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Australia Adventure

On The Road To The Fly

Monday, June 1, 2009


As our student adventure continues and we become more acclimated to the time, climate, food, and Australian slang terms (this is the best part) our experiences are having more of an impact. On our second day here we had the privilege of taking a drive on one of the top drives in the world. We were heading to the Otway Ranges and we went along the Southern Australian coast to get there. The road we took is known as The Great Ocean Road.

This road was built by Australians after WWI and during a time of economic depression provided many with desperately needed jobs. The took about 15 to construct and was built using dynamite, pick axes, and shovels. The road takes you along the southern coast of Australia and is quite windy in many sections. We were provided with lots of historical information about this area and the road itself by our travel manager Amanda. In many sections of the road we were told that there have been fires during periods of drought that have destroyed the landscape, including the great bush fire of 1983 (Also called Ash Wednesday). We were also treated with many spectacular panoramic views of the varying coastline. One of my favorite views is capture in the picture below

Upon our arrival to Otway the first order of business, besides lunch, was for the students to learn about the types of trees that are in the area. The best part was the students all were going to plant two different trees. The two types of trees they planted were Mountain Ash and Myrtle Beech. We had a fantastic guide during our time at Otway, his name is Peter. He shared a many great things about rain forests, climate change, the cyclical environment of the rain forest, and the impact rain forests have on our environment. One of our students, Sophie Bridges, had the opportunity to conduct a brief interview of Peter which is below.

The most important theme for the day was the emphasis of the interrelated nature of all the things in the forest. So for example: tree leaves drop water to the ground in areas that its' roots can get the water, water helps the trees grow (in addition to photosynthesis), the leaves also hold enough moisture that evaporates into the atmosphere that condenses and turns to rain, which in turn drops down to the leaves, and the cycle begins again. This is but one example of not only why trees are vital to a rain forest, but also how interrelated things are in the rain forest.

Can you think of other ways in which the rain forest is beneficial and vital to our environment?


Mark Hammons said...

Great article and video ken. Thomas Friedman would be proud of the interviewer for asking about climate change! Keep the good stuff coming!

Abimbola said...

Great stuff...

You and your students are gaining so much insight into Australia, her people and their culture (including the Australian slang).

Good luck with the rest of the trip. Have lots of fun while learning...

Anonymous said...

What type of trees did you learn about? It sounds like everyone had so much fun and learned so much.
Jenny Avetisyan
Mr.shelton period 7

Brittan Barmaper said...

It sounds like everyone is having a great time. I envy you. I would really like to learn more about that road that was built in Australia during WWI. You said that you got red dirt on your shoes and that you kind of hope that it won't come off... but how do you even get that red dirt off of your shoes? Anywho, I made a blog posting again stating that I am extremely jealous, but also about what I learned from some of the Australia postings.

日月神教-向左使 said...


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