Tuesday, 29 July 2008

The Adventure of a Lifetime - World Youth Day 2008

World Youth Day 2008

I'm back from Sydney now, where I have been on holiday during World Youth Day for a few weeks. And what a time it's been! World Youth Day 2008 was definitely the most memorable experience of my life. The whole week was a time of great joy and faith in Sydney, and the entire world.

For those who were watching, I documented some of my experiences during WYD on this blog. In the upcoming weeks I will run a series of photos here relating some of the key events that occurred during the time of WYD. The video shown above is a compilation of photos taken by me and my brother who also attended, to the WYD theme music "Receive the Power" by Guy Sebastian and Gary Pinto.

World Youth Day was special for me in many ways. Firstly, I was able to come together with youth from all over the world - over 170 nations - to unite and share experiences and culture. I met many new people, especially from Canada and Chile, with some of them even offering places to stay if I ever travel to their part of the globe! The number of flags visible was amazing, and everyone was very willing to share culture and faith.

One of the most beautiful things about World Youth Day was the atmosphere. There was a great sense of peace and friendship that I have never before felt in Sydney, or anywhere else for that matter. Everyone was ready to lend a hand with directions or whatever happened to come to hand. And an amazing thing happened - you were able to step on a train in the middle of Sydney and be greeted with a cheery "Hello!" or perhaps even a song. I don't know what it's like in other parts of the world, but normally in a big city in Australia if you say "Hello" to someone you're likely to get a cold stare. This transformation that came about was certainly beautiful to behold.

Another great thing was the hope and joy I saw in the young people around me. They all had a hope in the future that is becoming rare today, and rejoiced in the current moment without "stressing out" about the dozens of things that could have been worrying them. Without being careless, everyone was able to maintain a joyful attitude which also helped them to care for others.

World Youth Day 2008 - Flags

There's no way I can describe everything that World Youth Day has been for me in mere words. I hope that this and the next few posts will convey some of what I have experienced, but as with any great moment it is impossible to explain fully. I can only say that it has been a life changing event for me and many others, which I will be building on for the rest of my life.

Has there been a great moment in your life, or a life-changing experience you would like to share? Leave a comment and discuss what has been special to you.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Orb Web Spider - Eriophora transmarina

Orb Web Spider (Eriophora transmarina)
orb web spider - Eriophora transmarina
This photo really has to be seen full-screen to be fully appreciated. Click on the picture above to view the orb web spider full-size.

I caught this big Orb Web Spider under a tree one day. He was alive, but being quickly overrun by ants. So I flicked the ants off, and snapped a few pictures of him. He wan't very eager to move (all the better for me!), maybe the ant's had bitten him too much.

The Garden Orb Web Spiders are also called Araneus Spiders, Garden Orb-weaver, Wheelweaving Spiders or Orbweaving Spiders. The Latin or Scientific name is Eriophora transmarina.

More information on the Orb Web Spider.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

World Youth Day

World Youth Day 2000 in RomeImage via Wikipedia

Friday, 4 July 2008

Snake's Eye View - Sky Watch Friday

"Snake's Eye View"
View from ground level in the Australian rainforest

Sky Watch Friday
close up from the ground in australian rainforestHere's a relatively unique photo for my first Sky Watch Friday back again. Looking at this I just imagine the snake slithering along the path, looking up into the early morning sun....

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Mountain Waterfall

"Fountain of Beauty"
Mountain Waterfall
mountain waterfallClose up of Moss and WaterFor those of you who commented on my last post, your guesses were all very close, but none of you managed to get it exactly right. The "Guess What" picture (right) was actually a close up of moss growing on a wet rock. What some of you thought was sky is actually the water flowing in the background of the picture. The photo shown above is a zoomed out picture of that moss, with water flowing from a waterfall between the rocks.

This photo was taken with a fairly long exposure, in order to create the smooth "flowing" of the water. Anyone who has visited Goomburra National Park will probably recognise this waterfall - it's at the bottom of the Cascades, one of Australia's most well-known waterfalls. Although it's quite small (only about 5m high), the Cascades are a great place for a photo, and the water in the stream below makes a very fresh drink after a long walk.

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