Thursday, January 29, 2015

Back in Cairns

It's lovely to be back in Cairns, if only just for 12 days.  I arrived back "home" last Thursday, exhausted, but glad to be back.  Jay & Tim seemed happy to see me back and after a quick chat told me when I'd work my next shifts.  I was so happy it wasn't raining when I got to volleyball that first night.  Wally yelled at me for not telling him I was leaving (I hadn't seen him for quite awhile before I left so it was his fault not mine), Nina asked how Rith was doing and if he'd gone back to Cambodia yet.  To my surprise Stefan showed up as well!  I'd thought I'd missed my chance to see say goodbye (he was supposed to leave Cairns the same day I did and I'd missed seeing him the night before I left), but the job didn't pan out so unluckily for him, he's still here.  Over the next couple days I worked in reception and went to volleyball every night - even in the rain and drizzle.  As long as it doesn't rain too hard it's actually quite pleasant because it keeps you cool.  I'd sent an email update about my trip to my old coworkers and got a reply from my boss.  He basically asked if I wanted my old job back when I get home.  I'm still desperately trying to figure out what I want to do when I return, taking into account the actual length of time I might even be home.  I'd love to come back to Cairns, and Jay even told me he could help me with a student visa and showed me some of the courses I could take, but I still have so much of the world left that I want to visit as well.  Freedom paradox - too many options.  On Sunday night Pastor Josh talked about their vision for their church in 2015 and the motto for the year is "Intentionally Following Jesus".  Thinking about my year ahead (for me it feels as if the year doesn't really start until I get home), what I want to do, where I want to go, while also realizing, as my blog name proclaims, I have to make decisions on purpose.  It's more than that of course because part of it is what does God have for me, how can the decisions I make about my life revolve around following Jesus.  Not an easy question to answer of course, but something I'm struggling with as I try to make these decisions.  Going to back to my old job would definitely be easiest.  But is the easiest answer the best answer for me?  I wish I knew....

Anyway, Monday was Australia Day so a bunch of us celebrated by having a BBQ (it doesn't get much more Australian than that, especially when you take into account all the flies).  Caterina's friends Simona & Simone opened their home to us and Emma, Jordan and I went together, with Max and Pukari arriving later on in the afternoon.  We played volleyball (it was a really short net - in both height and width - but we made it work), had some basketball shooting competitions with an arcade-style hoop game (I actually won some of those competitions, believe it or not), and cooled down in their tiny swimming pool.  It was an incredibly hot afternoon, just the tiniest amount of movement was too much, so all the sports made us quite sweaty.  When they went out to buy more ice they grabbed a few extra bags and chucked them in the swimming pool for good measure.  Emma was leaving Cairns the next morning so she had to leave the party a bit early, so I decided I'd share a taxi with her back into town and just go to volleyball since it was only about 8pm.

On Wednesday (yesterday) I was blessed to get some hours at the Casino during the day, so it was a win-win.  I get paid work and I don't have to miss volleyball to do it!  We were serving a lunch for the Cairns Chamber of Commerce, and since the state elections are this weekend it was much larger than usual as they were staging a debate for the local candidates.  There were over 300 guests and it was broadcast live on the radio and there were also news cameras, so we all had to be really quiet and careful with what we said.  I lucked out and didn't have to do any food running, and I didn't spill or break anything either, so it was a good shift.  Another incredibly hot day, so volleyball was quite sweaty last night.  It was tons of fun though because just about everyone was there at some point and I got to play quite a bit as well.  Ok, obviously I get to play every night, but some nights it's really busy so you have to sit out and wait your turn to get back on the court (unless you're lucky enough to have a winning team that doesn't have to leave).  I got to play with the really good players at the end of the night last night and actually didn't feel like I was a handicap to them, so that makes me feel like I'm getting better.

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