A view of the gold coast

Trip Start Apr 30, 2007
Trip End Nov 29, 2008

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hey hey

So on Sunday I spent the day with Daiji on the gold coast getting used to my new home and surroundings! Daiji took me around Surfer's showing me where everything is and we then stopped off at the Versace Hotel (the only one in the world) for lunch. The hotel was beautiful, I actually expected it to be very over the top... gold coated!! It wasn't though, your reminded pretty much everywhere you look that is owned by Versace by the typical logo but it wasn't over the top nor overpowering. The service was really good and the food was amazing. We opted for the buffet which they kept open longer for us as we arrived a little before the end of lunch. I could of sat there all day and people watched. It amused me the type of clientele you get in that type of hotel... honeymooners, retired folk enjoying their pensions, old rich men with their young wife's or bit of stuff, a hand full of families and the older women pretending they are still in their 30's with more botox than clothes. We sat in the restaurant overlooking the pool area and tested practically everything in the buffet.. well Daiji tried to, I had a typical roast dinner (you have to on a Sunday!!) and then managed to over indulge in every type of cheesecake you can imagine and cherries.. mmmmm!! I've put on 3 stone since the visit but it was worth it!! haha!!! ( http://www.palazzoversace.com/ )

Then we headed off to Q1 ( http://www.q1.com.au/ ), which is the tallest residential tower in the world and is the highest point on the gold coast (standing 230 metres high) so you can see all the way to Brisbane on a clear day. It wasn't that clear when we went up but as you can see from the pics.. you can see pretty far! The 360 degree observation desk is on level 77 and takes 38 seconds to get there in the lift and makes your ears pop on the way! There is a cafe on the observation deck so you can kick back and soak in the atmosphere for a while which is nice.. most places like that you usually get rushed in and out again. The view was spectacular, it must be pretty cool to live there and wake up to that view every day. I also took a picture of the Isle of Capri which is where I will be living, Daiji's house is to the side of the playing field on the right hand side.. I'm not entirely sure where but it's around there somewhere!!

After dinner we headed to the Minus 5 degree bar which I have been whinging on about going to for ages now!! For those of you that don't know what it is... it's a bar made out of ice shipped over from Canada! ( http://www.minus5experience.com/Page.php?page=1 ) Everything is made from ice.. even the cups! The only drinks you can order are vodka and jagermeister as they don't freeze. You're allowed in there for half an hour maximum and usually they take pictures of you and then charge you $30 for the pleasure but with a bit of luck the camera was broken so we could take our own pics . Oh my god it was bloody freezing!! It wasn't even minus 5.. it was minus 11!! We had to wear two pairs of gloves, a huge coat and boots! Thankfully I had jeans on.. Daiji on the other hand had shorts on so his legs froze! Although saying that my thighs were going numb by the time we left! It was really good though, all the ice sculptures were amazing, even the chandeliers were made of ice!! I tried to take pics but they haven't come out very well. Our teeth were chattering by the time we got out, it was nice walking back outside though.. didn't take long to thaw out! It's so humid over here at the moment, the sun is out but it's not too harsh which is nice.. it's just so humid though. It's like walking around in a sauna 24/7. It's driving me mad.. I'm sick of having frizzy hair and being all sweaty.. it's not attractive! haha!

Anyway, last Friday I moved out of my apartment so don't send anything to 117/1000 Ann Street, Toulouse Tower any longer! my new address is:

C/o P.O Box 128,
Isle of Capri,
Gold Coast, Queensland, 4217
The World.

Not really much more to report at the moment.. surprise surprise my future plans are all over the place! I was thinking about going to university over here to gain permanent residency (so I can live both over here and in England) but it's turning out to be way too expensive. You have to have a certain amount of points to gain residency so I would have to do a trade course, my options are to be either a chef or a hairdresser. Let's be honest.. neither of those are going to work for me! Plus it was going to cost me $20k and I could only work for 20 hours per week so after paying rent, for food, phone etc, I was looking at living off $100 a week.. again.. aint gunna happen!! So I had to ditch that idea. Hopefully though I will be able to get my 2nd year visa again!! Katie's mates Tom and James owned a tree planting company and said that they would sign me off but they sold the firm in November and I hadn't had three months off work since getting here in May and November. However, Tom rang Katie the other day and said it would be ok for me to use his bosses company number so I could be signed off.. all a bit complicated and I'm probably not explaining it right but hopefully I will be able to get my visa anyway. So gunna apply for that as soon as I can.

