Whew, I'm tired. Today I went to the first day of the Australian Open. An American guy ranked 45th beat the number 4 seed. It was exciting to watch. Since my last journal entry I have been north of Melbourne to a town called Shepparton, which is mainly known for its orchards and vineyards. I stayed with the kindest Australian family up there, Libby and Greg Beel. It was a pleasure getting to know them and they allowed me and my Austrian friend, Christian, to stay with them in the nice home on the lake. They treated us like we were their own kids and I really felt at home with them. Their neighbors, Cheryl and Rob, were so kind to us as well. They let us use their great salt water pool everyday. It was a pleasure getting to know these people in Shepparton. One of the highlights of the trip was getting to fly in small 2 passenger planes. Greg is a pilot and we got to fly in the planes of two of his friends. It was such a neat experience to be able to get into the air in such compact planes. One of the pilots let me even move the plane some. You really don't have to move the controls much to move the plane! I even helped us take off! I had such a great time in Shepparton.
After Shepparton, Christian and I made our way to Phillip Island, which is a few hours south of Melbourne. We were due to work on "farm" down there, but really it was a guy's house that we worked in. The place was kinda peculiar. Everything was pretty messy and things hanging from the ceiling were engulfed in cobwebs and dust. It was quite a place, but the house was designed in an environmental way so that was cool to see. Recycled wood was used as well as passive solar principles. The owner of the house was very peculiar though. He told me that he went 10 years barefoot! He turned out to be very kind and generous despite the rough edges and I learned a lot from him.
Tomorrow I watch the second day of the Australian Open and then I head to Sydney on an all night bus. That should be interesting. I'll be making my way up the east coast after that.