After two surprisingly brutal days in flight, we finally stepped foot in Adelaide on Monday, May 13th. Our friends, Flick and Diana from Truely Tribal, were kind enough to give us our first ride from the airport. Upon our arrival, there was a high of 61, and a low of 50 – so not far off from the temperatures we left behind in Michigan. Stepping out of the terminal didn’t feel all that different from back home, so it wasn’t yet obvious that we’d reached the other side of the globe.
Flick and Diana very capably navigated the (to us) mind boggling traffic of Adelaide, and carried us safely to Cleland Wildlife Park. Located a drive up one of the cities surrounding mountains, the temperatures were slightly cooler at the Park than when we left the airport. As soon as we entered the park’s exhibit, I was struck by an immediate, less than 10 foot distance confrontation with a Kangaroo.
The Kangaroos at the Park casually hang around, and they were incredibly friendly – easily approached and fed.
From the Kangaroo section of the Park, we caught the Koala exhibit just before they closed it down for the day. In groups of three, we were allowed to approach the Koala and pet him one-by-one. Of course, pictures were encouraged.
The sentiment I’m left with after a day like this one is the need for a worldly, and a biological perspective if we’re to solve our sustainability problems. One of the hardest things for me to grasp about this trip is the fact that we’re literally on the other side of this planet of ours. Mid flight, I snapped a picture of the rising sun from the window of the plane.
I realized that back home, my family was seeing our Home Star in a radically different way than I was at that moment. Our experience on this planet is so incredibly reliant on perspective, and for our group to travel such a great distance and be exposed to the inconceivable vastness of our home – will do wonders for our worldly perspective. With our minds so full of daily stresses and schedules, it becomes pretty easy to forget how tiny and insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things.
At the core of that realization of insignificance, I think we find an important element of the sustainability issue. The better we understand the vastness of this globe, its complexity, and our role in it – the more we realize how important it is to sustain this magnificent system.
At the Wildlife Park, we were exposed to some of the world’s most exotic species. Kangaroos, Koalas, Bandicoots, Dingoes – they’re all sharing this planet with us, and we’re sharing with them. Our visit to the park was a crash course in the biological diversity of Earth, and if staring a Koala in the face doesn’t spur some compassion in you – I don’t know what will.
On second thought, if Koalas don’t do the trick…