This is it. My last day in Australia. It’s bittersweet to say the least. I’m surprised I’m not crying like a baby writing this. I guess I’ll save that for tomorrow morning on the plane.
My last few days in Perth went very fast. One minute I was at Monday night training, the next I’m hugging the other trainers goodbye. All the boys were surprised we were leaving so soon; they thought we were staying the whole season. I wish! It was sad listening to them joke around with each other and us, knowing that in just a week I wouldn’t have that to look forward to each day anymore.
The last week passed fairly uneventfully. West Perth played in Melbourne for the Foxtel Cup Grand Finals on Tuesday, but sadly lost in the lowest scoring game in the Cup’s history. The players who didn’t go got together at Branchy and Trent’s place to watch the game and chow down on pizza. It was entertaining watching them placing bets on their friends and yelling at the TV like they were down on the field too.
After the game Myelle and I went salsa dancing again. It is such a blast! I need to find a place I can salsa back home. We brought our gym manager Mel with us this time. She’s so adorable when she dances. There was one guy who refused to let her go, even though she didn’t know what she was doing. He was surprisingly a good dancer. We went to the Moon like usual when the dance shut down and got our traditional nachos. I’m definitely going to miss those. And Good Times Jackson von Smith, Toby Basco, and Jimothy (all the waiters we made up names for). Missoula needs a place like that.
We visited the US Consulate, which we honestly should have done the first week. Good information, but not too helpful when we were about to leave. I didn’t think we would actually be meeting with the Consul General because we were told we were just meeting with staff, but she came in and talked to us for a good hour. Tip: when you travel to a different country, register with the US Consulate for the area you will be in. They put on events sometimes for Americans and it also allows them to notify your family if something has happened to you.
Friday night we went out with the Jetts employees after their work dinner. Such a fun-filled night. We ended up in a little bar in Subiaco with not very many people in it. Their boss kept thanking us for helping out in Dianella. We tried to go karaoke afterwards but they wanted to charge us $53 an hour to sit in a little room with just us and sing to each other. No thanks.
Saturday’s game was a mess. Literally. It had rained hard the night before and the Leederville oval isn’t the best in terms of turf. There were large sections of pure mud throughout the field, which developed into small ponds of muddy water during the seniors’ games. It was entertaining watching the boys slide around on the field, almost like a slip ‘n slide. Their white shorts were definitely not so white by the end of the game. I ditched my tennis shoes in Perth they were so destroyed from running water.
Happily the mud didn’t sway our boys too much in the way of injuries. Benny pulled his hamstring, but that’s the only major injury I can remember. When they came into the change rooms at halftime, everyone was covered head to toe in mud. They looked like vicious warriors returning from battle. Then again, they kind of are. The Colts ended in a tie, the Reserves won, and the League sadly lost, losing our hopes of getting into finals for a second year.
Saturday night we went out again, and boy were we feeling the sleep deprivation. I think over those two days I got a total of about five hours of sleep. Great idea. But hey I’m only going to be here once. We headed over to Leederville and met up with Branchy and Jordy. No idea where everyone else was; supposedly they were at the place next door. I’m still not too happy with most of the guys: they were supposed to come out with us so we could say goodbye. Looks like I’ll just have to come back someday!
Now I’m sitting in my hostel in Cairns, reflecting on this whole summer. It really has been amazing. I won’t go into all that now, but stay tuned for another post when I get back to Montana. Cairns is definitely a tourist town. Barely anyone I’ve met has actually been Aussie. Our first day Myelle and I went on a jet ski crocodile tour of the mangroves. We only saw two crocs, but the scenery made it all worth it.
Tuesday we got to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef! Super impressive. So many fishies to see, and awesome coral beds. I managed to duck dive down while snorkeling (never done that before) and got to touch one of the huge fish that was swimming around us. I named him Jeffrey. In the process though I think I messed up one of my eardrums, even though I tried to equalize on my way down.
Yesterday we did a waterfall and wildlife tour which was fantastic. We saw the Babinda Boulders, Josephine’s Falls, Dinner Falls, two crater lakes, Millaa Millaa Falls, and my favorite, a platypus! I was so excited about the platypus. He was cute, but he was quite a ways away to see properly. We swam in two of the falls, and boy were they freezing! It was still fun though. And, as a Richards, it is standard for me to go looking for waterfalls. Just glad I wasn’t in a rental car this time.