Arriving at UTS on day one was both exciting and frightening, I was about to spend the next nine days with complete strangers. I woke up at 4 am to finish packing and as I was too excited for the trip I ended up arriving at UTS at 6:10am, oops. As everyone started arriving the excitement just grew stronger and I couldn’t wait to get on the road with these people; at UTS we played some bonding games, such as wah, electricity, little sally walker and others whilst OPS were preparing everything for the adventure. You could tell everyone was excited and nervous by their faces which was comforting because it meant I wasn’t the only one freaking out haha.
After the games we all headed to the bus, and as we hit the road our journey began. I didn’t know who to sit with so I asked Charlotte (tall chick) to sit with me which turned out to be a great choice because she shared her Ed Sheeran collection with me during the trip. I started noticing that the trip was big on games because literally every minute that we had free was filled with games, especially emotional werewolves (a white bus favourite).
After a lot of laughter, games, and talks we arrived at Gooloongong, a very small town that I believe is made of six streets. The locals were extremely welcoming and friendly opening the door of their log cabin for us to spend the night in. After a couple of housekeeping stuff (unloading the bus) we got into our groups, and began a scavenger hunt around town which was pretty much running around taking pictures of things in a list we got given, it was heaps fun because we ended up bonding with the people in our group.
We returned to the cabin around 6pm and had a roast dinner provided by the locals (with homemade desserts). Andi and I decided to venture into the cold weather for a shower before bed. The night was really cold and I barely slept, but it was what I signed up for and I just enjoyed every minute of it.
Our team at Landcare. Not pictured is the dead cow just out of frame.
Now onto the next morning… We got woken up by crops shouting ‘G-O-O-D M-O-R-N-I-N-G’ very early so we could have breakfast and get ready for the projects. I chose to work on land care which involved planting trees in a field to help the birds get around. In my opinion it was the best choice because I got to work with an amazing view and great people. It made me feel so good knowing that I had helped the town and the environment. Al the other projects went great as well (as everything is at The Big Lift). There were groups mulching gardens, waxing fire engines and clearing out the old log cabin to allow for renovations to get underway.
So far I am having the time of my life with the best group of people at UTS. I am really glad I applied for this. It is so rewarding xoxoxoxoxoxoxo
- Carolina De Martino