Monday, March 10, 2008

little joeys everywhere

Baby kangaroos, that is, but no, we didn't see any. Actually, you can't see much of Australia in 48 hours, but we did our best in Sydney. The city is beautiful, cosmopolitan, and surprisingly diverse. We arrived on Thursday evening with enough daylight to locate a hostel downtown (didn't sleep on the streets after all), then walk farther and faster than expected to be at the Opera House by dusk--wanted a landmark and a panorama with which to breathe in the moment and say, "Ah, we're here."

On Friday we picked up our Daytrippers ($16 passes that allow you unlimited travel on all of Sydney's buses, subways, and ferries for a day). First stop was the famous Bondi Beach. Bondi's a nice beach for sure, but nothing to write home about (just blog home about), and we had just enough time to eat lunch and twinkle our toes in the water before the clouds caught up with us again. We packed up, cursed the weather, and moved on. Next we bussed and subwayed ourselves to the north side of the Harbour Bridge, then strolled back across it. Very nice. Ferried ourselves to the Manly Beach area for the evening, and wished for sunshine and more time there. For dinner we ate the best, tastiest, most authentic and reasonably priced Thai food right at the Manly wharf. It's one of those places that you don't think could possibly produce the meal that you're eating for the price that you paid for it. Good stuff. Riding the ferry back, rain started. Friday night in Sydney, Australia and it was raining. Don't cry for us, though, we've had enough precipitation.

Redemption: Saturday was splendid. In the morning we did the Starbucks thing (for Wanida's sake), read and wrote for a little while. We walked miles and miles that day, enjoyed the city (and weather), took plenty of pics, and just chatted.

What in the world are the subjects of our conversations these days? Well, we remind each other how blessed we are to be able to do this, to savor it and to be thankful. We replay stories and memories that we've already left behind, and get excited about the many things to come. We get serious and ask each other about ways in which we want to be "better" when we get home, the point being that we want this trip to transform us. Acknowledging God as the true transformer of all things, we talk about how we can be used to transform the world around us. So many places and people are passing before us, and by these creations and through these experiences we seek to refine our God given vision and mission.

Getting back to our adventures and exploits, we got stuck--due to flight unavailability--with an overnight layover in Perth on the way to Bali. How unfortunate. Really. We knew it was coming, but to make matters worse we always approached it with a budget mentality and a plan to persevere through one night at the airport. Some of you are already grinning at the thought of splurging on bungy jumping, but pinching pennies on much needed accommodations. I know, because we're talking about an almost sleepless night of pushing chairs together, flopping around on the ground, flies and mosquitoes, bright lights, and enough random noise to remind you that you're always awake. The morning brought swollen eyes for Wanida, but we celebrated the fact that Bali and the beach were only hours away.

Yes, we're here now--Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. It's incredible. We've been very much looking forward to moving on from western culture and, although we're well taken care of here, it's still foreign and exotic and wonderful. Check back for a Bali post in the near future, but we had to share about Australia.


Corrie said...

Wanoodleations for keeping your thoughts, conversations, and perspectives intentional. I am praying for you both and for the Lord's still small voice to speak to you in this time.

May the adventure within match your adventure out.

Dottie's Place said...

Wow! Bungy jumping? I can't wait to hear about Bali.

jessica maneewan tou said...

bali!! welcome to asia. home to the world. :)

Anonymous said...

jealous!!!!! trip of a life. yip-yip-titties

Tatum said...

WOW! Great post and I love the picture you painted of your night in the airport, another memory. I agree with Corrith on props to your intentional check-ins. I know it's easy to escape from reality, and I admire and affirm your accountability. Prayers and love to your both.

iReNeY said...

Hello to Southeast Asia! I wish I could be there....I'm craving spicy, yummy, authentic asian food and tropical fruits. The spicier, the more sour, the better. Oh what pregnancy does to a woman! 8 weeks and 4 days along now...our new little one is a size of a kidney bean. Love the new pictures of 25 Satay Skewers and the beautiful sunsets. You two are so incredibly blessed to have this trip. Praying for you two.

Anonymous said...

I love that even on your adventure you two are taking time to sit and talk as you can get so caught up in seeing everything. It's so motivating for James & I of what we would love to be able to do someday and really be able to see what God can do to transform you as you travel the unknown. I pray the blessings continue for you guys!~Heather