Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tomorrow I'll be home

I cannot believe that I’ve been in Australia for 5 months, and tomorrow, that time will come to an end. So this is my last post on this blog. I thought I’d take this blog as a an opportunity to share some new experiences I’ve had (both good and not so good) and some stuff I’ve learned.

· I learned about myself that I live a very unintentionally sheltered life. In some ways that’s good, but in other ways it’s not.

· I learned what and how to play netball (and that I’m a pretty good goal keeper J) It’s something I’m definitely going to miss. Both the game and the girls on my team

o I learned how to define a British Commonwealth state: the presence of netball and cricket, and that there are a lot of them.

· I learned that a wallaby has 3 vaginas and 2 cervixes. And it doesn’t really have a uterus, but it manages to have 2 uterine horns. They can also be pregnant at 2 different stages at the same time, sort of…ask me for further info if you’re interested. OK, so I learned some pretty interesting stuff about marsupials and monotremes (like platypuses secrete milk from their oil glands in their skin) and I could go on, but this is not the time or the place. For more interesting (somewhat gross to some people) reproduction animal facts, check out 2 of my previous posts: “What have I been up to” and “They do what, how?!?!?”

· I learned how to live on a tight budget, but that there is still great value in giving.

· I experienced God opening “up the windows of heaven and pouring out blessings that I didn’t even have room enough to receive (Malachi 3:10).”

o God opened up my eyes to see how faithful He is.

· I led a Bible study for the first time.

· Being here was the first time that I was ever around a drunk person.

· I made sushi for the first time.

· I did kick-boxing for the first time.

· God showed me that I am not as loving and patient as I thought I was, but that I truly need to rely on Him to love and care for others.

· I learned that I still have a lot of growing to do.

· I learned to appreciate the wisdom of my parents

o I learned a new way to scam someone through the use of sketchy checks and the wiring of money ßthat was an interesting one.

· I learned that I am capable of not being afraid of people.

· I learned that I am terrible at goodbyes!

o Granted, I probably should’ve known this one already, as it takes Mo and I like 10 minutes to actually get off of skype after initially saying goodbye.

It’s such a bittersweet time. As much as I’ll miss it here, the surreal scenery (probably due to the cleanness of the air), the people I’ve met, pouring hot custard over desserts and having British style pudding, I miss home. I miss my family, my friends, my food, my country (my unlimited internet and cell phone service! Lol ßI realize that’s spoiled). I’ve made friends here and met some wonderful people, all of whom I’ll miss dearly. I almost feel like my life at this moment, even as I type this, is like that of the series finale of a tv show. Fortunately, it’s not over…this is just the close of another chapter of my life, and even more fortunately, the author of this story has a plan to prosper my life, plans for a hope and a future (Jer 29:11). I’m soooo looking forward to see what He has next.

I guess in this case, since Shalyse is no longer in Australia after tomorrow, say wha...?, then I’ll be signing off in this chapter. I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading. Feel free to check out my other blog:


Monday, June 13, 2011

Weekend with the Prides

So I spent the weekend with a lovely couple from my church. Since I’ve been here, they’ve been kind of like my unofficial host family. This weekend, I didn’t have netball, so my schedule was freed up, and Monday was a public holiday (Queen’s birthday…happy birthday Queen Elizabeth); Australia is known as the land of the long weekend, but I, as usual, digress. On Saturday we went to a footy game (Australia-rules football [AFL]). I didn’t know all of what was going on except that the crows were getting whooped by the eagles (as would be proper in nature if a crow tried to take on an eagle I suppose),but yeah, Adelaide lost. L It was still pretty fun though. The teams colors are black, red, and yellow and since it’s a winter sport everyone was decked out in their black, yellow, and red scarves and knitted caps. The crowd wasn’t nearly as loud as I would have expected (comparing it to our uni’s football games), but I suppose that’s because the crows had already lost 3 games in a row (this was their fourth) so not as many supporters were out to cheer them on. So you’re probably wondering what the difference is between AFL and NFL. Well, looking at the picture above, you can see they don’t have the grid-iron gear, so your follow-up might be, well what’s the difference between AFL and rugby? My answer would be *shrug* because I don’t know the rules to rugby either. I do know that this one time, at band camp, no, this one time, in my house, when I was in Australia, I thought I was watching AFL on TV, but then it turns out the TV guide was completely wrong, as it often is here, and I was actually watching rugby, so I can say that there is a difference, because what I saw on Saturday was not what I saw on TV that day.

