12 March, 2015

Our working holiday weekend

It's Thursday and I'm writing about last weekend. What? That's just how the week has rolled, I'm afraid.

Last Thursday night we flew to Canberra and stayed at a motel for the night.

Friday morning the boys were thrilled to find they could have a buffet breakfast. I tell you, we got our money's worth out of that breakfast!

Then we spent the day visiting two families in different parts of the city, breaking it up with a picnic lunch on our own and a brief visit to the Australia War Memorial. The weather was much cooler than Brisbane (we'd come from about 40 degrees C on Thursday), crisp, clear and dry, oh so dry.

It was a day of intense conversation, enjoyable, but thoroughly exhausting.

We squished into our borrowed car at about 6pm and headed south to Jindabyne (see here for more info on that township). It was odd to be driving in such a small car, but we
The car we gratefully used for the weekend. We needed
help to get all our luggage to and from the campsite.
survived fairly well for most of the journey, until our long limbed teenager began to complain. Thankfully I'm smaller than him and we switched seats for the rest of the journey. 

When we arrived people were socialising over supper in the dining room, so, to get a feel for everything I joined in (not because I was hungry). The last thing I actually felt like doing, though, was more talking! But thankfully people were friendly and it wasn't too hard.

Lake Jindabyne, part of the Snowy Mountain
Hydroelectric Scheme. This view was from the access road
to the campsite.
The next morning was the heaviest of the long-weekend. They'd scheduled a full morning of talks (basically two long sermons). The room initially looked very comfortable, with everyone seated on lounge chairs. But I found them as difficult as most lounge chairs without extra cushions: the seat base was too long, forcing me to slouch or curl up my legs.

Beautiful spot, don't you think? The accommodation was
wonderful too. If you're ever down that way, check out the
Adventist Alpine Village.
 They have self-contained chalets
as well as caravan and tenting spots. 
Lunch that day was an off-site BBQ where the many children and teens played in the park. That was a great time that marked a turning point for our boys in relating to other people. From that point on we hardly saw some of them. Thankfully we had the rest of the afternoon off for free time and then an evening of fun games.

But our main work on the weekend was talking to people. I think I was one of the last people to leave the dining room almost every meal (apart from those who were on kitchen duty). What a privilege to get to spend so much time with one supporting church. 

View from our chalet's verandah.
And wildlife. This wombat was wandering around near our
cabin one evening.
We did get a chance to talk up the front later on Sunday night for about 40 minutes. I found that time-slot a struggle, it was getting close to my Cinderella hour and most people looked a bit sleepy! But the feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive. My "hats" presentation continues to connect well with people.

Kangaroos everywhere, morning and evening.
After lunch on Monday we drove back to Canberra. There was much unrest in the car (we were tired and it was squishy). Thankfully I struck on the conversational strategy of hypotheticals. For example, "What sort of place (seaside, mountains, hot, cold, etc.) would you live in, if you had total freedom in that choice?" It carried us through to the end of our journey, the airport.

Another view from our verandah.
Flying domestically is such a breeze! But by the time we arrived home, at about 8.30pm, we were done-in. It was a bit of a nightmare, actually. Just getting boys to bed, let alone the other tasks of unpacking, washing clothes, preparing lunches for the next day was enough. But we had no internet. A virtual disaster when one person was looking forward to connecting with his buddies again online. It didn't end well.

The next day we were up and into things, no respite. After dropping the boys at school I had a physio appointment, got a haircut and my licence renewed and did grocery shopping, taking time for some clothes shopping as well. That afternoon I spent ages sitting outside (the only place where the internet dongle would work, our Plan B when broadband isn't working) catching up on email that had piled up over the weekend.

You can see why I'm only just starting to surface now. Oh, and that's not telling you about my personal health challenges . . . nothing big, just need to get to the doctor for some antibiotics tomorrow . . . and a certain assignment that wasn't getting done.

Nonetheless, I'm glad we made the effort to go to Canberra and this church camp. It was a worthwhile weekend. On the other hand I am thankful this coming weekend is much quieter!

No comments: