2 PICTURE ALBUM
Monday, February 2 (Super Bowl MONDAY!)
Steve: Paula and I have watched several Super Bowls during
our annual vacations to the Caribbean, but we never imagined doing so from
a sports bar in Sydney. It was certainly a unique experience to be watching
the game on a Monday at 10:30AM, especially among a screaming and somewhat
rowdy crowd of beer-drinking college students. We arrived at 10:05, assuming
that was plenty time to get a prime spot. Even Americans who happened to be
working or studying in Australia would not be coming to a bar on a Monday
morning. Right? Wrong! One World Sports Bar in Darling Harbour was already
packed when we arrived. We later learned that most of the college-aged patrons
had simply called in sick at work, and appeared to have sucked down several
beers before we even arrived. Fortunately, there were many screens situated
all over the bar, so we found ourselves a spot from where we could watch the
good guys win.
disadvantage of watching the Super Bowl overseas is that we don't get to see
the American advertisements. The game is televised internationally on ESPN,
and every single ad is for ESPN and one of its shows. We also quickly realized
that the announcers' comments are geared heavily toward the international
audience, and they frequently spent time explaining the rules of the game
(including the fact that the teams each get 4 downs in order to move the ball
10 yards). We also were told the players' weights in kilograms and height
in centimeters (this was very helpful, since we never knew that Ted Washington
weighed 166 kg, or that Troy Brown was 178 cm tall
Anyway, the game was certainly one of the most exciting Super Bowls ever,
and if we hadn't been so nervous it would have been more fun being part of
the increasingly raucous crowd. Toward the end of the game, we found ourselves
in the middle of a group of American students who are interning here in Sydney.
Most of these kids were cheering against the Patriots, much as we root for
the underdogs in any game with teams that we don't care about. They had a
good time jeering us when things looked down for the Patriots, but obviously
we had the last laugh.
After the game, we found ourselves hoarse from having to yell at each other
(and at the game), and our ears were ringing, but it was all worth it. Phew
We also received word today that the repairs on the Ruben Jane are proceeding
as planned, so as of now we're still set to start our boat trip on Wednesday.
This afternoon brought thundershowers here in Sydney, so we took advantage
of an opportunity to catch up on schoolwork and reading. Tomorrow we plan
to make a day trip to the suburb of Manly, and we're going to an opera (The
Flying Dutchman) at the Sydney Opera House.
Katie's Komments: My Impressions of New Zealand. After spending
three entire weeks in New Zealand, I believe I have a good feel for at least
a little of what this wonderful country has to offer. The next few paragraphs
will describe some of my feelings about this great country and how I feel
about the places we visited, and the variety of remote areas we explored.
Coming into New Zealand, I knew the scenery would be spectacular, I knew
about the herds of sheep scattered across the hill tops
I learned this
from guide books, pictures etc. However, I have realized guide books can't
When people talk about New Zealand, the first subject that comes up is the
landscape, but surprisingly this was not the only thing that really amazed
me about the country. First of all I didn't understand anything about the
people of New Zealand before coming here. The people are not only friendly
among each other and visitors, but perhaps even more so to their animals and
wild life. They all seemed to have a very extensive knowledge of their environment,
and work hard to make it just as beautiful and interesting for the next generations.
There are countless examples of these efforts, but here are just a few to
give you a sense
- Many people, including children, help their environment daily by pulling
out invasive plants that are taking over New Zealand's native wildlife.
- Most people make large donations to wildlife reserves and other organizations
working to protect their environment and animals
- The people are constantly reminding others not to disturb or touch any of
their protected wildlife and animals.
- Many people help set up traps to kill off predators of penguins, albatrosses,
and other protected animals and wildlife.
- Many people volunteer to teach others about the do's and don'ts when walking
among the wildlife.
- There are numerous signs around protected areas, reminding people about
what to do and not do when viewing wildlife and protected animals.
