Sunday, April 6, 2014

Nearing One Month in Oz

Yesterday morning we got up and cleaned the house quickly before Leslie and the boys headed off to French lessons.  The realtor showed up at 10:30am I headed off to the library for a bit only to find out it doesn’t open on Saturday until 11am.  So I walked back to the square and sat on a park bench to read until I could get into the library.  Had about 20 minutes to check some emails and post my last blog post before I had to head back to close up the house at 11:30 when the open house was over.  Apparently there were about 4 families that came, but none seemed interested.  Around 2pm we headed off to the Saint Ignatius 2014 Festival, or as Leslie and the boys describe it, the school fete.  I guess that’s what they call them in the UK.  The fete was pretty normal school festival stuff; donated clothes, toys, and books for sale, food vendors and carnival rides.  One nice thing was that they had live music all afternoon.  The secondary school (which would be our high school) is very artsy I guess, so the band played quite a few songs, they had some student choirs and solos, then after the Family Mass there was a live band (made up of some of the parents I think they said).  The kids seemed to really enjoy it, but since I didn’t really know anyone and it was mostly geared towards kids, it wasn’t that fun.  There are worse ways to spend an afternoon though, so I certainly can’t complain.  We stayed until the fireworks, which were short, but pretty good.

Today, Sunday is my full day off so I decided to go to church, and I’d told Hussein if I was able to make it to church we could go for lunch afterwards.  While watching the news this morning there was a blurb in the sports section about a Pittsburgh Pirates fan who caught a fly ball in his tub of popcorn.  I couldn’t stop laughing.  It was so totally random, they don’t even really have baseball here – but the Pirates made the news anyway.  So I was ready for church, and thought I had plenty of time to catch a bus into town in time only to find out that the buses don’t really run all that often, and don’t start running until much later in the day.  So long story short, after waiting for a while and then walking to a bus stop on a main street,  I wasn’t able to catch the bus into town in time for church.  But, the bus stop I ended up waiting at was right outside the North Adelaide Baptist Church, so I went there instead.  It was very…. unBaptist, at least that’s how it seemed to me.  The pastor wore a rob, and it was very much high church.   I did enjoy the one group prayer we said though – not 100% sure I agree with all the theology of it (I’m still working through that, but here it is):
“Gracious God, we thank you that broken bread brings wholeness, that wine poured out replenishes, and that time spent with the Risen Christ brings acceptance and life.  We thank you for this community of faith, which nurtures and sustains us, and we remember those who, for whatever reason cannot be with us today.  May your gifts of love transform and enliven us, that we may live lives of thanksgiving.  May your presence among us provoke such longing for you that we will never be satisfied until the whole world knows your justice, your mercy, and your peace.”
After the sermon, the next bus was leaving the stop at 11:20 so I knew I could make it into town after church in time to meet Hossein for lunch.  As I was standing there waiting for the bus this lovely, older woman, named Beverly, asked if I had just been in church and was waiting for the bus.  I told her I was and she said she’d take me into town.  She dropped me right outside the church and I was able to catch the last few minutes of their sermon.   I was able to catch up with Torrey, Amir, and Maryam again and ended up sitting and talking for about an hour with Don, a gentleman from South Africa who is an ESL teacher, and Parry (I asked her to tell me her name twice and I’m pretty sure that’s what she said), a fantastic older woman who also does some ESL teaching.  I think she’s retired now, so she just does teaching at the church English classes and babysits her granddaughter.  Don has 2 teenage sons, the older son actually graduate last year from a high school in Gawler.  I think he said they live near Gawler with their mum.  Hossein and I headed off to Chinatown for some lunch, I can’t remember exactly what we had, he promised me it was tasty and he was right.  I don’t usually like Chinese food, and to be honest, I’m not even sure it was Chinese; it could have been Laotian or Vietnamese for all I know.  After lunch we headed out for a walk in the park.  We ended up stumbling upon police tape at one part of the river (there’s a path along the Torren River), and couldn’t figure out why, so we walked in the opposite direction and decided to cross the bridge and try the other side.  By the time we got back to that spot on the river (on the opposite side) they were pulling a body out of the water!  A gentleman nearby said they found the body this morning under the bridge up the river.  So I guess I’ll have to watch the news and see what happened.  I headed back to Leslie’s to get my computer, planning on just going to the N. Adelaide library since I thought it closed at 5pm, only to find out it’s not open on Sunday at all.  So, I caught the bus back to town…  That was my afternoon; still not sure what will happen next week, if I’ll stay at Leslie’s or go back to the hostel.  Hopefully we can figure that out early on this week so if necessary I can prebook my stay at the hostel.  Hope all is well back home and the Pirates are winning!

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