This was our free day. I planned to go to the airport with Ross (who left for Sydney this morning) to see about my luggage, but when I got down to breakfast, Courtney was like, “Did you see your bag? It came!” Sweet! So I took it upstairs, and opened to find that it was pretty much decimated—all of the black plastic support structure was crunched up into a million pieces, the handle was literally ripping free of the suitcase, and the seams were starting to rip. When I opened it, I found that the cap of my shampoo had somehow come unscrewed, the plastic bag it was in split open, and it was all over everything. I had to throw away the granola bars I had in there (not a big deal), and wipe down my leather jacket, my hat (still stained ☹), my Lonely Planets for Sydney and Melbourne, and the whole inside of the suitcase. Luckily, only a couple of clothing items got shampoo on them, and my toiletry bag, although the outside looks pretty gross, had remained in tact, so my jewelry and make up and stuff was undamaged. It was a bit annoying and I ruined two washcloths and a hand towel trying to clean it up, but still, I was very happy to get it back!
After that, I went to the airport and got my 250 AUD for the bag being missing another 24 hours, then walked into town and spent a few hours there. I had a coffee, went to the market and bought some coral necklaces, tried sugar cane juice (interesting but too sweet and sticky for me), took some photos, had lunch, then took a cab back to Bohemia.
This was Community Day. We went to a place called the Cattana Wetlands, a reclaimed wetlands area, and helped plant trees. That was a lot of fun. The holes were pre-dug, which was nice, so all we had to do was put some fertilizer (aka chicken poop) in the hole, put the plant in, put some water jelly (saturated water crystals—cool stuff!) and filled in the hole with dirt and voilà, tree!
The group I was with was really great; everyone participated and worked together really well, and we finished planting 550 trees in about an hour and a half. The leader from Conservation Volunteers said he’d never seen a group do the job that fast and actually do it well. Granted there were 36 of us, but still, I was pretty proud of the group.