We may live in the city but we don’t typically drive through the city. If we’re heading to Northbridge or downtown, it’s usually easier to take public transportation. And if we’re leaving the city then driving around instead of through usually makes the most sense because of the city traffic. So when we do end up driving through the city, I take pictures. This city is very pretty and I like to document the occasion, especially since it’s happened twice in the past week!
Anzac Day is a pretty big deal here in Australia. I was first introduced to this holiday through the delicious Anzac biscuit. Click HERE for the recipe I used to make these and let me know if I need to translate some of the ingredients for you:-) Even Ryan enjoyed this version of these classic cookies and he’s not a coconut fan. Now that we’re here in Australian, we see that Anzac Day is about more than just a tasty cookie…excuse me, more than just a tasty biscuit.
Anzac Day commemorates the first major military action Australia and New Zealand fought in during WWI. Today we heard over and over again “Lest we forget.” Because this military action, along with many others, happened at dawn the first celebrations/remembrances began with a dawn service up at Kings Park and then there was a breakfast in the city.
We did not make it to either of those events but we found ourselves a great spot along the parade route. And we enjoyed the cool morning while chatting with a women next to us about Anzac Day and the celebrations. The parade had marching bands, lots of bagpipes and people of all ages marching in remembrance.
We enjoyed hearing the many versions of Waltzing Matilda and other songs too as current service men and women, veterans and family members marched by. Australia recognizes that they have fought alongside many other countries as well, so some of them (including the USA) were honored in the parade as well.
After the parade we walked over to the park where they held a memorial service. The Governor of Western Australia spoke as well as a wounded veteran. It was warm in the sun but we still enjoyed the service and hearing the choir sing about Australia. Anzac Day is yet another cultural experience for us here in Perth.
Last week was Resurrection Sunday. Although Ryan and I enjoyed the church service and our relaxing afternoon, we felt something missing. Some of what we were missing may have been our typical Easter traditions with family and friends; however, I think there was something more going on. Yes, there were a lot of people out enjoying the beautiful autumn day (yes, it’s autumn here) but I got the feeling that most people were just enjoying the 4 day weekend because it was time off work. There seemed to be little or no thought given to the reason behind the holiday.Most of the time when we walk around the city, we see churches like St. Mary’s gated off and quiet. There are a couple large, beautiful cathedrals in the city but I’ve rarely seen people gathering for anything besides a tour. We also see signs posted for little churches outside of buildings or in shopping centers where they meet on Sundays but rarely do we get see the visible community of God meeting outside of our own church and church family.But today while walking home I saw something different. I first walked by a little church that had just let out of their service, all ages, different races, gathered outside the doors chatting and enjoying the Sunday sunshine. Almost everyone had a delicious looking donut in hand and I walked through getting a peek into this community. And then I came to St. Mary’s Cathedral with gates open, cars coming and going, kids playing on the lawn and signs of life. It was encouraging to me that these places do have active communities, hopefully the Gospel is being preached and people are being reached. I know for sure that God is at work even if we don’t always see outward, visible signs.
I look forward to continuing to see how God is at work as we get to know more people in the city and see firsthand the Gospel being lived out. If you are discouraged by the lack of God and faith in your community, be encouraged that God is at work. Open your eyes and hopefully God will show you His specific work. Please pray for us here, that God would be working through us and other Christians in Perth, and we will be praying the same for you.
Getting to know Perth is a priority for us. We want to experience and enjoy this city while we’re living here. During the Summer, there are a lot of activities to seek out and enjoy but we’ve been warned that there isn’t as much to do in the winter. I’m not fully convinced yet because there still is a long list of places I want to explore. Being out and about in the city also allows us to meet the people who live in, work in and make up the human part of city life. The people are definitely a reflection of the city. We’ve been finding activities on Instagram, through friends and also doing internet searches which turn up websites like: Guide to Perth and Experience Perth. It’s fun to look up lists of things to do in Perth and see that we’ve already checked off a few of the big activities that everyone recommends. What will our next adventure be?
Perth International Arts Festival opened this weekend with an amazing light show through Kings Park. Boorna Waanginy: The Trees Speak explored the Australian landscape through lights music and story telling.
The pictures from my phone don’t do it any justice. But it was pretty spectacular even with the crowds of other people surrounding us. Just listening to the music was mesmerizing. Another wonderful free Perth event was a great way to end the weekend.
“Smile, make friends and eat a healthy lunch,” was the advice from a friend when I expressed that I was a bit nervous about today. It’s been 10 years since I graduated from UCSB so I do feel a little out of practice with this whole student thing.
But here I am ready for my first day with my healthy lunch packed, smile on my face and ready to make friends. Please pray for this week of learning and adjustment. Graduate school can’t be too difficult, right?
Perth may be a small town masquerading as a big city but there seems to be some event or festival happening all the time. Maybe it’s the time of the year but in addition to Australia Day and Chinese New Year events, Fringe Festival has taken over the city. While out on the town yesterday evening there were lines of people waiting for shows, live music playing and a general festive tone. Nothing was too full or busy for a Friday night but couples, groups of friends and families were all out enjoying the evening.
We explored Perth in a different way these past couple of weekends. We walked around and watched some of the street performers, and I loved the mermaid tank. Since we live in East Perth, everything is an easy bus ride or walking distance from our place. We stumbled across the dress rehearsal for an open-air Opera on our way home yesterday and since it looked fun we’re headed back tonight for the show.But so far the highlight of Fridge Festival for me has been the Djuki Mala dancers. I went on Tuesday with friends to see their fun show. It was a great mix of traditional Aboriginal dance and storytelling mixed with modern music and stylized performances. Bollywood, Michael Jackson and singing in the rain, just to name a few. It was a very fun way to spend an evening, getting a little more Australian culture with a fun, energetic twist.