Saturday night marked our last night at Boot Camp. In good Australia team fashion, we unfortunately won the Piggy Award again, but praised the Lord! After the normal rally happenings, Bob Bland commenced the candle-lighting service and each team made their way out of the Big Top, with Australia being the last team. We made our way to the pack-out barn where we celebrated our departure with a plethora of food ranging from pizza to Chic-Fil-A to cookies. At 10pm we started cleaning up and preparing to leave and the bus arrived at around 11:30pm. As we each stepped into the airport, we realized just how much we had missed air-conditioning. During our four-hour wait for the check-in line to open, teens and leaders slept, called home, used bathrooms with real toilets and running water, and simply enjoyed the ability to relax in the cool air.
At 4am Sunday morning, we began the process of checking in and moving through security. All went smoothly and at 7 am we were boarding the plane. However, there was a slight delay and we didn’t leave until an hour or two later (I was asleep so my sense of time is a little off). We arrived in LA at about 10am (I think) Los Angeles time. We left the airport and began our tour of the city. We first went to “In and Out Burger” where we enjoyed some hamburgers, french fries, and milkshakes. We then walked up to Hollywood Boulevard and saw some of the stars along the walkway. After spending a few minutes there, we rode to the observatory to get a better look at the Hollywood sign, and then drove to Santa Monica Pier. We hit more traffic than expected and had only 40 minutes to spend there. After touring the city, we headed back to the airport were we again made it through check-in and security without any issues. We relaxed at our gate, called home, and bought dinner until our flight departed at 9:30pm.
Although the flight was 12 hours long, most of us didn’t realize as we were so exhausted until we fell asleep less than an hour into the flight. At 5:30 am (New Zealand time), we arrived in Auckland, New Zealand. By 9 am we were on the plane for our final flight to Brisbane, Australia. This last flight was only three hours and at 10 am Australia time we landed in Brisbane. As we unloaded from the plane, claimed our baggage, and went through customs without any problem (praise be to the Lord), it began to dawn on some of us that we were finally in Australia. However for some of us, like myself, it still hasn’t sunk in quite yet.
We were picked up by the Reilly’s at the airport, and upon arrival at the base in Tewantin, Queensland, fed a delicious meal. While eating dinner, we could look out in the open field and see a gathering of Wallaby’s (is it a pack? A herd?). Although it was difficult for them, the teens did a good job of resisting the urge to run over and pet them. After dinner we had some time to settle into our dorms, girls in Isaac and boys in Jacob. The teens enjoyed a running shower (hot for the lucky few in the front of the line, and cold for the ones in the back). At 6:30 we reconvened for a meeting with Mike Reilly about safety and rules while on the base and in Australia. Afterwards we had a time of group prayer and worship, during which many struggled to stay awake. When this time of worship ended, our teens still had another 30 minutes we wanted them to remain awake (in an attempt to battle jet lag). During this time us girls shared one thing no one else here knew about us. I don’t have a clue what the boys did.
This morning we allowed the teens to sleep in until 7am to catch up on sleep. At 7:45 they had a cold breakfast of fruit loops, toast with butter, jelly, or peanut butter, apple-sauce, and “hot chocolate.” However, we failed to realize the cocoa we used for hot chocolate was unsweetened until after serving all the kids. We embarrassedly added sugar to their drinks, which only made it slightly more tolerable. Morning devotions followed until 9am, and then they were given another hour to hang clothes lines and settle in. At 10am, Lori Hearn, Candace McNeal, our two kitchen helpers (Elijah Henry and Lizzy Anderson), and myself began preparing a lunch of sloppy joes, corn, apples with peanut butter, and grape kool aid. The kool aid however turned out to be just purple water as someone *cough Elijah Henry cough* didn’t add enough sugar. Other than that, the two kitchen helpers have been wonderful and a great help. They have done anything asked of them without any serious complaint. This synapses now brings me to our current time of 1:30 pm. The teens have all gone out to work site to see what they will be spending the next month doing.
So our team has been doing well considering the fact that we have been in need of a shower and sleep the past few days. I will be sure to update you on specific teens in my next report!
Hey I am Logan Purdom. I am on the team in Australia working for God and all His glory. When I first heard of TMI, I thought that would be cool to go on, but I just do not have the time. Then my parents signed me up and I was off writing letters, going to fund-raisers and telling the people about what I’m going to do. Then I got to Boot Camp and it was one of the most difficult things I have ever done—the tents, the bucket baths, and the bugs, but it was also one of the best experiences of my life. It made me so much stronger in faith. Its has been so much fun being with my friends and having great leaders, and it gets better every single day. Thank you Lord God for letting me have the opportunity to do this.
Hi my name is Selina. I have really enjoyed being on the Australia team. I am so glad that Boot Camp is over. Praise the Lord! I have been really tired the last few days from travelling. After the first plane ride to L.A., I got a little sick after the landing. But I’m better now. I loved touring L.A. That was amazing! I have always wanted to do that. When we landed in Australia, it was quite difficult to get used the time. It’s a little weird here. Since almost everything here is opposite. When we first drove to the Australia Lord’s Boot Camp, it was so cool to see all the waliby’s and kangaroo’s. The first official day we were here in the girl’s dorm, I saw a huge wolf spider! It scared me so much. So I have to look out for those. The land here is so beautiful. I hope we get to take a hike around the property. I am looking forward to meeting the people of Australia! I thank God for giving the this opportunity to be here. I miss all my family and friends and love them so much! Can’t wait to see what else God does here in Australia!