Jun-Oct 2003


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Tuesday 7 October, 2003

Andrew is home tired but well. He managed to get through the 8 weeks without getting sick. He has lost 5-6 kilos and is feeling better for it. Today is his first day back into the school of ministry. It is so great to have him home and have that feeling that now I am all here. He will in due time fill you in on his trip.

Alisha Kate did well in her New South Wales English exam - 48 out of 50 and in the 97th percentile for year 5's in New Zealand.  She won a distinction for that. Last year was the same but got 43 out of 45. So no complaints from me! She was very proud.

The snow on the weekend was neat, I learnt the meaning of flurry. We did not go to church, but the kids organised our own here.

Saturday 27 September, 2003

Sorry, it's been 10 days since I spoke to you. Since then Mum has arrived with Rachel and Joy and we have had Alisha's birthday. The big 10 Yay!!!!We had a lovely day - pretty full on though. We went to see Finding Nemo at the movies. The kids enjoyed it, I would have to say though I felt it wasn't up to standard for Pixar. We did lunch at McDs and moved over to Beadazzled - a neat shop where you can go and choose from thousands of beads and create your own bracelet or necklace. Mum and I were shattered at the end juggling 5 kids and not particularly helpful staff. Apparently it was our fault for turning up with 5 kids. They can book you in and then be attentive. Never mind. We came home and watched Ice Age on video - very funny. A dinner at Cobb and Co finished us off. Everyone was beautifully behaved. During the week we went to the pools and Rach tried the hydro slide and mum and Joy bonded around the lazy river. I had a meeting with a friend and we discussed more courses for me to do. She is Andrew's lecturer at SOM. The Noah's Ark playground aka the dinosaur park went down a treat and everyone buzzed around swinging, sliding, see sawing etc.

Church on Sunday was the AGM. Ian incorporated it into the service so that no one escaped and so we didn't have to be there for hours. I was met at the door by him and asked to give a spiel on house groups. So I duly did and I got many beaming smiles from the Recycled teenagers (85+) in the front row. Alisha gave a talk on Oasis Sunday school. Ian had scripture reading and songs intermittently through out the reports. All in all one of the better AGMs I have attended.

Andrew is home in 5 days. Thursday 2nd October at 11.15am at Auckland. He will be at 15 Wood Street from 1-3 if you want to catch up with him.

Wednesday 17 September, 2003

How's it going? It being life. We are happy and content. Andrew is on the down hill slope to coming home. He is now back in Bangalore, so hopefully you will be able to read the update info on http://www.scottsnz.net/india.htm. The kids are well and are not too busy which is nice. Today I went with Josh's class to Dundas Bush and we planted 25 trees, south island Kowhai and some grassy thing. We then went and used all 5 senses in the bush. The taste one was a leaf off a pepper tree. The smell one was a lemonwood.

We are winding down for the holidays and Mum and Rachel and Joy arrive on Friday morning. Hopefully the weather will stay as it is and we will get heaps of outside time.

Dave has caved in to the wiles of Dunedin surf and is staying with a friend until Monday. He's a happy lad.

Sunday 14 September, 2003

What a great week. The course on abuse was fantastic. The woman speaking was very user friendly. She dealt with the whys and wherefores of the group wonderfully. The students had an enlightening experience of finding out the " NO" there is no step by step formula to counseling/dealing with abuse. It is a person by person deal and every crisis is dealt with differently. Also it will not always be an option to refer people off to the appropriate professional. Some relationships will take literally years to attend to. The guys really wanted a cut and dried recipe - they were out of luck! She gave us definitions and statistics and thankfully decided not to give us any visual imagery. Heaps of info and skills to absorb and organise in the mind. The neat thing was that a lot of the info can also be relevant to other scenarios.

Wednesday Andrew's brother David came from Auckland to see us before he flies out to Japan to live for a while. Itusco has already gone and is waiting for him there. The kids were ecstatic. I had warned Dave about the need to change his name as the kids use it and use it. He started counting at the airport and finished as we got into the house 1/2 hour later. 40 times we heard the words "Uncle Dave"..... The kids and he have played and played. He borrowed The Lord of the Rings 1 and 2 DVD from a friend and the kids have monopolised his laptop to watch them. Now that they have finally finished he can get some work done.

Yesterday we went to visit the grave site of Gideon Scott who is buried here and took photos of everyone standing on or around him. We ran around one of the big playgrounds and ate our packed lunch at St Clairs beach looking at the waves and analysing them.

Further down the coast we went to Blackhead beach and I was a surfie babe - sitting admiring all of the black-clad all-with-the-same-coloured surf board everyone-looks-the- same surfers. Josh automatically got wet early on and had a wonderful time. Tim and Alisha were a little more reserved and didn't get very wet but played on the sand. Great fresh air and I felt more relaxed than I had in a long time.

David watched the kids and I went a watched a chick flick with Judy. Today we did church and had Presbyterian support Otagooooooo, came home had lunch and took the kids to Moana Pools - wonderful. A great way to spend an afternoon.

I talked to Andrew tonight. He is well and they are winding up to go back to Bangalore. They have finished everything they were supposed to do and they now just have to present their version of what they have got out of the whole deal. While I was talking to him a monkey walked past him. He has had a few encounters with monkeys and camels. The monkeys come inside and watch what everyone is doing. Only 18 days to go.. Yippee!

