August 18, 2019: An Aussie Birthday, a Cougar, and a Bonfire


Background: At this point, I was working in the Daintree Rainforest at an ecolodge. Luke, the youngest of the group, was just turning 19. Sweet and shy, we had a goal of bringing him out on a big night. Well, big by rainforest standards anyway.

Yesterday was Luke’s (el bebe) 19th birthday. We wanted to make it a nice day for him because celebrating away from home, especially when you’re so young, is hard. Luic and I whipped up a mean breakfast of eggs, crepes (which I now know how to make), and some fruits. We all surprised him with a little stuffed animal and a shot glass. To get him down to breakfast I told him there was a fallen tree we had to move, oops.

a group of people sitting at a table having breakfast together
Birthday breakfast for Luke!

In the afternoon we all did a bit of our own thing. The girls did some yoga. Luic and I wandered down to the creek to catch the last of the afternoon sun.

Luke holding a stuffed animal
I just couldn’t resist, sorry Luke. Bebe and his birthday present!

After dinner we ate an amazing banana and lemon cake that Husco and Christine made. The only pub in town had live music, which was a pretty big deal considering not much goes on around here. 8 Ball Akin, as he was called, was an absolute riot. Crazy energy, long hair, and lots of s** jokes. He even sang happy birthday for Luke, and this woman came up to dance with him. The look on his face! He was so awkward and uncomfortable trying to dance with her. 8 Ball yelled out, “Just let the cougar teach you how to dance, Luke!” AMAZING. I will never forget that moment.

One of my favorite videos ever. Skip to about 45 seconds to see Luke get called out. He was such a good sport about the whole thing!

As we were leaving, the guy who served my drink asked if we wanted a ride back. There were too many of us, so we said no, but they ended up looping back anyway and we all hopped in the back of the Yute. A few of us stayed on and they brought us to a bonfire on the beach with real life crocodile dundee characters. It was a full moon and the whole beach seemed to be glowing. 

a girl wearing a crocodile vest and hat
One of the locals went by Dingo Dundee. According to him, his grandfathers vest and hat (which I’m wearing in this picture) were the inspiration for Crocodile Dundee.

Who ever would have thought that I’d end up at a  concert in the middle of the rainforest? Or standing in the truck bed of a Yute driving to a bonfire in the middle of the night?  Or sitting on a beautiful Aussie beach bonfire with some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met?

Standing on the back of that truck, looking up at the moon and feeling the wind, felt so liberating. I just felt weightless. It was such a magical moment. I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

  • picture of a journal entry from august 18
  • picture of a journal entry from august 18

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