Wirraway Homestead

We had the wonderful opportunity to assist a Christian ministry, MMM (Mobile Maintenance Ministry) by installing a kit kitchen in one of the staff houses on site at Wirraway Homestead near Strathalbyn, just south east of Adelaide, South Australia.

We rolled up in the Robbiebago to this marvelous campground.  The setting is absolutely a dream. I just love it. Much of it comes literally out of a old western movie set that shot on location in the nearby town. More importantly than the surrounds is to the ministry that goes on here where they host horse based camps and musters here for the schools and the community of SA. 

We camped with the Robbiebago right outside the house where the kitchen needed work. We could use the house bathroom & shower as the occupant (the bride) was at her parent's home doing last minute things for her wedding which was to be the weekend after we were to leave.

We like to turn up for our volunteer work on the Friday or Saturday so that we can spend the weekend familiarizing ourselves with the people, location and the ministry. It is a great opportunity to go to the local church and we nearly always feel welcomed and right at home despite the many varieties of church services we encounter. This time we went with the founding director, Peter & his wife to their large church some 40 minutes away. It was called Coromandel Uniting Church. It surprised us to travel so far but it was a beautiful drive through some awe inspiring hill countryside and the church family service was fantastic and God glorifying. Peter and his wife also invited us back to a baked dinner at their lovely house and garden near Strathalbyn.

However we were there to work and on the Monday morning we started to unpack the flat boxes and see how to put the kitchen together. First off the walls needed a bit of cement rendering. Over the next week there were all kinds of jobs that needed work in the kitchen. Obviously this was Rob's department. I had a lot of time to selfishly indulge in my explosion box crafts and to explore the campsite and the nearby town of Strathalbyn where there were some delightful craft shops including a marvelous little quilting shop with a cafe within the shop. 


Each day we had lunch and dinner with the campers. This was a highlight of our days there. I don't know the name of the school that was visiting at the time, but they were noisy as kids will be but very well behaved, so much so, that we were pleasantly surprised to discover that this was not a private school but a public school up for their yearly year 6 camp. The teachers have such a great rapport with the kids that respect is evident on both sides. Even the ex principal came back from retirement to do the camp with them, he loves them so.

Peter (left) wanted to 'encourage' Rob to get back to work

Back to the kitchen, work continued along at a steady pace. Peter popped by often to see if Rob needed supplies or additional tools. Some parts of the job went easily and others so so easily. as jobs often do. Bit by bit it all came together and by Friday the kitchen was finished; drain pipes re routed and connected, tiling fixed and grouting done etc. It wasn't all work all week.We could set our own timetables. It was still very cold in the mornings and Rob likes his sleep, so many mornings he didn't start working until something like 9 o'clock. We even took a few hours off on Thursday when our ex pastor, Fred and his wife Helen, came by for a visit and lunched with us up at the camp dining hall. (Did I mention the food was great and so much of it!)

Rob in the finished kitchen

By the Friday the kitchen was all finsihed and then it was up to me to clean up after Rob. (Gee, that sounds familiar: I think all my married life has been spent cleaning up after him and the kids!)

Yet another of the wonderful building around the place
 We decide to leave on Monday as per our normal custom of having church at the beginning and at the end of each ministry stay. This freed us on Saturday to go for another drive around the countryside and this is when we went to Murray River Bridge and surrounds which were covered in the last post.

Sunday was back to Coromandel Church with Peter & Nina again. We headed east on Monday after a delicious morning tea with Nina. Peter was unable to free himself from Wirraway just at that time which was a pity. But we will certainly be back next time we come through South Australia.

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