Well I am yawning constantly - this would be a subtle hint that I should be horizontal.


Saturday 6 September, 2003

Hey there, soccer finished today due to lack of interest YAY!!!!The coach finally got the picture and probably the other team not showing helped no end. So we had an adult vs kid game and a bbq and that was that! A pleasant relief all round. Its been an incredible season with them winning 97% of their games. Also a fantastic way of meeting some different people out of the SOM circle.

The kids surprised me with a cleaned up path in the garage - the firewood had started to take over the walkways and they did a beautiful job with out me asking.

On Monday and Tuesday I am going on a "Pastoral Care in situations of sexual abuse" course which I figure that the things taught there would be the same for dealing with other counseling/just talking with people.

Not much else to yak about. Catchya next week. 26 days to gooooooooooo.

Tuesday 2 September, 2003

Hurray! It looks like my rat may have given up! There doesn't appear to be any more scuttlings that sound like they are playing soccer in my ceiling. Les the caretaker came today and checked on my hole in the ceiling and any other little issues I had. So I think that there will be a few tradesmen in and out. Hopefully plumbers, carpet guys, painters etc will be attending to the issues.

2 weeks ago at a Partners evening I left home with Mum saying "Don't take on too much" "No-No" I said and promptly came home with the co-presidents job. Andrew is the president for the theological students union and apparently it is worthwhile sleeping in the same bed, so said the last girl who was the president and whose husband was TSU president. So 1 and 1/2 other girls are co-ing with me, 1/2 because Judy doesn't want the title or the responsibility but is happy to be involved. So we are beginning tonight  - the 3 of us to bond and make a start on the end of year happenings - one garage sale, valedictory dinner, writing to the 2004 incoming students partners, partners dinner, goodbye gifts, and an all-who can-come bbq all before Nov 22. Roll on Christmas!

Mum flew home to Papakura on Monday after us having a wonderful fortnight. It was fantastic to have the company and support, and not being flat tack meant we had some neat discussions on a variety of topics that we never would have had if we had been rushing around.

Andrew is home in 30 days YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but before that his brother David is coming before he flies out to live in Japan for who knows how long, my Mum and nieces are coming a week after that and then a week after that he's home YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday 31 August, 2003

We have had a lovely week, cruising here and there. Thursday was a quiet day which was good as we packed a bit in on Friday. All term I have helped with the Opoho School orchestra, on Friday they performed "I'd like to teach the world to sing" and Alisha and a friend played 'Amazing Grace". They all played nicely and I am happy that it is all over. Mum and I went grocery shopping and after lunch went to the Art Gallery. We saw a lot of Frances Hodgkin's work and many other artists work. Also the recycled materials art was quite neat.

Andrew has rung multiple times this week, so we are in regular contact which has been wonderful. You can catch his trip on http://www.scottsnz.net/india.htm. He has recently added more photos and info.

Saturday brought soccer and J's team won 5-0. We then zipped to the club breakup which you would think meant end of season but no..... there is more! The coach wants 2 more games. Not many of us are keen and 1 of the other teams definitely doesn't want to know so we will see....

That night went had been invited to Hariata's. She is one of the students at the SOM. We had a wonderful time and covered many topics i.e. Maoridom and religion and tribal things. All very interesting.

Today we churched at Kaik. What an anointed service. The best I have been in yet down here. The musicians were unified and the message was very poignant. It was titled  something along the lines of "Facing the traitors in your life" e.g. fears, concerns and anything wise that might inhibit your walk with God and generally getting on with life. Very cool stuff. The minister was away and two of the congregation took it in tandem with each other.

This afternoon I have spent pesos on the boys for shoes AGAIN! Timo now has feet the same size as mine! and Josh and Tim's shoes had split.

Tonight we are going out to tea and then Mum flies out tomorrow.


Wednesday 27 August, 2003

Greetings and salutations!! For the first time since in the 8 months I have been here we had proper Auckland like rain instead of the drizzle they call rain here. However it was short lived and we are back to drizzle. Today we went to forum, it was on Celtic spirituality. The guy led us through a Celtic service which was very peaceful and serene. Looking at the individual significance of a flame and how alike God is to a marshmallow. (Not pink and sticky - soft and sweet).

Chapel was won of the better ones I have attended. It had a heap of well thought out variety. Mum and I went out to lunch and celebrated Andrew and my 15th wedding anniversary. Mum cooked a beautiful lamb rolled roast dinner and she and the kids made a lovely card. Andrew sneakily organised a beautiful bouquet of flowers to be sent. Only 36 days to go.

He hasn't updated anyone lately as the internet and getting to the internet has been a problem. He leaves for Bangalore tomorrow - 24 hours by train. 2 of the team are in hospital with food poisoning. He is not one of them and feels fine. He has organised the 2 to fly instead of train back. He is very bouncy and I talk or text him often as he bought a mobile.

All is ticking away here and everyone is fine.

