Monday, October 5, 2009

En Francqis.

Tonight I’m typing on the French intern’s computer . Some of the keys are in the same place, but many are not. The main problems are that the q and a are reversed, the period requires a shift key and the m is out in the middle of nowhere. I’ll try my best, but this is fairly slow going.
Monday at the research station is the day off.

Last night the girls’ friends came to visit from places including Brisbane and as far away as Melbourne . They camped on the beach and had a big bonfire. By the time I arrived there was only one marshmallow left, but I was fine with that. I rarely eat them in Canada and the Aussie mallows are nowhere near as good as the Canadian ones. They are tiny and faux fruit flavoured. It was very fun to sit around the campfire and help the French students with their English conversation. They are all here on five month training periods from an agricultural college called LaSalle. They are starting their third year and have to spend the semester in an English-speaking country taking part in some sort of research program. So, the girls chop coconuts by day (they are trying to determine if we can identify coconut varieties using some simple measurements of parts of the husk) and chat with all of us the rest of the time. Let me tell you, we have had some Funny conversations. They ask me all sorts of questions and I have to decipher what they are asking about. They have to take a difficult English test in Sydney before they return home.

Instead of camping with them I decided to come back to the station to sleep in my own bed. It had started to rain and I didn’t want to get soaked even though it hasn’t rained here with any intensity for three months. The wet season could arrive any day. This morning I slept in then went down to the beach to find the girls and their friends. They were snorkeling at the next beach over. I joined them and we swam out very far in the shallow, clear water. The salt water still drives me crazy though. After the swim we hiked up to a lookout over the beach and found a huge Lace Monitor Goanna (big reptile). On the walk I also saw a huge Sulphur-crested Cockatoo. Then we walked down to the fresh water creek with a really nice swimming hole to shower off and jump from the swinging rope.

I spent the afternoon napping and catching up in my journal. We had a selection of tropical fruits from the neighbours including bananas, mangos, starapple, and mangosteen. The mangosteen is my favourite fruit and you can only really eat it here because it will not keep to transport, so no mangosteens in Canada :(. Maybe I can preserve some in simple syrup if we have a lot and I can find a good jar. I will carry it for the rest or my trip. The mangosteen is called the queen of the fruit and it is beautiful and SO tasty. It is nothing like a mango though. I will definitely post a picture when I have a chance. Now I really want to go to the fruit tasting at the neighbour’s farm.

Okay, I can’t type anymore. This keyboard is crazy. The shift period is a real pain. O, and the entire internet is in French too. Luckily, I can get by :).

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