It’s hard to believe we haven’t even been in Australia a week. The weather here is great (in my opinion). It’s very much like spring in Pennsylvania. All these folks from Georgia, however, are chilly in the 50 and 60 degree weather. It rains nearly every day, and without warning, making it difficult to dry clothes. During the week, we wake up each morning at 5:30 AM and work for two hours before breakfast. As of now, the team has been filling potholes in the driveway. In the afternoon, their work has consisted of pulling weeds, raking, and painting. They are finishing up with the yard work and will be moving onto other projects in the near future.
Saturday our team was able to relax a little bit. After working a few hours in the morning, we went for a hike with some of the Bible School students here. The hike was difficult for some, but the view made it worth it in the end. You looked out over the path and could see the ocean and coast. If you turned around you looked out over mountains, lakes, and farmland. To make it even more pristine, the sky was sunny, blue, and filled with nice fluffy clouds. After dinner we had a fun night of playing the game “four on a couch”, to which the girls won two of the three games 🙂
Today we went to church at Noosa Christian Outreach Center. Five of the teens (Matthew SanMiguel, Hannah Jenkins, Lizzy Anderson, Aaron Fields, and Jordan Saxon) shared their testimonies with the youth while the rest of the group sang and performed a puppet show. Both groups did very well and enjoyed themselves. I know one girl at the church was especially touched by Hannah Jenkins testimony and thanked her for sharing afterwards.
After church we all took a quick power nap and then cracked into memory verse review. We were all a bit rusty and struggled with some of the verses, but we made significant progress as time continued. After that the teens wrote letters home and cleaned up around the dorms.
This coming week we are hoping to begin working on new projects. On Tuesday we will be going to a private school to give a presentation, and on Thursday, some of the teens will be going to a skateboard park to evangelize. On Friday we will be travelling to the Australia Zoo and we are all incredibly excited to pet kangaroos and koalas!!
So now for personal updates on some of the kids. Allie Padgett is such an awesome girl. She is friendly, kind, and caring. She works hard and is always willing to help when needed. I know she is homesick and misses her family, but she is staying positive anyway. Logan Purdom has been a hard worker as well and a special blessing as he is not one to complain often. Tomorrow is his 16th birthday and we are excited to celebrate it with him! Preston Purdom has been doing much better than he did at Boot Camp as far as organization and attitude. He seems to enjoy the field much better and is quite a hoot. He has really warmed up to us as leaders and the rest of the kids. I have enjoyed getting to know Elijah Henry as he is a sweet kid. He works hard. Jordan Saxon is just a beautiful girl both inside and out. She looks cute despite the work, and keeps a positive attitude through thick and thin. She is always there to talk to or sit next to at meals, and I loved getting to know her. Brie Goodwin is crazy (but in a good way:) She is spunky, giggly, and nearly always happy. You can never stay annoyed with her and she has a way of making everyone happier. She seems to be enjoying herself much better here than at Boot Camp. Aaron Fields is a funny kid. He works hard when he puts his mind to it. He makes us all laugh and helps us have a good time while working. Josh Wilkin has been continuing to do well. He gets a tad hyper at night, but it helps keep the rest of us awake when we are feeling exhausted. He is a hard worker though and tells some great corny jokes. Matthew San Miguel is also a very nice kid. He is caring and also funny. Matthew was unfortunately not feeling to well the other day and had to spend the day alone in a sick room. He said he had a sinus infection and then he gets them fairly often. Thankfully he is feeling better now and is out of the sick tent. Emma Maples is another girl who it is difficult to stay annoyed with. She is nearly always happy and I enjoy spending time with her because of it. She does great as one of the puppets in our skits as well. Selina Mardavich is such a cute girl. She has the most beautiful smiles and the cutest dimples. She always has a great attitude, is a hard worker, and never complains (at least I never hear her complain). I love spending time with her when I can and can’t wait to get to know her more.
Well that is the first half of the countoff, next time I will update about the second half.
Mihretae Will – We have been in Australia almost half a week and its already much better here then Boot Camp! Praise the Lord!! So far we have been waking up at 5:30 AM, filling holes in the road for two hours, then eating breakfast at 8:00. After that, most of the day is easier because we weed, and trust me; it was a huge surprise for the whole team that we had to weed, dig holes for the slough, and repaint the dorms. We also have nice, hot showers that my friend, Aaron Fields, cuts all the fire wood to heat up the cold rain water. We all love it when we want to feel clean & fresh, and we use them often. It gets dark at 5:30, so it’s pretty scary to walk to our dorms at night because we can’t see anyone. Many of us love to hide behind trees and scare people when they walk by. The cooks are doing a fine job here and have fun trying new things every day with the food. Everyday two teammates, one boy and one girl, help them all day: cutting food, washing dishes, sweeping, washing tables, hanging towels, and just getting to know each other. The base is awesome because we see wild animals everywhere and the birds make the weirdest noise I have ever heard. We see kangaroos all the time here fighting each other & laying on the grass while we work and have free time.
Ronan Van Buskirk – Here in Australia things are going great! It’s far better than Boot Camp and I, along with many other team members, don’t feel the constant urge to run away. Its just too bad we stick to the same schedule by waking up at 5:30 in the morning. The weather here is wonderful and a lot similar to the weather back home in Canada. So far, we have been working hard by paving a road, painting dorms and picking weeds! The cooks are doing a really great job even though some of the meals are a bit more filling than others. I had the privilege to work alongside them the other day with my pal, Selina Mardavich. They put me to work cutting onions and I cried for about a half hour straight. The hot showers sure are something I can’t complain about though. We make a fire to heat up the water to shower in. I sadly had to teach the Americans (Aaron Fields and Logan Purdom) how to start a fire, I’ll admit that I was a bit disappointed. Before I sign off I’d like to give a big shout out to my Momma Roach and Papa Jason, love you and I’ll be home before you know it!