I recently returned from twelve days away in tropical northern Queensland. We traveled from Cairns to Cape Tribulation and stopped at various points along the way. I was up there with 44 Yr. 9 students and several teachers from Loreto Normanhurst. The school calls this expedition Outreach.
There were many highlights... Snorkeling with green sea turtles, barracuda and blue-spotted rays, and seeing a female humpback whale slapping its tail repeatedly (a 'back off, buster' signal to approaching males that may be a threat to her calf) off Normanby Island (part of the Frankland Island group), talking to serene and welcoming Indigenous Australians on their traditional lands, walking under some of the most magnificent trees I've ever seen (kauris and figs, which were several storeys high), finding five species of bird I hadn't seen before (inc. the rare red goshawk), exploring evergreen vine-forest, Africanesque savannah and lava tubes at Undara, laughing with various wonderful people in a respite care centre on the Atherton Tableland and watching teenage Aboriginal dancers perform at the secondary school, Djarragun College.
It was an awesome, inspiring and enriching experience. Spending time away from the technology that I'm often pinned to (computers, cars, phones, iPods etc.) was liberating too.
LJ, August 26 2008.