Day 14: Sunday 4th August:

I wake at 6. 45am. Good news-Pietersen’s scored 100 and Ian Bell 60. Englandare nearly 300 for 7. Even better news-Rain is forecast for Old Trafford. I’m sorry for you back home, we’re heading for Brisbane with the forecast predicting sunny weather and temperatures of 24°C.
We leave our motel at 8.30am and transfer to Calrossy. All our students and their hosts are there when we arrive at 8.50am.
While the cases are being loaded I go around as many parents as possible to thank them. They are unanimous in their praise for our students “Your school should be really proud of them.” I was told three times. “We are, but it is they that deserve the credit.” I replied on each occasion.
We leave at just after 9.00am and start our long 10 hour drive north. Many of the Calrossy parents tell me that Mooloolaba is a lovely place. It’s on the Sunshine Coast, which they say is nicer than the Gold Coast which has become very urbanised and commercial. I am certainly looking forward to going there.
Once we are underway, I compliment the students on their behaviour and go down the bus to hear of their experiences. They are all very enthusiastic about them, perhaps even more so than when we were departing Sydney.
Ailsa Howells and Jessica Rees had stayed with a really nice family. They had been well looked after and enjoyed their stay. They had a large family with 5 children. They had enjoyed fantastic steaks and the mum had made an Orio cheesecake and given them the recipe. Last night they had had a ‘film night’ and watched 3 films; Red dawn, Pitch perfect and She’s the one.
Kira Button and Bethan Rees said their family had been really nice. They had been taken for a massage and ‘had their nails done’. They had done loads of shopping and their hosts had sent 10kgs of their goods back home for them to save weight in their cases-aren’t they lucky!!! The food had been nice and they had been given a massive packed lunch to take with them today.
‘Class’ was how Ethan Hopkins and Tom Wallace described their hosts. They had gone to Marsupial Park in Gunnedah-they had stroked a koala and seen a 7ft Emu. The only problem was that the ‘gravy was poor’.
At Calrossy, I had spoken to Morgan Curtis’ and Shane Harris’ host and he had said how impressed he had been with them. They had returned to Marsupial Park. They had fed kangaroos that were bigger than they were. ‘It was a heck of an experience!’ said Shane. They had gone for a meal at the ‘Hog’s breath’ chain of restaurants. “That was good too.”
I also spoke to the host of Scott Smith and Joel Young, he said, “They were brilliant and could come back at any time.” Scott and Joel said that they had eaten kangaroo and it was nice. They had also gone to the cinema and watched ‘Conjuring’ it was a really scarey movie. They had also gone ten-pin bowling with Lewis Macdermott and Marcus Besley. Lewis and Callum said that they had really enjoyed their hosts. It had been a ‘good experience’. They had gone to a farm auction where they’d had a steak sandwich which was really nice. Lewis had done some work on the farm-moving bales of hay-and he’d adopted the young seven year old daughter as his sister. Last evening they’d sat outside around a camp fire with the neighbours.
I also spoke to Julia Hughes and Sarah Wedlake’s host. He said they had ‘been great and they were really polite’. Julia and Sarah had really enjoyed their stay. They had been hosted about an hour away from Tamworth in Gunnedah. They had been taken on a 400km drive on Saturday. They had gone to see a Woollen Mill and then gone to the Hanging rock look out where there were ‘amazing views’ The farm they stayed on was so far out that you would ‘see kangaroos just hopping past the window’.
The host of Callum Macdermott and Rhys Cherry had only one complaint. “Callum’s a terrible shot”. On the first evening they had gone clay pigeon shooting. Rhys had hit ‘two out of three’ Callum had only hit ‘one out of ten’. His host had put one of the clays on the floor in front of him and told him ‘to hit that’ Callum still missed. His host said “Don’t worry it wasn’t your fault, it definitely moved”. On the second night, the host had taken them ‘lamping’ where they use lights to find rabbits to shoot. The host said, ‘the rabbits were standing still and laughing at the lads, they were such poor shots’. Rhys and Callum told me “we missed on purpose sir”. They were treated to two T-bone steaks each while they were there. They both said the experience was ‘amazing’.
Rob James and Rhodri Tyrrell said that their hosts were ‘lovely’. They had been given a ‘massive’ breakfast and they’d eaten so much meat that they’d had the ‘meat sweats’. They had been taken to Marsupial Park in Gunnedah where they had seen wallabies and kangaroos.
Dylan Treharne and Richard Keefe had stayed with the DT teacher. They were a nice family and they had been ‘really well looked after’. On Saturday they had gone to watch the son play hockey in the morning and then watched the town team, the ‘Pirates’, play rugby in the afternoon.
Hannah Breeze-Jones had been hosted on her own. The family were ‘lovely’. They had gone shopping on Saturday and then gone to Marsupial Park where she’d seen ‘loads of kangaroos’.
Georgia Davies and Emma Kieft said they had been well looked after and stayed with ‘nice’ people. They’d enjoyed going shopping on Saturday afternoon.
Alex Freeman and Tom Froom had stayed with a ‘lovely family’. They were always willing to take them out to do things. The house had a lot of land and they used a ‘buggy’ to get around. Tom had broken the clutch on his!!!! They had also done archery at the house and the food was ‘really nice’.
Tom Wedlake and Sam Grunhut had stayed on a farm about an hour from the school. They were really nice people and they’d had an ‘awesome experience’ They had gone out shooting and shot two kangaroos and a rabbit using rifles. They then went ‘pigging’ which is where they take dogs out chasing wild pigs. For the farmers, the kangaroos, pigs and rabbits are a real problem causing damage to crops and animals so they are keen to ‘cull’ them.
I had spoken to Sian Jenkins and Hannah Williams’ host. They were full of compliments for the girls who they said had been ‘really polite’.
Sian and Hannah said their host had been ‘really nice’ The meals had been great, they’d had Bolognese on the first night and steak on the second night. On Saturday night they had watched the daughter play netball and then gone to a ‘lovely’ cake shop. They had gone shopping in the afternoon and watched ‘Crocodile Dundee, in the evening. They must have been preparing themselves for Australia zoo.
Nia Devonald and Gemma Evans stayed with a really nice family. The meals were nice and they did two lots of washing for them. They took them ten pin bowling also.

