I’m living in a small town in central Australia called Alice Springs. The town is about 25,000 people strong and the nearest major city is 1,600 kilometers away. Although the town is remote, its beauty and culture are certainly unbeatable. I would say that the best experience I’ve had here was dirt biking (for the first time) through abandoned gold mines and the classic red canyons which make the Australian outback so iconic. However, I’ve had heaps of other memorable moments which I will certainly remember for the rest of my life including my first rodeo, backpacking through the West MacDonnell Ranges, boat racing on a dry river, and meeting incredible people whom I’ll certainly keep in touch with for the rest of my life.
I’d say the biggest difference between the students here compared to Athenians is that kids here are much less worried about their future and school work, and tend to really just live in the present moment. The biggest difference between St. Phillips and Athenian would probably be that St. Phillips is just a school to most of the students, whereas at Athenian, students spend lots of time playing sports and doing other extracurricular at the school making it more of a home.
I was lucky enough to play soccer for a local club team where I had some of the best practices of my life. Although many of the players were much better than me, they were all so welcoming. They created one of the best atmospheres imaginable where they all clearly played for the love of the game and they all really wanted each other to succeed. None of the mustang teams I had played on, where my poor parents poured in lots of money so I could get my fancy polyester soccer fleece with my last name in cursive, came close to the enjoyment which came from playing with this team, a team that consisted of a couple of blokes who met up for the love of the game.
Although it really saddens me to know that I will be leaving soon, I feel so privileged to have had this opportunity.