Monday, April 19, 2010

Jilly the Joey at the Jym

You know you are in Australia when someone brings a Joey to the gym.  Her mother was roadkill so she is now under the guardianship of a wildlife carer who brought her in this morning. She is 6 months old, about the size of a loaf of sourdough. I thought she was much younger. When kangaroos are born they are the size of a lima bean with little back legs. Following a trail of saliva left by the mom, they crawl up to the pouch, latch on, and don't let go for 3 months. Her carer now gets up for nighttime feedings at 2 AM (I don't miss those!). Jilly, snug in her human pouch, was hung on the doorknob at reception whilst her carer ran to nowhere on the treadmill.

At the soccer field last weekend this fine specimen of our local kookaburra was posing for us. Isn't he a beauty? When you hear these guys "laugh" it is much more of a sneering, mocking call. They seem to be saying nyah, nyah, nyah. I can see why it's called a laugh but I can assure you it they are definitely laughing at you and not with you. They are quite common here on the coast but most of them are not as large as this one.

We have a holiday coming up on April 25th, ANZAC day. This is a remembrance of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp in their first military action in WWI. Labour Day is next Monday. While this is a similar holiday to what we have back to home, what is unusual about the Australian version is that it is celebrated on 4 different days throughout the country depending on where you live!  Australians celebrate about the same number of holidays as America, with some notable differences. June 14th is the Queen's Birthday and on Friday of the same week there is  a public holiday for our local *Show Day*. What is this?  From what I can decipher, it is  a week-long agricultural expo/county fair sort of event. Sounds like fun, but a public holiday? Schools, banks, and stores will all be shut.

Speaking of holidays, we were a little surprised to see what Good Friday was like around here. Everything was shut. Stores/restaurants were open on Easter but closed on Good Friday. Apparently we are in a more predominantly Christian country than America. This must be why I looked all over town at greeting card displays and found nary a bat/bar Mitsvah card. (Sorry Kayla!) There is no dilemma about naming our recent school holiday "Easter break".... It was printed all over the school literature and on signs everywhere. I'm not sure how it is handled in the cities but here in our local PUBLIC school,  a Chaplain is on board (and receives a stipend for his services) for pastoral care.  He handed out little red bibles to all the year 8 kids the same way the Rotary hands out dictionaries to 3rd graders in Arcata. Hmmm....
 Here is a photo I posted on facebook last week.. I post photos now and again, but this one received no less than 10 (ten) comments exclusively from females. Eli was totally uninterested in this fact because, of course, all my friends and family are way to old  to matter. oh well.....

Lastly,  keep an eye out for an article in the Arcata Eye that Tom submitted for their "Arcatans Elsewhere" column. Should be published in a week or so. Bye for now!

1 comment:

  1. love the news and photos! It was great talking with you last Thurs eve