Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I'm on my first business trip of my new job at a conference in Cairns, which is on the coast of northern Queensland deep in the tropics. I haven't been in tropical Australia before though I have been in the tropics in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Cairns is the central location for trips to the Great Barrier Reef and to the rainforest of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The city is surrounded by rainforest clad mountain ranges and across the bay I can see from the hotel the extensive mangrove forests along the coast. I'm hoping to manage to sneak in a trip to see some rainforests if I can instead of attending all the conference sessions. I don't plan on going to the reef. I have seen a coral reef before. In fact the most northerly reef in the World at Eilat in Israel. And swimming in the hotel's swimming pool this morning was about what I can manage, I don't think I'm up to snorkelling. I've never been a good swimmer though I like being in the water.

Back home all the paperwork is still in process and I don't know for sure what department at the university I'll be based in. But that doesn't stop them from paying for my trip here. I already, gave my presentation this afternoon. My first in more than a year and a half and it seemed some people at least liked it. As well as lots of academics and PhD students there are heaps of "public servants" here at the meeting in Cairns as always at these Australasian conferences. You never see this in the United States.

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