Friday, December 19, 2008

just quickly...

before I am due in at work at 11am...Today is the last drop in before we finish for Christmas..and Ive already been here for a whole term!!! wow its crazy thinking about where I was when I first came here and now, only 3 months later, I'm loving it and totally settled..And I really cant imagine leaving the kids in a few more months when Im supposed to be coming home...It would be so weird because they would just carry on doing what they do without me...and there wouldnt be any closure per say (haha sounds like a rocky breakup) at this moment I am really truly considering staying on unitl my visa runs out at the end of July..which is the end of the English school year and when all the other volunteers finish theire placements as well..I will definitely know by the middle of January whether Im staying or not so I will let you all know..and as much as I totally miss everyone and everything back home I feel I probably will stay..

Things have been crazy busy the past few weeks with all the Christmas things..I must say we throw a pretty good Christmas party at the drop ins..haha however the way we decorate leaves much to be desired..I did the best I could with christmas tree baubles, minus the christmas tree, and a few strings of tinsel..which ended up in the drop in looking like a Christmas tree had thrown up and spat decorations all over the place..however it was cosy and very nice..These parties included christmas mince pies, hot chocolates for the kids, games, raffles, competitions and pool tournaments..and at the Skinner street party we had the owner of a gym in the area come and talk to us about how he had played int he football FA cup final in was truly amazing..and the kids loved it..

On Tuesday night we had our staff Christmas dinner at a really nice restaurant called the spyglass and kettle..amazing food..amazing company..and just good fun all round..

On Sunday Im heading off to Cambridge to go and have Christmas with Dan..then on the 28th Im going to stay with my friend Kirsty in Reading and go to her sisters 21st..then come back to Gillingham on the 31st and then go away again to staff conference in Wales where we get to stay in a castle!!!!
cant wait

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

things are good.

So things right now are looking pretty swell..sorry for the use of that word but it seriously was the first word that came into my mind to describe my current feeling and how everything is nicely fitting into place in this town that I call Gillingham (actually everyone else calls it that too)...About half an hour we finished our last youth alpha session with all the kids deciding on their own that they wanted to pray..this was amazing coz theyve been really uncomfortable about it and its just so cool to see them growing and finding things out for themselves without us having forced it upon them..All I hope is that they continue to think about the things that we've said and that God has put in their hearts and make up their own minds about what they believe..Its actually such priviledge to be able to be in their lives and to be walking alongsie them in their journey..this makes me so happy..and feel so lucky..

This is one of the reasons that life is swell..Another reason is the team I work with...

Honestly The GYFC team are just so amazing..I really truly feel like we are a family..we bicker, laugh at each other, laugh with each other, are mean to each other, annoy each other, tell each other lame jokes, share our thoughts and ideas with each other and watch hilarious videos on youtube when we're meant to be working..and its just so cool that I'm so far from home but I still feel like I fit in and am welcomed somewhere where it could have been the complete opposite..Such a blessing..And my boss is so not even like my boss..When I had my handbag stolen him and his wife invited me around for dinner and to watch x-factor coz they knew I would be upset..It truly is like a family..amazing!

This is another reason why life is swell...Another reason is because two songs that I love have just been on the music channel..a not so meaningful reason but a reason all the same..
Take that - greatest day of our lives
Leona Lewis - run
check them the english say 'CHOOOOOOON!' when they hear a song they like..haha its like an adaptation of the word TUNE...and shows they really like a song..I have been trying hard not to pick this up..and its worked so far haha
Another reason is that its nearly Christmas..! And this is a time of the year that I get so excited like a 5 year old..I LOVE everything about Christmas..the carols..the busy shops..the decorations..buying and giving gifts..i just love it..and this Christmas, even though im not at home, Im going to stay with Dan in Cambridge...Its going to be of the plans discussed is going to watch the Cambridge choir perform..not because we want to see the choir..but because you have to cue outside all night to get tickets and it will be so fun!! haha oh the joy...And we've got heaps of drop in Christmas parties coming up which makes things so fun..and also we have our work Christmas it cant wait!! this next few weeks will be busy busy with Christmas things!!

I'm loving where Im at right now with life and work and things..
and Im so thankful that Gods brought me to this place!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

this too shall pass...

So the major event of the week...Because of my love of shoes I got my handbag stolen..well not quite but I was trying on shoes and my handbag did get stolen..much to my dismay...
There I was in Chatham just minding my own business, taking myself out for a day of window shopping alone (which takes a bit of effort to start with..) and I spot a shoe shop....I walk in..this is normal...I look at some shoes..this is normal..I notice an enticing rack of sale boots..Still normal..I ummed and aahed for AGES deciding whether I was going to try them on and then temptaion gave in..very normal..I found myself slipping off my shoes and putting on these boots which were amazingly £10...But to do this one must put a handbag down..a normal thing to do...I did put it just beside where I was sitting..I honestly stood up, walked to the mirror which was a metre away, taking my eye off my bag, and examined the boots..I look back..and my bag has gone..This is where the story loses normality..This is when i began to panic..I still replay in my mind looking up and seeing a lady walk out with a what I thought was black bag, but thinking back it was probably just the silhouette of mine..The only thing that stopped me from runing out of the shop, onto the sidewalk and tackling anyone in the vicinity of the store with a handbag was the fact I was still wearing the shops shoes..And a vision of being tackled by security guards and shop assistants kept me back..
What followed this was me, what I thought calmly but looking back it was probably slightly hysterical, telling the shop assistant my bag had been nicked..and then a search for a security guard began..and then myriads of advice on cancelling my credit cards (which was the least of my worries seeing as I'm a poor volunteer)...So the police were notified..But I would expect that my bag will never be seen again..I have had to say goodbye to my mp3 player, camera, phone, at least £40, my nz drivers license, my gym membership (not such a hard thing to let go of lol), and my travelex card (which yes, is now cancelled) and my house keys..SO UNBELIEVABLY GUTTED..especcially because half the stuff wont be of any use or value to them...

But it was also just my luck that Martha and Luke, my host parents, were away this not only had I lost my keys but there was no one to let me in the house...A few scenarios ran through my head, many involving me kicking the door in or trying to climb through a 2nd story window before I remembered the neighbour has a spare key..boy was I praying that he was home..and he was..Thank Goodness..So my mum recieved a call at 1am NZ time from a very upset me...Its such a weird feeling...

Moral of the story: putting your bag down is a bad idea anywhere let alone in Chatham... but being a naive young foreigner I was no wiser...

But this too shall pass

Thursday, November 20, 2008

what else to do when sleep wont come?!

