International Biology Olympiad pt 2

So then we went to Uluwatu Temple the following day after the theoretical exam.

There were all these wild monkeys there, and they really liked to steal food and other things off tourists, whenever given the opportunity to.

We were warned to bring minimal stuff, so I can assure you that I never let go of my camera that day.

Stole our guide's kangaroo souvenir that we gave her
However, as annoying as they were, they were really adorable :')

I actually had to hold onto my glasses, because they're known to jump onto people and steal them. E.g., a delegate from Canada had his glasses stolen (thankfully, he retrieved them and they weren't broken; just a little bent)

Much fabulous
Took a lot of nice photos of them though, especially since they weren't afraid of humans (quite the opposite, in fact), so I was able to get in quite close.

So, we moved on through the temple and reached the cliff area. We were trying to reach the top in time for a cultural performance that they hold daily.

I can assure you, the view was really, really breathtaking.

Passed a daily prayer ritual on the way there, as well.
 The entire scenery and landscape was so pretty :')
These flowers were everywhere, in various colours and shades too.

Just a monkey casually sitting on the edge of a cliff.

We were allowed to get right up close to the edge of the cliff, which was pretty extreme, but also an experience.

Was a pretty scary and breathtaking experience.
The bottom was just filled with rocks and sand which would definitely result in death if you fell.

Friends JH and KY sitting near the edge
You'd think there'd be fences or something, but I can assure you, if you fell, you were gone.

I looked right over the edge, but I made sure I was safely on my stomach and in a steady position, and I'm not going to lie, it was absolutely terrifying (and simultaneously exciting, too)

But still. Was a great experience to even be there and just look around at the lovely landscape.
So close
So we finally make it to the stadium (?) and sit down, waiting for the sun to set before the performance started. The sunset was spectacular.

So then the ritual began.

It was quite good! The culture was really interesting :')
At first it started off really serious, but by the end, it was such an entertaining performance and everything.

Also hats off to the 70-man acapella choir. They sang basically constantly the entire 45 (?) minutes of the performances, and it makes me wonder how their throat doesn't get dry from that.

They continued right into the night.
The only thing which was difficult to sit through was the mosquitoes.

Next day finally comes and wow, it's the closing ceremony.

Already? Could not believe it. How was it that we were already at the end of the trip? I'm still not over the post-IBO depression stage, so I won't even begin to talk about my emotions here.

Anyway, it was finally some closure.

At the back of my mind (and everyone else's), we knew it wasn't 'the end' just yet, because we still had that night. Staying up early into the morning together, spending the last of our time in one final gathering, knowing that it would be the last.

Let's not get into the gloomy and doomy though.

Next day and it was final goodbyes! Sad, bittersweet, as per usual.

My friend, TA, coined a name: "sadpiness" to describe the mix of sadness and happiness experienced on this final day.

I don't really have any photo to really /end/ this post, but here's one of my friend (GC)'s amazingly fabulous shoes.
Taken at the airport; one of the final photos before we all left.
And, that's about it.

The IBO's been a wonderful experience, and I actually do not think there is a way for me to fully express my emotions for this trip. I don't know if I'd be able to find the words to, and even if I did, it would not make sense to most people and this blog post would probably never finish.

It's been a fantastic time, I met brilliant people, and it still hurts to think that it's over.

One final photo from Ayodya, just because I forgot to put it anywhere earlier.

"Life has a habit of taking those you want closest and throwing them across oceans"


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Hello! I'm a student from Australia. I like photography, am aspiring to be a Doctor, have fallen in love with many things that life has to offer, and hope to see more of it. I've been blogging for a while and over the years what it means to me has changed. Currently still trying to figure that out, but here I am in a weird hybridisation of photography, film, blogging, and the confusion of a young adult, you'll find me here writing about my experiences and life. Or whatever tickles my fancy. Whether that's entertaining or not is yours to decide. Stay hydrated, kids.