Sunday, December 14, 2008

So we are still here – alive and kicking and having a wonderful time! At the moment we are in Whitsundays area at Airlie Beach, and we purchased some internet time so now I can blog. But let’s back track a little...
We left Cairns on Thursday morning and drove through to Mission Beach (about a 2 hour drive). The kids did pretty good on the travels, though Ashlyn continues to beg to come and sit with me in the front (on my lap), as she always does in Lae. She mutters and groans and cries a bit and then gets over it fairly quickly. We stayed right near a beautiful beach only to find out that at this time of the year you cannot swim at it (except where there are stinger nets – they are few and far between), because there are dangerous stingers and jellyfish in the water, one type of which can apparently kill you in half an hour. Such a pity! We met some tourists from Holland and Germany in the pool at the caravan park, and ended up talking a bit about what we do in PNG. They had no idea what mission work was at all, but were very interested to hear about it and kept asking lots of questions.
On Friday we drove through to Townsville and stayed at a nice caravan park there. Once again the kids did well, though it always seems that they manage to argue about everything when they are in so close quarters in the car!! The Townsville waterfront is decked out beautifully for swimming, with a great small water park for kids and a saltwater lagoon free from those nasty stingers.
And on Saturday we drove through to Airlie Beach, where we are now and hope to remain till Tuesday morning. We really noticed the change in vegetation as we left Townsville – the greenness and palms were replaced with spindly bushes and brown land. The temperature is also less humid, though still high temperatures, though even the humidity even in Cairns and Townsville is nothing compared to what we are used to in Lae. It is nice not to sweat and feel sticky constantly. We were surprised to notice that the roads had quite a bit of rubbish thrown on the verges (not in the cities but on the rural roads) – and here we were thinking that in PNG people litter but not in Australia...okay, true, there is still nowhere near as much rubbish in Lae, but still...
We’re really finding that Ashlyn doesn’t like a lot of the fruits and other foods...not interested in a Macdonald’s ice cream, won’t eat Kiwi fruit, or nectarines, etc! And all those foods are things that the other girls really love and are excited to keep buying! Though Ashlyn sure does not object to eating things like chocolate and potato chips!! Also, every time we enter a caravan park Ashlyn will ask, “are we going to stay in this compound?” She thinks that any group of houses is a compound! She continues to ask about where the black skins are and tends to find a quiet area of a playground to play in – she really does not like there to be a lot of other kids around. Hopefully a stay in Albany with all her cousins will cure her of that!!
The caravan park that we are staying in now has a beautiful pool with waterslides and a great playground – so the kids (and we) are having a great time here. It is so nice to drive and walk around without the same security stresses as there are in Lae. A real blessing!

And here are some pics not in order of occurrance:

townsville lagoon

water front park in Townsville

Water front park in Townsville - the big bucket on the top dumps water

Kirilee at Mission Beach

Kirilee and Shiana at the non-swimmable beach at Mission Beach

Ashlyn can't get enough of playing

the girls

Ashlyn and Shiana having fun on the big jumping pillow (inflated) here in Airlie Beach (Caravan park)

the pool here at Airlie beach caravan park


HH said...

Those pools look very inviting! After having a very hot day yesterday, we sure could have done with one of those. Hope your all beginning to unwind and relax a little. Must be a nice feeling not having to look over your shoulder constantly, hey!

Bruce and Sarah said...

It looks like you are having a nice, relaxing break over there. And the pools definitely look inviting! Enjoy the break.