Friday, July 31, 2009

I'M HOME!!!!

That is all. ;-} (More after I unpack.... Yikes.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Quick update

Quick update before I leave for the airport--I got to go snorkeling! YAY! The guy that I found that doesn't make his call until the morning about cancellations decided to go out. The waves were pretty big, so the visibility wasn't great, but I still got to go. At the end of the snorkel, they threw pieces of bread into the water and these HUUUUUGE fish came over to feed--SO cool! I'll post pictures (that didn't turn out very well) when I get a chance.

Today was my last full day in Australia--so weird! I can't believe that 6 months has gone by so slow and so incredibly fast at the same time. I'm really going to miss this place, but am still excited about coming home. I'm on a plane in less than 24 hours!!!! Gotta jet, so I can get on a jet and go back to Sydney to pack. Praying that everything I want to bring with me fits in my bags.....

Monday, July 27, 2009

Final Countdown *dun nuh nuh nuh....dun nuh nah nah nuh....*

Kudos to those of you who got the song reference in the title. Bonus points if you started singing it to make sure I put the right number of syllables. ;-}

Well, I'm enjoying my final days here in Australia. Our "graduation" was good, but ended up going super long as most meetings at IBS do... ;-} We went out afterward and had our first official drinks in 6 months--very nice, even though the bartender was a little weak sauce with the shots... I stayed up that whole night packing and hanging out with friends to say our final goodbyes. It was hard to say goodbye to everyone, especially since I was the first one to leave.

I got up to Townsville on Saturday morning--slept the WHOLE flight, which is extremely abnormal for me. I guess I should stay up all night every time before I fly! One of the staffers from the Townsville base came and picked me up and gave me a tour of the town and the base. Their base is SUUUUUPER nice! I'm staying in a flat all by myself, which I'm enjoying to no end! I get to cook my own meals, chill out, watch movies, paint my toe nails, and sleep in the most peacefully silent room I have experienced in the last 6 months. ;-} Yesterday, I hung out on "The Strand", which is a long boardwalk in downtown Townsville. I went shopping at the markets, laid on the beach and read, and experienced hand-made Bailey's-flavored gelato for the first time--I don't think there has ever been a more amazing gelato flavor created in the history of mankind, just to let you know.

Today, I took the ferry over to Magnetic Island. On a whim, I decided to spend the night on the island because it looked pretty cool. I'm staying at a Backpacker's Hostel/Wildlife park. It's pretty nice, and a 5 minute walk from one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen in my entire life. Don't worry--there will be lots of pictures coming.

I'm trying to list all the good things to outweigh the incredibly sucky thing--I called to confirm that my reef/snorkeling tour for tomorrow is still going on, and they said they had to cancel because of a high wind warning! SO LAME! I called around to every snorkeling tour place in the area, and they all canceled except one. The place I found doesn't make their call until the morning of the tour, so I'm praying that they will still go out tomorrow! It's my last day to snorkel because I'm flying back to Sydney on Wednesday, and I will be supremely disappointed if I don't get to do the one thing I came up here for! Hopefully I'll get the hook up from the big Weather Man upstairs...

Other than that, I'm just thinking about how I'm going to get all my stuff home, and looking forward to the CRAAAAZY heat wave awaiting me in Puyallup when I get home! 3 days and counting!!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Let the sappy songs's almost time for graduation!

Hey all! I can't believe I'm coming to the end of this 6 month journey! We've spent the last week doing de-briefing here at the base, and most of us have spent the week taking antibiotics to kill a crazy cold we got in the outback--one of the girls even got pneumonia! I'm up and walking around, which is more than I can say for when I first got sick, but I'm still waiting for the last bit of cough and runny nose to go away.

Last night, we had a big dinner at a buffet place nearby with the school and some of the staff from the base. It was a nice time to hang out and say goodbyes, since the base double booked a huge conference at the same time as our graduation, so we don't really get a proper graduation because the conference is going on.... Oh, the joys of YWAM. I made a "most likely to..." slideshow with all the students in it that got some pretty big laughs. I must say it was above the bar of my usual comedic genius and I was quite proud of myself. ;-} Today and tomorrow each of the outreach teams is giving a 15 minute speech at the conference, and then on Friday night (during the conference) we will get our fancy pieces of paper saying we passed our DTS. Sort of an anti-climactic ending after 6 of the craziest months of my life, but I think we've all accepted that we're not going to have a proper graduation. We're trying to make plans to go out afterward and say our last goodbyes before everyone leaves, but the conference is throwing a snag in those works too because it's running so late.

After "graduation" on Friday, I wake up early Saturday morning to fly up to Townsville to go snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef and catch a little R&R on the beach before leaving for home. I started packing today--still not sure how my giant didgeridoo and my djembes are going to fit in my bags/not break/make it through customs, but I'm going to worry about that later.... I'm looking forward to coming back to the states, enjoying all of the things from home that I've been missing since February 6th, and seeing all of you! Can't wait to catch up and give you all big hugs when I get home!!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Back in Sydney, again!

Hey friends! I'm back from the outback! It was absolutely beautiful, but SOOOOO cold! I'll write more about it later when I have time. Everybody got to make a didgeridoo, which is AMAZING because buying them is suuuuper expensive. I was the only person who didn't get to make one because I was really sick the last two days, but our host made one for me so I could have one to take home. We had some crazy adventures with wild kangaroos and emus, broken down vans, and small housefires, but I'll write about all that when it's not 2 minutes before lunchtime. Right now, I'm just soaking up the last week with all my DTS friends and counting down the hours until I come home! More later!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Off to Brewarrina!

Hey all. I'm taking a quick break from packing to tell you all that we're headed off on our last part of outreach to an Aboriginal community called Brewarrina tomorrow. We'll be spending somewhere between 5-10 days there doing whatever ministry they find for us to do. It's all organized Island Breeze Sydney style right now, which means that we have no idea what's going on.... The biggest challenge so far is trying to pack all of our heavy winter clothes (it's winter down here, by the way) for a week into a carry on sized suitcase. I'm pretty much going to freeze for the whole week, especially at night, because apparently, we're going to be sleeping in a shed or something... Hopefully the Lord will do amazing things in and through our potentially frostbitten bodies--pray that the fire of the Holy Spirit goes with us in more ways than one!

20 days til I'm back at Sea-Tac!!! ;-}

Friday, July 3, 2009

I come from a land down under...

Hey all! We made it back to Australia safe and sound! It was a long day of flying without a cool trip to Hong Kong, but I think we're all just really glad to be back. Our group got back to the base last night around 10:00ish, so we got a decent night's sleep. The other gang flew in at 6:00 this morning, so they're going to be jet lagging pretty hardkore. We had an AWESOME time of worship this morning--it's so good to be back at the base! A lot has changed since we left--there's a new DTS here, and a huuuuuuge short-term missions group from the states. We have a week at the base, and then we head off into the indigenous communities, which we're really excited about. The short term missions groups and some people from the base have been going into the indigenous communities and have seen heaps of people coming to the Lord, so we're really excited to see how God is going to move!

Love you all!