Buddha, Marx and Me: Thailand to Cuba
About Me (1)
New Zealand (2)
* New Blog
* Saved by Samoa
* Polynesian Paralysis
* Speed Racer
* Adventures of a Tourist
* Conservation, preservation and slackerisation Part 2
* Conservation, preservation and slackerisation Part 1
* Alternative Lifestyling
* The Biggest Sandcastle in the World
* Digeridooing it
* Beach Life
* Behind the Times
* Malaysian Roundup
* Kuala Lumpur vs. Bangkok
* Sad Samui
November 13, 2004
Conservation, preservation and slackerisation Part 1
After leaving Sydney we took a flight to Melbourne to start our 2 week placement for Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA). We felt that when planning our trip it would be good to 'give a bit back' during what is essentially in a lot of ways a holiday. (Plus the cost of it which included all food and accommodation were about a third of what our daily budget has to be in general so it seemed a good money saver). From the CVA office in Melbourne we learned we would be spending our two weeks in the city of Geelong. I often get quite excited about going to places that not many people go too even if they're really mundane. This 'excitement' normally wanes as soon as I get to the place and realise why no one goes there and this was certainly true in the case of Geelong.
Geelong is the second largest city in the state of Victoria but has little else going for it. It's one very good feature is the bay which it sits on called Corio bay. The house we were staying in provided great views over the bay with its blue waters and pretty marina. However, it speaks volumes of Geelong to say that the number 1 attraction is the National Wool Museum. Here is the website.
It ddidn't bode well for us that the rest of the house were either: Korean, 18 or a rather serious American named Michele. By the next day they all had nicknames: 'Stupid, Stinky, Grump and Serious'. The two Korean guys (Kevin and Phil) were funny but only because we found out their email addresses which were 'Brad Phil' (because he's like Brad Pitt, apparently) and Kevin style (because he's stylish, presumably).
Things improved as the week began and we were sent off to a project in the tiny town of Smeaton in Northern Victoria where we had to work to catalogue artefacts at an old abandoned mill. The building was really pretty impressive (as this picture fails to do justice):
On our first day we were given a warning about the snakes and spiders which lurked in wait for us. (This was the exact reason we chose to come to Victoria to do our conservation - my thought process was it's colder therefore less horrid things - apparently they don't respect state borders who would've thought?!) We also had a historian come and tell us stuff so that we could catalogue the items more accurately.
The work was ok and fairly interesting but it was a shame we were inside in the dark and dust when outside it was so nice. Increasingly though the project began to remind me a little of school. I would question the usefulness or purpose of the work: 'Why are we cataloguing stuff even when we don't really know what it is so we can only really give the most simple description of it?' was a pertinent one. Then we would start sneaking out earlier and earlier for breaks and lunch until finally we were playing 'connect four' on paper and noughts and crosses. Still the hours weren't so bad and the week passed fairly quickly. 'Stupid' or Lyndsey as it might be fairer to call her became an ally in slacking off early and it was all pretty good fun.
I will complete this in the next few days......
Richard, Greymouth, 12th November
Posted by Richard on November 13, 2004 06:47 AM
Email this page