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Archive for the ‘week 1 on the island’ Category

Di never went to Youth group as a youth but tonight she got her chance to relive the memories. We were invited to play at a Volleyball comp and were surprised to find everyone was under 20. We made the average age of 16 – lucky Aiden and Aoife were there. Di was worried she’d make a fool of herself since she’s barely ever played but she did OK, mind you, she was on the worst team. Oh well, it was a bit of fun and we did get to mix with a cross section of the island, mainly Chinese and Malays. For all of Rob’s accounting friends, the score was 41-20. We were competitive at 15-12 but it was all downhill from there.

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Prickle pickle

Di had an embarrassing trip to the hospital last night. Having had dinner with some neighbours, who spoke about centipedes and their stings, Aoife woke in the middle of the night screaming. Not able solve the problem with just a cuddle, Di located a lump on Aoife’s foot. Worried that it could be a centipede – and if there are centipedes, what else is here! – off she went to the hospital. Accustomed to 5 hour waiting times in Sydney emergency departments, she happily went straight in to see the nurse and doctor. How embarrassing when they passed their diagnosis… a prickle! It’d been in there a long time and maybe the pressure was causing the pain. That means she probably had it in her foot before we even got to this exotic island. Could Nanna and Pop’s house be more dangerous than Christmas Island? Embarrassed, but able to say the hospital is very modern and well-equipped, Di returned home.

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Gill escaped!!!

Today we got some snorkelling gear and had our first glipses of the underwater world just off Christmas Island. Rob went only 10-15 metres out and saw Gill from the film ‘Finding Nemo’!! I have enclosed a picture…

Both Rob and Di saw lots of fish and it was a great experience. As Aiden and Aoife can’t swim, they didn’t do any snorkelling. Aiden loved throwing rocks into the water and Aoife just loved splashing and blowing bubbles.

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We went shopping last week and strolled through the main supermarket in town. Things are more expensive here because of the high transport costs. We put some supplies in the trolley and it wasn’t a terribly large shop but the bill came to…..$186!!! We also realised that supply is  unreliable (the ships sometimes can’t get in) so Di went back the next day and got some more supplies – we’re now loaded up with milk and breakfast cereal – and that trip cost another $184!!! Just to give you some idea of the prices: avocadoes are $3.50 each, a packet of Smiths chips cost over $5, and a small jar of apricot jam was $4.70. We never liked wasting food before, but now we’re especially keen to make sure that no food is ever wasted.

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The Bible talks about all tribes, nations and tongues gathering as God’s people in heaven and today we had a real insight to what this is like. The islanders themselves represent Malaysia, China, Indonesia (and Australia!) and we had the privilege of having 11 asylum seekers (aka clients) from Sri Lanka with us as well. In their introduction to Aussie culture, some had obviously been given some Dunlop Volleys.. do they really come that white? There were actually more Sri Lankans than regulars! Rob’s sermon was translated into Mandarin but it felt like we should’ve had someone else up there translating into Tamil.

You can see God’s intervention in their coming because for a long time they’ve wanted to come and the church has been trying to organise them to come, but this week Rob got into the detention centre when really he shouldn’t have. He met the head of the centre the other night, who was very surprised that he’d got in since he’s not on a list of approved people. But this guy is very keen for Rob to keep contact with the ‘clients’ and for them to join us on Sundays.
It was great to have them. All our songs are in English, of which only a few have any significant grasp, so they couldn’t do much singing. But their enthusiasm was obvious as they clapped along fervently. They were also very enthusiastic to say hello to Aiden and Aoife. Aiden wasn’t all that hospitable, shutting his eyes and saying ‘I can’t see’ as they tried to get his attention, but he’d warmed up by the end, giving them hi-5s.

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some photos

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