Answer: write a blog.
So at the moment sleep just wont come to me..I have tried I swear..But it just seems to be avoiding may be the copious number of cups of tea I managed to fit into one day, which I need to learn does not go well just before bed..I have developed a very strong liking for this hot drink that, if you had of asked me 4 months ago whether I would have enjoyed it, I would have sharply replied 'no. Why would I?'..I have come so far from my first experience with tea at Starbucks many months ago where my dear friend Georgie convinced me I would like it and proceeded to buy me a cup that i swear was at least a litre of the hot stuff..I managed to finish it, never mind the complaining that could be heard each mouthful I took...oh if he could see me now..He would be so proud..!! I've decided I'm going to start a tea-revival when I get back to new zealand..start a whole new era of tea drinkers..and that will be the great contribution to society that will have come out of my gap year doing volunteer youthwork in England..haha

Oh dear me... I do hope, and know, that what will come out of this 8 months will be far greater than that..I dont know how or what is going to happen..or what God will do or not do..But I know that this will be the start of many amazing things..I have since had a realisation that is this time in England is not about what I can get out of it, about what God can give me, about what I can do or achieve, about how I will get 'fed' or about how much I can grow..But it is simply about how much I can give and it may be that just that I have been put here simply to serve and learn from serving, that this is my number one and I really need to devote my all to it...whether I gain something from this time, which I am sure God will show me, will just be an added bonus..whether I will see nothing visible happen or whether I will see miracles I know that God will and is using me for exactly what he wants..I am where he wants me to be..and I need to put my effort and heart into it because these are kids and things that God has a heart for..
It is all good saying that it is what I can give, but in everything there is a little selfish human desire to get something out of it aswell..and I know God is showing me new things and new ways of thinking that I will take home with me..
It's so weird because I've been here nearly 3 months...and so much has happened..But Im so looking forward to the next 5 months..because so much can happen..and I know God can do so much in that time...
so as much as I will bring the revival of tea with me back home I know I will bring so many experiences and stuff aswell...

Seeing as London is just a stones throw away I'm able to catch a train and go there for the day..which is actually so this place that Ive only ever thought about visiting, one of the most well known cities in the world, and I can just pop up there on my weekends off..Which is exactly what I did last weekend..My dear friend Kirsty and I frolicked (it makes it sound like we pranced) around London with nothing planned and little to was so amazing because we just walked around, caught up, looked around shops and did whatever we wanted to without getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of London..Just a word of warning to tourists: If someone in London smacks into you or swiftly pushes past you in the street and doesnt turn around and say sorry, dont worry, its just the way the big city goes..dont feel you have to chase them down the street or hold it against them...Its funny because even though ive been there a few times im still not used to it..everytime i bump into someone i turn around and say 'oops sorry'..Maybe if I stay here long enough and become a real Londoner I will learn to be a little more callous, rugby tackling them in the street haha see how they like But I have to admit i still am one of those tourists that stops in the middle of the hustle and bustle to check where I'm going, proceeding to hold up the and inconvenience the large amount of people walking behind me haha sorry.
On this day I also met a homeless lady at the underground station who smiled at me and which i can honestly say was THE MOST beautiful thing I have ever experienced...truly I will never forget her face..It was one of those things that you just feel so priviledged to have been in that moment...

The other day in the office it was too funny (yes Dave, TOO funny)...I was being quizzed on phrases that are used on the television program 'Neighbours' and asked whether we use them in New Zealand..Although I point out that this show is AUSTRALIAN I still feel there is some sort of link in everyones brain between these two countries..This is slightly how the conversation went..
'what about 'see you this arvo' you use that?'
'no thats just crass shortening afternoon to arvo'
'what about 'throw some shrimps on the barbie!'
'what about calling people drongoes?'
'What is a drongo?!'
'oh they use it on neighbours sometimes' lol
This conversation provided a distraction from work that was meant to be done and also provided me,and dave and ben, with a large amount of laughter..and now the word drongo has become a part of our conversation..usually accompanied by a really bad australian the joys of being foreign..I have been wondering recently how Im going to manage when I go back to new zealand and no longer have an going to actually have to think of amusing and witty ways to grab peoples attention instead of relying on my nationality haha

Oh last night I went to a church up the road and did a bible study with a group of 'wrinklies' in a group of 7 elderly..It was so lovely..They faff about so soon as i arrived and sat down i was asked to move by one of the old ladies (Edna) because that chair was closest to the piano and it only makes sense for her to hav that chair because she plays the piano for the hymns...she then proceeded to complain that her chair was too high...and managed to walk the room testing out different chairs before deciding on one that was the right height haha But they were all so lovely..and as they talked and shared it was so amazing to think that they had once been young and experienced different things..and how much things must have changed since they were young..i have to admit i had to chuckle when they used 'the youth of today.....' as a sentence starter...too classic haha it really was such a diferent but cool experience..

According to the weather forecast it's going to snow on Sunday...I hope thats true...everyone said it will be sleet..but im sure it will be good snow haha
This weekend doesnt hold much in store for me..a bit of Christmas on Sunday..and whatever else pops up..

miss all of you at home x

Monday, November 10, 2008

my how time flys..

This month has just been pretty much like normal...and every time i think of writing a blog..I put it off coz I just cant even begin to remember what Ive been doing the last few weeks without some serious brain stretch..and in my old age that is getting pretty much But this has left me with the dilemma that even as Im writing this blog I just dont even know what is going to be in it..this should be interesting..

Everyone here assumes that we dont have guy fawkes in New Zealand..its a bit mad really and truly hilarious when you see the shocked looks on their faces when I say we celebrate it every year...Oh my word maybe God called me over here just to educate the English on the ways of New Zealand..Ive already smashed the conclusion that Maori still live in huts, that we eat kiwis, and now that we dont celebrate guy they have much to learn..
Last Saturday though I went to the most amazing fire works display I have ever seen...except it wasnt like a public one it was one in someones backyard..Martha and Luke took me along to The Whittakers (a lovely family from church) and told me to expect an amazing fireworks display..i thought how amazing could a home fireworks display be...silly silly me...I swear it was like 20 minutes long of non stop massive fireworks..some that were so bright you had to close your eyes (a bit pointless i must admit but impressive nevertheless lol)...after that sparklers seemed a little over rated haha But there were like heaps of people from church there and HEAPS of little kids..haha i walked into the living room when i arrived and it was over run with kids under the age of 14..too funny coz the boys were just being boys..and yelling 'bundle' to which they jump on top of someone and then everyone else piles on top..haha they nearly got me too until tom was like 'nah shes a bit too new to do that too' lol it was a classic good night..

What else have i experienced since my last blog??
Oh well we had an 18+ group that i went to..well i didnt actually go to it coz it was at my house but i was there..It was for St Marks church (which is the church that theyve decided to base me in) and it was really good coz i got to drink a bit of wine, watch some more (lame) fireworks and meet heaps of new people..this seems to be a regular occurence lol

And Phil and Me went to the ladies group that prays for us..! it was too cute coz all these older ladies just asking us these questions..and then we made was amazing!! And then there are those classic ones that once you start a conversation with them you never hear the end of're still there an hour later trying to figure out how to make a polite exit haha oh the task of being a youth worker lol

this blog was written ages ago but i saved it coz i thought i had more to add..i don't haha
But I will start a fresh post in a tick.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

hmmmm..where do i begin

so i havent blogged for ages...time has really just gotten away on me and i dont really remember what ive been doing since the last blog..maybe i need to update it a little more often..hmm

At the moment i have found a spare few minutes as i am sitting in the office on a saturday waiting for a computer guy to come and check whats wrong with all the computers..then i can go home..this i s what i woke up early on my saturday morning for..and hes LATE..not impressed..

