What I’m learning at the University isn’t just about getting it right for a test or writing the most amazing academic paper. For me, it’s about engaging with the material in a way that will be beneficial and influential both now and in the future.
It’s the end of the semester and one project is almost completed (just a final presentation on Monday). The simplified version of what we needed to do was make a map of an area highlighting the assets in that community. The focus was about changing the way we view a community from what it is lacking, to what it has to offer. Since we compiled ours on Google Maps, you can view the project here: East Perth Asset Map.I’m sharing this because I thought some of you might appreciate this virtual tour of our area. We have been living in East Perth for about 4 months and this project changed the way I view this community. It allowed me to see below the surface and look at different assets through the lens of different people. The asset based approach view has limitations because you can miss some of the larger problems or holes if you only focus on the positives but even with that in mind, assets are a wonderful way to approach any community. Being able to see what people have to offer and the potentials are a beautiful way to start a bigger conversation about growth and development.
In the future I hope to use what I’ve learned to make an asset map for the Wheatbelt and the rural communities where we would love to be working in the future. It will take time but seeing the assets in these places and having conversations around growing the good things that are already present in these communities has the potential of being a bridge to the hope that so many are desperately seeking.
Sometimes we think questions in our minds but we don’t have the opportunity to ask. Sometimes we recognize that our questions would be insensitive, rude or hurtful. Sometimes those questions are indeed all of those things and more. But sometimes hearing different answers to the questions that may run through your head can be incredibly helpful, give us food for thought and insight or even compassion into someone else’s world.ABC in Australia has a very eye opening series called You Can’t Ask That. In this series they interview a wide range of people from a certain demographic or background and ask them questions that are sometimes rude and often confronting. The episodes I have watched so far have all been interesting. I’m not sure if the link will work in the US, but I would recommend the Indigenous episode. I think there is a lot of learning value to be seen but we need to recognize although the group is diverse, they still only represent a small snapshot of the wide variety of people the terms indigenous or Aboriginal represent.
While browsing through the DVDs at the Perth City Library, I came across this cultural gem. I’ve been trying to soak in information about Aboriginal history and culture and this is yet another great documentary with a lot of meaningful and practical insight. If you’ve seen the movie Australia, you know David Gulpilil (the documentary’s narrator), he’s the one who played King George. He was also the narrator in 10 Canoes.
Watching Another Country was significant for me because it confirmed the clash of cultures that still continues today between white and Aboriginal. It also emphasizes the basic human need to be productive, have meaningful work and be able to contribute positively to your community. And I appreciated the insights into some Aboriginal views of Christianity. If you can get ahold of this movie, it’s definitely worth a watch. I’d love to have a chat with you about your thoughts and any questions that might arise.
When was baseball first mentioned in the Bible? “In the Big Inning.” (Genesis 1:1) When was baseball mentioned again? “The righteous run to it and they are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10) Alright, so maybe baseball isn’t an important theme in the Bible but it still is just fine (as long as we steer clear of heresy) to mix the Bible and Baseball.Ryan is currently making the final preparations for his second Bible study out in Brookton and he has the Japan verses US up in the background. Since we don’t have TV, we get creative with how we get our news and keep up with other things like sports.
Please pray for Ryan as he heads out to Brookton every Wednesday (it works out great with the time change if our friends in the US pray on Tuesday night before you head to bed). Ryan has set aside Wednesday to visit with people and teach through the Bible. We’ll see how this time evolves in the future and I may join him on some Wednesdays too later on. We’re looking forward to marking our time here in Australia as Ryan teaches chronologically through the Bible. Thanks for your prayers!
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?
Since arriving in Perth, we have been slowly chipping away at all the to-dos that come with moving to a new country. The list remains long but one of the first accomplishments was getting Australian cell phone numbers. This means we’re giving up our US numbers but we still want to keep in touch with you.Here are the main ways to stay connected with us:
Snail Mail: The picture above is our humble, low-lying mail box. We’d love to have mail other than advertisement flyers when we check it. Especially since Ryan has to practically lay down on the floor to reach in to see what’s in there. Shoot me a message and I’ll send you our address.
WhatsApp: This is a messenger app that will allow you to send text messages and pictures through your data plan on your phone. Or if you don’t have a smart phone, you can use it on your computer. Download it, https://whatsapp.com/dl/ and find us! This is what we will be using as an alternative to texting.
Facebook: If you already have Facebook, we still have this and love being able to follow your lives this way. It’s also easy to send messages and video chat.
Skype: Ryan and I are working on getting our internet up and running. Once that happens we’d love to Skype and stay connected face to face.
Phone: You probably shouldn’t try calling us because of the expense but we do have a limited amount of US minutes each month so we can make US calls for special occasions. If you happen to have an international plan that includes Australia, shoot us a message and we will pass along our numbers.
Email: Our emails are the same, we can check them easily and love staying hearing from you personally.
Of course there is always this blog, our website (ryanwithjoy.com), Instagram and newsletters so you can be hearing from us but we like to hear from you too! Thanks for keeping in touch across the ocean.
Tomorrow Ryan and I fly from San Fransisco to Dubai and then from Dubai to Perth. If everything goes as planned we will arrive in Perth on the 30th. Ryan and I will ring in the New Year down under! We’re starting 2017 off in a new country, in a new apartment, new friends, a new team and all sorts of other new things that we haven’t even realized yet. I’m sure the year won’t be without challenges but we’re looking forward to what is ahead for us in Perth, Western Australia. Please pray for our transition.Please forgive the blog silence into the New Year because we aren’t sure about internet, jet lag and scheduling once we arrive. However, we will try to be posting to Instagram so you can follow us along the way. If you haven’t already, you can find us on Instagram @joycandee and @lpturntable. Next time I post will be from somewhere over the rainbow!