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November 10, 2010

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We made it to Queensland! The north-eastern most state in Australia, it’s named ‘Queensland’ for a reason; it’s absolutely gorgeous here! Between the white sandy beaches of the Gold Coast, the state capital Brisbane with its endless public artworks, to the sub-tropical rain forest paradise that lies only a few kilometers outside of both…. Queensland is lovely. Drew and I spent a few days tooling around Brisbane, and really fell in love. It’s a vibrant city of 2 million that lies on both sides of the Brisbane River. It’s actually inland a bit, which is different from other Aussie cities that are directly on the coast. From what we saw, Brisbane has an amazing art culture with great (and free) art museums, galleries, public sculptures, even amazing graffiti. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to find an art-related job somewhere in the city (fingers crossed) and if not, possibly volunteer at a gallery. We found a cute apartment in the suburb of New Farm (where all the young and hip live :)) that we’ll be renting for a month starting in December. If we like Brisbane, we might stay… but we’re keeping our options open and definitely want to travel more.

Last week, we were picked up at the train station outside of Brisbane by the family that we have been WWOOFing with. After about a 30 minute drive up and through the rain forest, we arrived at their house- a really nice and sunny house surrounded by trees and gardens. The mother works most days at the gallery that they co-own with another couple, the dad is a phys.ed. teacher at a nearby high school, and they have 3 kids- 16,13,and 10. We’ve been getting along great with the family, they have been hosting international WWOOFers for about 7 years. As I explained in the previous posts, WWOOFing is working on an organic farm for a certain amount of time per day (in our case only 4 hours a day) and the hosts provide accommodation and food. The work we’ve been doing has been varied: a couple days we’ve spent our 4 hours outside weeding and mulching, one day we cleaned and cooked because it was raining, I’ve even spent my time re-upholstering an old kitchen chair and sewing new cushion covers for their outside lounge chair!

Today we spent mostly mulching and moving firewood…. the wood had been covered by a tarp to keep it dry, and when we lifted the tarp, I saw the largest spider I have ever seen in real life (besides a tarantula in a cage..) The body alone was at least the size of a fifty cent piece.. with the legs it was about the size of a salad plate. HUGE. Needless to say I was freaking out! The bugs in Australia definitely get your blood moving…. And as I’ve been telling Drew, this is almost like bug therapy for me! Maybe by the time I leave Australia I’ll love insects. Hm. We’ll see!

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