Saturday, September 25, 2010

Amarra's Blog Update

Hi Everyone, this is Amarra.

I just wanted to tell everyone what a fun time we had in Canberra. We went to Floriade and saw beautiful flowers. We went to the petting zoo and I got to pet animals.


I loved going to Questacon and I learned all about earthquakes. I learned that they can be big and scary and are caused by land rubbing together and can cause a lot of danger. I liked the earthquake house where you got to feel what an earth quake was like.


Other things I've liked about the trip are seeing penguins on Phillip Island and going to the Steve Irwin zoo where I got to pet a koala and a kangaroo. I'm now a fan of Bindi Irwin (Steve's daughter) and I like reading her books. We went to the Big Banana. It's too bad we couldn't do anything else there except have our picture with the Big Banana.

Little Penguin & chick @ Phillip Island

We like going to YHA (youth hostels) because they're cheap and they have cheap food—only $5 per meal. We usually have lockers in the room. I just started sleeping in bunk beds when they have a rail and they're safe. If they don't have a rail they're not safe and I can't sleep on them.

We have eaten laksa here (a Malaysian dish), some I like, some I don't. There are few Mexican restaurants. We eat Tim Tams, meat pies and sausage rolls—all of which I like a lot.

We're going to New Zealand soon.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Traveling Machines

Sydney Stroll
I'm sitting in the Sydney Railway YHA youth hostel enjoying a rare opportunity for unlimited internet access by uploading photos to the
flickr site (where all the trip photos are hosted, click that link). We've updated iPod software, downloaded books and songs and all the stuff we take for granted at home with unlimited and fast wi-fi.
Sydney Sight Seeing
We've been traveling pretty hot and heavy for the past week, and have another 5 days to go. We spent the first part of the week in Melbourne, a few more days in Sydney, and we board an early train for Canberra (pron. can-brah) in the morning.
Melbourne & Phillip Island
Recent highlights include a visit to Phillip Island, South of Melbourne, where we got to see real live penguins in the wild. Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne was also enjoyable with extensive shops. We bought multiple souvenirs at prices much lower than any of the shops we've been to. I picked up a didgeridoo, Heath got a nice pair of Ugg boots.
Sydney Sight Seeing
We enjoyed the Sydney Aquarium and Wildlife exhibit far more than we'd expected to as well. Maybe in part to the fact that we all finally got to see a real live platypus! And, be sure to ask Amarra and Heath about their close encounter with the Frilled Lizard!
Sydney Sight Seeing
While in Melbourne, then again here in Sydney, I walked to the local APRHA offices for an unscheduled visit. APRHA is the second of 2 bodies that your must run the gauntlets of to get your license to practice medicine in Oz. The first visit seemed fruitful and may yield the results I need, but the second was frustrating. Lacking an original copy of my Med school diploma and residency diploma here in Oz may result in my not being able to get licensed here...we'll see. I'm pulling all strings I can.

On the positive side of things, everything for the New Zealand job seems to be falling into place nicely. I've had my application accepted by the MCNZ (medical council of New Zealand) and should know within the next week if I'm officially licensed--there should be no obstruction. I still need to get my NZ work visa and pass an MRSA screening, but that should not be a problem. I'm not sure of a start date yet...if I can start by Oct. 4th, we'll go by then. If I can't start that early, we won't go until about Oct. 19th b/c we have a planned trip to Uluru the week before the 19th that we really can't change.
Sydney Sight Seeing
School work for the kids is going well. We bought some books of course material a grade level above what the kids are in b/c the material for their grade was just too easy. I don't think they'll lose any ground despite our irregular study habits.
Port Macquarie
The kids have adapted to our lifestyle with alacrity. They know their way around the hostels, can help with packing and travel on the trains. They have adjusted to our odd travel diets and really don't complain. They have great behavior and enjoy the family time--it's great to take time for playing cards, scrabble, and Yahtzee!

Be sure to look at and enjoy the photos on flickr (link in first paragraph). Not sure when the next update will be, but possibly from New Zealand.
Sydney Sight Seeing

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Heath Entry #3: One Month Already


Trial Bay Goal & Fredo's Pies

Hello! This is Heath,the oldest of the youngest of the Fusco gang.