Friday 22 August, 2003

Hey! How is everyone? Tarj and I are bonding and typing at the same time. The week has ticked away nicely and everyone is peaceful. My cold has let up and I am just let with a cough. Mum came with the end of hers and she is feeling much better now too. We are having a lovely fairly restful time with doing bits and pieces in the morning and relaxing in the afternoons. Its wonderful not to be busy, busy busy.

We went out to Port Chalmers on Tuesday to watch Alisha's netball team win 13-0, it was their final game of the season. Mum and I went to Kaikorai ladies group and studied Ruth and the loyalty and love she felt for her mother-in-law. It yet again showed me how blessed I am with the awesome mother-in law that I have. Very few of the girls I have had contact with here and in Auckland can say that. Very sad.

On Wednesday we went to hear Selwyn Yeoman and Ken Harray teach about the team ministry at North Mosgiel. They spoke at forum. They spoke about complimenting each other and how their wives are involved. The main saying of the day "To always speak the truth in love".

Thursday was piano and having a go on the treadmill at the gym. Judy and I went together and worked out. Shona and I are still walking regularly. Timo went to dancing practice and eventually settled down and did some work. He jokes around with the teacher, but finally does quite well.

Today I had a meeting with one of Andrew's lecturers who is assisting me in getting into some courses which will enhance my ability to assist Andrew in the ministry. Topics like pastoral care in situations of abuse, safety for my heart and theirs. Where to go with what information, active listening........ She has also invited/suggested that I attend her class next semester in Pastoral and nurturing care. So I think things are going to spice up a bit as far as me getting a little more educated and up skilled. Very exciting!!

I must go. Good night... I must pick up Tim from youth group.

Monday 18 August, 2003

Hello everyone! Long time no hear..... I have a cold bleah! All is well and Timo had a terrific time at camp. He went skiing and mountain biking and to Puzzling World. He came home very chatty but completely wasted. He loved the puzzles and the skiing as he had done neither before.

Andrew is leaving for Bombay (India, not South Auckland) tonight and is looking forward to the next phase of the experience. You can see what he has been up to by following the link http://www.scottsnz.net/india.htm. Happy reading, lying down with a pillow and a drink is the way to go (obviously this will only work if you print it out!). Double click on the pictures to see enlargements of what is there.

The kids are fine, I got Tim some new glasses today as he was squinting all over the place. Andrew's mum arrived today and it will be terrific having her here for the fortnight. I am off to bed, everyone else is already there.

Later alligator....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Tuesday 12 August, 2003

Today we had a neat time at ladies bible study. We are studying about relationships. Last week was Jocebed's relationship with Miriam and how Miriam's sturdy faith grew out of the example set before her from her mother. Today was about Abram and Lot setting up their land and the scariness of Lots life - how he gave up his daughters so easily and how God humoured Lot because of Abram's love of God.

Alisha played netball and the team won 12-1 against George Street School. I have had the van warranted for a large fee, but at least it is still alive and kicking.

Andrew is flat tack and getting to the internet is a problem. His work load is high and the access is short to the computer. It is very hot, but he is thoroughly enjoying him self. For field placement he is going to Bombay and just out of Hyderabad.

50 days to go......

Sunday 10 August, 2003

It's been a pretty long day today. Today Kaikorai church celebrated its 135th birthday. It is a daughter church to Knox Church. It was wonderfully organised. We started at 10am with a hymn and then a welcome. The church was packed. The Oasis kids (Sunday school) did 2 action songs that were very bouncy. They have been studying Jesus is the way, truth and life this term. What stunned me was that when the Sunsch leader asked everyone to participate in one of the songs EVERYONE did. Even the little old ladies (some appear closer to 135 than to 80) but most are real go getters. The youth group did a dance about hope - very user friendly and very tasteful in white shirts and black pants. One of the older ladies did a history bit using some of the items in the church e.g.. lectern cloth, stained glass windows, wall hangings... Very well done - I think her parents went there and she was born into the place. A lot like First Church. The moderator for Dunedin started his sermon off with the words "Please excuse me while I readjust my sermon as I think from what I have seen today, that it is too staid" We had had balloons and streamers flying around with the kids stuff. A fantastic feel to the service. We then all piled outside and had the opening of the new renovations - offices. The lunch was amazingly well done, with coleslaws, rice and stews of chicken and beef, and other salads.

We left early to take Josh to soccer awards practice. He is going for his bronze award with his soccer skills. I helped out with this and supervised our coach's little girl who has downs syndrome. She is so very happy and very gentle. I think she is only 2ish. I zapped home and made a dessert to take to Howard and Christine's where we were going to dinner.

Tomorrow I am going to take Tim to school where he leaves for his camp to Wanaka and I am taking the van to get all the reasons why it didn't a warrant FIXED!!! I am also babysitting Zac - Christine's littlest.

My bed is calling me I can hear it. Night night.

Thursday 7 August, 2003

Well, here I am. Last night was hard work! The trip from Kuala Lumpur was fine. I met and made friends with Krishore, an Indian man traveling home to visit his parents. He lives and works in the States. He is a nice guy and he has given me his phone number so I can get in touch while I am here. It will be great to have an outside contact! Anyway, we arrived at the airport after yet another hair-raising car trip and proceeded to find our way through all the different stuff. The security is lax to say the least – after New Zealand and Australia (those guys are nearly as paranoid as the US) Malaysia is, shall we call it relaxed with their security. The guy on the x-ray screen spent half his time on the phone and of the other half he spent more time looking around or with his eyes closed than he did actually watching the screen. Anyway, I have that part down to a fine art now so it was no deal at all – straight through with nary a beep.

