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Arriving In Sydney, Australia -- 9-14-96

Date: Sat, 14 Sep 1996 04:13:05
Subject: Arriving in Australia

Sydney, Australia Sunday night, September 1

Dear Friends,

I just woke up after another long nap as our big airplane was coming down through the clouds to land at Sydney Airport. This was an exciting time. I looked out the window and watched the night lights of Sydney rush up to meet us as we flew lower and lower. Finally the plane gave a big bounce as our wheels hit the ground. It was a little scary, but it was fun, too.

When the plane finally came to a stop, I could hardly wait to get off. It's funny: I was so excited, I could hardly wait to get on this big plane, and now I could hardly wait to get off.

Woodsy and His Passport When we got off we had to walk down some big long hallways on our way to "customs." That's where they check your passport and ask you if you are bringing anything into Australia that is forbidden. Mr. Rogers told me that the signs said we couldn't bring any plants, regular animals (I'm a Travel Buddy... we're special animals) or food into Australia, so we had drop my left-over peanut butter sandwich into one of the quarantine bins. I was tired of peanut butter anyway.

Woodsy Tossing his Peanut Butter Sandwich I asked Mr. Rogers why they want to keep these things out of Australia. He told me that when you bring in things that don't belong here, they may become a pest and hurt the things that already live here. He told me that the common house cat has gone wild in many places in Australia and is eating up some of the native wildlife, such as wallabies and other cute furry animals. In some areas the wild house cats are making animals become extinct. Another unusual pest that was brought into Australia is the common rabbit. Some of them escaped into the wild and they have multiplied so much they they are serious pests for farmers. I also heard about a kind of toad that someone brought here that is crowding out native toads and frogs; and because it's poisonous, it kills the birds and animals that usually like to eat the native toads and frogs.

I guess it's a good thing that I threw my peanut butter sandwich away. I wouldn't want it to become a pest, too.

One thing I couldn't understand when we got on the plane in Los Angeles was why I needed to take my coat along. It's still summer in Los Angeles, and it was very hot. But when we got to Sydney, I found out I really needed my coat. You'll never guess why! It's winter here!

That's right... it's summer in Los Angeles, but it's winter in Sydney. Mr. Rogers says it's because the northern half of the World has summer while the southern half has winter. Then, when it gets to be winter in the northern half, the southern half has summer. That's almost as silly as the International Date Line. But since I went from summer to winter on one plane flight, I guess it's true!

Well, now that we're here in Sydney, my Australian adventure begins. On Tuesday I get to go to Canberra to meet my new classroom. I'll tell you all about that on Tuesday.

You're friend,



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