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First Mama.  Then Writer.  Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday Soliloquy #2

Part 2: Australia

Even though I was away from the fullness of Christ’s truth on the earth, God was mindful of me.  No matter where I went, He showed me His messengers very quickly.  I cannot remember at all when I ran into the Mormon Missonaries in Japan.  All I have of the exchange is a business card.  I’m sure Father God made sure I received it so that I would have a tangible reminder that I did meet them there.  Funny thing about that… Triplett is the name of the missionary whose card I have.  One of his brothers is in my current Ward here in Florida… the Deland Second Ward.  Pretty flippin’ neat to me!!!

I was pretty much alone while in Sydney.  I did meet Katrin Henn with whom I am still infrequently in contact.  We’re Facebook friends.  J  We enjoyed some time together and ate a meal together.  I was glad to have someone to hang out with for a while.  Solo travel for a girl like me is definitely not the preferred mode of operation!

Sydney, like Japan, had lots of little sushi bars… and the small step in, buy something, eat, and leave kinds of places.  There really aren’t those kind anywhere I have seen in the USA.  I also enjoyed some finer dining, but nothing super expensive.  My most expensive meal was Thai, but I cannot remember where I ate it.
From Sydney I went to Canberra, the capital of Australia.  It was very spread out… the sights I wanted to see, that is.  Since I wasn’t willing to spend lots of money, I planned to walk to do sight-seeing.  I was pretty well out of shape by the time I went to Oz… so I was way tired out by that city.  I think my favorite place there was the AustralianWar Memorial.  The depth of the impact that place had on me was tremendous, which is why I remember it so vividly.

Next stop was Melbourne.  I honestly do not remember anything spectacular about that city.  Actually, I can't remember anything at all about it!

Adelaid was the next.  I was befriended by two lovely girls who were traveling together.  They were having such a good time together.  They were so kind as to allow me to join them and I had THE most fun of my whole southern Australia traveling with them.  Their names are lost to me.  I know one of them had brown hair and the other had blonde hair, but other than that... I cannot remember anything.  They befriended me while still on the bus and then invited me to hang out with them.  I'm so grateful, still, for that kindness!

After Adelaid, I had to travel the LONG stretch to Perth, the city in which I would go to school. I chose it for a really silly reason.  I chose Perth because that is where Tony Zeppetella’s ship stopped during his 6-month cruise after he left Virginia and broke up with me… and broke my heart.  Yeah.  I told you: really silly reason.

Somehow my luggage had been misplaced in the travel.  It seemed like a problem (and really was), but overall it was a huge blessing because I ended up having to walk a LOT farther than I expected once I left the bus terminal in Perth.  I remember that I was SO thankful I didn’t have all my bags to lug around with me both once I left the bus terminal and especially once I got to Edith Cowan University!  I had to walk all over the place to get things situated and get into my dormitory.  It would’ve been a huge difficulty to lug those bags and all that weight in that heat!

One of the problems of the missing luggage is that I did not have a pillow or any bedding in my dorm.  I didn’t have the time or wherewithal to buy any by the time I realized this, so I spent my first night in my dorm room with very little sleep and very cold.  (The very little sleep would be a longer-term problem than I had any idea about at that point!)

My dormmates soon began to arrive.  Stig, from Norway.  Wan from Thailand.  And an Aussie whose name I cannot remember… he barely ever associated with us, which is why I cannot remember him.  I can see his face pretty clearly, though.  He was a heavy-set guy.  He played the sax, I think.  I’m pretty sure he smoked pot.  He was very shy and kind.  Felicia and another girl from Malaysia.  So, we were a pretty diverse group.  My best friends while there were Felicia, Josefine, Keefe, Mijke, and the Mormon Missionaries.  Josefine and Keefe are married now!  So neat, right?

Oh, yeah… the Missionaries.  That’s a funny story.  See, I mentioned earlier how Heavenly Father let me know He was watching out for me everywhere I went… well, either the day after or two days after I arrived in Australia (but definitely within the first week), the Mormon Missionaries actually knocked on my dormitory apartment’s sliding glass door!  As a result of which, I ended up having them over to eat almost, if not every, Sunday while I was in Perth.  Yes.  Seriously.  It became a sort of big party.  I was a bit of a party organizer in Japan AND Australia.  Funny, eh?  I even have a few of their names in my special address book a Japanese lady gave me!  J

So, eventually school started.  I was taking an Education course that had to do with Special Needs Children, a studio art class, a writing class, and something else, but I cannot remember what it was.  The writing class and art class became, with my Mom and Jessie, lifelines for me after the trauma.

I arrived in Perth at the very end of July or beginning of August.

Sleep has, as long as I can really remember, always been a bit elusive.  I have a difficult time falling asleep and sometimes (too often) staying asleep.  At times, the slightest noise will waken me and continuation of it will prevent me from re-attaining that state of rest I do so desire to enjoy.  This was definitely true of my experience in the dorms at Edith Cowan.  Initially, I had a difficult time adjusting to the time change.  When I was pretty much ready and able to sleep through the night, the kids in the dorm complex started partying and making a ruckus to all hours of the night… all week long.  This was a huge problem for me.

Eventually I gave up and started to spend the majority of many/most nights at the campus computer labs.  I had my favorite one, of course.  I played a LOT of  Bejeweled.  Back then it was really new and I only played it as a time wasting thing… not gambling or anything like that, which is available now-a-days.  I didn’t JUST waste time.  I also spent quite a lot of time writing for my Creative Writing class.  (Kinda like now: can’t sleep at 3am and I’m writing.  Story of my life, eh!?)

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