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Showing posts from June, 2006

Going back home…

After a month spent at the Uni, it was time for me to go home! I arrived early enough at the Sydney International Airport to check in my bags and roam around. At 12:30pm,I found this big kangaroo doll in one of the souvenir shops, so I decided to buy it, and some pasalubong for the family. Since I needed to be at the gate by 12:50, I thought I had 20 minutes to luxuriously check out the shops. I totally forgot that there was still the security checks for handluggage, and the usual stretch of floor space going to the gate!
True enough, this inexperienced traveler left the shops at 12:45, still relaxed that I had enough time. Especially since the announcement said that my flight was now boarding. Calmly, I queued for the immigration… then there was customs/quarantine counter… and then there was the x-ray machine! By the time I got out of the long line, the announcement board indicated that my flight was on its final call!
Then I started to get worried. But it became worse… The directions …

Finally seeing the university I’m enrolled in

My first reaction was… Whoa! this is huge! 
The University of Sydney is actually smaller than UPLB (the campus in which I studied in since pre-school). I was excited to see how the Sydney Uni campus looked. But I wasn’t prepared for the towering castles and grand buildings that made the school a tourist spot.
On my first few days there, I didn’t tour the campus. So on my first weekend, I started to check out the different buildings and gardens. My favourite building was the Main Quadrangle, which I think hosts the museums and the carillon of the university. It’s Gothic in architecture with so many gargoyles of lions and kangaroos. Then, inside the main quad, I found a huge garden… I felt like I was on set of a Harry Potter movie! Outside the main quad, there’s this big garden that led to Paramatta Road (which merges with the City Road leading to the Sydney central business district). Seeing students wearing graduation robes or high school uniforms further made me think that I was walkin…

… Arriving in Sydney (2006)

The sky was clear and the air was crisp when the plane landed at the Kingsfordsmith International Terminal. This reminded me of my arrival at the Orlando International Airport sans the cold temperature. After a brief queue at the Customs gate, I started looking for the student KCPC had sent to fetch me from the airport. True enough, Dom had a placard with my name on it (because we didn’t know each other). After organising my stuff, we took a cab and went straight to the University of Sydney.
It was a tough day because I was adjusting to the temperature (to which I was complaining about two hours after I’d arrived and the time difference, and the food choices. At the end of the day, Dom helped me lug my stuff to Marion and Patrice's house (Newtown NSW).
Another adventure was beginning to unfold… this is an adventure!

Going to Sydney (2006)…

It was almost surreal… I had everything planned out. Tuesday was the teleconference with my supervisors. I’d plan the week out depending on what happens at that meeting. But roughly, the week looked like my last week harvesting in the farm, then starting the analysis of the samples… in other words, routine stuff.
That was until that fateful teleconference. While discussing further tests, the topic of going to Sydney, New South Wales was tackled. I was ready to hear that I was going there sometime late this year. But I was wrong… the final decision was that I was supposed to be there the following week! In the university, it’s a requirement of enrolment that I got a student visa. In essence, I could fly off and be there anytime I was required. I felt the earth close in on me because I was in shock. This turned into panic because there was so much needed to be done before I left: samples for analysis, the OJT turnover to a new supervisor, last minute experiments, sample preparations, get…