26 July 2007

Work at USQ

I'm sitting in the K103 Mac lab at USQ waiting for these computers to copy the new install across. Had a few dramas getting them to work, but we'll get there in the end.

Getting closer to going to Japan. I need to arrive in Tokyo on Thu 23 Aug to begin a week's training, and then start work soon after that. I'll be teaching English at the Hiroshima SDA English School in Japan for 1 year. Hiroshima is the 7th largest city in Japan with about 2 million people (bit larger than Brisbane, smaller than Melbourne).

I'm really excited about going. I've been to Vanuatu (in the Pacific Islands), but apart from that, I have not been outside Australia. It's my first time to Asia! Have been listening to JapanesePod101.com podcasts on my way to work each day to try and learn a bit of Japanese. I'm looking forward to experiencing a new culture, and learning more about the world we live in.

Should be able to get my visa next week. Finish work at USQ on Fri 10 Aug. Spend time at home with family for a few days. Will try to see Richard and Beckie (brother and sister-in-law) on the weekend of 18/19 Aug in Cairns. Then plan to head out of Australia. Stop by Asia on the way for a couple of nights (if you have ideas [flights, cities etc], let me know), and arrive in Japan Wed or Thu 23 Aug.

Anyhow, computers have finished copying, so I have to go...

18 July 2007

Back at work in Queensland

Well, it's my third day back at work in Toowoomba after living in Melbourne for 6 months. I work at USQ (the uni in Toowoomba) about 2 hours west (inland) of Brisbane, Queensland. My role is to provide support for the Mac computers across campus. It's a good job.

Last Tuesday (10 July) I left Melbourne about 8am and headed for home in Queensland, planning to get near the VIC-NSW border that day. It was foggy and quite cold up to near Seymore, but then the weather was just beautiful! Green rolling hills, clear blue skies. I made my way to Mansfield, got some info about the snow, and found myself on Mt Sterling (near Mt Buller) in the snow have a nice time. Did some tobogganning, relaxed in the tranquil surrounds of King's Saddle, relaxed on the snow in the sun and built a snowman. Made a quick trip to Mt Buller around sunset time, did two quick slides on the toboggan and spent the night at Camp Howqua, a restful campground near a small river with cabins and gum trees, 30 mines from Mansfield, Victoria. Pics from today found here: http://picasaweb.google.com/bradwarden/MelbourneVictoriaTrip

Up the next day (11 July) and zoomed along the Hume Freeway to Newcastle (1.5hrs north Sydney) to stay at Grandma and Pa's. Excellent 110km/h concrete freeway almost all the way. Caught up with relatives on Thursday... Jamie and Auntie Ash, Grandma Warden, Kerri & Shaun and Livinia, and Grandma Reid and Pa.

03 July 2007

Grampians Hike

At the stroke of mid-night on Saturday night, ending the financial year, I found myself completing an EFTPOS transaction in Safeway (at QV in Melbourne's CBD) to buy food for no ordinary camping trip. That moment ended a special day, 30 June. It was the last day of my 6 month term as a Youth Bible Worker. We had a "Thanksgiving" service to conclude the program, which included praise, singing, prayer, giving thanks to God, showing appreciation to many people who supported the program, testimonies, and stories of how God has lead in people's live.

This first half of this year was an unforgettable experience. It really gave me a greater faith in God and deeper spiritual experience--God is real, I've experienced Him in my own life, seen Him work in people's lives and change them.

After the service, we had hotpot at Tina's place with my caregroup at Southbank. It was a nice warm meal together and we shared our farewells as I will be leaving Melbourne next week. I've really grown close to my friends at caregroup, as we have shared many meals, experiences and times together.

I then rode my bike home and couldn't avoid the wet, rainy night. Water spraying up from the wheels, I accomplished the task of drenching my trousers before proceeding to purchase some bread and things from Safeway that night. Got home, showered, got some things ready for the camp and slept late... only to wake early.

So, Sunday morning, 5:40 am, found me quickly packing to leave by 7:00 am... Henry and I were off to the Grampians, a majestic mountain range less than 4 hours west of Melbourne, Australia.

We hiked about 15 km on Sunday through clouds, fog, rain, wind and cold, and came to the consensus that the theme of the camp was: "That's what we came here for." Lunch was miserable on the top of Mt Difficult, so we pressed on, finding some semi-clear sky to see a nice view from the bluff. A hot noddle dinner with chocolate did us well, until we tried to retire comfortably, managing to gain an average sleep... tossing and turning, and not quite warm enough.

Monday, we hiked back to the car (after a good breakfast), seeing some great scenery along the way--waterfall, caves, nice views, splendid rock formations, mountains and little water brooks. After arriving at Halls Gap (and feeling a bit car sick after windy roads), we agreed on this point... we considered the rain, the cold, that we would leave early anyway, not had a shower since yesterday morning, the restless sleep that night, and the hot shower, comfy bed, dry clothes back in the city... it was time to head home. We had Chinese dinner at Bendigo, unpacked back home in Melbourne, had a hot shower and rested reeeeeeeally well.