Tuesday, June 2, 2009

We Have Humidity!

Up until yesterday, I had never said, “I love the humidity!”  We have truly enjoyed our warm, humid weather here in Northern Australia.  After leaving the center we headed north to Cairns and made a stop at Hartley’s Crocodile Farm.  We were treated to an amazing show and dinner.  Along with the giant crocs, another one of the night’s highlights was the up-close visit with a koala.

We did have some rain this morning, but we were on the coach headed to the banana farm, so we managed to stay dry.  And we were treated to several more rainbows…something else that has been as common as the rain. 

Before hopping on the “banana bus,” we enjoyed some tea and lamingtons on the front porch of our hosts.  On our way to the banana fields we stopped by a gorgeous waterfall.  For me, the biggest surprise about the banana trees were the large, plastic bags covering the bunches of bananas.  The bags protect the bananas from the sun and pests.  They are different colors based on their stage of ripening. 

We finally arrived at the packing building and the kids enjoyed playing in the water as the bananas were being washed.  As you can imagine, there was a “small” amount of water that made its way out of the trough.

Back on the coach we headed south from Cairns to Townsville.  It was exciting to meet the staff members at Reef HQ who will be working with us over the next few days.  We got a quick tour of the aquarium and then headed over to the dive shop for a snorkel lesson.  All of the kids did an amazing job and are ready for the Great Barrier Reef. 

We will be learning more about this amazing ecosystem tomorrow and will venture out to the waters around Orpheus Island on Thursday where we will take part in a research project in conjunction with James Cook University.  I am very excited to be sharing a passion of mine, the underwater world, with my students.  Everyone is looking forward to the reef.

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