Things are quietening down a little around ...
Trip Start Jul 23, 2002
66Trip End Jul 23, 2003
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The first practicals for Ornithology and Herpetology made me realize I've got a lot of species identification to learn
On the field trip front, we've spent a couple of mornings in the parks around the city doing bird counts and identifications (where we could!). Got to see some Canadian Geese, Blue Jays, Robins, Downy Woodpeckers, Chickadees and lots of sparrows, gulls, blackbirds, etc. Friday we are going to the Arboretum on the edge of the University and going mist netting and bird banding (and trying to work out what some more of these birds are). Last week we had a Herpetology field trip and I caught my first salamander (a little red eft) as well as some frogs and toads. None of us found any turtles, but a few snakes were caught, which unlike at home aren't venomous. There's only one venomous snake in Ontario, and it isn't found around here anyway. And there's also only one species of lizard, a five-lined skink, in the state.
On the weekend the University had a volunteer day called Project Serve in which students went out to different local organizations and helped out for the day. The group I was in were told we were going to the Conflict Resolution Centre, and so what do you think we ended up doing
Being an international student has meant that we've had quite a few invites to different activities since we arrived. I went on a bus tour to Crawford Lake where we did a bit of walking in the park area and then had a look around a replica Indian village. A good chance to get out of the University area and to meet some of the other international students. We've also had several dinners/get togethers put on by different organizations - there's basically one every second day this week. When a lot of the international students get together it makes you realize just how many people there are from lots of different places - something like 60+ different countries. And Australia has a good representation with a dozen or so undergrads!
I've never been so conscious of being an Australian, probably because it isn't such a distinguishing feature back home because that's what the vast majority of people are
I haven't really seen a lot of the area outside of the University district. Living on campus I'm finding that I don't have to travel very far as the main mall is 20 mins walk from the campus (5 mins on the bus) and downtown is also about a 10 min bus ride away and that covers most things that you need - especially when you are trying not to buy a lot of things as. The other major problem with seeing a lot of the area is the lack of having my own transport so I can go where I want to. This is when I'm missing having my bike.
Guelph itself is a nice quiet city with a lot of parks and common space, as well as some older historical buildings. Some of the University's buildings are some of the older ones in the area, but there are also quite a few new ones on campus too. I am enjoying it here and am glad that the University's do offer exchanges so we can have the chance to experience another country and University
On that note I should finish this and go do some study now!
PS - Paddles and Nomed have found some new friends (stuffed toys) in the suite with some other bears (which Nomed is trying to convert into his evil ways), rabbits, ducks (Paddles was very excited), sheep, dogs, butterflies, flying squirrels and more in the various rooms. It's sort of keeping them out of mischief - well at least out of my hair for a little while.
PPS - I've put a couple of photos up on earlier entries and will hopefully get some more up later.