But I guess good things (such as this blog) come out of other peoples tardiness lol Last week was half term which means all the kiddies are off school and have a one week holiday..which means we had some time off good...we had monday off and then phil and I had a modular training course in Birmingham on tuesday and wednesday...But what a mission we had getting there..haha So the morning didnt start off well when i ran out of the house, paranoid we were going to miss the train, only to find that halfway down the road i didnt have the lugging all 2 days worth of my luggage plus a sleeping bag i threw myself back down the road only to find that the tickets had fallen out of my pocket and were lying on the floor of the so that was one problem solved...I walked as fast as i could, sometimes even breaking into a mad dash, to the station..only to get there 15 minutes no need for all that earlier kafuffle lol So we boarded all 4/5 of our trains well that day...just went a little bit wrong at the last station lol

We met up with some other people from yfc at the last station and boarded a train which we thought was going to the station we the last minute the conductor came into our carriage and shouted something then went back out and closed the doors..he had said that the train was not stopping but going straight to its final but we didnt hear was too funny coz we ended up going THROUGH the station we needed but ended up ages away at another

We ended up taking another train closer to the station we were meant to be at and then got picked up and taken to yfc head office..thank the Lord lol as it was getting rather frozen outside...and all i could think about is summer in

AND THEN IT we were sitting in on training listening about working with hard to reach young started just getting so excited and not being able to listen to a word he said coz i was so distracted lol
So during break time I was of course one of the first to run outside..the novelty soon wore off though as the snow melted and it got cold and wet lol but amazing all the same..

It was so good seeing everyone...and the training was really good too coz sometimes I feel a bit lost with some of these kids and how to deal with them...But it was so good to hear that God equips us for EVERY situation he puts us if we come into it as if God is in us and we are merely what he is using to get his love for them across then we should have more confidence in approaching kids and working with was so cool just to hear that and even though it was omething i already kknew there is something different about knowing it in your mind...and TRULY knowing it in your heart..
Also it totally came up again that instead of putting ourselves above the kids God calls us to love and care for these kids as they are..meeting them where they are, not judging them and then treating them as the amazingly loved kids of God that they are...

Also I'm reading an amazing book at the moment called THE have to read it if you word God shows up in so many amazing ways..its just so cool..and totally changes your views on everything...AMAZING

Yesterday I met my mentor..Her names Chris Pinner and she is so lovely..we sat in her front room for 2 hours yesterday talking, eating cake and drinking tea...perfect..we will meet more often..

I miss New Zealand and summer though..and im totally trying to work on that coz i really dont want to waste my time here by wishing I was back home...when I know this is where I am meant to be for the moment...

Tonight Im going to a massive fireworks display..which should be so exciting..

Love love xxx

and just because I have figured out how to I am going to put some pics on this blog of my London trip with Rach and lots of other random bits.. :)
it didnt work..dang

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

back to day to day life..

so back to the day to day life in Gillingham...and ive come to the conclusion that I love the work I do here and I love the kids I work with..and I love the team at GYFC..Its just the fact that im away from home and my family and friends that I dont love..and that sometimes makes me question my work here...But no more questioning coz i know its not the youthwork that i dont like..Its just the distance between new zealand and england..
If somehow we could close the gap between the two countries it would be perfect..! Or some kind of 'new zealand post' advert scenario where the letter gets sent and the person gets sent with hmm maybe a little unrealistic..false advertising?! lol
Sunday we had a youth service at St.Marks church..which was really cool coz the youth basically get together and plan it..It was on being a church outside of the in like helping people out in the community..which i love the idea of..So me and Phil had to answer a few questions and do a little bit for that which was cool...except i still havent gotten over my intense fear of public speaking lol i like shake and i can tell my voice is going all quivery..and i seriously considered all the exits and thought about leaving the building before they called us up so i wouldnt have to stand up and talk in front of all those ah well...i put it down as one of my areas i want to grow in this year..which means more opportunities to speak in front of great. But i totally know i'll be better of for it and I do really want to become more confident in it..before you know it ill be volunteering to speak in front of crowds of hardly.

Yesterday we had morning team meeting...which ended up with me in we had to make these fish out of paper and put them in this aquariam that had been drawn on a whiteboard and explain where we thought we were in the team at the moment..and i had no idea..because i kinda feel like im meant to be here but at the same time torn between new zealand and here radaradarada...and then Malcolm, our gyfc director, was like 'oh are you really finding it tough being away from home...coz you wouldnt know from the way you are round the office..' and then i just cracked..and cried and said it was so i ended up blubbing while they prayed for me..But it was so nice cz it kinda felt like a supporting family you but i do usually try not to cry in front of ah many surprises..haha
But in the afternoon it was so good coz instead of doing community time me, dave and Helen just went to the park (which apparently you dont go to at night coz ben had his head kicked in like the week of beginning to volunteer at gyfc..gangs hang out there and stuff..thats gillingham for you..) and had quiet time with was so nice and relaxing..
And went to the gym last night...pumped some too funny though coz its a guys and girls the guys are doing all the weights and then checking themselves out in the its so cringe worthy to

Tomorrow Claire, our line manager and possibly the most lovely person in the world, is coming down to have a visit with me and phil..yay


Sunday, October 19, 2008

the city called me back..

I might have taken another trip to London on Saturday...If there is a possibility you could be addicted to a city, London would be it for me..I LOVE IT...It's like hustle and bustle and everything you could ever can spend up large or you can just look and picnic in the park and its still just as cool..In the daytime or the night time..its amazing...! They should pay me for doing some sort of tourist pitch

It was my friend Simons (who volunteers at yfc in Swindon) birthday last week so we all decided it would be a good idea for a group of us to meet in London and just hangout coz its like halfway in between Swindon and Gillingham..and plus its the best city So I organised the perfect time for me and phil to take the train to get to London..slight problem though...As we were waiting on the platform to get on the train...Phil remembered that he had forgotten his ticket to the delerious gig he was going to in London that night (organisation is not one of Phils strong points lol) as he ran home to get it (and our train came and went without us on it) I waited outside the train station..where possibly the weirdest 20 minutes of my life began to take shape..

