2015 is almost over and we have been SO terrible at keeping you updated for which we want to apologise! Many of you have been asking about the blog and updates over the months, so thank you for your patience!
While in theory the move from Third to First World should have been relatively straightforward ... reverse culture shock, learning another new culture, settling into yet another new community and building relationships ... a third international move in just 5 years, seems to have taken it's toll on us, with no expendable energy left for anything else. Certainly not how we would have planned it to be but we're working our way through it. For the most part it's been a more of a case of survive than thrive but there has been lots of fun dotted in amongst it all!
In a nutshell, here's our year ...
- We said Goodbye to Nana, Jenny's mum in January and the girls started school and Kindy
- Our container arrived in February and the unpacking began ... again!
- Mark spent a week in PNG in March and Jenny started work in the hangar too
- Grandma & Gramps, Mark's parents, visited in April/May
- We were in the UK June/July for Home Assignment and Mark's sister's wedding
- Jenny's sister travelled back to Australia with us in July and we all got chest infections
- August, we were in recovery mode from everything that had gone before
- In September we got a few days away at the beach as a family
- October saw us celebrate a year since we arrived in Mareeba and finally have the chance to start getting into some kind of rhythm
- School and most other things start to wind down in November for Christmas (yes, really)
- December saw the start of the two month school break ... for Summer and Christmas!
As you can see it has been anything but quiet, we even put a 6 month ban on visitors to help us just have the time and space to process the last couple of crazy years but now that we're almost at the end of that time, we realise that it will probably take a lot longer than that!
It has been an awful lot tougher than we could have imagined. At times where we would like to have had the energy to invite people over to get to know them better or be involved in more things, we have been more focused on just getting to the end of the day in one piece. With transition comes extreme tiredness and that still seems to be affecting us, although not always on a daily basis any more. We know the stages of transition, we understand the why's and how's etc but sometimes knowing it and knowing that there will be an end to it just hasn't been enough comfort! The daily struggle has meant we haven't had the time or energy to focus on too much outside of our immediate family, including replying to emails etc, so again apologies if you're used to us being a lot more efficient than perhaps we have been!
There has been lots of good stuff though too, even from the list above you can see, we've been lucky enough to make many new Australian memories, as a family and with our visitors too. Here are a few observations that we have made about how life is different for us once again since we've been living here in Far North Queensland ...
- Lying in bed and hearing the sound of a hot air balloon directly above our house on so many different mornings!
- Watching flocks of hundreds of cockatoo's flying over our house
- Living within an hour's drive of idyllic paradise beaches
- Eating dinner outside and noticing flying ash and smoke dumping on our garden and our food from the burn-off ... fires lit intentionally in the surrounding areas to prevent bush fires later on
- When your children say 'There's a really big worm in the laundry room" and your first thought as you head to check it out is, is it going to be a big worm or a small snake?!
- Every day being approximately 5 degrees hotter than when we lived in Africa
- Kangaroo's and wallaby's really do just hop a long the side of the road (and yes, many don't make it!)
- So many new acronyms and abbreviations to learn, some not as obvious as others!
- When there are several 'pet' lizards all over your house, one in particular who lives under the oven!
- Hanging out a basketful of washing and the first things being dry by the time you peg the last ones up!
- So many more British food items available in the shops, than in both Tanzania or America
- Recognising that the chirping sound we regularly hear is not in fact a bird but our resident gecko's (no idea why we didn't pick that one up in Tanzania!)
- Having most things available locally but only having to drive an hour to a wider selection of shops and restaurants rather than an 8 hour drive to Dar Es Salaam, where things still weren't all that straight forward!
- Having the girls mimic the laughing kookaburra sound, over and over again, as we regularly hear it!!
These are just some of the things that have become 'normal' for us over the last year or so! Who knows what 2016 will bring for us? We hope that it won't be too full that we can't take the time out to 'breath' every now and then ... and we'll try to be a bit quicker in letting you know what we've been up to as well!