i apologize that my posts have been few & far between.
i will try to summarize the past few weeks:
I got the job at Mcdonald’s. It is better than I expected. Friendly faces. Helpful bosses. I work the register. It is taboo at home to say you work at McDonald’s. But at $16.80/hour, I will gladly advertise that I work for this corporate monster. My shifts are short & fast paced. I often have a hard time understanding the Australian accents & say, “Sorry I’m new & American,” & they are always very forgiving.
So now for the more interesting part…THE OUTBACK.
It took us two days on a bus to travel there, but the travelling part was half the fun. We stayed in a town called Dubbo on the way. We were in a simple little motel where my friends Katrina, Rachel & Kristin & I made a blankfort & shared embarassing stories. Early the next morning we were back on the bumpy, dirty road. The “True Grit” Soundtrack is a perfect accompaniment to bumpy, dirty travels.
We finally made it to Trilby Station (http://www.trilbystation.com.au/). It was not what we were expecting. It was absolutely wonderful, but not what we were expecting. We expected to be surrounded by red dirt with maybe a building or two to eat, but Trilby Station has many accommodations & nice facilities. We were surrounded by shrubbery & dirty rivers & billabongs. We had 300,000 acres to explore. I was in paradise.
Our first night was beautiful. The heat, smell & smoke of the campfire was intoxicating & comforting. Fire does something to people. It evokes emotions & words that would not otherwise be expressed in an ordinary setting. Our director Kimberly had 3 rocks for us to pass around. Anyone who cared to could take the 3 rocks & share 3 things that the group might not know about them but perhaps should. She told us that we would do some that night & then save the rest for the other nights. The momentum of the stories filled with many tears & many laughs led all 30 people around the fire to share until the late hours of the night. For the first time all semester, we felt united, like a family. For the first time all semester, I saw people become human. We followed that with most of us sleeping out under the largest, most decorated night sky I’d ever seen. Aubrey, Sarah, Liisa & I shared a time of awe under the stars. Sarah sang a lullaby that she sings to her campers when she is a camp counselor. It was peace.
The remainder of the days spent out back, we explored, climbed, adventured, canoed, wondered, communed, laughed, cried, played, sang, prayed & felt connected. That week was the turning point in this semester. It was the Lord “alluring me, bringing me into the wilderness & speaking tenderly to me” (Hosea 2). He brought me to an environment, an element that I felt more comfortable & free in. He was holding me & whispering “You can do this, Aaron. You’ll make it the rest of the way. No worries, mate. All is love.