Australia has been an interesting trip. The mixture and variety of cultures here are even more numerous than in America. I have always considered our country to be one of the most successful mixtures of cultures and ethnicity, but Australia is impressive. I attended mass at one of the most beautiful Catholic cathedrals I have ever seen, St. Mary's, located in the Hyde Park region of Sydney. I literally had goosebumps as we listened to the choir sing. They were amazing. The church is an architectural masterpiece with huge, beatify archways. My grandfather is going to be thrilled to learn that I was able to see and attend mass at the church. Prior to leaving the States, he informed me of the places he would like to visit if he had the chance, as he always does before I vacation, and it will make him so happy to see the program I will bring back and to see my pictures of St. Mary's.
Today we visited the U.S. consulate general. I learned how important Australia's global relations with the United States are. I did not realize how closely the United States and Australia work together on things such as combating terrorism. The speakers were so informative and really gave me new perspectives about how the global economy is changing. They informed us that the United States' economy and continuation as a dominant force in the world's market is very dependent on its relations with Australia. I had no idea that the pacific region has so many dominant influences on world trade and it was refreshing to see how countries are working together as a global community to combat our world problems. It was also interesting to learn how well Australia's financial state is due to their vast resources. It is apparent that there is a lot of money and wealth in Australia, and perhaps gives me hope that our country, too, can continue to have great success in this tough world.