My eyes have been opened!: AFL and SCUBA
Its hard to believe that interesting things are happening every two weeks of my life; when has that ever occurred? The truth is that my study abroad schooling has been full of new experiences and challenges – one for each weekend in fact. Last weekend, I was very inspired through our trip to an AFL game (Australian Football) that Butler took us to. At first, appearing to be unorganized and primitive on television, Australian rules football grew on me more and more, as I saw the level of fitness and athleticism that these men had. Once I understood all the jumping around, kicking, and pummeling, I gained a high level respect for the game. It would be a disaster if I tried to explain how the sport works, but being a big fan of contact sports I feel it is my duty to tell American readers that there are a few great sports out there that we as a country don’t participate in. Competition is probably one of the most universal qualities of mankind, and is perhaps our healthiest attribute, but It is always interesting to see the differences in how other culture’s pursue their own traditions of athletics and challenge (the Beijing opening ceremony comes to mind, with its beautiful display of tradition, power, and strength).
This past weekend during my Australia study abroad experience, I had the joy of learning to SCUBA dive. It has been a life long dream of mine to SCUBA in the Great Barrier Reef, and the closer I get, the more the excitement takes over. The 8 hours spent on SCUBA Theory in a class room, and another 8 in the pool were well worth the time, effort, and money spent. The class reminded me a bit of my Driver’s Ed course back in High school, but this time there were no insurance fees or long lines at the BMV (though the ever-worried mother part is still the same). SCUBA diving is an incredible sport, and I feel extremely lucky. The greatest difference between SCUBA and other sports is that it is quiet and peaceful, all underwater communication is done with signing, and if your doing things correctly, you find yourself in a buoyantly neutral state, like an astronaut in space. I never thought it could be so relaxing. Next weekend is my chance to apply what I have learned through several dives near the Morton and Stradbroke islands, and I can’t wait!
I must get back to studying, but will leave with the feelings of:
Satisfaction: all the past months work has led me to a proper student visa, Scuba classes, and a job (this week, I will start working with an Aussie friend of mine, as an “event staff” employee and server).
Joy: trudging through the struggles of the past few weeks has only brought reward. I will never stop wishing I could enjoy time with my friends back home, or searching for the familiarities and conveniences of life in the U.S., but as things start to come together, I begin to see the bigger, brighter picture, and I can see what I have overcome.
I thank God for the strength He provides