Hunkering Down in Australia

Hi family and friends,

As you may have heard, classes around the world have moved to online formats, and most study abroad programs from the United States have been canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. My study abroad program in Australia has been cancelled, but fortunately I have been able to remain enrolled in my classes at the University of Sydney (online) and in my housing in Sydney where I can stay safe and isolate until the global situation improves.

As of today, 24 March 2020 (in Australia), there are more that 43,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States making it the third most widespread nation after China and Italy. This number has been growing by the thousands overnight. Getting on an international flight in a pressurized cabin and spending hours in an airport with other individuals returning from abroad was not in the best interest for my health or the health of anyone I would interact with. Instead, I have decided to remain in Australia where the number of confirmed cases is below 2,000, the spread has been at a much slower rate, and the country’s border is closed to reduce imported cases.

I plan to stay in Australia until the end of my program in late June. If the situation has worsened by that time, I am prepared to stay longer, but I am praying that the world is in the recovery stage by that point or sooner. I will keep you all updated, and I thank everyone who has been checking in and sending messages of love and support. ❤

I hope you are all staying home and remaining safe and healthy! I sent out my first round of post cards last week so be on the lookout for those! If you would like a postcard from Australia, please send me your address and I will do my best to send you one while the post offices are open and operating.

And as always, here are some photos from the past few weeks!

Blue Mountains Australia- Most hardcore hiking I’ve ever done
Three Sisters Rock Formation
Mardi Gras Parade (In Australia, Mardi Gras is for LGBT pride instead of New Orleans and voodoo, really confusing)
Shark Dive XTreme at SEALIFE Sydney
Yes, the sharks did get VERY close (And I got a shark tooth from the tank! Super cool!)
From Bondi Beach before it was closed 😦 😦
Gelato after a day @ Bondi Beach
Murals @ Bondi Skatepark
Chinese Garden of Friendship;
“Jobs fill the pockets, Adventures fill the soul”
The best friends anyone could ask for
La Perouse Beach
La Perouse
Annika’s farewell 😦
Opera Bar on the Sydney Harbour
The Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Harbour Bridge (If you zoom in, you can see people climbing to the top!)

Wishing you all health, safety, and prosperity in this crazy time,

Robynn ❤