Elaine Tucker and Laura Baker were also well looked after. On Friday night after the dance they went to a friend’s farm and looked through a telescope at the stars. They saw Saturn. On Saturday, they went to Marsupial Park and they were surrounded by kangaroos. In the evening, they went to a barbecue with Hannah Breeze-Jones where they had a kangaroo burger.

Rachel Walsh said her family were very welcoming, the Mum was nice. On Saturday – they went to another town and they went to a mineral spa there. They then when to see her horses.
Molly Kabia and Rachael Williams said their hosts were “awesome”. They ate kangaroo, which tasted nice… the only thing was the portion sizes were small. On Saturday night some Australian boys came over and they spent the night chatting.
I spoke to Keelan Giles and Steffan Gibbon’s hosts – who said that they were both quiet and a little shy but very polite boys. They said it was really nice there. They had nice food and did archery. It was a little cold at night.
I also spoke with Jayde Anderson’s and Jade Meredith’s host who said they were both talkative – I said “that would be Jayde Anderson” – the host said that it was both. Jade and Jayde said that the hosts were very nice people, they were taken to the cinema and they watched ‘Worlds end’. It was not Jayde’s type of movie and she fell asleep.
Jack Cambriani and Max Harris had a good time and said they stayed with really nice people. On Saturday they went into Tamworthand went to a coffee shop. In the afternoon they watched the son play rugby, his team lost, but he played well.
Bethany Davies and Brittany Jenkins said they were with really nice people. They bought Brittanya chocolate birthday cake. They had outstanding food there. All they did was eat. They also went ten pin bowling with Nia and Gemma.
Katy Baran and Yvie Powe were with really nice people, who treated them like family. They took them horse riding – it was the first time for both of them. The hosts then drove them into the outback and they saw kangaroos and had a nice brunch.
Alycia Carpanini enjoyed her hosts, she had a lie in until 10.30 am – then they went to Manilla for dinner, after which they went horse riding. Her host had twenty horses. In the evening, they had a bonfire and cooked their own food on it. Alycia screamed when a big brown spider went on her leg – “did it bite you?” they asked… “no!” said Alycia, she squished it. “That was lucky,” they said, “it was venomous.” They had the anti-venom handy.
We stop at Glen Ennis at 11.45am for lunch. As it’s Sunday the only place which is open is a MacDonald’s-no one seemed to mind. We stop for 35 minutes and when we leave, we see a sign that tells us the height is 1072m – almost as high as Snowdon.
Miss Jeffreys organises the donkey of the day vote. As usual there are the normal large number of contenders. Bethan Rees was nominated because at the hockey – she had leant backwards in the shower and pressed the shower and soaked herself and all her clothes.
Mr Walters was nominated (again!!) because in his interview with the newspaper, he said we had five teachers with our party – I think he teaches maths?
Surprisingly!!!! Molly Kabia was nominated – as she was driving past a lake with her hosts, she asked them “Are there any sharks in that lake?”
Rachael Williams had tipped a glass of water on her hosts speciality lasagne, she was nominated.
Shane Harris caused concern amongst the group when he asked “Are there elephants in Australia?”
However there was no doubt about the winner, Mr Mason’s geriatric and dated dance moves coupled with the fact that he had lost the contingency credit card saw him the comfortably taking the shirt from Elaine.
We continued on our journey and arrived at Matthew Flinders at 6.30pm. In the dark, it looked an impressive school. The students are greeted by their hosts and depart quickly. We transfer to our apartments in Mooloolaba, even though it is dark – we can tell we are in a beautiful environment and go to bed looking forward to the sunrise.
Tomorrow we are off to Australia zoo.

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