The flight was easy – nice to be on an A330-300 – I haven’t flown on one of those before. It was a smooth journey and I got a couple of hours of quite good sleep – helpful given what came next.

We arrived in Bangalore along with a plane from Germany. When we got into the immigration hall the queues had 20-30 people at every desk. I managed to get myself into a queue that had two people processing together. It meant that we moved way faster than anyone else – and given that we had arrived nearly 30 minutes later than expected that was a definite relief. Getting through was a breeze and off to collect my pack which was one of the first on the track, a pleasant surprise after it being nearly last in KL. Customs was a case of passing a small piece of paper to a security person, being told that a number had been put in the wrong place – it wasn’t but never mind, then going on to another guard who asked for the same piece of paper. Of course I didn’t have it, but by the time there were about 7 Indians standing around with the same problem he shrugged his shoulders and waved us on. Icame out into the concourse and after being waved at by about 15 people I found someone waving a CWM sign and there we were. At least I thought so at the time.

It turned out that we were waiting for someone else. We waited and waited and then they started to shut up shop. Because I had been on the same flight I was elected to go and try and find out what had happened. Initially we wondered if he had made the flight at all because there were two people who had not got on the plane at KL and part of the reason we were late was that we had to wait while they took off their luggage. After being sent from pillar to post and back again I finally got someone to try to track down the flight manifest. There were a lot of people with their own peculiar ideas of what we should do about it and who we should see. In the end we didn’t find the flight manifest but we did find Koutoa, our missing person. Turns out he had had trouble with immigration because no-one had seen a Tuvaluan passport before and so he had to show them where Tuvalu was on a map and answer all sorts of daft questions. Then his luggage didn’t turn up – it had somehow missed the flight at KL. So he is here in the clothes he is standing up in, a spare pair of shoes and his Bible. We are going out shopping this afternoon to get him some stuff to time him over until his bags arrive – hopefully tomorrow, but who knows.

We finally got going to head toward UTC about 2:15am – the driving was even worse than in Malaysia and here I thought it couldn’t get much worse! It will certainly take a bit of getting used to. We were driving along and I started wondering to myself just what I was getting myself into. There was a real sense of disconnection from reality – I guess that is one of the reasons that I am here, but it is still pretty uncomfortable. We arrived at the college about 2:30am, were given a bottle of water and led to our rooms, told that breakfast was at 8am and left to our own devices. I hung up some wet clothes that I had washed in KL and crashed. The accommodation sure isn’t 5-star, but I could have slept on broken rocks last night.

I have a room with bathroom to myself at the moment. It has two beds, a desk and a standalone wardrobe. The ceiling fan is probably going to go almost constantly. The clothes I hung up to dry last night are still wet at 10:30 this morning, hmmm! Me thinks I will need to find a laundry soon.

Breakfast was cornflakes with hot milk – I passed on that although if I start feeling the need for something of home I might suck it in and eat up. Instead I had some kind of flour cakes, fish?? ring things and two different hot sauces, one with tomato and onions, the other some kind of green paste with black seeds in it. Nice enough, but not breakfast! After breakfast Koutoa and I went in search of the library so I could get on the net. Apparently it is closed for the next two days because the college is have 3 silence days. We ended up being invited to the morning service. Some of the songs were in Hindi and while the music was not of a kind I am used to it sounded good. I even managed to figure out where they were up to sometimes and sing along. They also sang, ‘It’s no longer I that liveth’ and ‘Spirit of the living God.’

The sermon was delivered by a minister sitting cross legged in front of a microphone. It was a great message to hear – God’s first two questions were, ‘Where are you?’ and ‘Where is your brother?’ Not asked because God didn’t know but because he wanted to confront first Adam and then Cain with those questions. He spoke about the way we are afraid of silence because God will ask us those same questions and we are afraid of the answers we might have to give. What a good message to hear at this moment. God was certainly speaking to me through it.

Now I am lying on my bed, listening to Jars of Clay and writing this with the windows wide open the fan going hard out. The temperature is not too bad and neither is the humidity – certainly it is nothing like KL. Anyway, time to finish this up and see if I can phone home.

I got through on the phone. It cost me 354 rupees for about 10 minutes – that is roughly $14 and worth every cent! It was great to talk to Ruth and the kids even if it was for such a short time. After that was lunch – all sorts of Indian food again. Some hot, some less so but all spicy. I enjoyed some of it but some was quite bitter and not my scene at all. I am working on the principle of trying a little of everything and not being afraid to leave something if it is not my scene. That way I can get a good feel for the food without being stupid about it. I have to admit though that the thought of this kind of food every day, three times a day is already starting to freak me out a little. I am used to a whole lot more variety – but then things will change as we move around. It sounds like we might be going to Mombai for our first placement. All I know is that it is somewhere out of Bangalore so who knows what we will see.

We shared in the communion service this afternoon. If it wasn’t for the Bhajans or folk songs with their entirely distinctive music you would think we were back in Ross Chapel. Quite scary really. The whole liturgy thing, hymns and all although no-one knew one of the hymns and so after unsuccessfully attempting to sing to the organ music everyone pretty much gave up and listened. Some of the prayers are quite thought provoking and one of the hymns sung to the tune of Rock of Ages really hit between the eyes. Everyone went up, a group at a time to stand in a semi-circle to receive communion. Wafers were used and real wine. After the service those of us on the Face to Face programme were invited to introduce ourselves. It turned out that the Communion celebrant, Dr Abraham Steven, had spent 4 ½ years in Dunedin working on his Ph.D. Another student studying at the college had been to NZ a few years ago and came to tell me that as well. Quite nice to have those little meetings – they make you feel a little closer to home.

Four students for the Face-to-Face programme have arrived so far. Daniel is from Togo in West Africa, a lady whose name I am not even going to attempt to spell until I have seen it on paper is from Botswana, Kuotoa from Tuvalu, and me. The three guys have hooked up and we went into town with one of the students here so Kuotoa could get some clothes and we could all have a bit of a look around.

Remember what I said about the driving earlier – that’s nothing. You should see it in rush hour. We took two autos – they are the three-wheeled motorised rickshaws that you see on TV. If I wasn’t having so much fun I would have freaked out completely. You feel 100% vulnerable in those things and rules of the road don’t appear to exist. It was a breathtaking experience – but I have no problem doing it again, if nothing else it is too far to walk into town and I fully intend to visit again.

Once we got there it was really like any busy city street on the pavement. The hawkers were out in force and the other two guys were set upon with a vengeance but I have learned quickly that if you don’t catch their gaze, look straight ahead and ignore them they lose interest real fast. We eventually found a place to look for clothes and Kuotoa finally found stuff that fitted him – not an easy task as he is a little shorter than I am but significantly wider across the shoulders and solid all over. I picked up a pair of pants and another shirt that should tide me through although I wouldn’t be averse to picking up another pair of pants at some stage – these only cost $25 and are quite nice although not a colour Ruth would choose in a hurry J.

The rain finally arrived just as we were about to leave. At that point, allowing for a slightly different population mix and the incredible driving habits that abound, not least of which is the fact that every driver seems to feel the need to pump their horn once every 50m, and I could have sworn we were standing in Auckland. The rain passed in about 15 minutes and we were off up the road to pick up an auto to get home. The instructions are to go to the Cantonman station because everyone knows where that is, and then go around behind and there you are. Cool. The ride cost 20 rupees (80c) each way. Not bad for two people.

We all changed for dinner and that was more of the same. We are all completely shattered and headed for bed pretty much straight after dinner. I’m writing this up listening to some music and propping up my eyelids with matchsticks. The problem is that I will forget everything if I don’t get it down – there is too much going on. Time for sleep. 20:36 on August 6, 2003.

Thursday 6 August, 2003

Only a little bit to tell. exciting though. Timothy has been chosen to attend a camp at Wanaka. It is funded by the St Clair Foundation. It is the schools first ski trip and there will be 20 students and 2 adults. Tim is the only one from his class. They are going next week and will explore the Wanaka basin and go to puzzling world, go mountain biking and skiing. He is so openly excited (quite unusual for Tim). He was selected for his consistent performance and exemplary conduct in the school. Cool eh!

Alisha had her first time as goal shoot and managed to get one, it is hard when you are vertically challenged. The girls lost their game to North East Valley 4-9. I am sure they won because of their 2 boys on their team who were everywhere and had heaps of energy.

Yesterday I went to the Green Island landfill. Yippeedo. We saw the recycling centre which was quite impressive and found out the the plastic milk bottles are made into polarfleece. I got to thinking that maybe flash expensive Kathmandu products are just a lot of squashed milk bottles, how they charge their prices beats me!

I am going swimming with Shona this morning so I had better get off my.... and do something useful. I have a camp meeting and Tim's dancing lesson tonight so life is never dull. Andrew rang last night from Bangalore phone box. He is 61/2 hours behind us so was going off shopping for clothes for the guy he had just met who on the course also but had his luggage not turn up from where he came from.

Tuesday 5 August, 2003

Andrew writes

What a day! I left home at 7am this morning and arrived in my hotel room at 11:30pm Malaysian time - that's 4 hours behind NZ so I have been traveling for over 20 hours.

The temperature on landing was 28 degrees at the airport. We arrived at 9:30pm local time but didn't get out of the airport until 10:30pm. Most of that was spent waiting for the luggage.

Terikamasi means, "Thankyou," in Malaysian. Samusamu means, "You are welcome." Salamat pagi means, "Good Morning."

The hotel I am staying in is amazing. I am on the eighth floor in a room that I would never have imagined being in.

The taxi ride from the airport took about 45 minutes. The driver had it floored - about 130-140km/h the entire way. I have to admit that is only a guess - the speedometer in the minibus does not work - but we made it. The driving is amazing! It is a wonder that you manage to travel anywhere without being hit. In fact it is so bad that the motorcycles have their own road because of the number of accidents - mind you, when you see how the motorcyclists ride it is no wonder.

The city is rather beautiful at night with lots of lights and decorations around the place.

