Sunday, March 29, 2009

Australia zoo

Today we had a wonderful and exciting day ... we went to Steve Irwin's Australia zoo. It is about 40 minutes drive from our house in a beautiful area close to the Glasshouse mountains

My impression of the zoo is great, it's not huge, but they really look after their animals, and focus on conservation. You cannot believe the amount of staff! When we walked through the gates we were greeted by someone holding a baby croc and someone holding a snake. We had the opportunity to touch the animals.

Of course Brett dared me to touch the snake ... eeeewww!!!

But I surprised myself and stepped upto the challenge ...

The kids had less trouble with that, obviously more genes from their daddy!

The kids had story time when someone kept them busy for a couple of minutes while we enjoyed the best cup of coffee ever!

Look at the size of this python:

Then we watched the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors show:

Are you ready for some serious wildlife action? Our keepers and their amazing animals will take you on a slithering, swooping, jaw-snapping adventure of epic proportions! Every day in the Crocoseum we are taking on the world’s conservation issues and protecting the animal kingdom, and we want you to join our army of Wildlife Warriors. Come on a journey of discovery and learn all about the incredible world of giant snakes, majestic elephants, colourful, soaring birds and those prehistoric legends, the big Saltwater Crocodiles. Wooo-hoo!

Interesting that the guy who presented some of the show was a Steve Irwin lookalike with the name of "Steven". Forgot to take a photo of him though.

At some point they had these parrots flying around in the arena, amazing!

I thought this guy was more than a bit crazy:

The kids fed some farms animals (I must admit, I think I enjoyed this even more than they did!)

Me and the kids petting a kangaroo, their fur is incredibly soft and fluffy!

And touching koala bears. Their fur is so thick and soft!

And of course, Brett had to show off ;-)

I think Jessica fell asleep before we left the parking lot, and Ryan not long after that, they were exhausted!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Drivers license

Yesterday Brett and I both did the practical driving test in order to get our Queensland driver's licenses. My appointment was at 08:00 and everything went well, except for the reverse park (parallel parking) where I almost drove on top of the kerb and almost failed because of that. When you go for the license you are allowed to make 8 minor driving errors, but 1 fatal mistake can fail you. Driving onto the kerb would have been a fatal mistake. So in the end I passed with 7 minor errors. I paid my fee for 5 years (you can choose from 1 - 5 years) of $70 and were out of there before 9:00 ... with my new license in my hand! No waiting for 6 - 8 weeks! So that took less than an hour to do my driving test, pay my fee, have a photo taken and get the license ... amazing!!!

The pressure was then on Brett ... his appointment was at 09:30. We swopped cars (he did the test in my car, a manual) Jess and I went to the shops and I was so nervous that he wouldn't pass! An hour later he phoned me ... he had failed ... went over the speed limit. I met him somewhere to swop cars again so that I could go to work and he showed me ... his Queensland driver's license! He passed, didn't go over the speed limit like he said! He only made 5 minor errors ... With Brett you never know, do you? :-)

So now we've both got our Aussie driver's licenses, and what a relief that is!

Ryan is doing really really well at school! According to the teacher, the two Ryans are inseparable!

Jess is loving the time with her daddy, but is not giving him a lot of free time to do his thing. Brett joined the gym and goes to gym every morning. He leaves her with a lady there that looks after the kids for a small fee, a much needed break for the dad!

Work is going well, I'm enjoying it here and the work is challenging. I leave home at 06:00 in the morning and get here around 06:45. I'm not so tired anymore, getting used to getting up so early in the morning.

This weekend we're going to visit our friends, Thomas and Ilona, on the gold coast. Can't wait!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The job ...

As most of you know, I got the job! They first offered me a 3 month contract, but then phoned back later to offer me the permanent position (the guy who they offered the job to first got a counter offer from his company and they didn't want to match it) So lucky me!

Yesterday was my first day, and boy was the traffic bad! They wanted me to be there at 08:30 so that they could get stuff ready for me, and I left home just before 7, dropped Ryan off and managed to get there about 2 minutes late. Took me about 90 minutes to drive the 35 km. The traffic back wasn't that bad, drove a different route, 45 km, and it only took an hour. Left work at 5 and got home at 6. It's a small company, about 10 people, and they're all very friendly and helpful. The big boss is a South African (English), started the company 20 years ago, the IT manager is also South African (also English), here for 10 years. Then there's also another guy, a Delphi developer, in Australia for 4 months now, Afrikaans. I'm quite happy to work with the South Africans, makes the transition just a little bit smoother.

The nice thing about the job is that they offer flexible work hours. So as long as I do my 40 hours a week and I'm here between 9:00 and 14:00, I can come in earlier and leave earlier if I want! That suits me perfectly! This morning I got up at 05:15, showered, got ready and left at 06:00. Traffic was much better and I got to work at 06:50. Which means that I can leave at around 15:30. Great!!! Still gives me some time to spend with the family if I don't pass out ;-)
Ryan is doing great, he made a friend at school. Last week Thursday was the first day that he told me he wasn't ready to go home just yet. Showed me around the play ground and I chatted to him and his buddies. It's still a bit of a struggle to get him to go to school in the mornings, but at least we know that he has fun there.

I think it's time for Brett to contribute a bit to the blog again, I'll get him to write an update on our trip to the gold coast!