An (Almost) Final Farewell
Well, my friends, the time has come. I sit in a once-again rather barren room, now devoid of nearly all its furnishings, ruminating on how quickly this time has flown. It seems only two days, not two months, since first I stepped off the plane into Brisbane, jetlagged but elated. And now, I pack up my bags for my exodus back to the States.
Well… Not quite. I am flying into New Zealand tomorrow, to spend a week in Christchurch and Wanaka. Among other things, I am taking a nature cruise around Milford Sound, horseback riding through the mountains, whitewater rafting, and hiking up Mt. Aspire. I won’t have any internet, but I will post pictures of my adventures there when I return to the States on October 8th.
Before I bid you adieu, I thought I’d give you some snapshots of myself with my elusive, wonderful homestay family, who have, until now, not appeared in any of my pictures. They have been absolutely wonderful to me, taking me camping and making me feel quite at home here in Brisbane. They are quite a multicultural family, being British (Ed is pure British), Brazilian and German (Christiane was born in Brazil but has relatives in Germany and spent many years there). They are a crucial part of why my time here has been so wonderful.
From far left; Lara, 4 years old, myself, Tom, 7 years old, and Ed, my homestay father. This was on the way back from camping at Mt. Barney; we decided to stop in at a beach on the Gold Coast.
From far left: Lara, Tom, Christiane (my homestay mother), and myself. This was camping at Mt. Barney, waiting for dinner to be ready. (Doesn’t it look delicious?)
This week, I spent my last couple w0rk experience days in Cytogenetics. This was a VERY fascinating department, and the one that I had been looking forward to the most. It is here that they analyze genetic defects, study cancer genes, and diagnose a wide range of diseases through karyotyping and genetic analysis. This is very much my field of interest, and it was very informative working there. They even had a technique for attaching florescent markers to specific gene loci to map out genetic defects and problems! The kind director of the lab let me snap a few shots of the main area. Here they are.
And with that, I will bring this post to a close. My time here in Australia has been a transfiguring experience that has influenced my world views, political opinions, and scientific curiosities. Truly, coming here was the chance of a lifetime.