Friday, June 26, 2009

No TV and Little Kids Make Laura “Something” “Something”

So, I’m a nanny. Usually the general requirements for you to be a nanny are things like cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, liking kids…wait, maybe that should have been first. Now, I can honestly say that the first three things I’m a pro at and I actually enjoy doing a lot, but the last requirement, and usually the most important is the one I have the most trouble with. I’m not going to say flat out that I don’t like kids, but I find it very difficult to entertain children, discipline them, try to figure out what’s wrong when they cry and just keep them happy. I’m clueless, and I doubt that four weeks will be enough to really get to know these kids. This has been the fist day that I have been with the kids since Kate had them in town for the last two days. Granted they are very tired today, but seriously, I just can’t do it. I feel so board and unhappy when trying to care for children. I don’t want to come off as a crappy person, but it’s just the way I feel. It kinds of frightens me because I don’t want to become a Brooke Shields and want to disown my own children the second they come out of the womb. It’s probably not the job I should have taken since I kind of know that this is how I feel about kids, but it was a great gig to get my visa and Kate is such a great lady. I just hope that I can get over myself to help these kids. Anyone have a suggestion? And don’t say TV because there is none here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What up in WA!

So the search for a job only lasted two weeks, thank goodness! I’ve got a gig on a farm as I hoped, but will only be spending a month here. As well, I’m playing the role of nanny extraordinaire, taking care of two kiddies, Jack and Asha, as well as keeping the house in shape.
The last two weeks in Perth were really good. I didn’t much play the tourist card this time, opting for long sleep ins and TV time. It was nice to just kick back for a bit. I did get to do some fun stuff however; Amanda and I went sand boarding last week in a town called Lancelin. It’s renowned for its vast expanse of sand dunes great for 4-wheel driving, or like Amanda and I experienced, bogging you car and then spending an hour trying to dig it out. We rented our boards from a cafĂ©/convenience store/hardware store (that’s how small this town was) and drove up to the dunes. One board was like a skateboard with straps to put your feet in and ride like a snowboard; the other was exactly like a snowboard but was meant to sit on. Unfortunately the thing about dunes is that there are no chairlifts and we had to walk up every time we went down. We tried the boards every which way, but I found the best was standing on the sit down board; if only snow boarding were as easy as that. Amanda and I got a little cocky and built a jump which she successfully got some air off of; I did not! I recommend that if anyone gets the chance, do some sand boarding- even though I’m still emptying sand from my sweater pockets!
Another adventure was down to a town called Kallamunda which is said to have a history with extra terrestrials and ghosts. We went to a great new age bookstore where I met a fellow Canadian who has been living here for 7 years or so.
The rest of my time was spent listening to a few great musicians bang their drums, tickle their keys and strum their guitars…Amanda and Scott are musicians who teach and jam at the house!
Yesterday I left Perth on a bus to a small town called Kojonup. I was picked up by Kate, the mom and owner of an byodynamic egg farm. We ran some errands in town before heading back to her farm which is about half an hour away from the town. On the way, we rescued (kidnapped) a lamb that was running wild and had no mother. Kate told me that if we didn’t do something that the lamb would probably die. So I sacrificed my jacket and held little Lambington in my lap the whole way home. Today was my first official day on the job…but it really doesn’t feel like a job at all. Kate had to go into town to pick up another girl and took the kids with her leaving me here to mind the house. I spent all day just cleaning and doing laundry…reminiscent of my days at Lakair- not to mention it smells like Lakair here too making it hard to remember that I’m in Australia still. It’s such a warm and inviting home and I know I’ll be getting along just fine.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I’m not done yet.

So, my parents are moving to Barbados. Yeah, go back and read that again. "Did she mix up moving with vacationing, or Barbados with Burlington?" No no, you read it correctly. Just when I was getting used to the idea of moving back to a home in Toronto, it all gets changed. But such is my life when it comes to these sorts of plans. And I am my parents’ daughter. I can never make up my mind of where I want to go or what I want to do, and usually decide on a whim or a feeling. So I can’t expect my parents to be any different. They always said they would move around the world if an opportunity came up; and one has. Dad’s going to be doing work out of Barbados for the next few years.
This new piece of information has changed what I plan on doing for the next while. I had always assumed I’d finish my year in Australia and then go home, but since I really don’t have a home anymore, it really leaves the decision up to me, where I want to live. As I’ve travelled around the country I learn more everyday about the opportunities there are here, and frankly, it’s just too much to cover in a year.
After I was finished in Tasmania, I make a split second decision to move over to the west coast. Coming over here has been something that I wasn’t sure I would ever get to accomplish. Now that I’m here, it’s come clear to me that I really want to stay another year. In order to get a second working holiday visa, the government requires you to do three months of agricultural work in farming, fruit picking, mining or fisheries. Since I’m running low on time, I really need to get these three months done now. The search has been hard but I feel like I’ve got the resources now to get the right job, it’s just playing the waiting game to hear back from employers.
For now, I’m living with a highschool friend, Amanda Timler, who moved here a few years ago with her family. She’s been really great to put me up while I search for a job. For now I hope to enjoy a bit of Perth before I get stuck on a farm for three months. Wish me luck in the search!


When you tell an Australian that you’re heading to Tasmania, you’ll either get a laugh or a response like “Why are you going there? To see the two headed people?” Native Aussies mostly think that Tasmania is full of inbreds and hicks, and generally not a place worth crossing the Bass Straights for. But ask a fellow traveler what it’s really like, and you’ll get the truth. A wonderful island removed from the mainland full of beautiful landscapes, untouched beaches, and picturesque mountains. Over the last ten days, I’ve had the chance to experience Tasmania for myself, and the latter explanation of this state is the correct one. I’m not sure that I’ve ever been to a more beautiful place in Australia yet.
The trip started in Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, at Sophie’s nan’s house. I probably never would have made it here if it weren’t for Sophie and her family roots. From here, we rented a camper van care of Devil Campers (much better than a Wicked one) and began to drive. Luckily Tasmania is a very small island so the driving distances were short each day. Our travels brought us to Port Arthur on day one which is a historical site to experience Australia’s convict past. It’s host to old prisons, churches, cemeteries and barracks. Most of the buildings are in ruins, but some houses and prisons are in tact or restored. We took a ghost tour in the evening, hoping to get a scare, but were more delighted in the guide’s historical knowledge of the area.
Most of the trip was spent doing a lot of bush walks and hikes. Highlights were a walk to a lookout over wineglass bay at Freyichet National Park, and a hike around Dove Lake at the base of Cradle Mountain. The east coast ended up being quite rainy, but with brilliant bursts of sunshine we were graced with about ten rainbows a day, perfectly placed in the view of our photos.
The town to Launceston was beautiful, full of parks and historical buildings. Unfortunately we rocked up at the weekend the V8 car races were on and couldn’t get a seat at any restaurant in town. One unexpected gem we found along the way was a town called Penguin which hosted some of the best markets I’ve seen in Oz. But not better than the Salamanca markets held in Hobart every Saturday. If you ever make it to Tasmania, make sure to be in Hobart on a weekend!
Overall it was an amazing experience that I know not many backpackers get to experience, so I count myself lucky!