I like the word dodgey. People use it here a lot. it means sketchy/shifty/iffy/shady. It’s a great word. I don’t even know if I’m spelling it right. But it’s a great word.
Anyways, today was my second day of classes and our first day of class for our View from Australia course, a course done by our study abroad program to acclimate us to Australian culture and help us to think critically about it. Today we played a culture-related game called Faba Faba. Just in case you ever play it I won’t give it away… but half the class goes to another room and both halves of the class become their own culture with their own set of social rules and customs, even language. The cultures send representatives to the other cultures to “observe” and try to figure out what they are all about, and the process repeats. It’s very complicated and it took over an hour to do but it was a great learning experience. We talked about how cultural values can be relative and how we need to be careful to avoid pitfalls like ethnocentrism (our culture is the best), naive realism (“there can only be one logical explanation for why they are doing what they are doing”), and stereotyping (EVERY australian is friendly, for example. even though it may be positive, it’s probably not true of every person and unfair to generalize.) It was a good first class and should be good throughout the semester.
After class I went with a random group of people from ASC to a few of the girls’ homestay. In this homestay, the four girls actually have their own guesthouse behind their family’s main house, so they have their own mini-kitchen and living room. We played cards, talked, and they fed us lots and lots of fruit. haha. It was fun to get to know a whole different group of people and we had the best time. Then I went with a few of them back to Flo Harris, which is the student housing unit. Everyone at the beginning of this semester could choose to live with a family in a homestay, or to live in a Christian dorm for students (some from Wesley and some from other unis). Most of us chose families, but there are about 8 of us living in Flo Harris, and luckily our house is located about 5 minutes walking-distance from it. It’s a sweet dorm, with its own cafeteria and sweet areas to hang out like the rooftop and patios, as well as a victorian house attached with pool tables and stuff. It’ll be a really great place to hang out and today I met a ton of Aussie students there. So today was spent mostly on meeting new people and it was a blast.
Then tonight Denning and Felicity ate dinner with us and we had a cool opportunity. I think I mentioned before that my brother was in the stations of the cross presentation. If you google it on youtube (try World Youth Day stations of the cross) it’s worth your while. He has been rehearsing for the cast for 7 months for this, which is basically a passion play that was performed in all of the main sights of sydney throughout the course of the day last friday. It was amazing. Denning was on the steps of the opera house, pouring the water into Pilot’s hands for the 4th station of the cross. Tonight there was a cast party and showing of the telecast for all the actors, and we got to go as guests of our brother. It was pretty cool to see all the actors, since I had already seen most of the telecast and was a bit starstruck to see these actors that had been viewed by half a million people worldwide. They had it in an amazing old theatre and it was really cool to go and support Denning, as well as meet some people who did an incredible performance that will be remembered by the world. We got free jackets, bags, all kinds of food and stuff for showing up and that also scores well in my book. : ) We had fun as a family being together. I could not ask for a better situation. They care about the little things. For example, today our host brother left reeses’ peanut butter cups on all of our nightstands. Just to be nice. This totally made my day because you can only buy them here in international stores which are rare and expensive! And our host mom has been wonderfully patient with us as we get used to transportation and has driven us all over creation to help us out. I am so grateful.
Got to go to bed for class tomorrow!