Saturday, July 30, 2011


"yes..yes..yes..." is what I kept saying to my mother in law on the phone last night. She was talking a lot and I wasn't really trying to understand (remember she's not speaking my native language). Later I was told I had agreed to giving her 5 grand children.

Friday, July 29, 2011

must have got used to it

I spent all those years in Cambodia feeling irritated and sore cos Cambodian usually sit on hard backless surfaces. Usually people don't have couches, rather they hang out on a flat wooden platform that looks like a bed (and sometimes is a bed). Or sitting on tiled floors. I was always looking for some where to rest my back, or find something soft to sit on.

But yesterday I had a work meeting in a tiled room. Once the meeting started I realised that I had chosen to sit on the floor (with nothing to lean back on) even though there was an empty chair next to me and an empty couch on the other side of me. ???? strange but true

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Church visit almost over

This afternoon I sat in on an ESL class the church runs, before going to church where I had the opportunity to share what we are up to, as well as to re meet lots of old ppl and see their grown up kids, and meet new people. Its been a great and exhausting week, I think I shared at about 10 groups and 2 services so far, 2 more tomorrow. It's been great to get to know some of the people who are here now, and see what is happening, some exciting things and some hard things such as sickness and saying goodbye to a member of the staff team.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

going the opposite way

A few of my my Bible college classmates from 2005 have just gone to live in  various parts of Asia.
It's been interesting for me to read their newsletters as they adjust to Asia, while I'm re adjusting to Australia. A particular newsletter had a paragraph about ants that made me laugh out loud as recently a community I'm part of here in Aust had a battle with ants. 

Being just back from Cambodia I didn't really get why those Aussies were doing what they were doing (battling ants), but when I read my the newsletter of a Aussie who has just moved to Thailand I understoond a bit:

✴ants are not considered a pest, even if 
they are crawling everywhere in your 
house.  My host family didn’t worry about 
ants in their food at all and just ate them. 
In fact they were bemused when I fished 
them out: ‘oh don’t you eat ants?‘ 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

week away visiting church

I'm spending this week with the church I grew up in. I'm staying with a family, and visiting different Bible study groups and things each day. It's exciting to see what's happening here, the holiday kids club seems to be bigger and better each year, young people getting trained, youth group thriving. Its been great for me to remember how I was feeling this time last year, (I visited last July too)- we were planning to come to Australia for a few years but it was really scary. It felt like jumping off a cliff as we kept making plans in that direction but still didn't know how we were going to pay for it. Its great that this has all worked out!

This afternoon I had afternoon tea with about 15 or so older ladies. It was a bit of a cross cultural experience for me- fancy tea cups and lovely baked goods. I got there 15 min early as I was sharing, but i found they were all already there!!!!! Lots of talk about grand kids and whether or not they would be having any more of them.

This evening I visited the older youth Bible study, it was quite a contrast to the afternoon tea. Lots of loud laughing and no tea cups in sight. Hot dogs for dinner, and study on being sexually pure.

Also some sadness this week, one family has some major health things happening now.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Out of synch

Out of sync (photo from here)
 Have you ever been in a 3 legged race that wasn't working? We feel a bit like that sometimes this year.

One of the things is that we live with students but both of us have quite different time tables normal full time students. So when they are stressed with exams we're not, when they are on holidays we are approaching deadlines.  I'm not a student at all, and although Soeun is a full time student he doesn't have exams, or holidays and rarely has class. So we often feel like we don't know what is going on. We have to keep reminding ourselves of what everyone else is doing, as what is happening on campus and in our house effects us too.

Recently Soeun tried to take a week off study (at the same time as I had a week off work), but he ended up getting sick again, as he was earlier in the year. It was frustrating for both of us as he didn't get any study or rest that week, mostly in pain and spent a lot of time at doctors and hospital. By the end of it we were quite exhausted! I was not refreshed and ready to go back to work!

This happened to be at the same time as the students had just finished exams. I found it hard being outside as everyone was running around changing bedrooms as they have to at the end of semester, and celebrating the end of exams and the start of holidays.  You can imagine how it was for us when people kept saying to us "have a good break, bye!" and the campus went into holiday mode, people playing music a bit louder and longer than they normally would.

Three legged race
Since then it hasn't been so bad. I've been spending my weekdays in the library on campus- with all the students away its nice to have the library to myself! And although we share our kitchen and living room with 4 others who have been on holidays, they haven't been having lots of late night loud parties or anything!
Deadlines and changes later this week, can't decide if I hope this week would go slowly or fast.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Lunch cooked by Bengali friend

  When a friend from Bangladesh invited me over and said she would cook lunch I wasn't sure what kind of food to expect, never having been to her country. Here is what she made for us to eat! yum! Maybe i should go to Bangladesh, this food is yummy!

Creamy pasta and garlic bread

Thursday, July 07, 2011

FOCUS events

Last night we went to kareoke and then to a Korean restaurant. It was really fun!I was the only non-Asian so it was fun to try to sing Chinese songs  (I wouldn't have been so brave if my non-Asian colleauge had been there, he actually knows Chinese, which means I look less impressive when the only charcters I can read in the song are "I", "You", "no" etc).

 Lots of people have asked me what my job involves, and I've been meaning to blog about if for ages. This month the students are on holidays so we have weekly holiday events. Last night was the first one, and next Wednesday I'll be doing a seminar about the whole Bible and how it fits together.

Here is a rough idea of my Semester 1 timetable (the semester that just finished).

Staff equip- like a mini Bible college session for others who do the same job as me on two different campuses
Putting up posters around uni to adverstise our events
Staff meetings

Public meeting and prayer meeting for all of the AFES group (local students)

Public meeting for international students, FOCUS, lunch together and FOCUS leaders meeting

Thursday and Friday
Small groups for Bible study with Christian and non Christian international students. Training session for small group leaders. Meeting with a student to help her with her English. Meeting with people one to one, to pray etc.

Friday, July 01, 2011

from drought to flood

I'm not talking about Australia's natural disasters, rather my experience of Christian friends at church. Over the last 5 years church has been hard- its all in a language I only understand a little of, so its always and exhausting day (Sundays), so getting to know people take a long time. I really missed the fellowship aspect of church when I was in Cambodia.

Now, I go to a church that is so big. There are lots of strangers but also lots of friends , old and new. So I'm really thankful for that, and I really enjoy it. But also finding it really hard, having gone from one extreme to another. Sundays are still so exhausting but for a different reason.

(btw thanks if you emailed me recently, don't be offended if i haven't emailed you back, i have a few extra things to do this week than i expected less access to a computer at the moment)