Wednesday, 25 January 2017

It's time for school

Joshua and Zara started their new school on Monday.  So far they are enjoying the experience and making some friends.  They seem to be taking all the newness in their stride as they figure out how it all works.  Thanks to all of you who have been praying for them.  God has been preparing the way and we are grateful.

Yesterday Joshua came home with some Maths homework.  I took one look at it and said if you have any questions then ask your Dad because I have no idea.  Thankfully he didn't need much help at all and he taught me a thing or two.

Zara is loving her drama class and art class.  She had a lot of joy when she explained what they were doing.  I wonder who she took the love of drama sure wasn't me.  (haha)  She is also studying Japanese so we might have some fun with that.

Zara is in her PE kit and Joshua in his "normal" uniform

Zara in her "normal" uniform and Joshua in PE kit.  The challenge is no sandals and they need to wear closed shoes.  I wonder if its because we live in Jurassic Park (haha).  Something these "African kids" will need to get used to.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

"No Dramas", "Too Easy" and "No Worries"

The phrases "No Dramas", "Too Easy" and "No Worries" are common sayings we hear on a regular basis down here in Queensland.  After thanking someone for assistance for their help to buy shoes, or getting our car fixed, or needing help to find something in a shop the response is often one of the above phrases. 

I would love to say that our transition to Australia has been "No Dramas", "Too Easy" and "No Worries" but the reality when you cross continents to set up a new home in a new country it can be a challenge.  I am not saying it has been all bad, not at all, just that it can be a challenge.

This is the 5th country that Simon and I have lived in and although you can anticipate a lot of things you still need to walk through them and figure things out.  When you move to another English speaking country you think that things will be familiar and similar but that is not always the case.  Our time in America showed us that and so we were more prepared for it when we came to Australia.  One nice thing is that until we open our mouth no one really knows we are not Australian (haha).  The other week we were at a market wandering through all the stalls.  Joshua turned to us and said isn't it nice to walk through and people don't harass you to buy things or call you mzungu (white foreigner).  On the other hand the temperatures in Uganda were much more manageable than here in Cairns.  Thankfully there is not a shortage of water as we regularly have two showers a day just to cool off.  We are adjusting to that and other things like the Jurassic size bugs and beasties that we encounter along the way.  I took the kids swimming at a different creek the other week.  In the car park just at the entry way into the forest was a sign saying "watch out for the stinging trees".  So if the bugs don't get you the trees will.  It sure made me smile!  It was another Jurassic Park moment.

We had a good meeting with the Principal at Joshua and Zara's new school last week and are excited about this opportunity for them.  They are looking forward to going to school and making new friends.  Another blessing was that we found a house not far from school which means they can cycle there and back which gives them a bit of freedom.

Simon is continuing to study for more exams which has been a test in patience and perseverance at times.  He also has a busy two weeks coming up as he starts a course.  Pray for a beneficial time for him and clarity of thought.

We are currently still on a visitors visa which runs out in a month.  The upgrade to the more permanent visa has been fraught with a few challenges.  The visa company requires a bit more paperwork from us which we can only get from Switzerland.  This all takes time. The process usually takes 10 weeks for the visa to be processed so the likelihood of us getting it before we have to leave the country will be nothing short of a miracle.  However, God is still in the business of doing miracles so we will see what happens.  Otherwise we fly off to some exotic island somewhere to reinstate the vistors visa (haha).

God reminded me this week in John 14:27 that He has already given us His peace and so we need to walk in that.  Even if there are "dramas and worries" blowing all around we can live at peace and trust God with it all, one step at a time.  The problems come when we try and do it in our own strength.  Thankful for this experience that makes us rely on Him more.

Thanks to all of you who continue to intercede for us.  We are grateful!

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Happy New Year from "Jurassic Park"

Since arriving in Australia we have experienced so many things that it is difficult to put it all into words or even photos but below are a few photos to keep you going.

We have some praises and prayer needs which are located to the right of this post.  Thanks for interceding for us!!

Happy New Year from Cairns Esplanade

Our first New Year in Aussie and its 9pm and still 30+ degrees.

Managed to get Joshua out the water for a photo, Zara's priority was swimming.

A view from one of the hills surrounding Cairns.

The view from Tree Tops Guesthouse where we stayed for a month.

Lake Morris, a reservoir that feeds Cairns

Joshua and Zara at Lake Morris, it was one hot day!
Zara enjoying the beach and the ocean.  It is jelly fish season (stingers) and so only specific areas that are cordoned off are safe to swim in.  These wee jellies and not so wee jellies are not to be messed with.

Zara feeding the turtles at a local campsite. 
She wasn't impressed that the fish were eating most of the food.

Visited a wildlife park and this feathery friend was at the entrance to welcome us.

Watch out for the crocs and the stingers!!!  Didn't I tell you that we now live in Jurassic Park (haha)

Don't want to get in a fight with this monster!

 Somebody has his beady eye on you.....

It is feeding time and chicken was on the menu

A Cassowary Bird.  It is BIG!!!
 These little cuties only wake up long enough to eat and then they are a back to sleep again. 
What a life!!!