I am off to Vanuatu on 18th March for a week. I need a holiday!! haha!! ( http://www.vanuatutourism.com/ ) It looks absolutely amazing, I cant wait to kick back and relax, maybe do some snorkelling or island hopping (seen as there's 83 islands). Then I will be heading to Perth to work for a bit. If my second year visa comes through then I will stay there for a few months, hopefully head to New Zealand for a couple of weeks.. back to Perth and then do the west coast all the way up to Darwin. Then from Darwin, over to Asia where I will spend a few months travelling. If my visa doesn't come through I may get a working visa for New Zealand and head over there to work for a bit and then come back to Australia on a holiday visa to finish off the west coast. We'll see. No point in trying to make plans, they always change so frequently.

A massive congratulations goes out to Sarah Porter-Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan who had a little baby girl; Edie Dolly Brown on Saturday 26th February at 11:12pm weighing seven pounds and nine ounces!!!

Twig - I am absolutely gutted I didn't get to see you fat **ahem** I mean.. blossoming!!! I am so so so so so so happy for you and Mingo, I truly mean it when I say you will both be perfect parents and brilliant role models. I wish I was there to give you all massive hugs xxxxxxx Thank you so much for sending the picture through, I ran straight to the computer to download it and then sat there and cried!! Happy tears of course!!! It seems like that curry took it's time!.. or did you try something else?!?! haha!!

So that's all for now.. as always, sending my love to you all

Keli xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Oh by the way... as you may have seen in the Hunts Post -  
http://www.huntspost.co.uk/searchcambs/search/story.aspx?bra nd=HPTOnline&category=News&itemid=WEED16%20Jan%20200 8%2011:13:09:360&tBrand=HPTOnline&tCategory=search   James is heading off to Kenya and Tanzania. He has three tasks to operate whilst he is there, it goes as follows:

Project 1: (Basic Level): Feeding Programme: Kibera Slum School (Kenya, en route to Tanzania). To allow impoverished children a chance to eat one square meal a day so that they can concentrate enough to embark on an education. (Subject to clearance after recent unrest in Kenya)

Project 2: (Starter Level): Teacher Accommodation & Water Tank Build: Maasai Community: Lake Natron area, Tanzania. Currently, this area has a tiny 2 classroom school served by just one voluntary, unqualified teacher in possibly, one of the most remote regions of Tanzania. In order to attract qualified teachers, the unfinished teacher accommodation needs to be completed and a water tank installed. With these facilities, this classroom can then be registered as an official government school and offer its children a chance in life.

Project 3: (Development Level): Class Room Build & Full Development: Maasai Community Primary School: Tarangire (Tanzania). This community has learned how to help itself and has actively taken their school from the status of Project 2 to a thriving concern where children walk for up to 10 km each way, each day, in fierce temperatures, without water, to gain an education. Although huge progress has been made, there is still much to do to complete their needs and offer the school the capability of educating its pupils to Secondary School Level. Work to be undertaken includes the building & refurbishment of an additional 2-4 classrooms, building of Teacher accommodation, sports facilities, Dormitory facilities etc, etc. The list goes on.... In addition, a central School kitchen (currently, a hut resembling a pile of sticks...) and dining room which could double up as a Library/Resource Centre has also been put forward as a possible project here.

BT are sponsoring James and his team but he needs to raise 1000 towards these projects. In order to do this he will be climbing Mount Meru in Tanzania with his team. It will take them 3 days in total including 2 nights on the side of the mountain.. for all of you that know James, you can appreciate how much of a big deal this is.. I mean what will he do without his surround sound system and his beauty products?!?! haha!!

Anyway, to support James and his team please sponsor him by either email: james.2.lawrence@Openreach.co.uk or by telephone number: 07802 242136
If you wish to donate directly you can do so via the bank details below. Please ensure you include James' name within the payment details so we can track them.

The official Fund Raising Bank Account Details are as follows:
Account Name: BT Challenge Fund
Sorting Code: 200109
Account number: 90612421
Ref: James Lawrence
(Please let James know via email if you choose this method)

James is in the process of setting up a website, I will forward it on to you all once it is set up.
Thank you in advance for your support.. and a huge thank you on behalf of James.
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