These are only a few of many efforts the people in New Zealand participate
in, and the effects of these principals are very clear when hiking through
the mountains, rainforests, and other settings in New Zealand. The air smells
fresh and clean, the wildlife is beautiful, colorful and pure. There are all
kinds of beautiful mosses forming an amazing carpet across the entire rainforest,
the trees are twisted into unusual shapes, and the enormous ferns seem to
reach out for you as you walk through the wonderful landscape. The sound of
waterfalls and streams fill your ears, and the entire atmosphere is filled
with a magical freshness. Do the books describe it like that?
Before I leave the subject of the people in New Zealand, I'd like to talk
about another thing I found interesting about them. The Kiwis (New Zealanders)
are proud of their culture. Thirteen and a half percent of the people are
Maori (Polynesians native to the country), compared to the less than one percent
of Native Americans in the US. We heard that many of the Maori people today
are still practicing the traditions of their ancestors and Maori language
is even being taught now in schools. The influence of this native culture
is apparent throughout the country.
Another thing that amazed me about New Zealand was how many different settings
there were. When I think of rainforest I think of Costa Rica and South America,
but surprisingly there was lots of rainforest in New Zealand as well. There
was also lots of grazing land, as well as snowy mountains, and coastal terrain.
This enormous mixture was a big surprise to me. One of my favorite places
was Arthur's Pass. I really enjoyed this area because we got to have lots
of fun learning experiences with sheep and sheep dogs, and I also liked the
cool stories about the river in front of the farm. Another one of my favorite
places was Dunedin. I liked this area because of the beautiful beaches and
amazing animals. I liked Doubtful Sound because of the spectacular views,
and I liked Wanaka because we were able to fish right outside our hotel. Lake
Moeraki had some incredible rainforest, and great kayaking.
As you can see I really enjoyed my stay in this wonderful country, and look
forward to coming back here with my kids someday.
David's Download: My Impressions of New Zealand. I greatly
enjoyed the time we spent in New Zealand. It was "magic," as kiwis
put it. I especially liked the magnificent scenery, with the snow-capped mountains,
lush rolling hills, and meandering freshwater streams. I really loved everything!!!!
We got a great sense of the South Island by visiting almost every region.
The thing I was most fascinated by was how different each place was. Arthur's
Pass was wet with huge sheep farms and pastures. I will never forget watching
Skip, the sheep dog, herd over 50 sheep into a small cluster. Lake Moreaki
was also extremely wet, but was in the middle of a rainforest! I remember
kayaking on the flat lake and fishing for the first time. Wanaka was experiencing
a drought, and was very dry. Dunedin was on the east coast and was extremely
dry and humid. The east coast generally gets very little rain, because the
weather systems come in from the west and dump all of their rain on the west
coast, leaving the east coast dry and arid. I loved seeing all the rare wildlife
in Dunedin. Although I did like the countryside, I didn't enjoy Auckland very
much because of how difficult it was to walk and explore the city.
We also learned a great deal about New Zealand history, culture, and wildlife.
I especially enjoyed studying about Maori culture and all the unique animals.
I read a book titled the Whale Rider which was the story of a young Maori
girl, and even watched the Whale Rider DVD that we brought along. We also
saw a Maori performance where we learned about the ancient culture, and saw
many dances including a war dance called the "Haka."
I loved seeing all the different wildlife in New Zealand including the Royal
Albatross, Kea, Sea lion, Fur Seal, and Penguin. It's one thing to see these
animals in a zoo, but to see them in the wild is a totally different story.
I will never forget seeing the huge albatross circling the hilltop, watching
the blue penguins all come ashore at the same time, running into a gargantuan
sea lion, and learning the love-lives of Yellow-Eyed Penguins.
One of my favorite things that we did in New Zealand was fish. We bought
inexpensive fishing rods and a couple lures on our way to Lake Moreaki. We
took advantage of every freshwater lake, pond, and stream that we came across
during our travels. Although I did not catch any fish, I did have lots of
fun trying and wishing that I did catch something.
I have enjoyed New Zealand more than any other country we have visited on
the second trip!!!!! (Note: it's the only country we have visited on the second
trip so far)