Wednesday, December 16, 2009

good-bye australia

Typical Tasmanian Farmland
More farmland nestled in the hills of Tasmania

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well, our two weeks of exploring australia are nearly over.

we're going to try to leave our hotel by 7:30 or 8:00 and drive to sydney. there's a few stops that we need to make before heading to the airport. our flight is scheduled to depart at 4:25 pm. hopefully we'll be arriving at our final destination sometime after 10:30 pm, thursday.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Orange/Bathurst, New South Wales

Well, we're heading towards the end of this trip. It's nice to not have anything on the schedule other than arriving in Sydney by Thursday.

We didn't stick around very long in Albury. The area has quite a bit hiking trails and parks and railroad museums. Since we aren't into trains that wasn't an option to pass our time. Hiking it's completely the wrong thing to mention since it's quite warm in the southern area of Australia. Today the temperature was about 33 degrees which in Fahrenheit is like 90 something. Instead of finding places to amuse ourselves with, we decided to hit the road again.

The distance we traveled takes about 3 hours, but with our style of traveling it took more like 5 1/2 hours. Atractions along the way were kangaroos, road side stand offering cherries, more amazing landscape.

The landscape was different than any I had seen previously. We drove through more farmland and lots wheat fields. If a Lancaster County farmer would see the land he would think it's dry and barren land. Well, it may be dry, but the livestock don't look like they are experiencing anything close to famine. The grasses they graze on contain alot of protein. Nice cows our ugly cows, shorn or unshorn sheep after so long landscape is landscape and it's time to get there.

Our motel is nestled in Turner Vineyard in the town of Orange, New South Wales. We're all extremely hungry. We didn't have much of a breakfast and no lunch so we're distracting ourselves by doing all sorts of things like updating the blog. The restaurant opens at 6:30 and that's just a few minutes away so I'm out for now.

good-bye tasmania

monday morning we awoke to a barrage of alarms trying to make sure we didn't oversleep. none of us wanted to go through what we had on the previous flight- running down the concourse not sure if our plane left or not. we arrived in plenty of time and had a gorgeously short flight of 40 min.!

it was actually kinda sad to lift off and see the rolling hills of tasmania disappear. it really is a gorgeous island.

we flew into melbourne and rented a car. we traveled for a few hours to albury and found a motel. motels are pretty tricky around here. you never know what you'll find, but fortunately we were lucky this time.

our luck kinda dissapeared when we went to look for something to eat. joseph was hungry for rice so we agreed to chinese. what we didn't know that in this town (well it's more like lancaster city) restaurants are closed until later on in the evening. it's only the creameries and milk bars that are open. we did find something eventually, but not without paying way too much for the, umm, food. that's when we all wished for mom's food. :)

our goal is to drive to sydney sometime before thursday night in order to catch our flight home. what happens in between now and then...who knows. we travel a kilometer at a time. :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

a few of the many pictures

Caleb and Rosina in the Indian Ocean...enjoying the cleanest air in the world!!!

Chatting after the service @ Rocky Cape Christian Community

The center of Rocky Cape Community where they eat their meals, have school, and worship together.

Picnic w/ folks from Gympie

Gregory McCullum and his wife and daughter w/ Joseph, Caleb, and Michael Kauffman. (Gympie area)

We spent the morning with Rocky Cape for church. We ate the noon meal with them and now are enjoying coffee with them at Hank's home.
The evening is too be planned. We have lots of good intentions. :) Who knows how far we'll get.
We need to be leaving our B&B tomorrow morning soon after 5:00 in order to catch our flight from Launceston to Melbourne.

Friday, December 11, 2009


You may be wondering if we’re only goofing around and acting like annoying tourists or if we’re actually learning about immigration, lifestyle, cost of living, etc. We had a few goals for the trip. One was to look into business and job opportunities and immigration. Another pressing matter was where exactly we would migrate to, which impacts the believers we would associate with. Consequently, that made it a priority to spend time with Jason Kauffman’s and various other families near Gympie, as well as visiting with Rocky Cape Christian Community in Tasmania.
Some folks are wondering why we don’t move to Australia as missionaries. One reason is that it does not work to apply for immigration with a religious workers visa. You must be able to prove to the government that you can support yourself.
As far as business opportunities are concerned, Australia welcomes anyone who is young, educated, or has something unique to offer the country with their business. This is proving to be one of the most critical parts of immigration. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most difficult to explore. Joseph met with a few business men to discuss some business opportunities.
We have been attracted to Gympie, Australia and NW Tasmania. Gympie is situated near Sunshine Coast which is an area that is attracting people from all over the globe because of the moderate weather. Tasmania, on the other hand, is low in population and is in need of tradesmen and laborers. Because of the popularity of Sunshine Coast, it is more difficult to obtain residency and vice versa with Tasmania. Since Tasmania isn’t as populated the cost of living tends to be higher and business is more difficult.
No drastic decisions have been made at this point because of the complexity of immigration requirements. On some days, the whole process appears quite simple and the next day moving to Australia looks completely impossible. we continue to live in suspense.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

stanley & western tasmania

The day went way too fast. Once I have better internet connection (once we're on mainland again) I want to upload some pics and that'll tell you more of who we were with and what we did on the mainland.

