leave you with more pictures and a quick shot out to my parents, my extended aunts and uncles, my beautiful sister, and my amazing boyfriend for all their support and encouragement this past week. I couldn’t do it without you all and I love you so much <3

Goodnight Australia!




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