Sunday, February 17, 2013


so i have been in townsville now since thursday afternoon, and it is absolutely beautiful here. the campus feels like its right in a rainforest- i hear interesting sounding birds in the mornings and already have seen about ten wallabys just when wandering around. wallabys are super cute, like tiny kangaroos. its a lot different from occidental, here the dorms are called colleges, and each college has its own dining. my college is called st. marks, and theres only around 160 of us so it seems like a pretty close community. there are all these traditions, and right now is O-week so the "freshers" (freshman) are all being initiated. that includes us americans, and we get referred to sometimes as sepos, which stands for septic tanks.. apparently we are full of shit! the teasing is all in good fun though.

JCU isn't exactly in walkable distance from townsville's city and beach area, but there are buses here that can take you to and from. on saturday we went down to the strand, which is the stretch of beach that has nets in parts to keep out the jellyfish so we could swim. there is also a man made rock pool, but i liked being in the actual ocean better- the water is so warm here! it was mildy alarming seeing all the signs warning us of the stingers and vinegar that was available if you got stung. you can see magnetic island in the distance, and i hope to go there sometime soon. also had fish and chips that were sooo delicious, the seafood is all so fresh here. generally i've found the food is good here, although they weirdly serve spagetti-os and beans at breakfast...

so far we've just had to go to an international students orientation and im really excited because i got all the classes i wanted! i am taking: australian vertebrate fauna, functional biology of marine organisms, evolution and ecology of reef fishes, and life history and evolution of reef corals. people from billabong animal sanctuary were outside with all these animals, and i got to hold a crocodile and a python! it was hilarious when i held the crocodile because it immediately peed on me... but supposedly that is good luck. we are going to visit the actual sanctuary on friday.

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