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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Students experience Asia (Part 9)

Friday, November 16, 2007  
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By Erin Minor

The Pac Rim 2007 group has left the rather cold climate of New Zealand and arrived in Australia where the weather is much warmer.  After a 3 hour flight to Sydney followed by a 3 hour layover the students arrived in Cairns after a full day of traveling.  The group immediately noticed the humidity and started taking off their layers of clothing that were previously needed in Auckland.  Many of the students rushed to eat dinner at a restaurant called Rex Burger that came highly recommended by previous groups. 

The first adventure to take place for the group in Australia was spending some time at the Great Barrier Reef.  After filling out some paperwork, the students boarded a boat where they would be spending the remainder of the day.  Even though it was raining for most of the morning, the weather cleared up as soon as the group reached their location.  The students were given the opportunity to snorkel off the shore of Michaelmas Cay, a small island on the Outer Barrier Reef with a world renowned bird sanctuary.

“I loved the white sand and turquoise water.  It was so cool to see all of the different colors of coral and watch fish swim right past me,” Rachel Burgess said. 

The group was also given the option to go scuba diving for a short period of time during their trip to the Great Barrier Reef. 

Jamie Martin, a Junior at Oklahoma Christian said, “Learning how to scuba dive was a lot easier than I thought.  After a 10 minute overview and demonstration, I was able to follow the instructor to deeper water with more marine life and corals.”

“The oxygen tank was a lot heavier than I thought it would be.  Relying on a small tank of air to keep me alive was a really weird feeling,” Wil Norton said. 

The past couple of days have been free days for the students.  One group of people rented cars and drove 3 hours north to some of the more secluded beaches.  Others stayed in Cairns and explored the downtown area.  One of the favorite spots among the group was an area where a public pool met the ocean.

Courtney Bowles said “It was so relaxing to layout at the pool with the calm ocean right next to us.  The water was so pretty and we could see people taking helicopter rides in the distance.”

Some of the students have taken advantage of the facilities at the resort the group is staying at.  They spent their day relaxing by the pool and saved money by utilizing the kitchen on site.

“We all went to the store and split the cost of the ingredients.  Then we came back to the resort and cooked together.  It was a lot of fun and the food was great,” Carrie Collins said.

The group will be leaving Cairns and flying to Sydney on Saturday.  They will stay in Sydney for two weeks and take classes at Macquarie Univerisity. 

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