Photos - Tuan N
Guest blogger - Maree
Arriving at uni at 7.30am on any other day would feel like a form of cruel and unusual punishment but today, Saturday the 7th of July 2012 was probably one of those rare exceptions when everyone in the building had a huge smile plastered on their faces !
Why you ask ?
Well obviously it's not any other day you get the opportunity to embark on a week long trip guaranteed to widen your horizons, greater your appreciation for life and give you a new and unique group of friends !
After a quick introduction by every member of the entire team and an explanation of the rules of a game of electricity that seemed like it took way too long to comprehend, the team was able to cross their first boundaries- holding hands- as we tried to race against each other to pass an 'electric zap' along the line and grab the totem first (the poor totem being Kermit the frog !- a thoroughly traumatic experience for him I'm sure).
After the usual group shots, distribution of itineraries and year books (and of course the long awaited team shirt) we were FINALLY on our way ! Sarah was quick to make it clear that if we didn't fall in love with our fabulous team song - 'Call me Maybe' we would be booted out of the bus, we went through the usual admin stuff and were privileged enough to enjoy a carefully selected playlist by our fabulous bus driver Bazza. Hits included 'Baby' and a fantastic selection of 1D songs to get us hyped up for the week ahead.
Our leaders no doubt in an attempt to see if they could spark any team romances (joking !) used "speed friending" as our ice breaker game. I definitely was feeling a bit nervous about talking to so many different people (fearing my semi asleep state would result in delirious and nonsensical comments) but there was absolutely nothing to worry about ! The White bus team is not only friendly, warm and welcoming but they're altruistic and funny and I'm guessing they will be the best pseudo family for the next week that I could ask for (in fact, even now as they play games in Gulgong I'm keen to finish this blog and get back out there to strengthen friendships !)
The bus ride to Lithgow was otherwise non-eventful with the exception of one of the team losing an earring and Eva beginning her collection of creepy photos of the members of the team that had fallen asleep on the bus and we all arrived on schedule (shock horror !) to Lithgow where we indulged our inner Child with delightful squeals on the playground equipment in the park. The first of our quote book quotes surfaced - I'm sure no-one will ever look at Playground or sporting equipment without a chuckle ever again.
Our drive to Gulgong was breathtaking. The team settled into watching a movie or antisocially blasted iPods and stared out the window and though admittedly I slept for most of it, from what I did see, my jaw certainly dropped. The countryside looked lush and inviting. Watching the transition from bush to farm land was a sight to see and made me that much keener for exploring the rest of rural NSW and QLD.
Arriving in Gulgong we had a quick bus tour especially noticing the 'Ten Dollar Motel'- which certainly sparked a few giggles- (The rest of the team was able to explore more thoroughly later on during a 'surprise' scavenger hunt) before arriving at our first accommodation with a warm greeting awaiting us from the Minister of the church we were staying at and the head of the association we would be performing our first jobs for.
We split into teams and headed out on a scavenger hunt around the town, stayed back to play frisbee and have a chat with local high school students (or should I say student, since only one showed up !) or headed out to buy some food supplies (Sorry to the leaders for being delegated that role !).
Its just before five now and the team is relaxing with card games (or should I say getting over excited thanks to a few rounds of Reverse Snap, UNO and Sandwich) and some sort of tribal dance outside (all I can hear is them chanting and running around a circle).
I'll be honest, I'm nervous about what this week will bring but I feel an overwhelming sense of excitement for the week ahead and thankfulness for the amazing White bus team for 2012 !
Singing out from Gulgong for now -Hope you've enjoyed reading about the day so far ! Until tomorrow,
By Maree Selvaraj