I had a whole row of seats to myself from Dunedin to Christchurch, from Christchurch to Auckland and from Auckland to Brisbane. At Brisbane we had to get off the plane for an hour which was a pain, but them's the breaks. Then the plane filled up and it was one seat each for the rest of the flight. It was pretty pleasant though, at least as far as riding in cattle class is concerned.

It was really neat to be met by everyone at the airport -

Mum and Dad, Ruth's Mum and Dad and Grandad, Mike and Debbie with Olivia and David Jung. We only had about 30 minutes but it was great to see them.

Anyway, best get going - still a few things to do before I leave for the airport - it will be nice to settle in for a while.

Oh, the photos are on www.scottsnz.net/malaysia1.html


Monday 4 August, 2003

The week has whizzed by very quickly. After my welts and itchiness I went a got some allergy testing done. I found I have sensitivities to grasses, dog hair, cat hair, pork and beef, dust mites. An interesting exercise that really gives me no more of an idea to what set off my rash. So really just one of those elements of surprise to what, when, how, why.

Andrew and I went out on Tuesday and Shona kidsat. We went with a 2 for 1 voucher to the Palms Restaurant and had a beautiful meal. We then went to the movies and saw Charlie's Angels 2, a very ditzy movie with many funny takeoffs of other popular movies.

Friday we were all invited to a Korean family home. The 2 children are in AK's class.    Mrs Lee "Hi Seon" cooked beautifully and we had a great time. Saturday we watched J play soccer and they won. We then prepared for the "Guess whose coming for dinner" dinner that we were hosting. Many people are divided into homes but aren't told where they are going until the evening of but are told what to take e.g. nibbles or entree or dessert. The host family is on main and knows how many but not who to cater for. So 8 other people (no kids) arrived and we had a neat time. People are mixed up so that there are some you know and some you don't know well.

Sunday night we were invited to go to Noel and Dalfina's place for an Indian dinner which we all enjoyed.

We have been wonderfully albeit overfed this week and are very grateful for the hospitality of these people. Andrew flew out this morning at 8.30 to Christchurch then on to Auckland where there are friends and family to see him off. 60 days to go..........


Tuesday 29 July, 2003

A good weekend - nearly froze at soccer, lost the soccer, Ruth went to a Worship seminar all day Saturday, preached on Sunday, spent most of the afternoon fixing the video - more on that later, had Tim working on his Science Fair project all afternoon. Ahhhhh! It's so good to get back to Monday!

Ruth's seminar was led by Darryl Tempero. Apparently it went really well. The preaching was for one of my crit services at school. The sermon went really well, one of the best I have done in a while. The video went fine but I forgot to turn on the video microphone and so the tape had no sound. Fortunately the church routinely makes a tape of the sermons so I got a copy, loaded it onto the computer and set to work. Unfortunately the audio tape was old and stretched. I had to break the 19 minute sermon into 30 second sections and stretch them longer or shorter to match the video. It took me over 4 hours to get it mostly right. There are still sections where the lip synching is off just enough to be off-putting but its not too bad. It certainly gives me sympathy for those poor people who have to try to lip synch movies with different languages. What a nightmare!

Have to go now. Ruth and I are going out for dinner and a movie :-). It will be our last opportunity before I go.

Friday 25 July, 2003

A fairly laid back week has been had. My chest has been very tight but there has not been any sign a a cold. I've watched the fantastic netball with Judy, been to ladies group, forum and chapel. Last night I went to PTA and felt a bit itchy. I came home and completely broke out in welts. I have had this twice before in Auckland and never really pinpointed what the cause is. I hadn't eaten anything out of the ordinary and hadn't been in the garden so what does that leave? I had welts from the top of my head to my knees (very attractive I'm sure) and I scratched most of the night. But this morning the only signs of it are a swollen face. I had no antihistamine of any kind, and a cool shower was the only help. Not to worry. I've been walking this morning with Shona around the Dunedin Reservoir. I am just pottering around doing housework and am quite happy for a quiet day.

Saturday 19 July, 2003

Andrew has taken each of the children out on their own this week to have some bonding time with each. Josh and Andrew went and played spacies, and also bought material for me to sew and make some pants for Josh, blue tie-dyed and red tie-dyed. Hmmmmm I am not sure what I think, however I have been told that I need to think outside the square!! Timothy and Andrew went shopping for bits and pieces for India and some better suited clothing for dancing for Tim. Alisha and Andrew went to HBK, Beaddazzled, Nature discovery, an arty crafty market and Katmandu ( girly stuff). Each had lunch and a really neat time with each other.

Josh and I walked part way in to town this morning to get him out of the house. We had Noel and Dalfina's children Stanley and Nabila stay the night as Dalfina is in India visiting family and Noel and Andrew and 5 others went and saw Terminator 3 and then had to observe night life in the main street. Unfortunately it was not very exciting watching the 3 that were there so they gave up. So while the kids were all occupied J and I toddled off, spent time in town and then caught the bus home.

We were forecast to have snow today, it was conspicuous by its absence! Oh well!

