I am on semester break for the next week so I am back in Canberra for the first half of this week for internship stuff. Last day of classes before semester break was Thursday, but I have massive amounts of work which I frantically tried to do all day Friday and Saturday. Apparently there was work I was supposed to be doing the last few months! I actually did a really good job of keeping up on all of my reading; now I just have major assignments like papers that take up a lot of time.
I took the bus to Canberra on Sunday and spent the day exploring Floriade (national flower show, similar to Cherry Blossom Festival in DC) and the Australian War Memorial. Both were really interesting. The war memorial was really moving. I wish I wasn't so tired by the time I got there- it was huge and I didn't get to spend as much time there as I wanted to.
Work yesterday was okay- a little stressful because of fuzzy expectations, but it was alright. Apparently my hostel reservation didn't go through last week so I didn't have a place to stay on Monday night. I had to pay heaps to stay in a hotel, but I think it was worth it not to wear shower shoes and to stay in the most comfortable bed ever!!
Today things at work went exponentially better. I am wrapping up my research on the Australia-US FTA so I briefed everyone on that. I don't think I have unearthed anything too meaningful but I think it's been good to pull all this info together for the group. It is election year here in Australia so now I am writing about the opposition party's defence policy. It has been incredibly interesting learning about Australia's foreign and defence policy. It's also really interesting learning about their political system- it's so different from ours! So I interviewed a guy from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and the assistant for the Shadow Minister of Defence. It'll take too long to completely explain a shadow minister but basically it would be like having a Democratic counterpart for every Republican cabinet member. Andrew (my internship supervisor) told me this afternoon that I need to get my head examined for thinking all of this is interesting- I'm sure most of you agree ;)
Tonight I am staying in a dorm room with 9 other people because there are no other rooms left in the hostel. I am just happy to have a place to stay! It should be very interesting getting up in the morning at 7 when everyone else is fast asleep. Luckily there is no nightlife whatsoever in Canberra so I don't have to worry about any drunks coming in late :) On Sunday night all the girls in my room went to bed at 10 pm- I can only cross my fingers tonight is as peaceful!! I am using this week as a trial to see if I will survive living in a hostel my last 3 weeks in Australia in December. It is iffy at this point... we will see :)
I have a massive amount of work to get done so I should get back to studying. Thursday I am headed to Melbourne!! Not really sure who I'm travelling with as people's plans keep changing, but I will see when I get there! I am just excited to see more parts of the country, especially now that it's warming up! I love being on permanent holiday.