Home Stay in Townsville

Trip Start Jul 09, 2013
Trip End Jul 28, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Students spent today attending school. The students that our ambassadors stayed with attend St. Margaret Mary's College in Townsville. Most of the students had their own home stays, but a few sets of ambassadors shared a home stay family.

The leaders had the chance to see some of the students as they passed classes in the morning. We (the leaders) were offered a ride into the city by one of the staff members at the school, so we took that opportunity to have our own little "free time". We browsed the shops in their downtown area, poked in a local museum, and ended up having lunch on the Strand at Longboards which was on a cliff overlooking the ocean.

We were back in time to see more students during their lunch before they headed back into their classes. For the rest of the afternoon, we relaxed in the teachers' lounge, taking advantage of their wifi (their IT techs were nice enough to allow us access to their network), and enjoy some tea as we waited for classes to end.

After school, my host (a lovely lady named Pauline, who is a teachers' aide in the home ec classes) took me up to the top of Castle Hill (just a meter short of being called a mountain) which many locals use as a way to stay fit. Many people who live there walk up the hill for their personal fitness (many eve bring their dogs). In fact, a few students were spotted with their home stay sisters, doing just that. I was NOT one of those people... we chose to drive up to the top. Once there, it was nice to be able to catch a 360 degree panorama of the city and the Pacific. Thank goodness I brought my jumper (polar fleece hoodie) since it was a bit windy and more chilly up there.

Got a few pics of the surroundings (I was a little frustrated with my panorama setting on my camera - I just couldn't get it to work!), then we headed back down to hit the local shopping mall. I told Pauline that I wanted to visit a grocer so I could get snacks, candies, and butter menthols to take home. The anchor stores at the mall we went to were Wollworth's, Big W (which is basically like a smaller version of a Super Target), Target. (with a period here in OZ), and Coles (which here is a grocery store).

I was able to find a copy of Australia the Baz Lhurman flic starring Hugh Jackman (sigh) and Nicole Kidman that we (leaders) wanted to get Beccah as a prezzy since she said she did not yet have that in her dvd collection for the long coach rides. Thankfully, it was only $8.96! Apparently, Jan and Kathryn also found it and bought it for Beccah, but the copy I got was the cheapest - so Kathryn returned hers, and Jan decided that since she did not own a copy herself, she would keep the one she got.

Pauline (my host) wanted to buy some veggies to go with the roast she had in the oven for dinner, so we went into Coles and grabbed a few things. Once we got home, I chatted a bit with Pauline's daughter, Isla and Pauline's husband, Reg while Pauline finished getting dinner ready. Isla showed me her collection of programs from the various musicals she has seen (loved that we both had a love for musicals, and we took quite a bit of time comparing which ones we had seen), and talk about timing... both Isla and her mom were so excited that their tickets to Wicked in Melbourne had just arrived in that day's mail.

After dinner, we watched a Cinderella Story which Isla's mom had just bought Isla since it was on sale when we were walking through the mall, and caught the tail end of the State of Origin game. Queensland v New South Wales. For the 8th straight year, Queensland won. Thank goodness we were staying in Queensland at the time! I don't think watching the game would have been as fun for the students if we had had our homestay in NSW during this game...
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