Wednesday 16 July, 2003

Wow a whole week has nearly gone. After that first walk up Baldwin Street my legs were in agony for 3 whole days, just my calves but unbelievable pain. So anyway moving on... Karen and the kids arrived. After the gardens we had a quick walk through the aviary, where the children tried to convince the cockatoo he should say more than he had been trained for. Since then we have done the scenic look from the top of Signal Hill, attended a science show at the museum and played in discovery world there where you can have a go at many physical experiments. Timothy and Talia went into town on their own on the bus (a first for Talia) and did a spot of shopping and eating. Tim was slightly indignant that he had been dragged into Wild Pair and other girly shops. However he got his own back next time and tricked her into going into the arcade with the library in it. They got on really well, it was like they had been together for the last 6 months.

We went the next morning to Baldwin Street. It was still quite icy at 10.30 but we started anyway. The kids motored to the top and Karen and I carefully picked our way through the ice patches - well almost, Karen bit the dust (ice) and slid on her bottom down a few feet. We got to the top and took pictures. Having successfully mounting my Mt Everest we went to Noahs' Ark playground and the kids ran around while we had a hot chocolate and sat in the sun. We came home to refuel the tummies and drove to Tunnel beach, a 20 minute walk down and 40 minutes back up. An amazing walk. Word is that the owner of the castle (that is no longer there) built a tunnel down to the beach in a secluded spot so that his daughters could sunbathe in private. A nice walk. That night Andrew suggested that we adults go to the movies, so after ringing the babysitter we went to see Bruce Almighty. A funny film.

Church on Sunday was had and we came home via The Warehouse to get both Logan and Joshs' birthday gifts, boxers and pens and everyone was happy. after lunch we drove out to Portobello to look for wildlife. We had a great time but saw no wildlife. On returning Andrew fed the kids and Karen and I went out to dinner. We went to the Thai Hanoi, the meal was beautiful and the company great.

Monday started with packing up Karens' things, and Tim and Talia went back into town, because Tim had come to me and said that he wasn't happy about the lack of just Tim and Talia time so we sent them off again. We fed everyone early and took the kids to Moana Pools. Karen braved the light and the water and the coolness and togged up with me. The water was warm and we sat in the spa for a while. Over the week we have spent quite a few moments just relaxing, chatting. We haven't been frantic and the kids have had lots of time just to be with each other. It has been a thoroughly enjoyable week. I am now wandering around the house thinking ok now what.

Thursday 10 July, 2003

Here are some more snow photos.

Whoa, are my legs sore or what !!!! Karen, Talia and Logan arrived yesterday. I left home at 7.15am to deliver one of the other guys to the airport for 7.50am and then sat and read and chatted with Timo until Karen arrived at 9.00. It is fantastic to have them here and the kids are enjoying each others company. They still interact like siblings and Tim is still pushing his mark with Talia. He finds great satisfaction in hassling her and she could still whip him if she chose to. We sat and blobbed yesterday and caught up on what's what in Papakura. In the evening I took Joshua to the 24 hr doc to get some antibiotics for his sore ear. His lethargy and red cheek and ear are a dead give away.

Today we went to Cadburys and came out with $30 worth of free chocolate. My legs are still sore and an old lady and I competed for first place up and down all the flights of stairs. We went to St Clair's beach and Logan unfortunately paddled in his shoes and socks. Home for lunch, some washing done and down to the botanic gardens we went. The kids had a good run around, which they needed. Alisha cooked tea and now all are in bed and Karen and I are just chilling out while Andrew is studying.

Tuesday 8 July, 2003

The snow has gone. Sunday came and went, we couldn't go anywhere because of the ice. Alisha put together our own family church service. She chose the songs and organised the readings and prayers. Andrew spoke and it all ticked along really well. After that I baked for the week. Douglas and Judy came for lunch. I had made swede soup and Andrew had made savoury bread. I spent the afternoon at Judy's just chatting and Douglas fiddled on the computer with Andrew editing their video footage of the antics on the snow.

Monday morning the piano tuner arrived and tweaked the piano in to submission, what a different instrument. We all tidied for Karen's arrival and have just been relaxing - holiday mode.

Today more tidying has been done - from the afternoons doing yesterday. Douglas told me that there was a jaffa race down Baldwin Street ( the steepest street in the world ). So we got there and thought it was a bit quiet but walked up and up and up..... to the top. Apparently one could do it in 2 1/2 minutes if one wanted to, not me! So I came home and abused Douglas and he said "actually it's next week" He had got it wrong as well.

We've been to the library this afternoon, wow! I should go more often what a quiet afternoon I have had. So not much to tell you today.

Saturday 5 July, 2003

IT'S SNOWING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A week has gone by without me telling you what we've been up to. Andrew has officially been on holiday but is still doing assignments and studying flat tack. We have had the decorator decorating Alisha's room. On Thursday he finished, having painted the ceiling twice, painted the closet twice and wallpapered in a creamy neutral colour. The carpet will be done sometime too. I have replaced most things and rearranged her room. We went through and threw out junk. It looks lovely.

On Thursday we had organised to go to Invercargill, but with the threat and promise of snow between here and there we opted not to go and had the most gorgeous day here in stead. The children had an assembly to farewell Alisha's teacher and 2 other Mums and I helped with the mainly percussion orchestra. We had a cello, violin, keyboard, alto recorder, xylophone, 2 melodicas and many triangles, shakers, banging things etc... eeeuuu! But they played ok.

