Wednesday 31 July 2013

A Nova-fied Tuesday

30th July

At the moment I normally don't work Tuesday but this Tuesday was a work day, a Nova day and as an added bonus it was my day with the three children visiting us. This was my first time teaching English to a very much younger Japanese student. I think it went well, I hope it did.

We did 'What is your favourite colour?'

We did ...
'What animal is this?' It's a koala.
'What colour is this animal?' It's grey.
 'What size is it?' It's medium.

We coloured animals and we repeated again and again and again. 

It's a crocodile.
It's green
It's big.

We did 'Whats your favourite animal?' I like ...
We played animal name bingo where the students had to find the first letter/ sound of the animal that I called out on their bingo card. Prize ... a freddo frog, yum!

We made origami koalas. Fast little hands were good at this. Some even made a baby koala too.

We had some artists at work on the white board.

We had some constructive mess.

We had puzzle making teamwork.

And some animal finding at the end.

We had races to find the Australian animals like the emu, the wombat, the snake, the platypus and the dingo. We had noise making which annoyed the people in the office next door hehe.

We had an alphabet game where the students gently threw a freddo (short on tools here) at the letter board and thought of something that started with that letter sound. F ... fffff ... frog
They got to keep their freddo.

We had some koala counting and colouring while waiting for their Mums.

In the afternoon we had some koala cuddling and watching.

We had some blue tongue lizard teasing.

We had some crocodile spotting and touching.

We also had some bird spying (another story) and some snake watching.
And lastly we had some tired feet and brains all around.

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Sunday 28 July 2013

Tax, Native Flowers, The Second Goodbye and BBQ Time

What a long title ... hehe

I am blogging between helping Mr Sparky fill out his online tax (meaning doing it for him). I have yet to get onto mine ... anything is better.

Friday morning saw me scoping local streets for some pretty native flower to share.
On Wednesday one of the things the Nova student and I talked about was the Australia's floral emblem was Wattle which is why the sporting team colours are green and gold, just like the flower.
So I promised to try and find some wattle or another native flower knowing that wattle is a little hard to locate here.

I didn't find wattle as expected but I easily found some Bottle Brush and Grevillea. The bottle brush amused the student no end who decided it's name suited it because it looked like a Bottle Brush for washing up. She hit the nail on the head there and her humour coming through, yet again, was refreshing.

Our last day's lesson was mainly about the differences between Australia and Japan as well as a little bit about Australian foods. Already knowing this I was prepared with some ANZAC Biccies (bought, slap on the wrist) and Vegemite.

 The student and our new M2 tried Vegemite for the first time and first tastes saw neither impressed but the student persevered and decided that you get used to the taste after a while.

We also went off track like usual (I was told that this is the best thing, and it is) and looked at the Australian flags: Australia, Aboriginal and Torris Strait. The student informed me that Japan has only ONE flag and Australia has too many (said with a smile). I then explained we have even more flags than that including state flags and the Eureka flag. How many flags can you think of?

While the student did her 'test' I doodled, drawing some of the flowers we had talked about for her to keep.

After her test and presentation it was time to head off for our farewell BBQ, another goodbye for this week.
But while we were packing up we got side tracked (meaning I sided tracked us by looking out the windows) and we saw the Navy coming to town ... okay so coming into port. It was very interesting to watch those little tugs guide that rather large ship around.

We did make it down for our BBQ though and we were all hungry. The cruel thing about a BBQ is the yummy smells and a hungry tummy, urgh.

  We had a little kangaroo steak, some sausages and onions and the student helped with the very difficult task of food watching.

I on the other hand was boat watching as well as being main BBQ chef.
Fishing trawlers were in at the wharf. 

Having never lived on the coast or by a busy port I am finding the boating traffic very interesting plus it is good for sidetracking my mind from my hunger while smelling those delicious, smokey BBQ smells.

We really enjoyed our little feast, tucking in as soon as it was ready.
We had some other visitors come by who thought they might enjoy our BBQ as well.

Our BBQ place down by the wharf is such a lovely area to sit, chat and eat. The weather was a bit windy this week but the view was as good as ever.

After cleaning up the BBQ and our mess the student and I had a little walk on the fishing pier which had the dredging barge tied up that I saw last time.

The pier has information about the fish you might catch and the habitat they live in. I love the fishy cut out signs along the way.

What a lovely finish to a great week.
I didn't want to see this student go with her sense of humour and eagerness to try new things and learn EVERYTHING she could about Australia.

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Oh Mr Sparky's tax is done minus some important missing paperwork that need put in later ... Yay!

Thursday 25 July 2013


 What a big tail you have ...

What big teeth you have ...

What big claws you have ...

This is Goliath.

He is a huge Estuarine Crocodile or Salt Water Crocodile or Salty.
He is estimated to be 60 years old and is about 4 meters long.
Salties can grow up to about 7m long so he isn't that big in the scheme of things but it takes a long time for this slow growing animal to reach a huge size. 
Now big crocs like Goliath see humans as a food source but they still have the instinct to fear us, so to be on the safe side no swimming in croc areas is advised. This is especially because unlike their similar looking relative, the alligator, they don't give warning or bluff. They are aggressive and will choose to attack and mean it.

As Goliath is a huge reptile he is a cold blooded animal and during winter he goes into a partial hibernation. He cannot digest food during this time and so has very little interest in it. Instead he gets his energy from the sun so spend his time soaking up rays.

This is a little salty that is about 1meter long is only a few years old.

 Despite her smaller size I still don't think I want to mess with those little, sharp teeth.

The skin on her back is hard, tough and rough. Her hind legs are big and strong, so strong that she could still get by very well (especially in the water) without her forelegs.

Her belly is soft and smooth from sliding on her belly across sand and rocks.

Now here is another croc that doesn't grow as big and is a bit quieter.
It is a Freshwater Crocodile or a Freshy.
They only grow about as long as that big salty Goliath is now, 3 to 4 meters and are not as solid looking.

I was told yesterday that freshies are the Australian version of an alligator but with more aggression.
Some more comparisons between crocs and alligators for you:

Alligators: colour - blackish/grey, jaw - 'U' shaped, teeth - upper teeth visible when jaw is closed, habitat - freshwater swamps, lakes and slow flowing steams, location - America, China

Crocodiles: colour -  olive green/brown, jaw - 'V' shaped, teeth - lower and upper teeth visible when jaw is closed, habitat - freshwater swamps, slow moving rivers, mangroves, estuaries, location - Australia, Africa, North and South America, Asia.
All alligators are crocodiles yet all crocodiles are not alligators. This is because both alligators and crocodiles are members of the reptilian order Crocodylian yet are from two different families, the Alligatoridea family and the Crocodylidea family

Now this place may look a bit familiar. Yep we've been back to the Cairns Wildlife Dome which I blogged about about a 3 weeks ago here with this weeks student. She loved the animals and touching a crocodile.

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What animals are special to your area?
Do you have crocodiles or alligators?


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