Tuesday, 12 June 2007
Sorry guys, I know you've all been expecting some kind of update recently, and we've either been working flat out or too busy/tired to actually bother seeking out internet access. I don't know if we've had such a busy time at work... patient-wise that is, mainly in acuity of problems and in numbers needing to be flown to bigger hospitals... in all the time we've been here. I can't totally explain it, but I think all in all it has really been nice to pick up the pace like that. Of course, between that and spending as much time with our new friends as possible before we have to leave them, we've spent more time taking pictures and making memories that anything else.
Last weekend (June 2nd) we had our going away party. That was quite the night. No shortage of people, lots of nibblies and alcohol, meat on the barbie, and we even got parting gifts. One of the things we received... was a small piece of tin from the blue fence. Sadly, we didn't get a piece actually cut out of it, but instead they had some leftover tin from when they erected the fence. It's amazing how when you talk and joke about something long enough, people will go out of their way to make it happen. We also got to large cards that we've been busy tracking everyone down to sign before we leave. The night went well, and it was so nice to see such a variety of people come out to say goodbye, from all different parts of the hospital, and even people from church.
We then had to go back to work, sigh. Everyone kept saying "I thought you'd be gone right after the party!" Finally we finished our last week of work, and began one of the busiest weekends we've had since we got here. Saturday... okay, so saturday we goofed off a bit, but Laurie somehow made it through the day with only an hour's sleep, after just finishing nights. We went out in the evening to the Haase's for supper. Such a special family, they've really worked their way into our hearts. We had to go there one more time before we left. On Sunday we went to church, said more goodbyes. Then we went out to Cooloobah for the goat races (see picture). This is an event where they buy the goats in the morning, then race them in the afternoon. Racing consists of dragging the goat down to the end of a dirt track with fence on both sides, the you hitch the goat up to a contraption that can best be described as a mini rickshaw for kids. Then the child between 5 and 15 years old sits on a little chair with no strap or even a way to control or steer the goat. At the sound of the gun the adults let go of the goats and the children go flying down the track, sometimes the goats decide to go after each other, run into the wall, and a lucky few will actually just go staight down the track. So long as the child, goat, and chair all cross the finish line without help, it doesn't matter how they accomplish it. And the adults bet on the winning goats and get roaring drunk. It was quite the spectacle to watch. It was just over an hour's drive away, which can get to be a dull ride, so the boys taught us their favorite roadtrip game. You stop at the side of the road where the paddy-melons are growing (small wild melons that look like baseball sized watermelons) and gather an armful or more for the car. Then as you drive you toss them at the signs you pass, and get points for hitting them depending on the size of the sign. (Nick, you'd love it!) On the way home they stopped and collected firewood, and we had a small fire to sit around on Sunday night. (We used a wine cooler, a tin one that you would normally fill with ice and water, because the burn barrel we used for the going away party had been reclaimed by it's owner)
Monday we (Wendy, Pete, Laurie and I) tried to go on the paddleboat Jandra down the river, but showed up 2 minutes late, and the owner drove right past us without stopping to see if we were interested. He had cancelled that day because not enough people showed up. So we decided to go out for breakfast instead. Unfortunately we then realized it was a public holiday, and almost every eatery was closed, except the Bogas (local gas station/greasy food joint). So we went to Bogas and had their "big breakfast" for 16$ per person, which consisted of: 2pieces toast, 2 eggs, bacon, sausage, steak, and hot chips... plus coffee. Once we finished, we dropped Pete off at home, changed loads of laundry and headed out to visit MaryLou (a coworker) at her property. Wendy drove the ~80km out of town to MaryLou's where we visited, had coffee and lunch (steak, lamb chops, green salad, potato salad and wine), had more coffee and visiting. Then her husband took us to pull in the Yabbie traps (basically freshwater prawns... they look like mini lobsters) they had put out by their dam. We got back just in time for Laurie and I to catch a ride with Heather to Amalia's (two friends from church) for a mexican supper. It was so good. Acutally, it reminded me of india, with the rice and other dishes that you eat by ripping up the tortilla and scooping. We finished off the evening with cardgames. Everyone was so tired by the end. Laurie actually was in bed by 9:30.
Other than that, we spent today packing, moving everything to Wendy's, saying goodbyes, and getting a few photos of the town. We also had a turkey dinner. Laurie talked Wendy into it. Good luck finding a turkey in Bourke. She had to settle for two turkey rolls, one made of breast meat and the other of turkey thighs. We got to meet the three Irish girls that are taking our place, as we invited them to join us for supper. Tomorrow we leave by bus, then train to get back to Sydney where we'll be for a week at the railway yha. We're in a room that's in a train carriage. Should be fun. Hope going back to civilization doesn't overwhelm us too much. It's been so nice and quiet here... kind of.
Anyways, it's 2am, Laurie's out visiting with nightstaff, and I'm rapidly developing a headache. Goodnight all, and remember that now we're travelling this blog will be even more sporadic. Oh, did I mention one of the staff at work has a pet kangaroo? They raised it since it was a baby who's mom was killed. So we went to visit today and attempted to feed it but it was too scared.