As I was minding my own business waiting...A man came up to me (there were a whole heap of other people wandering around so i dont know why specifically me) and started explaining that he hadbeen sleeping on the streets and hasnt eaten and its been really cold at night (which it has!!) and asked me for 30p to buy some food with...Knowing never to give homeless people money if they want food (as everyone says they mite just want drugs lol) I took him over to the shop and bought him some lunch...As we stood there i asked him a bit about himself and found out that he was visiting his mother in a mental institute that he hasnt seen for over 20 years...oh my was just so odd..just to meet this person that i would never have even known existed and whose story i would never have heard if i had hopped on the train we had planned on catching..or if he hadnt come up to me and random..and then Phil called saying he was at the station and where was i?! lol so i ran off to catch the train..pondering whether there was something in the way i look or act that attracts people who need help..who knows?!

We met Simon birthday boy, Kirsty (both based in swindon), Bex, Beckie and Josh (who has an identical twin brother that confuses me and also reminds me so much of Danid Molloy) at Victoria Station...where we then wandered the streets of London...walked around in a few circles..NOTE: Beckie and Kirsty really dont know where they're going..especcially when trying to find a park to have a picnic in..

ME: 'Hey im sure we've just been around in a circle...?'
KIRSTY: 'ssshh we dont want anyone to notice!'
BECKIE: 'I think it might be this way.......?'
and supposedly beckie has been to London many a time lol

We had lunch in some park...after walking for ages and finding HAMLEYS...This is honestly the worlds best and biggest toy store...5 floors of commotion...clowns, people dressed in costumes, all the toys you can play with...Im gunna make a day trip to London just to go there and play all day...its amazing...truly brilliant..

The rest of the afternoon consisted of more walking...starbucks, random photoshoots on monuments and just general fun...Josh, me and Kirsty who were supposed to be going to get money out got totally distracted by St. Pauls Cathedral..and ended up sitting in on a service..oh my word its the most beautiful cathedral ever...The walls and domes are painted with detailed artwork like the ones you see in the art history books..There's gold leaf and detailing everywhere..and the choir is singing beautiful was so eery as we sat we just didnt talk coz it was so amazing...One of the nicest placest ive been so far..
We went for dinner at this place called 'tinseltown' which is like an american burger and milkshake bar..where they make milkshakes out of anything you want..truly going to be like 50 kgs heavier by the time i get home...size42 pants anyone?! lol

And then i experienced Camdem..This place is so cool...Martha and Luke (the couple that im staying with) were at a doo in a bar in Camdem so they said that i could meet them there so i didnt have to use the dodge trains all the way back to Gillingham by myself..
I got kind of worried when as I left to tube to Camdem everyone was like 'Now people will offer you all sorts of things when you hop out of the tube station..JUST SAY NO and keep walking..there'll be lots of people but just say no..' lol which got me a little bit freaked out but apparently its known for its night life and drug habits...which is why its where Amy Winehouse is usually seen lol
But I met Martha and Luke..and they were at a doo of one of Marthas friends (who goes out with a guy called Chris Moyles brother)..Now for all reading this from New Zealand I will explain who Chris Moyles is coz i had no idea until someone told me about a week ago..Chris Moyles is the breakfast host of like the most popular radio show in England..and he was at this party...and I watched him play guitar The whole event was completely wasted on me though coz everyone kept saying how many celebrities were there..and I looked around the room and saw none..coz none of them are famous in New Zealand..I was so annoyed coz i at least wanted to know them so i could say i had met them lol Maybe drop a few names to get a few friends lol

But the night ended in the early hours of the morning running through victoria station, up escalators and to the train platform so we wouldnt miss and just a word of wanring..never take the last train back to Gillingham on a Saturday night..its when all the drunks and weird people take it (and we didnt fit into either one of those categories) lol too funny
Such a good day all round..


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Coventry and the week that has been

So after getting like 6 hours sleep on the night I return from London I am then woken on Saturday morning to go to Coventry and partake in commissioning..This is when all of us volunteers get welcomed into YFC (like 4 weeks after we've actually been in our placements..go figure) lol
I just slept in the car on the way there (in my true style of elegance when id just met the guy who was driving us that day) and my host mum Martha came with us to support me coz everyone else's families were going to be there..and i would just be the foreigner who has no family lol But I had a plan to test out each family there and adopt one that i thought would be suitable to claim for the year lol
It was so good though coz I got to see all the other volunteers that I hadnt seen for weird coz they feel like my family coz we all went through so much at training and have been kinda doing the same thing so it was kinda like a family reunion lol So good especcially to see my girls..
(yes ive made friends that i can call my girls lol yay)
Too funny though making small talk with other peoples families there..i am now an expert lol

Sunday we went to church and then went for a curry afterwards (the English love their curry) which i am ashamed to say was the first of 2 currys i had in 2 days lol Monday we had plnned that after team bible study we were going out for another curry to celebrate my Oh how in that moment of Indian meals I missed my dad who always manages to order the hottest dish on the menu because he's been to India and 'can handle it' then sits and sweats and goes red the whole way through trying to eat it but trying not to show the strain lol EVERY

But weve had a bit of a touch week in drop-ins..just stuff has been getting nicked..and kids have been getting into fights and swearing matches on the streets with other kids parents..its all a bit crazy really..something out of Jeremy

But you know what Ive been struggling with loving these kids and having a want to hang out with them but now these things have happened i see a total need..Like getting to know the kids is like sharing their lives with them and caring for them and helping them through things..and that is such a priviledge that our massive God and the kids themselves are letting us do life with them..even if they're playing up or nicking phones..weve still gotta love them, not judge them and understand them..Its not easy but there's some kids you just feel for and your heart goes out to them..and you catch a glimpse into the awful-ness of their home lives and you know that what you're doing is so worth it and so necessary..coz more than anything these kids just need love and the love of Jesus who unjudgingly will walk through everything with them and just be there and believe in them when no one else seems to...
It's weird because this is just so different to Hamilton..and I think its totally changing my views and my outlook on life..and its totally opening my eyes and giving me a bigger world view of what goes on and what some people live with..

And a note for anyone who ever steals a phone:
DONT ANSWER THE PHONE AND SPEAK -its a dead giveaway that youve taken it
and when asked to bring the phone back after just having answered the phone dont ever say 'BUT I AINT GOT IT'..its just silly..some thiefs arent that bright lol
love these kids though

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

big cities

As i begin to write this 3 year old that i live with is bouncing a bunny rabbit that he made at playgroup out of paper all over my head and my arms..these are the hurdles i must jump to write this blog..and learn the valuable lesson of multi tasking - entertaining a 3 year old and writing the tellings of my trip to London...and the Jeremy Kyle like scene that happened outside 133 drop in yesterday was classic Jeremy kyle scene - yelling, swearing, threatening...But anyway lets get back to London..which was the most intense packed day of my life..but all so amazing

