We’re here! After a 36 hour journey, I am finally in Tasmania. My wheelchair arrived undamaged, which is always an amazing accomplishment. We had some great flights with super friendly and accommodating airline staff and flight attendants.
Our hosts, Malcolm and Rae, met us at the airport. Driving through Hobart, I noticed changes but the feeling of the city has not changed. One noticible difference was the presence of a cruise ship in the Derwent River. It was diverted to Hobart due to a cyclone in the Pacific. As I type this, the ship is traveling back down the Derwent out to sea.
Speaking of the Derwent, the river is so blue today! As an exchange student, I was spoiled by amazing views of the river at each of my host family houses. I’ve taken photos, but for some reason I can’t upload them to this post. I will try to get some photos up tomorrow.
I love being surrounded by Australian accents. When I came home from my exchange year, my friends and family made fun of “my accent.” Whenever I spend time with Australians, my speech pattern changes back to the way I imagine I sounded then. I expect I will be using rising inflections for sentences, “speaking in questions” as my sister Caroline used to say. This is not a conscious effort on my part – it just happens.
Kelly and I made ourselves at home and had just started a snack when a local newspaper reporter called to interview me for a story about the Rotary District Conference. As I answered her questions, all I could think was, “I’m not awake and alert enough for this!” Kelly assures me I sounded much more coherent than I felt.
Malcolm and Rae are organizing a barbecue in my honor on Wednesday. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with friends. I know this trip may be the last opportunity I may have to see some of them, and I want to make every encounter matter.
My rough estimate tells me it has been approximately 45 hours since my body last saw a bed. It is time for me to sleep. I’m fairy sure it is impossible for me to string any additional words together.
**Today’s post was brought to you by Kathy. Kathy’s daughter was my first college roommate. They heard all about my Tasmania exchange year during move-in day as I hung photos from my trip on my dorm room wall. Thank you so much for helping this return trip become a possibility!