Once we returned from New Zealand we had a quick two weeks at home in American Samoa and were off to Australia. Dad participated in an organizational meeting of water and wastewater professionals from 27 island nations in the Pacific... Mom and Noah tagged along for the ride. We had a two day layover in Sydney and did some exploring, we made sure to visit the opera house....
Sydney is a busy City and we were quick to realize that the rushing and stressing of "non-island" life is something that we DO NOT miss. We could literally feel the anxiety of the people all around us rushing to where ever it is they couldn't wait to get.
I think that once you live on a little island for more than a year your perception of "normal" life or even the American way changes a lot. That first year is definitely key, during my first year in American Samoa I thought I would be gone the second my contract ended. The slow pace and difficulties in accomplishing many tasks were very frustrating to someone who feels the need to constantly be moving and working. I now realize that, even with all the rushing and e-mails until midnight, my work back home wasn't getting me anywhere fast and I certainly had less of an impact than I do here. Being able to bring technical skills and professionalism to such a small community has given me the ability to see major changes and improvements that are a direct result of my work. I am still one of the most highly strung employees at my place of business, but a stop in Sydney was a big reminder of how much calmer life and myseld are now.
OK... digression over. We may not have enjoyed the city anxiety level, but we do love having so many more choices of food than on our little island! Knowing very little about Sydney prior to this trip, I was suprised at the mix of old and new. Sydney has some very cool historic features.
After our stop in Sydney were went to Canberra, the Australian capital, which has the feel of a deserted Washington D.C. as it is design for a larger population than is currently sustains. Dad didn't see much more than the inside of a conference room, but Mom and Noah did a lot of exploring. Below is a picture of the Parliament House at sunset.
Our trip home afforded us a layover in Samoa where Noah got some serious pool time. He was able to better master his swimming skills without dealing with ocean waves.
Noah has also mastered snorkeling and it's awesome to hear him yell from his snorkel tube when he sees a cool fish.
The Jaskowiak Family
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