But let’s start at the beginning. Adelaide has 2 teams of which there is much rivalry between, from what I’ve heard. There’s the Adelaide Crows, and Port power. Port power doesn’t play much of a role in this story though, as the Crows were playing the West Coast Eagles, as mentioned earlier. Anyway, as goes tradition, and common sense, everyone takes the footy express busses to the games. When I say everyone, I mean a majority of the people, because those who don’t get stuck in the traffic of the people driving because they didn’t take the bus, and then it’s hard to find a parking spot once you get there. The bus from the stop we were taking was scheduled to start at 12:35 and come every 10 minutes until 1:05. We got there at about 12:37 I imagine because we saw the 12:35 bus leaving. So we went to the bus stop and began waiting with this other couple that was there. And we waited…and waited…and waited some more. Then, the guy that was there went to the bus website to find out why it was now 12:50 and the next bus had not yet arrived. And then we discovered that the apparently all the bus schedules had been changed to a half hour earlier, and so the 12:35 bus had become the last instead of the first. And then we found ourselves stuck in that traffic caused by those people who didn’t take the bus. It took quite a while to get there for that reason, and as we rolled in the crawling traffic, we felt even sorrier that we’d missed the bus as we saw the footy expresses cruise past us effortlessly in the bus only lanes. We were only a few minutes late though, so I didn’t miss much. The crows started off playing awesomely, and they were even winning by the end of the first quarter! And then we discovered that they had this unspoken rule that they were only allowed to play well when their goal was on the right side of the field, because the second and last quarters, when they were forced to switch, they pretty much forgot how to play. Or they were just really tired. Anyhow, from what I gathered, it’s like a combo of football, basketball, and just some random aussieness. There are 4 goal sticks, pictured above, and you score 1 point by hitting one, or getting the ball through one of the side ones, but you get 6 points for getting it through the center. If you score 1 point, the other team gets the ball. If you score 6 points it goes back to the center, where there is like a toss up (really more of a bounce up) and the players just basically run up and jump (in the epic moments they can jump off of another teammate…I’ve heard they sometimes get up to like 1.5 meters of the ground, that’s like 5 feet). You also have to really be in shape to a referee (called umpire here for every sport) because you’re running just as much, and when the ball goes out of bounds, it’s your job to do this weird backward over the head bending backwards throw in. It’s all very complicated you see. Oh, and there are 4 30 minute quarters, but instead of a timer, there’s a stopwatch, so most of the quarters went over 30 minutes and seemed to just end at random times. But it was fun. Oh, and I had a footy pie. J

I realize as always, that I have written much too much, so I’ll just say that the next day I went to Mount Lofty (the highest point in Adelaide) and Hahndorf, which is this German village, I had Turkish delight there for the first time, to add to my list of random experiences that are not necessarily Australian that I’ve had since being in Australia, and then today (Monday), I went down south to Port Elliot, then further south to the Prides’ farmland to see their goats (love goats!), and then even further south to Antarctica! Ok, so I didn’t quite go to Antarctica because the whale we hired didn’t show up to ferry us. Not at all…I went to the mouth of the Murray River. The Murray River is this river that travels the entire length of the eastern side of Australia (I think). At least it goes from South Australia to Queensland, which is far. But the irony of it is that compared to the size of the river, the opening to the ocean is quite small. And as Robert and I stood there looking at it, he points out into the ocean and is like, this is as far south as you can go here. This is the south ocean. If you go that way, you’ll reach Antarctica. But that was my weekend and it was quite fun. I guess I skipped Friday, but that was me finishing my breeding program on breeding guinea pigs for milk to make cheese (guinorino). And you wouldn’t want to hear about that…or would you?

Until next time, have a laugh: