My first semester at UWA is almost in the bag. I have three more assignments to complete and 3 weeks to complete them. I certainly hope to be finished sooner and get a nice break before the craziness of the internship begins. (More on the internship soon but here are three details 1. Ryan is coming with me 2. We’re working with Rural and Remote Mental Health 3. We’re going on a road trip) Being a student isn’t my only responsibility in Australia but it is definitely one of my most consuming tasks.
Studying, writing papers and working through case studies may not always be enjoyable but I see how this work can help prepare me for the future and that’s good motivation. Finding pretty places to do my work is also good motivation. While it isn’t always warm enough to study outside, there are some nice places. Two of my current favorites are the Perth Library (with an amazing balcony with beautiful views) and a coffee shop just down the street (a pot of tea and just enough city noise to keep me focused).
Please pray for me to stay focused and use my time wisely. I’m looking forward to having semester 1 of 4 complete!
Australia is expensive so you could go broke eating out all the time. But there are so many fun and delicious places to explore. When friends come in to town, it’s a good excuse to try different restaurants in a new (to us) part of the city. And especially for Ryan, it doesn’t hurt when Tuesdays are half price pizza days:-)Shafto Lane is a neat little alley-way with lots of restaurants in downtown Perth. We stumbled across it on a walk one evening. And besides pizza, Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub has a fun menu including some yummy Irish dishes like Bacon with Cabbage (bacon in Australia is more like ham), Bangers (sausages), and the Beef and Guinness Pie (which I’ll have to try next time!). The atmosphere and good food made for a lovely evening. Eating through Perth is a really enjoyable way to get to know the city!
Ryan and I have always enjoyed hosting people in our home. We have many happy memories of friends in our first home in Camarillo enjoying a small quiet meal or a large group packed into our place, filling every corner. We’re slowly getting back to hosting again in our new place here in Perth. Today we enjoyed a lovely after-church meal. American style taco salad was a hit and super easy to prepare ahead of time. At the last minute I added ranch dressing to the table (ranch isn’t a common things here in Australia) and one of the boys couldn’t get enough. Children getting multiple helpings is a big compliment!The aftermath doesn’t even look too messy despite the fact that we used almost every bowl we own for all the salad fixings plus had tea, ice-cream and cookies for dessert. This is one of those times that we will actually use the dishwasher. We also normally have our kitchen table pushed up against the wall for just the two of us but we have enough space to pull it out and sat 7 people comfortably. And I was close enough to the refrigerator that I could easily grab the lettuce and replenish when we were out, I didn’t even have to stand up! Our space may be small but it works.
Today, a sink full of dirty dishes is a sweet reminder of friends, new and old. We’re thankful to be able to host people and look forward to many more memories of meals and conversations in our home.
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?