Along with Facebook and Email this is another way to communicate with me. This is my third online journal entry.

Today we (the gang,as I call us) went to the beach to do our Christmas photo shoot. When we got to the beach, it was COLD! Despite the cold weather, I had fun doing the photo shoot. I can't wait until Christmas when you can see the pics! Here are some camels on the beach though. They're random!!!

Lighthouse Beach Camel Rides

As you probably have heard we, the gang, will most likely be moving to Hamilton,New Zealand. :( I would rather stay in Port Macquarie.

Anyway I would love to keep in touch with everyone!

Facebook: Heath Fusco


Trial Bay Goal & Fredo's Pies


Saturday, September 4, 2010

How about New Zealand!

Australia Zoo 308
I (Evan) have been "confirmed" for a position at Waikato Hospital in
Hamilton, New Zealand (North Island-2 hours South of Auckland) from sometime late this month until at least November 19th and possibly through the end of January.
Port Macquarie
We love Port Macquarie. It's a great town, beautiful beaches, super nice people, good location and we're in a nice big house and have learned our way around "our" town already. But the credentialing process is just grinding along far too slowly for my taste. It is clear that it will be impossible for me to be credentialed in less than 8 weeks IF everything goes perfectly from this point on. I'll have at least 2 interviews (one with the emergency medicine college and one with the medical council--in separate cities at separate times). Best case scenario puts me working in the 2nd week of November, worst case....December?!

So, one of the international recruiters I've been in touch with for the last year and a half or so sent me an email a couple weeks ago asking how things were going. I shared my lamentations with her. She offered her advice, opinions, and services to help find me a temporary position until my license here was done. In short order a short term job opened up at Waikato Hospital that takes me through the end of November. They were happy with my CV, flexible with the time off I requested and, best of all, it takes only 20 days to get credentialed in New Zealand! I grabbed the opportunity.

I'm not burning any bridges here in Port Macquarie yet. If things with the Australia Medical Council progress at a reasonable pace we may, yet, end up back here in December for the last 3 months of our time in Australia. But if things get nuts or there are other delays Waikato feels that they can provide a position (but can't promise anything) through the end of January 2011. We'd then spend February traveling in Australia and New Zealand until our flight to Tokyo on March 1st.

We are not yet sure when we need to be in New Zealand. Best case scenario is I'll be credentialed by Sept. 21st. Realistically it'll be a few days later than that. When we know a bit more about when they need me in New Zealand we'll plan our last few days in Port, schedule some travel to Canberra, Melbourn, and maybe Broken Hill (to get some "outback" time in). We want to visit the Hunter Valley's wine country. We'll post up on Facebook at least and we'll try to update the blog when we have details.

What we're doing now is just being flexible. We've been conservative with spending so financially things are OK. Moving ALL of our stuff again isn't something we're looking forward too, but we can do it and we'll be OK.

So, since our last blog we've spend 3 days/4 nights in Brisbane (click link for my flickr photos). What a gorgeous city. It's a big city but with a really friendly and small townish feel. They actually have a man-made beach in the middle of downtown. There are lifeguards, gorgeous sugar white sand, palm trees, the works-all free and open to the public.
Brisbane 014
There is a free bus making a loop around the better part of downtown. A huge nice city park/botanical garden that I found prettier than Central Park. We spent a day at the Steve Irwin Australia Zoo, and absolutely loved it. The staff clearly loved their jobs. They walked around with various animals on their shoulders that you could pet. You could walk around with and pet koalas and kangaroos. There were lots of crocs, of course. Still, however, have not seen a live platypus--and I really want to.

Australia Zoo 161

We met with Meg and Paul Breshears, cousins of Mike who we met during our dive trip in Honduras. They showed us around parts of town we would otherwise have missed, fed us fantastic fish and chips at their home. They had kids that got along famously with ours. All in all a really nice experience.

On a lighter note...we love box wine--we have now consumed a total of 14 liters of box wine during our 3 weeks or so in Australia--about 19 bottles! Amazing how nice it is when you aren't continually exhausted and/or working nights and/or taking kids to sports/scouts and/or going to other meetings, etc. I think I could adapt just fine to this life of leisure!
box_wine 001