And so the journey begins...

The day is finally here. We have prepped, packed, researched, scheduled, re-packed, made arrangements for rides, planned out our days...

The students learned a bit about the "land down under" in our pre-trip classes, and now comes the time for the real learning. All the reading, learning and research in the world can't fully illustrate the cultural differences and can't replace what the visits we will have in-country will teach us. This trip is a full one!

We have 11 cultural visits/events including a day trip off the southern coast to Kangaroo Island for a bushwalk, visit to an animal sanctuary, a walk through a group of Sea Lions, and a nice 2 course lunch on the oceanfront; visit to an Aboriginal village to learn a bit about Aboriginal culture; a visit to the Olympic Park in Sydney; a visit to the world famous Melbourne Cricket Grounds; a wine tasting/appreciation class at the Australian National Wine Centre in Adelaide; a tour or The Old Melbourne Gaol (jail); a tour of the Sydney Opera House; and a trip into the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney.

We also have 14 business visits including visits to Google's offices in Sydney, GE in Melbourne, Employment Innovations; the Victoria Chamber of Commerce; a tour of the Toyota Assembly Plany in North Altona; the American Chamber of Commerce; a coffee roasting class and demo at the Melbourne Roasting House of the Phil DiBella Coffee company; and the US Consular Office in Melbourne.

Our journey will begin at 1:30 this afternoon (Monday) at Cheel. Our bus will arrive shortly thereafter and we will depart for Ottawa for the first leg of our flights.

First up is Potsdam to Ottawa via school bus.

Next is the flight from Ottawa to Vancouver - a long journey for someone on any normal day, but today this will be the short leg of our trip!

After a few hour layover in Vancouver, we board our flight for Sydney - and a short 14 more hours and we are there - 2 days later there, but we will be on the other side of the earth!

Next we change planes in Sydney and travel to Adelaide - our first city stop.

Stay tuned for more posts from everyone on the trip - we will be choosing random posts from each student to post each day along with some great photos of what we are doing, experiencing, and learning.

You can also follow us on our Facebook page - "Kataroo Goes to Australia" for more up to date information on what we are doing (along with the travels and tribulations of our other "travel companion", Stan the Sock Monkey for who this makes 5 trips to Australia!).

Please remember that we will are 14 hours ahead in terms of our time schedule (14.5 when we are in Adelaide), so if you are trying to contact anyone on the trip, your response might be a bit delayed...

A shout out to the other trips that have departed and will be departing.... and until Wednesday, G'day!

#Travel #FloydOrmsbee

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