Archive for the ‘week 6 on the island’ Category

This has been a busy week for us, and we’ve not been able to post much on the Blog here. But last Sunday at church Farmer Jill made her much anticipated return. This time the photographer was ready (and not preoccupied with trying to organise his first communion). You can also notice Tiny Tim sitting down on the ground listening intently to Farmer Jill.

This week Farmer Jill went from sowing seed to becoming a sheep farmer! We taught the kids Isaiah 53:6 and we’ll sing it again this coming Sunday. Who knows, Farmer Jill might make it a hatrick!!


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Very busy day – girls from church to our backyard Bible club, then hot fish curry lunch at a friend’s house, then Rob conducted his first baptism at a local beach, then back again for Bible study at our place. And Aoife’s been grumpy with a cold.

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backyard bible club

We’ve been running a Christmas Island version of the ‘Backyard Bible Club’ that Rob saw work in Pietermaritzburg in South Africa a couple of years ago. We’ve opened our house between 10 and 12 Mon and today and hosted some of the kids from church. As it turns out, they’re all girls. Monday there were 4 and today 6. They are all polite, well-mannered, lovely girls with lots of questions as they try to piece together the things they’ve learned from their parents and elsewhere about God and the Bible. It’s been a thoroughly enjoyable time for all. Two of the girls have been picked up quite late. Today their Dad came at 12.45. This is in a place where there is no traffic, no traffic lights and you barely have to stop at an intersection. But it made some sense when Di ran into their Mum at the hospital and found out they like it so much they’ve asked not to be picked up on time.

Speaking of the hospital, Di took Aiden to have an X-Ray of his leg.  The doctor was pleased with how it’s healing but alas no cast off yet. She wants it on for another 2 weeks just to be sure it doesn’t break again. Aiden’s not worried though. He’s walking on his bad leg now and swinging it around rather dangerously (for others) at times. He’s even called it a weapon! And when we go to the beach he’s quite content building things with the rocks, like his beloved gas patio heaters (haven’t seen many of those here!) and conveyor belts.

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Our few trips to the gym must be paying off and taking weight off us… or something. Tonight between 6pm and 9pm, we had four knocks on the door with offers of food. We are now stocked up with fresh mango, creamy bacon and pumpkin pasta, hot out of the pan banana cake, lamb curry and we ate the curry puffs. The banana cake was beautiful, but that’s not surprising since it came from the baker’s wife. Maybe it’s because they like us.. today Rob was offered a job, to stay here as Pastor full time. Just to make this a bit fun, we’re going to run another poll.

We’re going.

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Had about 15 people over tonight for dinner, mostly Chinese people from church. It’s an Asian thing to leave your shoes at the door and never wear shoes inside so this is what our doorstep looked like tonight

Had a great meal. Everyone brought food, we ate heartily, the little girls looked after Aoife, the men sat and talked while the ladies cleaned up and chatted, then everyone went home – all over in 2 hours! Di was asked to cook rice and thinking of western stomachs cooked 10 cups of rice. There was about 8 cups left over. Woops. It’s OK, the neighbours who are taking us out to see the waterfall tomorrow took most of it to make fried rice for us to eat for lunch tomorrow. It pays to be the silly white woman sometimes 😉

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Op Shop

Di did her first stint in the Christmas Island Op Shop today while Rob wrote a sermon at home. There were 4 customers in 2 1/2 hours so having Aiden and Aoife there was fine. They actually love it there.. they can pull all sorts of bits and pieces out and play with them. Aoife particularly enjoyed wearing the plastic ‘gold’ medal someone obviously didn’t cherish as a souvenir from walking the Great Wall of China and Aiden liked trying on some watches. But generally they just made a mess for Di to clean up while she folded perhaps 100 singlet tops. I guess that happens on an island. Not much call for skivvies when the temperature never drops below 20. There were other touches of Asia (besides the medal) – a singapore 50c piece in the till and a child trying to pay for his toy with a Thai coin.

Di also made a few good connections. One exuberant young man came in telling her about the three whale sharks he’d seen diving off the coast here then was excited to hear that there was a Christian fellowship. He’s coming on Sunday. There was also a lady from Melbourne who said Brunswick and Coburg were two places she’d love to live. That’s where we’re looking at moving in 3 weeks or so. We’ve been offered a house in Brunswick from a friend of a friend and this lady said it’d be a good idea to take it because there’s so much demand for houses in Brunswick at the moment. Also, there’s a welcome centre for asylum-seekers in Brunswick which would let us continue some of what Rob’s been doing here.

Two weeks left on the island. Rob’s making a list of the things he’d like to do before we leave. 4 things so far: see West White beach, walk up the ‘incline’ from our place down the hill along an old railway track, mine tour, see a waterfall. Let’s see how we go…

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Tonight we went to our third Hash House Harriers run. This was a terrific walk (about 5km) in which we walked through an old Chinese cemetery to a great lookout over the eastern side of the island. It was a real highlight. We were on Phosphate Hill which is quite high. Unfortunately getting there with one child in a backpack and the other being carried meant there was no room for a camera, but it really was a great view.

The significance of third hash run means receiving nicknames. Every regular hash participant gets a nickname. They are often quite witty, one person was called ‘Black Hole’ because she comes to hash runs periodically and she can’t remember the nickname she was previously given, her nickname was like being sucked into a ‘black hole’. The naming ceremony is also associated with sculling a cup of some kind of alcoholic beverage. So we were quite nervous about our ‘naming ceremony’ and the sort of names we would receive.

At our naming ceremony they realised Rob was the visiting ‘pastor’ of the Christian fellowship and hence pastor became pasta which became ‘Spaghetti’ or ‘Spag’ for short. Di naturally became ‘Bolognaise’ or ‘Boli’ for short. Aiden was named, ‘Parmigana’ or ‘Parmi’ for short and Aoife was named ‘Oregano’ or ‘Gano’ for short. We really liked our hash nicknames!

They also didn’t make us drink any alcohol, giving us only half a cup of lemonade. We were really grateful for their thoughtfulness.

So we are now fully fledged, nicknamed hash house harrier participants. We really enjoyed the time and we’re looking forward to our next run next week.

Until next time,

Spag, Boli, Parmi and Gano!

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