Week Three has been quite an experience here at the Center for Rainforest Studies. The week has been filled with our first round of assessments (so many bird calls!), a trip to the edge of the Outback (it was hot and dusty), and planning for mid-semester break. In between studying, lectures, and van rides, we still find time to be awed by the fact that we’re in Australia. We have been enjoying the little things, like the bandicoots (all named Boris) that join us in cleaning up dinner, seeing lace monitor lizards on walks from the Center to our cabins, and communally complaining about the obnoxious orange footed scrub fowl and striped possums that wake us up early in the morning.

Life at the Center has its own special flow, with its own special vernacular. The following are some crucial vocabulary words for surviving here:

  1. Crumpet: a cross between a pancake and an English muffin. Eaten any and all hours of the day, usually with Nutella. Woe is he who takes the last one.
  2. Tim-Tam: a delicious chocolate covered, chocolate filled, wafer-like cookie. They are highly prized and guarded.
  3. Ace Bandages: fabric bandages usually used to bind sprains. Here we use them to wrap snake bites. Always have one with you. ALWAYS.
  4. Access Road: the road out of the Center, and the main path to go for runs. It’s all uphill on the way out, and somehow still partially uphill on the way back.
  5. The Gillies: the twisty road that takes you from Cairns or Yungaburra up to the Center, which is at the very top. Tons of fun in our 12 passenger vans!

As our adventure this semester continues with Field Exercises, homestays, and a trip to the Daintree Rainforest in the next few weeks, I am excited to continue learning about this amazing place, and spending time with the great people here at the Center, and out in Far North Queensland.