Tuesday, 23 July 2013

A Nova Goodbye

 After coming back from the Tablelands on Sunday afternoon I got to work making something very Australian for a special person.

M, the lovely Nova staff person, lady, that looks after us teachers as well as the students has reached the end of her time in Australia. As a thank you and to celebrate her time with us I decided that mini pavlovas would be a fitting farewell cake to share. The new staff member M2 and our new student for this week helped put together this Aussie dessert and loved getting to make and try something new.
The student and M2 helping with the mini pavlovas.

We topped the mini pavs with some cream, strawberries, kiwi fruit and passion fruit. Doing this also introduced the student and M2 to some new fruits and what they look like in whole form.


Now just to fill you in M has been our backbone, our tour organiser, our paperwork preparer, our technical assistant, our training organiser, our local communications and contact person, our blogger, our advertiser, our tea maker, our company, our friend, our Cairns downtown guide, our translator, our ideas sounding board and make happener and much more.

M has loved her time in Aus, her time in Cairns working and being a tourist. I know she has seen so much more of the Cairns area than what I have.

She really doesn't want to go but I am sure she will enjoy seeing her friends and family in Japan even though she will miss the friends she has made in Aus.

I wish her all the best and I am sure I will see her back in Cairns soon.

So we lit sparklers, took photos and tucked into the tasty treat.

I think our combined effort looked great and it tasted delicious too.
M loved her surprise.

Then it was back to work for us all.
Our new student who is here for a week is a lovely lady. She is very interested in anything Australian from the language to quirky Australianisms to Australian history.

She learnt the interesting names we have for people who live in each of the states like ...
Queenslanders: Banana Benders or Cane Toads
New South Welshmen: Cockroaches or Coat Hangers
Victorians: Mexicans or Gumsuckers or Yarra Yabbies
Tasmanians: Jam Eaters or Apple Eaters or Taswegians
South Australians: Crow Eaters or Wheatbelters
Western Australians: Sand Gropers
Northern Territorians: Top Enders or Territorians
Australian Capital Territorians: Roundabouters.

I had to find some of these out so we both learnt something.
There may even be more of these state based nick names.
Do you know any?
A tamarin tree on the Esplanade.
Pods on a Tamarin Tree. You can eat the flesh inside.

She also learnt that Captain Cook 'discovered' Australia in 1770 and suggested it as a place for a colony but that explorers looking for trading opportunities had been to Australia's shores before that but didn't like what they found when there was nothing like spices or cloth to trade so went on their way.
A Mango tree in flower on the Esplanade.

She learnt that Australia was first settled by convicts and soldiers as a penal colony for England. That they sent criminals charged for major crimes and small crimes like stealing bread because they were starving. Also that they came on 11 ships that were used as prisons as the 'First Fleet' and that the left England in May 1787 and arrived in January 1788 on the 25th which is now Australia Day and that they settled Sydney.
People enjoying the weather by the manmade Lagoon.

The student also learnt G'day and beauty. She thought using beauty for something great or good was funny and that is was a bit strange that a lot of Australians call things female even though they aren't a female or male noun like some other languages have ie That's a huge fish, she's a beauty. Nice car, she's a beauty!
What Australian slang do you know or use?
Sitting and looking at tours.

She was also interested in the origins of the Australian English version of things.
My theory made up on the spot was that Australia was originally settled by a very lower class part of society so we gained a lot of the language traits from them like a broad accent and some words. Also that our country is filled with people for many different cultures and heritages so words and colloquialisms from other languages have snuck into the language. Then that Australians wanted it be individual so made some things up and they caught on.
Please note I haven't looked into this at all.
What do you think?

Our afternoon expedition was our typical student's first day activity which is a walk around downtown Cairns.
This time we went through Woolworths checking out all the fresh produce. The student walked out with a packed of TimTams to try after learning how to use the self serve register. We went through the Court House Hotel which was a courthouse and is now a bar. We discovered some old photos of Cairns inside. We also looked through an Aboriginal gallery with some very interesting artworks on show along with painted didgeridoos and boomerangs. We talked about how the painting all had meaning and told a Dreamtime story or part of a story from the Aboriginal culture and that these stories explained how animals look, landforms were made and other phenomena like drought. We then headed down to the Esplanade and checked out the Lagoon and had a sit in the shade.
A beach almond? according to a man on the Esplanade. The seed is edible, maybe.
The bike track along the Esplanade.

I had a lovely day and I hope the student, M and M2 did as well.

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