After saying goodbye to my parents, I was finally on my own at my new home, UNSW Hall. Everyone is über friendly, and I felt instantly comfortable. O-week is definitely a concept that should happen back in the states. For an entire week, before classes started, our days were filled to the brim with activities with the college. (Different from in the states, “college” is used here as “dorm” is used back home). We did everything from beach trips to a city wide scavenger hunt to a pub crawl. I had a blast at the indoor trampoline gym. We even had a bouncy castle out on the lawn one day! We learned a dance to a remix of Light It Up by Major Lazer, and anytime it came on, wherever we were, we burst into dance, to prepare for the inter college dance off. By the end-of-O-week party, I felt like I had already made many new friends.
On Saturday night, we got to sleep at 2 am. But on Sunday, Rachel and I were crazy enough to wake up at the lovely hour of 5:30 and walk to Coogee beach to see the sunrise. Our toes met the sand as the first rays of light shown through the clouds over the horizon. We trekked up to the rocks, and found some of our friends who stayed up all night for this. It was so worth the lack of sleep, and we have high hopes to make it a regular thing. I am definitely going to like it here.
What do you get when you add an element of darkness to whitewater rafting?
The final iSite I visited with my parents was located within a museum. Why my dad did his usual research and booking stuff, I was entertained by a hands-on science exhibit. By the time I had explored the polarized light and concave/convex lenses station, we were ready to go.
Upon arrival to the Legendary Black Water Rafting Company, our guides greeted us cheerfully. We got suited up in swimsuits, wetsuit overalls and jackets,neoprene booties, and clownlike white boots. We hopped in a van and got our tubes, then proceeded to practice jumping backwards off a dock into a river. The rest of our team were members of a yoga retreat from L.A.
The entrance to the cave was a narrow crevice. The wet rocks inside were not slippery because since they never saw sunlight, no slippery algae or moss could grow. We walked, waded, and floated our way along. Jumping backwards off the waterfall was one of the best parts.
We were not allowed to touch the stalagmites because our finger oils could harm them. After the waterfall jumping, we linked up into eel formation, turned off our headlamps, and saw hundreds of thousands of glowworms on the ceiling and walls. They looked like little blue candles.
About 3 hours later, we resurfaced to see daylight again. After hot showers, we were served hot tomato soup and bagels. I would really love to do more caving.