OzTREKK Director Jaime Notman is currently in Australia welcoming OzTREKK students and hosting our annual OzTREKK Orientations Down Under. She’s also practicing her left-hand driving by chauffeuring the OzTREKK Shuttle! To capture her adventures for the rest of us stuck in the Great White (Freezing!) North, Jaime has agreed to check in periodically with the Canadian Headquarters staff via email.
Here’s her next installment!
I think everyone has heard about my left-hand-side-driving learning curve, but I officially feel pretty good about it. The driving part is A-OK. The part where I have to have a real convo in my head is around parking—like when I pull out of a parking spot, I have to remind myself to go onto the left. Otherwise it’s been, well, normal and uneventful. Just in case you were concerned!
OzTREKK Shuttle time!
Oh, but the windshield washers. They mysteriously go off every time I attempt to turn my signal. 🙂
And, in other exciting news, I also got my bag! :: slow claps :: (For those of you who don’t know, my bag and I did not arrive in Australia together. It happens!) It arrived Saturday night and it’s so nice to have clothes today! I had to get an outfit for yesterday (winter clothes wouldn’t cut it) and a few toiletries, but now I’m a happy camper.
I feel that the lost bags started a bit of a domino effect, though, because I didn’t have any clothes, I needed to go and get some new shorts and a shirt. They’re really ugly (Kmart was the only place open). So, begrudgingly, I buy the shorts and mosey on.
Saturday was Griffith (more in a sec), but on Sunday (as I have a full suitcase) I woke up bright and early and was all “OK, I’ve gotta go for a run.” So I did. I tucked my iPhone in my bra strap and set out. Felt oddly good, actually. Then a few hours later, I go to take a picture of something and realize my back camera is all foggy. Can’t figure it out. I look again and realize there’s water under the lens. Only thing I could figure is that it’s my sweat, from my run. So, now I don’t have a rear-facing camera.
Anyway, I thought I’d give you a little update on the Griffith Orientation. So… we met the students at the Student Centre on campus. Lots of partners and wives. I was on the plane with another student. He was lovely.
We got a campus tour by a Griffith Mate (student volunteer) who was Canadian, and a Sri Lankan student, Tash, who is going into her third year at Griffith Medical School. She was amazing. She had a pass (it was Saturday) and so we got a pretty good tour of the med lecture halls and the med building and gave everyone advice about changing placements, getting study notes and secrets to the PBL. She was really great, absolutely lovely, and had lots of great advice for our OzTREKKers.
After the tour, we got in the van and because the Gold Coast weather wasn’t cooperating (wha??), we skipped the fish and chips on the (rainy) beach and went to a local surf club for some lunch. It was great: lots of chatting and fast friendships made. A couple of the students had a car (or a dad with them) so they didn’t need the shuttle.
A little later I shuttled everyone to Pacific Fair (which is *enormous*) and they shopped to their hearts’ delight.
Yesterday, as everyone didn’t need the van (they’re all quite settled!), I took it back and got a normal car for driving around. I figured while I’m here I’ll beef up on my familiarity with the area. Two places I wanted to check out were the Gold Coast University Hospital and the Robina Institute of Health. So I tooted around for much of the day.
The Bond Institute of Health & Sport — selfie style
Now, I’m no doctor, but the Gold Coast University Hospital is like nothing I’ve ever seen. It provides high-quality treatment for patients while also offering world-class facilities for health research and teaching, allowing Griffith University students of medicine, pharmacology, dentistry, nursing and public health to train in a genuine medical environment. The last time I was here we didn’t get a complete tour—at least I didn’t appreciate how absolutely enormous this complex / district is! Plus, because it’s new, everything is shiny and glistening. I really can’t say it enough: impressive is simply an understatement.
Because, you know, I know everything about medicine, I thought I’d take a spin through the hospital until someone told me to get outta there. After getting a cup of java (the cafeteria is lovely in case you were wondering), I just sorta wandered and it all seemed very medicine-y which is what you want, I suppose.
Then I went out to the Bond Institute of Health & Sport. I was all excited to take some pics for our Australian Physiotherapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh, but without the rear-facing camera, I could only take pictures selfie-style. But I didn’t want to actually take a selfie, so I’m standing in the field trying to hide from the front lens while taking a picture over my head. The hardest part was when my brain couldn’t flip my actions property (everything was backwards), so I’m looking at the screen (my back to the building) and it took forever while I had to do the “OK, tilt the camera up, no, no down… left…no, right.” I got one decent picture but my phone isn’t allowing me to attach it.
When I fly to Melbourne, I will visit the Apple Genius Bar and hopefully get some phone help.
Otherwise OzTREKK Orientations 2016 will be the year of the selfie.
Stay tuned for Jaime’s next blog!