The majority of the morning was spent with Gregory McCullums. They are a young family who is originally from South Australia. Currently they live near Gympie where he started a chicken tractor business. They showed us what Australian hospitality is like by asking us, "Would you like a cuppa?" In other words, coffee or tea?

The afternoon was spent doing laundry and getting ready for the next flight.

Around 4:00 we headed to Joseph's for supper along with a few families from the surrounding area. Joseph and his family are from Romania and live about 15 minutes from Jason Kauffman's. We ate strawberries and watermelon and sang Christmas carols together that evening.

Wednesday morning we had a flight out of Brisbane to Launceston, Tasmania. We were supposed to be on the road by 4:00, but um, somehow we didn't set our alarm correctly and woke up around 4:05. To make a long story short we all were running down the halls to get to our gate.

After landing, we rented a car and acted like those dispicable tourists again. The country side is lush and absolutely gorgeous. We stopped at Peter Hoover's for a bit.

We're exploring town, looking at real estate, checking out the local council regulations, and other miscellaneous. We've been learning alot of cultural differences, social expectations, and lifestyle. Chatting with various people, reading newspapers, talking to locals, sitting in coffee shops, etc. The Australians love teaching Americans how to do things. They'd rather that we ask for assistance than blunder around.

This afternoon we'll be driving around the countryside and exploring more small towns. Remember we're driving on the right side of the road according to the aussies. Panic attacks are frequent. Passengers are victims of an over-confident driver. :)

Around 4:00 we'll be heading over to Rocky Cape Christian Community for gabeid shtund (evening prayer) and the evening meal.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

sunshine coast

Thursday, Friday, Saturday-
Needless to say we traveled all day. All day, meaning all days and we really had no clue as to when Thursday became Friday or Friday became Saturday. All I know is that it was a glorious moment when the steward asked me "Tea or Coffee? Sugar or Milk?" The flight was quite uneventful other than a request for an EMT or doctor in isle F to assist an older man who was having trouble breathing.
Time started making sense when we arrived in Sydney and knew it was 11:30 AM. We had one more flight from Sydney to Brisbane at 17:15 (6:15 PM). We hailed a taxi and got him to drop us off in the business section. We spent about an hour trying to get our GPS to acquire satellite. (I'm still partial to map & the sun) We finally got annoyed and just started walking. Our goal was to head down towards the famed Sydney Opera House. After several discussions as to which way is north, we did find the wharf and the architectural landmark of Australia. We sauntered around and acted like those dreadful tourists, stared at the Aboriginal musicians, watched a juggler and a contortionist, and were the audience of an amazing guitarist.
Once we were tired of walking we made our way to where we could get a taxi to take us to the Sydney domestic airport.

Once in Brisbane we found our rental car and headed to Gympie which is about a 2 hour drive. We dropped Michael off at Jason Kauffmans. Daddy, Caleb, and I headed to the motel.

The sun rises around 4:00 and that's when we woke up. We spent the morning riding around town and sitting at the park until it was time to head to Jason Kauffman's for church. Around 3:00 we headed down Tin Can Bay Road which takes you down towards the shoreline. On the way back we sited the first kangaroo!

*Highlight- Australia has amazing mangoes.

For starters we woke up at a more earthly hour, that being 5:30. We started our day off at Panini's bakery & cafe a few minutes from the motel with a flat white (in the States it's called a latte) and a healthy breakfast. We went back to Jason's to pick Michael up. Him and Daddy are in Brisbane for the day.
I think Caleb and I have the best end of the deal. We have a whole town to explore. We spent about an hour at the park before roaming the streets, visiting the used bookshops, etc. It's a little after 1:00. I have no idea what the temperature is, but it is warm. After stopping by our favorite cafe for a smoothie for lunch we headed up to the library to do a little social networking and enjoy the AC.
This evening we'll be with Jason and Melody again.

Well, there's something called dirty laundry. That's a must. We need to stop at the post office, book a flight from Brisbane to Launceston, Tasmania, and a few things like that.

We're flying to Tasmania for the remainder of the week.