Im sure im a master of the train system by an expert at buying tickets, boarding the train, and if not sure, asking where the train is coming in (which has happened every journey i've been on lol i like to think of it not so much as asking for directions, but testing those who should know where they're going and see whether they know the answer lol) but apparently i havnt mastered the art of finding first class and economy class...
WARNING FOR TRAINS: If there are empty seats do not assume you can sit in them, even if they look like every other seat. These may indeed be first class seats in disguise. As I found out. The conductor comes round through the journey and checks your ticket to make sure you're not trying to skive a lift to London. Me being very happy with having got on the right train and merrily on my way to London I handed my ticket proudly over to the guy, who just starts looking at it and tapping things into his little hand held computer thing.. Next thing i hear is 'that will be 10 punds please' me just quivering and being like 'why?'
The conductor then informs me I am sitting infirst class (note: the seats are just as bad as the economy ones and you dont even get more room..) an i have to pay extra..thats like $ gutted..i just handed the money over but getting all bitter and twisted on the inside lol

I met Rach ( a friend from church in NZ) in the train station and after much hugging and exclaiming over the new happenings and how we couldnt believe we were meeting in london radaradara we she led me on my way to seeing everything London had to offer...
First stop was the London Tower and while I was trying to conjure up any knowledge i had left in my brain from history last year she bought me breakfast and coffee and we sat looking at the tower bridge (and beign such tourists snapping away) and planning the rest of the day..
We fitted in so much..and i think i must have had a blatant label on me saying tourist coz everyone kept coming up to me and asking me to take photos of them by different show off my world class photography skills

She took me to the tower of London, London Bridge,
Buckingham Palace (not as impressive as first hoped but we saw the changing of the guards), Leicester square (where all the big movie premieres are held - HSM3 premier had been there 2 days before and so had ZAC EFRON ahhh),
Oxford Street (the most amazing street for shopping ever)
Piccadilly circus (which has the New Zealand house and a shop that stocks nz treats that arent sold in normal stores like black forest chocolate and pineapple lumps..),
St. James park (where we fed squirrels peanuts and became closely acquainted with the wildlife),
Horse Guards palace (where all the gaurds on horses are and the home of millions of statues),
Westminster Abby,
The London Eye (which I think was my favourite), AND
Covent Garden markets

So funny though coz when we were in St. James park Rachel was showing me how friendly the squirrels were..they just come up to there's me prettending ive got peanuts in my hand trying to get these squirrels to come closer to me and me making these high pitched noises hoping that somehow this would make a difference lol this worked for a little while..until all of them clicked on that i didnt acually have they all kept well away..except for this one that leapt on my leg and clung to my tights..this just freaked me out so im jumping around shrieking trying to shake it off, much to the enjoyment of the others in the park..and it shook off and ran sure it gave me rabies coz it was the mangiest one of the lot..had like a stub of a tail and stuff lol ive still got scratches on my

Also at the Changing of the guards there are guards on horses that ride past aswell..and theres one at the front that blows a trumpet in this tune thats meant to sound all royal..anyway this one guys horse was totally playing up so he was trying to keep his pride, blow the trumpet and keep his horse under control at the same time..which wasnt really working oout for him at all..the trumpet was so awful and out of pitch and wrong as he was trying to control his horse..and that is my memory of the horse guards that ill keep forever lol everyone was trying to control their giggles coz there were so many tourists there watching..oh poor chap..

But I do have to say that London is quite possibly the most amazing place ever at night...(and might i add the perfect night date city?! hmm) because the lights are all on and there's so many amazing things to see...from the bridge you can see the London eye all lit up and the city and all th amazing buildings and things lit up..We went down to the London eye because I really wanted to see it at night and go for a ride on it (it does a complete circle kindof like a ferris wheel that takes about 20 minutes and yousee the whole of the city from high up) but we got there just as it was on its last disappointing but we walked down by the river on the little promenade with the fairy lights and all the benches and things whihc was just so cool..
We then went again to Covent Garden..its like an outdoor area with heaps of dining places and old buildings and street performers and we just sat on the cobbles and listened to this street performer guy sing cute was truly perfect...i want to go there again..

I ended up catching the train back at 11:10pm abd managed to catch the train that stopped at EVERY station all the way back to Gillingham so instead of taking 50 minutes it took about an hour and a good times..

Its so crazy though coz even then i was exposed to a totally different way of living coz this guy in really scruffy clothes came up to me and was like 'ello darling. you care to spare a few coins so i can have a place to sleep tonight' i gave him some which he proceeded up the train to continue his begging..Its really sad coz i dont know whether back home things like that would have happened..or whether its just that here im in a situation where im more aware of things like that...i just dont know but it does make me kind of sad..
Because initially I was thinking that they guy probably only wanted the money for booze or drugs..But even if there was the slightest chance that any one person giving a few coins could improve this guys quality of life then why dont we do it?!

So that was my day trip to London.
It is a city I love.
And a city I will no doubt return to.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Home sweet home

So as I am finding it difficult to google crime statistics in England (for youth alpha im running tonight not just out of interest sake lol) and am wondering where everyone in the office has disappeared to I decided I am going to update my blog...because i feel i have a lot to say about anything and everything..and for once during my England trip I have a small social life to share...

First of all I am truly missing New Zealand..I dont know if I'm thinking about it way too much so the thought of the country is a little more extravagant than it really is but all i can think about is beautiful beaches, waterfalls, trees, snowy mountains and forests and cursing England for its lack of countryside other than a few paddocks and trees...when really when i think about it Hamilton had not a pretty place in sight really...and maybe seeing the extreme 'pure new zealand' adverts over here have made things worse..showing the best parts of New Zealand..and drawing me back to my home country lol But I really do miss home and people..BUT im waiting for the day when i decide that i might stay longer, which everyone is telling me will happen soon...waiting..waiting...still waiting lol

Last Wednesday was my birthday..and i could finally rip into the pile of pressies that were on my dressing table..which alfie happily helped cute he just ripped into them..Martha, my host mum, made me a cake in the shape of a kiwi was amazing and tasted brilliant (the gym calls?!)..Alfie made us stick a candle in it at the breakfast table and blow it out before i went to yes work on my rest for the wicked i say..But really by work i mean a little but of photocopying (at which the lady in the church office said 'oh its your birthday isnt it? must be SO sad to be away from your loved ones!' thanks lady for making me feel just great. This was followed by a phonecall to my mum and maybe a little moisture of the But Dave, Ben, Malcolm, Abby, Kirstie and Phil (the Gillingham Youth For Christ Team) had made me a cake and gave me the Vera Wang perfume which was so lovely and cheered me right up..nothing like a good present to do that..couldnt figure out whether they were trying to hint whether i smelt or not lol So basically all we did was sit in the office and eat cake..and laugh at the english culture and slang book that esther and bridgie gave me for my birthday (thanks guys i can now speak the language and they understand me lol)...

Things they dont have in England that Im seriously thinking about importing

- Black Forest Chocolate..Are they nuts?! this is like the best chocolate in the world..My mum sent over blocks of it coz ive been raving to people about how good it is..and everyone loves it..there is definitely a hole in the English market for I could make myself a fortune..volunteer work?! with a job on the side lol

- Summer music - no black seeds, tiki taane, Fat Freddys drop..summer where have you gone?!

