How you going?
By Libbi Loos
Editor’s note: Libbi Loos, Trent’s daughter, wrote this week’s Loos Tales column after a recent visit to Australia.
I hope you don’t mind, but I decided to take over Dad’s column today and tell you about my amazing adventure to Australia. Putting up with Dad does pay off sometimes! I completely fell in love with it. I discovered I am an excellent sleeper as I was out for about 12 hours of the 14-hour flight. We arrived safely in Adelaide; unfortunately we couldn’t say the same for our luggage, which was stuck in Dallas, Texas.
Having no clean clothes provided a good excuse to go shopping. However, I must say buying underwear with your dad isn’t ideal. It was a fun experience, and I got to teach him a thing or two about shopping and picking out a shirt that matches his rag.
The next day we met Ellie, Annie and their mother, Jane Kellock. They were some of the most extraordinary people I’d ever met. Not only did they tell us about their country and their school, but they also gave us a tour of Adelaide. We ate at the Pancake Kitchen with two of their school friends before going out to the Cleland Wildlife Park just outside of the city. The park was amazing and filled with native animals, such as koalas, kangaroos and dingoes. I paid to hold a koala and caught a kangaroo. It was an amazing surprise to find a baby joey in the momma kangaroo’s pouch. The animals were all so tame, including the dingoes, who acted like house dogs.
After that the girls had to go to work, so a friend and I decided to tour by ourselves around Australia after the morning session of LambEx, where my dad spoke. Wednesday we took a tram back downtown just to meet more people and see what the Australia mall had to offer compared to an American mall. All the people were so kind and helpful, even when we got lost. After 2 1/2 days without our bags, they finally arrived! Apparently, the bags were not as excited about leaving the states as I was.
Listening to Dad’s speech Thursday morning reminded me what I must have to be a good speaker: passion. Between sessions we went down to the bay, took lots of pictures and collected seashells. The evening session began very seriously with talk about all the harm the dingoes were causing. The seriousness thinned once they gave Dad the microphone to “defend the dingo.” He accomplished his goal of getting a standing ovation by conning the people into standing. It just shows you can do anything if you have the right mindset and determination, even if some might consider it manipulation.
Friday we returned downtown to explore the art gallery, a historical museum and the State Library. The library actually contained no books, which was slightly perplexing. It was the first art gallery I had ever been to, so it was a good experience.
The whole trip to Australia was a remarkable experience. I tried new foods every day: eggplant, duck, kangaroo, fish eggs and rum ice cream. Every single person we talked to stated how unfortunate it was that we only came to Adelaide because there was “nothing here.” We thought everything was there compared to our small central Nebraska town. Over a million people live in that city!
We learned some new phrases such as, “How you going?” and “No worries.” The people we met were absolutely wonderful and the largest amount of nice people I’d ever met in one location. My favorite thing I will use when I return to waitressing is their word for chicken, “chooks.” I wonder what people will think when I ask them if they would you like to try the grilled chook?
Traveling to Australia gave me a different outlook on America. Everyone in Australia was very aware of things happening in our country and with our government and agriculture. We are truly considered the leader nation, and I believe we could be so much better. We need to be known for so much more than our obesity and free government handouts. I didn’t realize America had such a huge influence on Australia, and it seems to be that way with other countries as well. America needs to be the positive influence of the world—the George Strait and not the Miley Cyrus—and it is up to each of us to make sure that happens.
Stay tuned for my online blog if you’d like to hear more about my day by day adventures down under.
Editor’s note: Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at www.FacesOfAg.com, or email Trent at firstname.lastname@example.org.