It has definitely been an eventful few days in Adelaide! Yesterday, we started off going to the Kaurna Aboriginal Center to learn about the Kaurna people. I definitely was expecting to be bored but I was very pleasantly surprised.
Our tour guide, Jamie, showed us lots about the natural resources that occur so readily in the environment around us. One of the biggest points of the tour was learning about gum trees. The gum trees are vital to life in the bush because not only do honeybees use the trees but also possums. The gum trees are also used as bowls for the aboriginals. Jamie also discussed that when you carve certain parts of the tree out and paint them with a certain paste then the tree is marked as unable to be cut down by anyone and is declared aboriginal property. It was just one of the many ways that the Kaurna Aboriginal people saved there home along the wetlands.
We even learned about some of the wildlife around the wetlands and some aboriginal music. European Carp has taken over the fresh water source on the wetlands, which is an invasive species, and how they’re trying to remove them in order to get the naturally occurring fish native to the wetlands back. At the end of the tour Jamie took us inside the center to give us a taste of some Kaurna Aboriginal music. They use the Didgeridoo, which is a long and thick hollowed out branch with beeswax around the mouthpiece, to make the sounds. It was super interesting because there was such a distinctive way that the Didgeridoo needed to be played in order to make sure you were breathing properly.
After a few hour break, we headed to the Peace and Wellness Garden where we learned about how a local church grows fruits and vegetables to help feed refugees and other struggling community members. They talked briefly about their volunteers they had and how so far its been welcomed by the church community. The Peace and Wellness Garden has only been up and running for one growing season but they’ve been doing very well.
From the garden it was off to the races on our scavenger hunt! It was definitely super interesting trying to navigate the city on our own but we did it. We found some interesting things on our scavenger hunt such as animal statues, elaborate water fountains and Australian themed slot machines! My team even met an amazing girl named Jess on the bus, who was a local that gave us some great insight on where to find certain things. She was a University of Adelaide student studying law and was super interested to see how our education systems matched up. There was definitely tons of walking on the scavenger hunt but we definitely were able to see different parts of the city, which was super cool. I think that my favorite part of the city is definitely the Rundle Mall area because there is just so much to do and see. After the hunt, we met up as a group for dinner and to receive prizes. I was pretty excited to have won a pen and keychain. I really enjoyed dinner since we could all chill out and talk about what we all saw and how we did certain things.
Australia so far has been really fun. There are definitely typical differences such as transportation and just everyday way of life. But, there were also differences I didn’t really expect like language. I never expected to have a slight language barrier when talking to people but it is something I’m still trying to figure out. I typically only have a problem when there is either a really heavy accent or when they talk really fast. Most people have no problem repeating themselves because they realize that I’m not from here. I’m definitely getting better though and I have great confidence that I’ll be totally fine once I’m in Melbourne and Sydney.
Although, we’ve only been in Australia for a few days it definitely seems like longer and that is not a bad thing. It has definitely been welcome changes to the constant go mentality back home so I’m really excited to see how the rest of this trip shakes out.
Continuing on to the Kangaroo Island tour and the National Wine Center tasting in the next few days, I’m very excited. I definitely can’t wait to share my experiences there!