But then they do have cherry coke, jaffa cakes (the most amazing things ever), London and amazing i might let them off lol

Ive been to london too..But so much happened that ill write a whole blog devoted to really deserves it..

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

oh happy day...

oh happy day...Its my birthday tomorrow..actually technically if you're in New Zealand my birthday is im trying to figure out that since i gained a day..does that mean that I am forever going to be a day older than i say i am..will i forever celebrate my birthday a day later than i should? hmm this is confusing...if you understand me..
Ive managed to hold off from opening the large array of presents thats sitting on my dressing table that ave slowly been accruing over the past few days..oh i did open my dads present early..But one out of about 6 is definitely a large accomplishment lol Its kinda funny though coz im not really doing anything for my birthday...just going to work at yfc same as usual..But itll still be so such a little kid about birthdays..
We just finished our first youth alpha session about half an hour ago..Its like a little group thing that want to learn more about God and stuff and we just hangout and have dinner (an amazing lasagne cooked by bens wife)..and for some reason i just had a fit of giggles..this one kid told the funniest joke in the entire world..Im just going to have to share..

A dyselxic man walked into a bra...ouch! hahahahahahaha
oh my word had me in fits

i have to go coz some kids have turned up for drop in. Ill do a longer update later

Saturday, October 4, 2008

And now for an english lesson..

These are all words used by English people to describe when something is dirty or yuck.
eg. Not having a shower for 3 days is skanky.
A gross dinner could be 'manky'

These are words to be used instead of cool
eg. You're ace

Can be used in more ways than one so can get confusing.
1. To describe a goodlooking boy/girl
eg. That guy is so fit
2. To describe someone personal health
eg. You are so fit.
3. To describe the general coolness of something
eg. That was so fit!

Another word for boys but its used heaps over here!

a cup of tea

this is a general greeting of hello

and they say that we talk the same language as the english..dont believe it for a second..

And my postal address for those of you who want it is
42 York Street


Let me just start on the weather once more...

So now its not only cold..but its rainy, and not that normal rain but the miserbale drizzly rain, AND its so windy that i would actually not be able to go outside without being blown halfway up the street (and this is not an easy feat..especcially not after the copious amounts of chocolate i have been consuming..)..and i just walked home in that weather..its enough to put a downer on anyones mood..HOWEVER i now have an mp3 player (thanks dad) to listen to with loads of summer music on seeds, jack johnson, paulo nutini..which makes me a lot happier..pleases my ears a lot..
The mp3 player may have been a birthday present sent over from nz that i may have opened before my birthday (last night) hoping that the excitement would counteract the fact that i was home alone on a friday night with my biggest excitement being facebook and hoping people would come online to talk...this in itself was a sad which i took it upon myself to bond with the mother country by looking up pictures of new zealand on the web and picturing myself in these me at a waterfall, me on a get the picture lol
Today it was so cool though..a girl i met at ST.MARKS church a few weekends ago arranged for us to go to canterbury (yeah new zealand stole all the english place names..i have yet to find a taupo or a te awamutu in england though) for the we took a train (im getting so pro at the train rides..) and took off for the day...the most amazing i think its the biggest in England and i payed 7 pounds to get in..(thats like 21 nz dollars..) but it was so worth it..inside it was so beautiful with all the stained glass and the detailing and the figurines..and outside (if the weather wasnt dampening my mood) it was amazing too..
Too funny though coz the streets are all cobbled and really narrow and lined with really cute sweet shops and card shops..and there's this one shop thats lasted from the tudor times but as the time has passed the building has moved and slanted the door is like on a total angle..i actually laughed out loud..and was such a tourist taking heaps of my photos (see facebook) cool..anyway was so nice to get out of Gillingham and look around..!

OH YEAH ONE OTHER BIG THING..I started using my free gym membership on Friday..a gym that is filled with people who just are immaculate even when they work no sweat or red face or just puffing and panting and getting red and sweaty lol...Me thinking that its not that bad..until i woke up the next morning and was aching all couldnt even walk up the work stairs without dying a little inside lol But its my mission to go to the gym at least every second wont even recognise me when i get

Honestly though something ive really been struggling with is the lives that the kids we work with have..and they just dont see any way out or that theres anything wrong with them..dont see the point in trying to have a good future..there's tis one boy thats totally been on my heart in the last few days..
Hes only 13
has been in juveile detention centres at least twice
continuously smokes weed
has been kicked out of every school hes been at for fighting
his brothers are all in jail
steals stuff all the time..
and has no want to change
and he brags about all this..when you say what about the future he just doesnt care..

Honestly it really gets me coz i know that the only way that this kid will turn around is with a total new look from a total miracle and for God to come in and completely change him..which i know is possible..and the only way that I can possibly help this is juts by meeting kids like him where they are, hanging out with them, loving on them and just seek God for them and with them..Its so hard coz I'm like why doesnt God just come in and sort it out for them before their lives spiral out of control? and to be honest with you i just dont know and its something that im gunna have to seek God about..or maybe his plan is to put people like me and the other GYFC people in his life to slowly show him how he can turn his life around..hmmm I'm just going to have to trust that God has it all under control..

But I love the drop ins..and the kids that come to the drop ins..
and i totally know that this will only grow over the year im here..


Monday, September 29, 2008

the last few days = cool

oh my word...the weather has been amazing..i just had to say that coz i never thought i would be able to write that about England..Im gunna even go as far as saying it may have been better weather in England than in New Zealand the past few days!

Highlight of my weekend has definitely been the trip to Cambridge to visit Daniel Droy..!! The only down point of Saturday was spilling coffee all down me even before I got off the train into Cambridge and had to disguise it by doing my cardigan so happened that it was a beautiful day and so hot..and i couldnt unveil my coffee and maybe the 6:29am train was also a bit of an issue..but it was so worth it!

So I started writing this blog yesterday coz there's so much to say and i never have large spaces of time when im i kind of do the news in installments lol And since yesterday morning i take all that complimenting the english weather clouded over today..and got so cold and windy..that I actually would do ANYTHING for it to be summer...and apparently this is typical autumn weather...kill me now lol But I was on community time this afternoon and we went on a bit of a prayer walk around the just not being able to concentrate coz i was shivering so But it was cool coz one of the older kids came with us!
Im going to have to wear all my clothes at one time..we'll see how that works out..ill update you as that story unfolds haha

Thursday I talked to Dan and he said he was gunna be in Cambridge for the weekend and i should come and visit..taking into account my lack of train and underground knowledge and the fact there would be various different train changes on the journey i was a little apprehensive..But I decided to go for it..The worst that could happen was I could hop on the wrong train and end up halfway across the other side of the country with no way and no money to get back..not too bad i would say lol

Friday night we had girls group..really 6 girls came and i made them dress up in bin bags..always a way to win them over lol But they're amazing girls..and we do the group every 2 thats exciting..

