"What is Dubbo?" That was the first question 24-year-old Maria Goltermann had when she found out she would be visiting Australia from Denmark. Maria has 12 weeks to learn all she can about Dubbo, its visitor offerings and the Australian lifestyle.

The Local Life

So… I’ve been so lucky to be able to stay with a local family here in Dubbo. As a part of my NGSE rotary exchange program, I am staying with a Rotarian family.

Although this is not my first time staying with a host family, I was still nervous. I mean, Australians and Danes don’t seem that different, but there will still be cultural differences that I may not have been aware of, and families always have a different way of doing things.

However, my host family has been the kindest! I’ve been staying with them for a week, but I feel like I’ve known them for years. They have let me borrow a car from them whilst I’m here, so that I have the freedom to go wherever I like.

Staying with them has already given me a taste of what Life in Dubbo can be like. Kangaroos on the lawn, dinner at pubs, driving in the left side of the road and rugby on weekends. Does it get any more Australian? I know there is a lot more to the lifestyle, but these are things that you don’t see in most European countries.

Another thing my host family has introduced me to is, Vege-mite, Tim Tam and lamb. Some better than others I must say, and lamb is a whole different story.

So, of course people in Denmark eat lamb, however, my family doesn’t! I kind of figured that, that wouldn’t fit in well in Australia. Well, the family is giving me a hard time about it and maybe one day they will convince me, but I think, just for now I’ll stick to Tim Tams. And Vege-Mite……. Let me put it this way, I won’t be the first in line for that again.  

Anyway… Although I may find it hard to get use to some of the food (most of it is really good!), Australia has only been great to me! Every day I get amazed about how friendly and helpful Australians are. Everything is still very new to me, but people around me just make me feel so comfortable and welcomed. I must say, you Aussies keep impressing me!

Rotary has already done so much for me, not only have they given me the opportunity to experience the Australian culture and helped me with my internship at the council, but all the Rotarians that I have been in contact with, are always looking out for me, both back in Denmark and here in Australia, which I believe is very important in the process of trying to fit in in a new place. 

Experiencing the countryside

As I have only been here for a little over a week, I haven’t had much time to experience what the countryside is like, outside of Dubbo, so I’m really looking forward to experiencing that.

However, I did go to watch the Cockatoos play against the Brumbies in Bathurst this past weekend and later Australia vs. England (which we of course is not going to talk about). Rugby is really becoming on of my favourite sports, I’m starting to know the rules and I’m really enjoying watching it!

The trip to Bathurst also gave me a little bit of an idea of how different distances are here compared to Denmark. Driving for 2.5 hours on way is not a problem for me, as I like driving. But you guys call that within your region! – If I drive for 2.5 hours from my city back home I would be way past the German border. And for people living in the country here, that’s nothing!

Yesterday I was so lucky to come along to a meeting in Warren, which allowed me to experience the Wetla

nds, this somehow reminded me of my trips to the Everglades in Florida. It was amazing! I’m happy there aren’t any snakes this time of the year though, as I’m not sure I would have been ready to meet them all by myself out there. Usually I’m not a bird watcher, but I really enjoyed looking at all the beautiful birds they had in the Wetlands on the other hand.

Well well, I need to get back to work - looking forward to the weekend here in Dubbo – I hope the sun will be shining J (apology to any who may like the rain!)  

New Wallabies fan 

Meeting in Warren 

The wetlands were beautiful

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