Newsletter 4: Scuba Diving and Another Semester
September 7, 1999

All right, so I can't believe that 2 weeks have gone by so quickly! It
seems like just the other day that I sat here and typed out another
e-mail to you all. Oh well, guess it's true what they say, that time
flies when you're having fun! I am still greatly enjoying my time here
and still have yet to feel even the slightest bit homesick. I suppose
that's still a good thing!:-) Although mommy may not think so.....

I guess my big news is that I got certified in scuba diving over the
past weekend. It was so much fun and such an awesome experience! We
started off last weekend and spent it all in the pool getting used to
being underwater and learning all the skills necessary to dive. It was
a lot of fun! I love being underwater! The next weekend we actually
got to dive in the open ocean. On Saturday we dove off the shore of
Magnetic Island....the diving wasn't that great however because the
visibility was only about 3 meters, if that. Everything went fine
except I had a bit of an incident. My regulator started free flowing so
I had to practice all the skills that went with that, but it all ended
well and my instructor fixed the problem and I ended up okay. I wasn't
scared at all which I suppose is a good thing so that I know that I can
keep my head in the event of an emergency. The next day however was
beautiful! We went diving out at the Great Barrier Reef. We took this
big boat to get out there and it took about 2 1/2 hours. The ride and
the day were both wonderful. It was so sunny and warm and the water was
smooth as glass. On our way out there we got to see humpback whales!
It was awesome!!!! I was so excited to get to see them! Then once we
got out to the reef, it was a simply amazing exerience that is just too
hard to describe to someone, you just have to see it for yourself. It
was better than any picture that I had ever seen of the reef. It was
just gorgeous!!!! We saw so many cool things underwater and it was so
bright and colorful. There were lots of fish swimming around our legs
when we got in and they kept kissing my legs because they thought I was
food. It really tickled!!! But, that day was just great in all, and I
am so glad that I did it. I like it so much that I'm going diving again
this weekend!!!!

Well, that's about it for news from me. Classes are still going well
and as for Tom, things are going great. Oh, never mind, I lied. I
guess there is something else that most of you probably don't know. I
like it so much over here that I am going to stay here another
semester. I've already worked things out with my school at home and the
school I'm studying through here and so I just need to do all the
paperwork to make it official. I'm really excited about it! I am going
home for the 3 months at Christmas though so I will get to see everyone
which is good because I do miss people from home. But, now that's
really it for now, I'm going to go and get back to work since I have a
big paper to work on! I hope to hear from all of you soon!:-)

Love, Michelle