Saturday was the day that I ventured off at 6:29 am on the train to London Victoria station, then travlled on the tube to Kings Cross Station and then hopped on another train to Cambridge.. (somehow managing to walk on to First class) lol Me just being paranoid that i would miss my train i got up at 5am..what a i had to wait around for ages for the taxi to take me to the station lol Dan and his girlfriend Bee picked me up from the train station in Dans amazing car with 'Commander' written across the front and his less than perfect driving skills lol
Dan and some of his friends from Edinburgh uni had been in London the night before at a Brooke Fraser concert (random huh) we all went into Cambridge and had a look around the shops..Then decided on going punting..whihc was AMAZING...haha It was too funny...We got two punting boats and none of us were experienced punters at all..too funny having collisions with posh old Cambridge people who scowled as if we were larrakins of the water..pirates i would call ourselves for that
Then the train ride all the way back..on a train that sounded like it was about to fall apart..I was seriously worried i would be stranded in the middle of nowhere lol Sitting behind a group of older people saying inappropriate things obviously having come from a work But I got back to Gillingham station safe and sound..!
Sunday was Alfie (my 3 year old host brother) birthday...woke up early, went to church and then met the whole family for lunch at this amazing chinese much food..and so many people I didnt know..which was a little overwhelming but good..then to Alfie's little kid party where there was this hilarious kid who would pop all the balloons any way possible (teeth?! biting them?! standing on them?! jumping on them?! body slamming them?!) then go into he was also the child who ran around in circles and such lol too funny.
Had to leave the party early to go to this thing called 'Angel Space' at Rochester Cathedral (this amazing old cathedral with stained glass and old architecture) where Gillingham YFC helped out at the cafe..It was so amazing though coz it was a youth event in this old cathedral that usually is filled with old people..But this was amazing..Its happening again in November too so im so excited for that..

But in all seriousness I've been really challenged the past few days with the passage in Matthew of 'feeding the hungry,helping the poor, giving water to the thirsty' (chapter 25?)..coz thats totally what Jesus did and if we are all his people why not help those out how he did and how we should treat those around us who arent so well off...Totally tested me today..There was this lady selling 'big issue' (which is a magazine the government gives to people who are struggling to sell so they can make some money) as I was in town..I thought id help her out and buy one..feeling pretty chuffed with myself for being a good person I went into the bakery to buy a sandwich..It was so weird coz i felt this gripping of my heart and Im sure it was God was like 'why not buy her lunch' as if he was totally testing me on what Ive been challenged with lately..I was trying to excuse it coz i didnt want to look weird..But I went out and offered her some lunch...and she gave me the biggest hug and said thankyou...My word it was one of those moments where you store away in your mind and just totally praise God for what he does..Im hoping my eyes are opened to more little things I can do for people..It wasnt a lot but I just totally want to humble myself and serve people...

And next Friday I'm going to London for the day (yaya day off) and Im gunna meet Rachel Klinkenberg and hangout with her for the day..see some some shopping..probably for coats and warm things or i will so excited..! another early morning train gunna go plan my tickets now lol

My birthdays in 8 days! (8th of October) so excited..


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lets take a holiday..

Tonight is my night off..which im quite happy about..Although I need to do some planning for girls group tomorrow night I must admit I probably wont touch that until tomorrow..haha
Nothing really exciting has happened..
except i saw some amazing shoes in a shop here haha
except on Saturday Im taking a day trip to Cambridge to see Daniel Droy...a load of his university friends and me are gunna do some tourist just with my camera out all the time..
I'm missing everyone heaps...

Monday, September 22, 2008

come to me in a dream summer

so im looking outside and its dark and rainy and cold..i think i might have to get used to people keep telling me..after asking a gazillion questions about the weather situation in New Zealand and whether its hotter or which i mention with a sad tone that its coming into summer back home and when I get back i will proceed to continue with 3 winters in a row..oh what fun...i'll be the palest kid around
But I am definitel thankful I bought an umbrella in will probably the most used item this year..
However a couple of days ago i did manage to wear shorts and a singlet..this is considered an epic day in England..I think i may have climatised coz i managed to go without a cardigan for most of the day...which scares me a little bit coz when i come back home I will probably have heatstroke continuously even though it'll be coming into winter lol I may just have to wear like bright as clothes all winter to shake away the blues (oh my word what was that sentence about?!) lol But all in all England is pretty good and im considering travelling to every European country that has hot weather before I come home...!
Today has also been a bad day for home sickness...But it all ended when I played football with some of the kids and one of the kids said 'wow you're getting pretty good at this' lol made my day! When I get home I'll pretty much go pro
Tonight I'm going to a bible study at Gillingham Youth for should be good..Phillipians which is what ive been trying to read lately so thatll be cool!

i like this..

People are often unreasonable,illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, People may accuse you ofselfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win somefalse friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank,people may cheat you;
honest and frank anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness,they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today,people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have,and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis,it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

-Mother Teresa

Sunday, September 21, 2008

: )

So ive decided that the reason why i dont update this blog as much as some people would like is because I dont feel like I'm doing anything exciting enough to blog about...but then after much thought I realised that I'm in another country so that in itself is pretty exciting...although it kinda just feels like im doing everything i normally do at home but in another country..and without my mum (a bit of an issue today, may be a bit homesick, but im still tough) lol

As I update this blog I'm watching an English kids program (not just for English kids but a program made in England for kids lol)..I'm actually enjoying having a 2 year old host brother around coz i get to play with toys and make puzzles and watch little kids programs and no one questions it...although it does get alittle tiresome when he takes large toys like scooters and baby buggies into town then doesnt want to carry them so i end up carrying them through malls and all the way home lol We have just finished having a massive tickle fight which mainly consisted of him scratching rather than tickling lol hes a little master fighter..I'm gunna have to wise up to this technique..But alfie is really truly cute..

The tupperware party was actually pretty good...hosted in a massive scary moment of the nite was when i thought i locked myself in the bathroom and i couldnt get just trying to figure out how to get attention to open the door without looking like a fool..But after like 5 minutes of jiggling the lock it just coming out to find everyone But i met heaps of people that go to the church im going to in Gillingham which was nice coz when i went there this morning i recognised people..!

