16 July, 2009

Back from the black hole

Yes, I'm finally back...from my communications blackout. For the last eight days I've had no home phone or mobile (cellphone for you non-Aussies) or internet. Ahhh! But we're mostly back in touch with the rest of the world now. I have plenty "sorry I don't have a phone" stories. People (and companies just assume). The one that is the craziest is when you've signed up for a kind-of a package including all the above. When one piece arrives, it says to use the other to activate its use! We ended up driving to the nearest public phone to put an end to the craziness! Anyway, here's a short diary to catch you up on what we've been doing while we couldn't use the internet! Thursday 9th Drove from Rockhampton to Brisbane with a long lunch stop near Childers to catch up with friends. At 6.10pm we walked into the house which is to be our base for the next 12 months. AMAZING!! Brand new! Four bedrooms, an ensuite, massive living/dining area, dishwasher AND a decent backyard! It blew us away. It was actually pretty hard to come down off the ceiling to get ourselves to bed. We rattled around for a few days, but are gradually finding our feet in this place. It is at least twice the size of the place we called home in Tokyo for the last four years! Friday 10th This day was mostly spent in unpacking boxes. We also walked over to the boys' school to familiarise them with at least the view from outside the fence. We found the toaster, a bathmat, the pegs, etc. Good thing we did spend this day working hard because on Saturday 11th We had visitors. Two of them expected, the others not. Nonetheless, all of them came bearing good wishes AND food! Couldn't turn them away! At least we'd found plates to feed them their own food off. Sunday 12th We had a quiet morning and took some time to explore the neighbourhood on foot. The late afternoon found us at church - the church we called home before we left for Japan. I guess we still do call it 'home' though that meaning has changed a lot with the little time we've spent there since 2000. It was good to connect with many people and see how all the kids have grown. Amazingly our three boys coped with the 4.30 service time fairly well, but I'm not sure it will be quite so good during term time. Monday 13th In the morning I ventured off to grocery shop and hopefully find a Centrelink and Medibank Private. Whoops. Of course with no phone we also have no phone book and cannot check such things. Instead I found someone's lost bag and gave it into the local police beat - they asked me for my phone number! School assessment/interviews for our eldest and youngest. First opportunity to walk through the school with our boys. Gradually we're getting familiar with our environment and it all helped later in the week. Tuesday 14th Bright and early we headed over the hill for our middle son's school assessment. I felt a tiny bit nervous as if it was my teaching that was being assessed. Afterall, the only English-based education he's received was from me! Anyway he did fine and they all got accepted into the age appropriate levels. No uniform shop available until Thursday morning, so we headed off to visit our mission's state office to equip ourselves for deputation. No one was at the office (we didn't ring ahead with our non phones), so we decided to go to the local shopping centre to source some school shoes and socks. The boys were difficult to control. More than one middle aged woman has dealt me the look of disgust in the last week! Three boys and shopping centres just don't mix. We went back to the office later and found what we were looking for. A long day, however, as we dropped back to the rental agency looking for a manual to run our super-duper-up-to-date-but-incomprehensible oven. Wednesday 15th Another shopping day. Endevouring to finish finding all the non-uniform shop pieces of clothing before lunch proved an impossible challenge at yet another shopping centre. We did get a few more groceries including an incredibly popular large cauliflower. My boys love it, despite having not had any for years and years. Thursday 16th This is the day that had been on our calendar since about January. The day second semester starts at the school we've enrolled our kids in. THE day our kids have been worried about for almost as long. As far as we can tell, however, it all went well. Probably the saddest was our youngest, who doesn't start kindy until next Monday. He's been desperately sad that he has received no uniform and couldn't start today. Today, though, we got our mobiles working and, obviously, the internet too. Yahhooo! This blog entry has already become way too long. I'd better go to bed as tomorrow I have to figure out how to transform the list of ideas which sits next to me, into a workable evening of connecting with some ladies from our church tomorrow night! And obviously it isn't going to happen tonight because my writing is becoming unreadable!


Melissa said...

Hi Wendy,
I forgot to tell you about the Lego that was supposed to be at the Missions office for you to pick up. Did you get it?


Wendy said...

Yes, got it, though it is not as much as we envisioned.