By Angelique Rosa-Marín
Apparently, Australians do not believe in air conditioning. The majority of the places have air conditioning, but they don't really use it-extremely different from United States-right? North Americans need air conditioning for EVERYTHING; we cannot work, eat, sleep without a chilly environment; however, Australians seem to do that really well with ambient temperature.
Being honest here, in the beginning, I couldn't stop wondering WHY I needed to be all sweaty working at my desk, drinking my coffee, eating at a restaurant… At some point, I became desperate because, in most of the places I have visited, I could actually see the air conditioning unit, but it was entirely turned OFF. In my mind, I would think to myself: "but the air conditioner is there; why don’t they turn it on? What does it take to press a button?"
Last week I acclimated myself and began to draw my own conclusions. Australia is very hot. Very. Extremely hot. Turning on the air conditioning will raise the cost of electricity, and at the same time, increase the fossil fuel burning (more than there already is). Probably they will have other reasons that I am not aware of. I will look deeper into that…(I'll keep you posted!). I started thinking about all the benefits I could obtain from the non-stop sweating; for example, any water excess retained in my body is slowly being eliminated, and I feel like a featherweight. Now I embrace the sweating!
I put on my environmental scientist hat, and I said to myself: "Angelique, you got this. Apply what your role model, Darwin, says: "SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST". So I adapt myself to the 100°F, the walks every morning and afternoon, the different tan marks in my body, the backpack with an extra change of clothes, and now it feels terrific! I feel so active and healthy that I am very sure that I will lose all the weight I gained during the Holidays.
Morning walk to Southern Cross University, Lismore campus with my backpack (extra change of clothes, laptop, two notebooks, towel and among others stuff) and lunch bag
I realized all these challenges are added to my survival life kit and make me keep evolving as a person and as a scientist. Wasn’t this the point of the LOREX program? To learn and be able to explore international research modus operandi? There you go, Angelique! You learned how to make the necessary modifications. That’s what makes you stronger and resilient.
Stay tuned for more. But while you wait, want a taste of what is being a graduate international researcher? Follow me on twitter (@rojo_vive)