First Day in Brisbane

I suppose this counts as “hitting the ground running.” 


After arriving at 7AM, making my way to the hotel and getting settled in, I checked email and found an invitation from Judy Magub, who is the Rotary liaison for Peace Fellows at U.Q. She said there was a Rotary meeting Wednesday night where three of the current fellows were going to be speaking, and that the director of the Peace Fellow program, Espen Malmberg, was in town from Chicago, and that they would be pleased if I would join them. 


So I went to dinner with those folks and got to meet three of the current Fellows. I was really taken with all three of them, and sad that they will have all graduated by the time I start. These are pretty amazing people:


Cecilia Ndzewe is moving back to Zambia to become the Operations Director for an NGO there. Vikas comes from a family of Ghandians in India and has spent the last ten years working with disaster relief, including work on the tsunami. Cassio Furtado was the youngest person from Brazil to attend law school when he went at sixteen. He now holds three undergraduate degrees as well as the law degree and the Masters he’s finishing now. I could spend the whole time here talking about each of them, actually. Fascinating folks.


Cassio offered to meet up with me tomorrow and show me around campus, so I’ll get my first glimpse with a good tour guide at any rate.


Note to self: Look BOTH ways before crossing the street. This is a left-handed driving country, descending from the British Empire as it does, so all of my instincts are wrong. I’ve been very careful, but it’s amazingly easy to just walk out into the street with a car coming because I’m looking for cars in the wrong direction.  


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8 Comments on “First Day in Brisbane”

  1. Beki Quintero Says:

    Congratulations! I am so excited for you and happy that we will be able to talk to you whenever we want. Thank you for that:)
    Enjoy your schooling and come back to Tucson anytime you want. Everyone who was there had a great time and I want to say THANK YOU again for making it special.
    I hope you can take lots of pictures and show us the beauty of Australia. what a long trip- I ‘ll bet you are happy that you had space to stretch your legs and not cramped up like you were in our red truck going back to the hotel.
    I just wanted to say Hi and have a fantastic time while you are there. and tell MJ that she has an important job back at the ranch keeping you on track.

  2. lowerdryad Says:

    Thanks Beki – good to hear from you. I’ll get right on those pictures. Today will include a bit of sight seeing, so that should fuel the photo collection. And I was perfectly comfortable and grateful for the red truck ride, by the way… 🙂

  3. Noel Trentham Says:

    Hey David!

    I look forward to reading your new blog. I hope that you are well. Have fun and safe home!

  4. Teri Says:

    Yay! I’m glad you’re blogging. 🙂

    I hope Australia is everything you hope, and more.

    Be well…

    Teri (from those pesky chicago suburbs)

  5. Katherine Says:

    So good to know we can keep up with your exciting new adventures. My small part in peacemaking is to help students be less afraid of the “other” by teaching World Religions for a local college. I get very excited when their “lightbulbs” switch on and they realize people are people! By the way, I am still writing poetry (I attended your Montreat poetry workshop a couple years ago). Blessings to you and yours. Shalom, Katherine

  6. Susan & Judy Says:

    Hi David,
    We’re glad that you are getting acquainted with your new school. I also wanted to remind you and all of your fans, that when your stock of albums runs out, they can still find most of your songs on iTunes. Although we have bought all of your albums either on cassette (yes I still have the Bare Foot with your autograph) or CD, I have also bought all of your music and Christine Kane’s music from Itunes and keep it handy for listening when I need a jolt of good music. We are very excited that you will be getting your masters in Peace and hope to see you and Deanna before you go.

    The Little Old Ladies in Comfortable Shoes from WNC send their love and congratulations to our favorite singer!

  7. Susan Says:

    yes, those streets in Australia can be tricky! While you are in the country, be sure to go up to Cairns and check out the Great Barrier Reef. I saw it in 93, and it took my breath away.

    Brisbane is a big town, isn’t it?

  8. lowerdryad Says:

    Noel and Teri – thanks for reading!

    Katherine – I’m so glad you’re still writing poetry, and that you’re teaching World Religion. So very important. That’s one of the cool things about studying here, actually. I’ll be the only American in my class of ten Fellows, and many religions are represented. I’m really looking forward to that.

    Susan and Judy – thanks for the reminder, to me and to everyone else. You’re hired! 😉 Hugs to you two.

    Susan – yes, I’d really love to get up to the great barrier reef. With the global coral die off in full swing, it’s a poignant opportunity. Brisbane is indeed a big city, but wonderfully navigable. The rivercats (water taxis) are great, and they’ve put in tons of bike paths in recent years. I’ve just come in from a day of sightseeing and will post some pix soon.

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