Tim went to his first Latin American dance lesson and loved it. Andrew was very impressed at how quickly Timo clicked into the steps. Then Tim came home and attempted to teach me.... Mum is not so quick!. We went to the WELCOME TO KAIKORAI evening at the minister's place. We met friends of Logan and Janet's and met some of the elders, had dessert and left. The snow was just beginning. By the time we picked up Tim from youth group (suseJ) SUS - E - J the name of the group, and got to Signal Hill things were interesting. We got up gingerly to beside Opoho Church and found that we really couldn't go any further. So we parked and walked up to our place. It was so peaceful. On arrival we woke Josh and AK and togged them up and sent them outside to play. At 9.30 they were back in bed.

Today I decided this would be a soccer free day and stayed in bed and little bit longer than I normally do and was caught out by Judy and Douglas. They had come to play in the snow with us. Judy is a real goer and slid down our back yard on our boogey board. She and I went for a walk down to the school and razzled some others out of their pjs and they came and played with their rubbish bag. By 10.30ish the neighbourhood had come to our section of road and with bags, boards, cardboard and real estate signs zipped down the hill at very interesting speeds, Judy included.

We have bathed in the beauty of the snow sight and the gentleness and peacefulness. To quote one of my boys "A wonder white land".

Here are some pictures from our snow day.

Study, study, study. I'm trying to knock off my full semester's readings and assignments before I go back to school in a weeks time. At this stage I should be most of the way there. It kind of says something about the workload eh! I am quite enjoying the concentrated reading and writing at the moment. We have the full year worship and preaching paper, an ethics paper, a reformed history paper and fieldwork - I'll be doing my fieldwork in India. As far as I know I have to complete six essays (I have done 3 1/2) and a pile of reading (I have completed roughly half of that). The funny thing is it has only taken me 2 weeks of on and off study to do it.

Oh, and I have added my itinerary for India as it stands at the moment here.

Friday 27 June, 2003

Hey! What's everyone up to? Monday was Andrew's birthday and we had a nice day together. We went to lunch at the train station cafe and he went tutoring in the evening. He is on a synthesis writing week and is writing sermons and assignments. Wednesday he developed a sore jaw joint, which plagued him until we could get into the doctor. He had it x-rayed and got some anti inflammatories. His whole side of his face was lop sided and teeth were meeting in odd places. On the way home it dawned on us that maybe it is gout. As he is prone to it I think it is a high possibility. Anyway a few pills later he is feeling much better. He is also moving more, I think inactivity is the key. Alisha cooked again last night and chicken laksa was what she made much to Dad's liking as he has found the lack of food and being unable to chew an issue. Yesterday I found a set of drawers for by the front door which I have been dreaming about. It is to put hats, gloves and scarves in. I found a secondhand oak one with 3 drawers. So I am pretty pleased with myself!

Joshua played Harbourside and the team won 8-1.

Hi there back again I had given up as the keyboard was giving me flack. So now it is Monday. Yesterday while the rest of the country was raining we had 15 degrees and a cloudy but nice day. Andrew preached out at Outram, 10kms out of Mosgiel. He did an interactive sermon which was humoured and many participated. He and I also sung Come to the Father, which we had many comments on, one of which was "We've never had a singing pair before". We were invited back to someone's house for soup and toast. We scrabbled home to begin moving the contents of Alisha's room out as today (Monday) the decorator starts. Josh and I went to soccer practice and had a run adults versus the kids, we really enjoy the run around.

Today Bill the decorator arrived and he and I stripped the wallpaper (like I needed the practice), and found 3 layers before we found the wall board. We finished and Bill is going to sand tomorrow - I'm going out! Andrew is tutoring tonight and it is Timothy's night to cook, so all in all a cruisey night.

Sunday 22 June, 2003

I am at home while you people are at church, puddling around making Andrew's pre-birthday lunch. Roast bolar, potatoes, kumara, pumpkin, onions, mixed veggies, gravy and cheerios. The Bradley kids don't eat a lot of meat so Judy and I decided to give them cheerios and the roast veggies. I have made 2 pavlovas as I haven't found the secret to have them not collapse, so if anyone knows and wishes to put me out of my misery then I would be very happy to hear from them. I swished up some hokey pokey ice cream and added choc peanuts and choc raisins, soft fruit jubes, pebbles and dessert marshmallows and then refroze it. I have also made unlayered jellies which are unlayered because I was yakking on the phone I forgot to cool the second one and added it hot to the first set one! Rats! So now I have a boysenberry/lime jelly instead of a boysenberry AND lime jelly.

Josh played Melchester Gold yesterday and Northern won 2-1. Josh is still complaining about sore legs so he is not playing 100%, and gets told to up his work rate constantly. Andrew is going to do some time with him to try and figure the leg thing out. We have another practice this afternoon so I will talk to the coach and see what he says. Andrew took the kids to Moana Pools yesterday and I tidied up here.

Friday night was the quiz night at school which went well. We made $750 for the library so we as the PTA are happy. I thoroughly enjoyed myself in the kitchen. I must go and see to lunch and give it a hassle, so I hope you have a nice day.

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