It's been real busy here downunder. I was glad to get your last messages. The last launch was a success and the scientists are looking over their data and planning for the next launch. Everyone is happy and excited about the progress we are making. My second launch will be Monday night/early Tuesday morning. Everything is working great and there should be no problems. My third and final launch is planned for next Saturday night/Sunday morning. We have been real busy testing to get ready for next weekend. So if everything goes as planned I will get to be back home for Thanksgiving. Is everyone there looking forward to the holiday?? Does anyone have any special plans to visit relatives or anything??
The Melbourne Cup was last Wednesday, that is the biggest horse race of the year for Australia. It is so big that all the TV and radio stations stop and broadcast the race live. Jockeys and horses come from all over the world to represent their country for the race. The horse that was expected to win is from England and is named Double Trigger, he did not win, a horse named Doriemus for Australia won. The race is about 2 miles long, which is long for a race. Races in the states are typically from about 1/2 mile to 1 1/4 miles. I noticed something different here, the horses race in the opposite direction than they do in the US. Can anyone tell me the direction that horses run here in Australia?? The Grand Prix race that I told you about before was held on Sunday. Out of 23 cars that started the race, only 8 finished, lots of accidents. Does anyone know who won the race and what country he was from??? This will be the last year that the race will be held in Adelaide, it is moving to Melborne. All of the drivers are protesting because they like Adelaide so much.
The food here is really good, not too much different from home. I have had a few things that we don't have at home. I tried Morton Bay Bugs, they are sort of a small lobster or big crayfish. They taste like lobster, I liked them. What we call french fries, they call chips and what we call chips they call crisps. A lot of things they bake inside a pie shell, last night I had quail in a pie shell, not bad.
You know how we have those big 18 wheelers, trucks, at home. Well they have even bigger ones here. They call them road trains. they take a regular tractor like we have but they hook on 3 or 4 trailers. They are some really big rigs.
Here is something neat, they have a movie theater here and they show 1 movie a week once on Friday and once on Saturday at 8:00 pm both days. The neat part is that it is run completely by the kids!!! The kids sell the tickets, run the snack bar, operate the film projector and clean up after the movie. Different age kids have different jobs. The older kids operate the film projector and the youngest ones collect the tickets. They make a little bit of profit and split it up between them. They have an adult that supervises them and helps in ordering the movies. Pretty neat idea huh?. I was surprised when I went, kids everywhere and no adults (except going in to see the movie) and they did a good job at it. It must be a good experience for them. Part of what makes Woomera so nice and safe to live here is that in order to live here everyone must have a job, there is no such thing as unemployment. I am sure that does not include the kids, but running the movie theater gives them some experience for when they get older and have to get a job.
On my way home next week I will try to go through New Zealand. Can anyone tell me anything about it?? Where is it? How far? What is it like? Hope the report cards were good and everyone writes back soon,