Jolly Hard Graft

Arrr.....urgh.... ooohhh... I am sooooo sore. Lifting lino is jolly hard work. Today there was a working bee arranged to remove the lino at the manse in Roxby Downs. I said to Richard and Julie (fellow volunteer BCA Nomads) “If this is what to expect from being a Nomad then I quit!” They quickly assured me that it is rarely as hard as this. As Bob had a bad night’s sleep due to his cold and having very noisy neighbours didn’t help, we decided to attend the working bee around mid morning. Unfortunately only three locals turned up for the working bee plus the four of us nomads. The lino which has been down for at least 10 years was laminated and glued to concrete. It took the 7 of us 8-10 hours hard graft to get it all up. Still it was great comradeship. Though it was school holidays and also some would have working, I was surprised that there were not more locals at the working bee. It would have been great to work alongside others and get to know them too. I don’t think the locals appreciate the benefit that working together in such working bees does to help build the community within the church. It appears that many people would much rather hire a contractor to do whatever job needs doing - not that they would think to necessarily increase their financial commitments to cover such expenses. Oh well, though we are sore and tired, we are satisfied and happy with a job finished and have cemented relationships with each other. Now we look forward to not just a day off tomorrow being Sunday, but we Nomads have made an executive decision to have the day off on Monday too! And boy, do I need it! Oooohhhh. Where is my masseuse?

Easter at Roxby Downs & BCA Nomads

Somehow this email didn't send at the right time. so it is out of sequence. It really comes before the Hard Graft entry. So here goes. Lets hope this works this time. 
Roxby Downs is the venue of our first stint at volunteer BCA Nomad ministry work. I half expected it to be similar to Woomera but it is so different. There are lots of trees in spite of the dry sandy soil and this make such a difference and thus makes Roxby is an oasis in comparison. It is a modern good looking town. Shortly after our arrival at the RD Community Church, the minister, Mary Lewis welcomed us and we soon set up the Robbiebago in its new temporary home and relaxed. On Easter Friday there was a combined churches ‘Stations of the Cross’. We had first heard of the Stations just last year for the Catholic World Youth Day in Sydney. We started at the Catholic Church with a short bible reading and a song before walking behind a hand held crude cross on to 8 more sites where there was a reading and song at each location, concluding at the Community church where we concluded with fellowship over Hot Cross buns. It was also covered by the local paper with a front page story about the unity of the churches and “it’s all about Jesus’-a quote from a 5 year old. It is great to get Jesus mentioned favourably in the media. However Bob decided that he had enough of my cooking and decided to visit the local hospital which is just 300m down the road and get himself admitted with possible Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). He reports that the hospital meal was good and huge, he had ribs and mounds of chips and vegetables, followed by a gigantic apple pie. Apparently the meals are cooked by the Worker’s (miners) restaurant and they are really good... no such thing as boring bland hospital food here! He is discharged the next morning as his leg has gone down and he is allowed home with very little restrictions, though he has to report every 24 hours for further injections and to await the results of blood test.
After church on Sunday morning we decided to visit Andamooka, a opal mining town just 30 km away. Dusty, old for the most part and seeing all those mounds around the holes is quite ugly really. The people that attended the afternoon church were very friendly. One guy, Con, offered to take us into the historic cottages and show and tell us the history of the town. This guy has a interesting history all his own. He has basically lived here since his teens, with a few breaks such as army service etc. He has been the Mayor of Andamooka. Con. The history tied up in the 3 cottages are very interesting on their own and doubly so when related to the personal history of Con and the way he tells of these characters really brings them to life. It was a tough life but one that he or ‘they’ would never have swapped for anything else. The rooms are basically made of local stone with a dab and wattle roof. They are dug into the side of the hill and very tiny. Often not much more than a cot (narrow bed) , a chair , maybe a table which more often than not is a recycled packing case. There is a small window and it is surprisingly cool in the cottages.

On Monday, Bob was told that he has to go back to Port Augusta as soon as possible for further tests. That is a bit of a worry. We managed to get an appointment at 12.30 on Tuesday. The tester was able to tell us that it is NOT a blood now what is it??? Bob went straight to the hospital on our return. He has Bakers Cyst. We don’t know much about it. Apparently if it gets bad enough the only treatment is to have a knee replacement. In the meantime it appears it is just a waiting game. We thank God that it is not potentially fatal.

Starting up the centre

After Port Lincoln we travelled up the centre of Eyre Peninsula. Now we are really starting up the centre of Australia. First stop was Woomera. It is the largest test and evaluation range in the world. Tracking, observation, measurement and record of performance of missiles bombs etc was vitally important as well as dangerous and this combine with national security is mainly why Woomera was out of bounds for many years and a ‘mystery’. Outer atmospheric research as well as hypersonic research is vitally important today looking towards future aviation and space missions and satellites. A fascinating place but outside the museums though there is nothing to recommend the town to visitors. We couldn't wait to start our BCA work TA Roxby Downs. We had no idea of just what to expect here.