Settling in Oz

Posted: 30th September 2010 by Caryn in Posts by Caryn

Pics coming soon…

Hi lovely friends!

Here’s your next Jacobs Journeys update

Short version

  • Trent misses having a guitar (still to be shipped)
  • 4×4 and beach camping experience fantastic
  • Joined a gym
  • Trent missing guitar
  • Apple TV is the purchase of the month – a moment Trent has been preparing for, for many months
  • Washington DC still on the cards
  • Going to Vineyard church and home/ kinship group
  • Trent thinks his guitars miss him

Long version
So we’ve been in Australia for about a month and a half now. We’re continually grateful for how blessed we are in our situation – we have a free house to live in (Trent’s parent’s house while they are away on business), a car to drive, family in the near vicinity who are super helpful, and we’re not working. What a luxury to be able to just chill like this! Despite this, our days fill up pretty fast with activity. Like this:

Mornings: Spiritual and physical fitness
We’ve both started programmes to read the Bible in a year, so we start off with the reading for the day. It’s great to have the time to meditate on the words of God and let them soak in. Even the soap opera stories of Genesis (when last did you read ch 29 & 30!?).

Next comes our daily gym session. Trent has stuck to his Mr Universe weights routine, and has duly impressed me with repeatedly lifting more than his weight on the barbells. I’ve been trying not to worry when the whole machine lifts up, his eyes nearly pop out and his face contorts into evil grimaces involving bared teeth. I, on the other hand, have mostly stuck to trying out group classes, the most scary being kickboxing. Expecting a nice aerobics class with a few kicks and punches choreographed in, I was given boxing gloves and a muscular woman with cropped hair as my partner, and then told to punch and kick her, after which she did the same to me (thankfully there was padding involved). I thought that was tough until I tried the Swimfit class in which the warm up was 600m (24 lengths)! These Aussies can be hardcore when they want to be!

Lunch time: Washington DC
Lunches are generally accompanied by an episode of the West Wing, masterfully accessed from our new Apple TV box-thing. The West Wing, we’re convinced, will fully educate us on American politics and Washington DC. The plans to go to Washington DC have been shaky, but now if all goes according to plan (is that a snigger I hear?) we should be going at the beginning of November.

Afternoon: In pursuit of happiness
Afternoons are filled with the mission of the moment. At first it was a lot of admin – getting health care cards, drivers licences, bank accounts etc sorted out. Since then it’s been time to pursue our passions. Mom Jacobs has a gazillion recipe books with every kind of baking pan and accessory imaginable, so it’s been my heady pleasure to try to use them all. I also convinced Tarryn, my sister-in-law, that she really needed to get to know her sewing machine, and twisted her rubber arm into trying out a Sewing for Dummies pattern. We are consequently both proud owners of made-it-myself aprons!!

Trent has taken the opportunity to work a bit more on SongSmart, improving the existing version. He’s also been developing a new-look website for Epoxy Solutions (Dad’s company). Besides that, his iPad continues to mesmerise him, and has basically become an extension of his arm. It reportedly does all kinds of Really Useful Things, like working out gym performance, sifting through newspapers, and flying iCopters…

Evenings: Work/ life balance
Trent is doing some part time project management in Singapore from Australia for his employer in the UK (yes…global village and all that). It entails a daily 6pm phone call (plus other stuff) that is keeping him sane, as he does not idle well. Regarding my work, I ran ahead and spoke to an employment agency who were gung-ho for me to start, but I had skipped the step of registering with the Board of occupational therapists here first. That’s now in progress. Strangely, the most difficult thing to prove was that I speak English.

Weekends: The Great Adventure
Our relatives living here have been amazing in helping us to feel welcome and making sure we have everything we need. Lionel (Trent’s brother) and Tarryn included us in what has been a highlight so far – a camping trip with a great group of people on a nearby island. Accessing the campsite involved driving a convoy of 4×4’s through an estuary (see amazing pic!) and 30km along a beach to a rustic campsite (no water, electricity or ablution block) next to the sea. Wildlife included dolphins jumping around in the sea, 2-foot long prehistoric lizard things roaming around our campsite and a kangaroo mother and joey lounging about near the tents. Combined with kayaking in the sea, fishing and sunbathing it was the most fun we’ve had in ages.

We’ve done a bit of church shopping and have been impacted by the number of churches that are actively involved in their communities with a passion to spread the love of Christ. We’ve decided to stick with the Vineyard church here for now because the teaching has really connected with us, the presence of God is almost tangible there, and we see in them a loving community. To link up more meaningfully, we’ve joined a home group which has been interesting because a few of the members have come to know God through the church’s Mercy Centre (a kind of drop-in coffee place/ charity shop). A few have only recently met God, and their perspectives on Him and what it means to live a life led by Him, are so fresh and real. My curiosity has led to me starting to volunteer at the Mercy Centre too, which has been…colourful.

Beyond the bubble…
So that’s our average life at the moment. It’s a strange little bubble of living in limbo, but we’re taking full advantage while it lasts. Coming up next is a trip to Sydney in October. Watch this space.

As always, we would love to hear what’s going on in your lives. We miss you all, but it’s good to know you are just an email or Skype chat away.
Much love and blessings,