can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder?

  The plaque on the stand says this is a "Genuine   Dreamtime   Aboriginal Emu Caller."  It was a gift from a dear Australian friend, one who I'm hoping to see on this trip.

The plaque on the stand says this is a "Genuine Dreamtime Aboriginal Emu Caller."  It was a gift from a dear Australian friend, one who I'm hoping to see on this trip.

Well, friends, Sunday is my departure day for the Land Down Under.  I've packed, I've read and re-read Bill Bryson's In A Sunburned Country, and I've yelled at Marcus, "Don't come the raw prawn with me!" in a bad Aussie accent enough times that he has gleefully agreed to take me to the airport, even suggesting we leave several hours earlier than necessary.  It's definitely happening.

So a note about what's going to go on here at Chookooloonks in my absence:  first of all, updates will be erratic, to say the very least. (And by the way, a small digression:  I find the fact that I'm going to lose a day when I cross the international date line just a tad unnerving:  we leave the U.S. mainland late Sunday night, and arrive in Australia on Tuesday morning, even though we only fly for 14 hours.  I get the science behind it all, I really do, yet it still seems highly unnatural, is what I'm saying.)  However, as I accomplish various goals (listed here), I'll be sharing the stories of the experiences over at the Go Mighty site.   So here's how you can follow along:

 Check in here at Chookooloonks to learn when a new update has gone live over at Go Mighty.   While I'm gone, I will be primarily updating the Go Mighty site with Instagram photo essays and SoundCloud recordings of my impressions and experiences, but I'll be sure to put up a teaser post here on Chookooloonks to tell you when they're live.  These Go Mighty posts, which I plan on doing before I return to Houston, will be impressions within a 24-hours of their occurring (God willing, and may the internet connections be plentiful).

•  Follow me on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook.  I'll share images on all three places, as well as in-the-moment thoughts as they happen.  In addition, there are several of us bloggers who will be in Australia participating in this campaign both while I'm there and for the rest of October, so if you'd like to see/read more about Australia from perspectives other than mine, be sure to check out the #goaustralia hashtag on all three of those social media sites.  (And for those of you in Australia who have asked, I would love to meet up with you!  Our itinerary, however, is still incredibly fluid, so unfortunately, I can't make any commitments at this time.  However, if opportunity allows for us to do something in Sydney, I'll announce something on Twitter, I promise.)

•  Finally, when I return, I'll share all the images I've taken with my real cameras, as well as more distilled thoughts about the experience here on Chookooloonks.  But again, this won't be until after the 18th when I return (and I actually have a speaking gig soon after I get back, so it might even be a few days later after that, so that I can prepare).  But I promise that once I return, Chookooloonks will be lush again with photographs and stories.

On that note, have a great weekend friends.  See you in Oz!



Song:  Treaty by Yothu Yindi.  Today's song was suggested to me by Australian Tori Edwards, who said "Yothu Yindi is one of our most celebrated indigenous bands, whose lead singer sadly passed away recently.  Treaty is a great song, but also an important message about a big issue for Australians."  (You can read the lyrics and the story behind them here.)  Man, I love learning about a place through its music -- big thanks to Tori for turning me on to them.  Be sure to check it out