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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Swimming With Sharks or This Is How Much My New Host Family Loves Me

There is a more or less popular newspaper in Switzerland that usually begins it's articles with headlines similar to the title of this post - usually the sharks end up being tiny and in an aquarium and the 'fearless' swimming amongst them simply infront of the glas windows watching these magnificent animals swimming. 

But in my case it is - similar. Not as dramatic as the title could make you believe. 

A Santa Clause I received from AFS Switzerland
enjoying the bush walk with Felix, an Aussie friend

Silly Clyde and Crazy Elijah

But first things first:
Christmas has been and gone. I spent most of the time at my host grandparents place in Gosnells. We had a really good time, good food, lovely gifts to each other and of course in accord with the Australian culture: Hot weather and cool drinks in the hand. 
It was definitively a Christmas to remember - it was great! (Except the bit embarrassing moment when you as a foreigner don't understand how Christmas Crackers work as well as the pathetic carols echoing in the alleys of the shops crying out for "white Christmas"). 

Way to the bus stop 

Nanna Val helping me doing my
christmas gift for my host family

Baking Swiss Christmas specialties

An awesome gift.... 

and another one! I was so happy!!

Preperations for Christmas lunch (dinner)

New Year was rather quite - due to extensive fire danger we had to be happy with the a bit too extravagant fireworks shot into the Sydney night sky on television, 3 hours later. I reckon the poor on the face of our planet could have a good Christmas time if all that money saved by not sending up sparks of light into the hot night skies in Perth would be donated to the less fortunate....

New Host family. Went swimming at the beach. Had a good time. Upon arrival at home I skype with my friend Thierry, I overhear Wendy and Harley, my new host parents, telling Thierry's parents that the beach was actually closed due to spotting of sharks by the shark helicopter which flies is rounds above Perth's waters after a series of deaths in the last few months - by sharks. 

AND TODAY: FINALLY SURFING!!!! My host brother and school friend Nathan was very patient in teaching me surfing on a secondhand board we bought yesterday - It was great. Definatively one of the best nights of my life - too thanks to the yummy food, the beautiful atmosphere of the evening sky and my lovely host family. Even though I lept out of the water quite rapidely upon the jumping of a small amount of bigger fish out of the water - I was suspecting a shark. The fact that Harley saw a massive splash approximately 200m off the coast didn't really comfort me either, as this grown man suspected it to be a great ocean creature (e.g. shark) to have been catching something on the surf of the sparkling Indian Ocean. 

 I have changed host family for the duration of a bit more than one month due to an issue with my 'real host family'. All involved sides are happy about this temporary change and we still have a great relationship. I too see this as a way to enjoy my original host family fully for the last few weeks. I LOVE my new host family, every member (even the retarded dog) has a spot in my heart, forever. 

Wendy and Harley, my new lovely host parents

A typical Australian Christmas decoration:
Hanging cards up

ZOPF! As heard by a Swiss friend who
I met up with in Perth. He had seen it at
the Freo markets...

My host brother and best oz friend Nathan

3am, Thunderstorm. Worst one
I think I have ever seen. 

Blocked Highway due to fires.
At the moment Australia is burning
and apparently this will be status quo
for a few months. 
In less than 50 days I will be back home, this is the reason for my quite extensive studies at the moment - to catch up. At least hypothetically.... :) I am worried about going back to Switzerland, meeting friends and not knowing whether we would still have similar interests, similar feelings and if we would still have good relationships. I am worried about putting my easygoing Aussie way of life to the side, I am worried about missing home too much. Home as in Australia. 

I love Australia. I love Australians.