Yesterday I moved in with Martha, Luke and Alfie..and could actually unpack my suitcase properly for the first time since I been here...I have been a suitcase kid and there have been clothes i just havent been able to wear coz theyve been scrunched up in my bag for way too long and were basically the most creased you would ever see..But that is no more! I've got a wardrobe and drawers and everything! They did the room up for me and suggested i put things on the can imagine I was in there and put up all my my friends from home are all on my wall...kinda freaky watching me while i sleep lol But it feels a bit more like thats nice..We also had a visit to chatham (a close by town) yesterday to look around..and stopped in a park on the way there so alfie could play on the playground..and I got little too excited about seeing squirrels..the first time I'd ever seen one close up..haha
Then last night we went to a Executive Youth for Christ social..which was basically just food and hanging out with everyone who supports youth for Christ in Gillingham..Except one of the main sponsors was there who owns a gym and I could just imagine him working out how much time at the gym i would need to put in to counteract everything i But hes given us a free gym membership for the whole year..access to saunas, the gym,jacuzzis, Im hoping to start this week...We'll see what happens lol

This morning I woke up feeling pretty rubbish (another English word that seems to have caught on)..missing home and such..But Martha and I went to St. Marks church..very traditional..hymns and a lot of older people..very unlike church back home but it was still good and I'm going to a youth service tonite so we'll see what thats like..also met a few girls who decided that sometime in the next few weekends theyre gunna take me to London to shop and see the sights! they seem lovely!
I been sampling fine english traditional scones, trifle, chicken roasts, fish and chips...all not very healthy but oh so amazing...and also another reason for the starting of the gym! lol
We went to Rochester this afternoon which is such a cute little village with little streets and tudor style houses..with a castle and a city wall thrown in there they're everywhere! It was so cute..!

I miss everyone...
love x

Friday, September 19, 2008

another change..

Another change is in store for me tomorrow, surprise surprise lol
I'm moving in with my new host family..a young couple with a 3 year old son called Alfie..they seem amazing and I'm so glad that I'm moving in with them..
I met Alfie on Sunday night...i like this kid already, especcially because of the sweets lol and the massive hug goodbye he gave me at the end of the bless (this is my new favourite english that i hope I will naturally pick up before i come home) lol
The past few days have been pretty relaxed..Just been helping with the drop in centres and also did night time community time which, when you're not totally comfortable in the dark and your director says 'oh yeah this is a place you definitely wouldnt go on your own,' is a very scary thing..haha me just nervously scanning every house and footpath for a sign of people with sharp objects or mean looks in their eyes..haha But night community time is cool coz the past few times we've just been walking around the streets and checking what the youth are doing..whether there are a lot out, just hanging around the streets and stuff..which is good to know whether we're gonna need to develop an activity or club or something for them to hangout in...
I LOVE THIS KIND OF WORK...coz its not forcing anything on anyone but its meeting the kids where they are at, in their community, and just showing them what its like to love them and love Jesus...amazing..!

Tonight I'm going to a tupperware party with Wendy (my temporary host mum) which is too funny!!
Ive gone through so much phone credit since I been here!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Gillingham and beyond..

I am such a slack blogger..Ive been getting harassed by many people telling me to update my even though this section of the day on my timetable is reserved for 'admin' I will continue...Its quite a trial coz the keyboard im on at the Youth for Christ centre doesnt have a 'u' key so I have to frantically stab at the key to make it work..which may look a little aggressive to those watching haha and ive been sitting here trying to figure out why someone wouls take just one letter...

Our 2 weeks of Training in Nottingham officially finished last sad coz we'd all gotten so close as we had been living in each others pockets for two weeks, sharing hilarious stories over lunch (cough* tom getting a pool ball stuck in his mouth and having to go to a&e) and having team bonding playing 4 square in the rain then proceeding to splash in the puddles....all in good fun..We had really busy days (as in we sat and ate then sat and ate then sat and ate some more..)..but the sitting was like 6 hour theology lectures..some interesting and some that i was very glad when we began to pray because i could close my eyes and have a power nap...haha nothing holier than a nap..

But in all seriousness we had celebration services every 2nd nite which were like church services and had guest speakers and stuff...God showed up in so many amazing ways..I dont think Ive ever felt his presence like in the past 2 weeks...But not before giving me a bit of a dry patch to figure things out for myself and then coming through and totally affirming it for me...

Its weird coz all the kids we are working with come from totally broken backgrounds and i think in a way we all needed to be broken so we'd really have a passion to help them out and love them like we know Jesus does and know that whatever amazing things happen we are merely the hands and feet not the power, i think humility is the word im looking


-Being asked a gazillion questions about New Zealand...some of these included 'do the Maoris still live in huts?'...and 'oh thats the place where Lord of the Rings was filmed?'..and 'do you have birds in New Zealand?'..I think these English people need to do some research

-Teaching 3 people the game 4 square in a moment of boredom and having it spread to be the official game of the 2 weeks of training...each day at every break a hoard of people would be out there playing..i have to admit it got competitive..a 4 square committee was even appointed to make decisions lol

-Karaoke and disco night..this speaks for itself

So Saturday was the day of leaving Nottingham Uni to go and fend for ourselves in our new centres all over the place..and also the day I lost my NZ phone..and all the photos and songs on it...I'm still hoping that it turns up and some nice student hands it into reception..All those contacts, music and photos all gone..! so if you text me and i havent replied its not coz i got too posh for you now im in england..I only have my english cellphone now..!

Saturday me and Phil's (a friend from training who I'm working with in Gillingham and who also interestingly has a large afro) brother picked us up and took us to their house in Lincoln (dont ask me where abouts in England it is coz i dont even know..) and Phil showed me round Lincoln..Palaces, cathedrals, the only 2 hills that are in lincoln, and castles..! so cool! Except people kept frowning at me coz i was taking photos in the cathedral..with my flash on..which may have been a little inappropriate..ah well..
Sunday we turned up in Gillingham where we gonna be based for the next 7 months...turned up to a 'meeting' which was just a massive 'meet everyone get together'...with a lot of food..they know how New Zealanders
I'm staying with a family until Saturday in a room thats about the size of the average cupboard..literally room for a bed, a dresser and a suitcase and I have to squeeze myself into a space as i open or close the door..haha Then I'm moving in with my actual host family, a young couple with a 3 year old son called..wait for it..ALFIE..! only the cutest name in the entire world..haha and he came up to me and was like 'we have sweets for you' him already haha But theyre all lovely!!
Turned up at the office on Monday at 10am (my earliest start) and mooched around...then went to have community time..where we just go and hang with the kids in the community (which is quite rough)..we played just being totally rubbish..all the kids really going to have to learn how to play better...and also learn football (soccor?!) knowledge..everyone talks about it here..EVERYONE!
Gillingham YFC also has 2 drop in centres in 2 different parts of town that are open in the afternoons and evenings where kids can just come and hang out with us (who wouldnt want to?haha) and play xbox and wii and get a positive influence..! Its actually so amazing and i think this is where my heart is..coz we're just reaching out with no expectation but for God to come through for us and touch them..and just hangout..!
We also do detached work (which im doing tonight)which is usually walking the streets at night (yeah im tough) and seeing where the young kids are hanging out, what theyre doing and what they would want to be doing and also just chatting to them..this is so we can show the council who might support us opening up activites for them so they dont cause trouble...
Its actually just so perfect for where my heart is at the moment and I know Gods gonna do some amazing things..and totally put me here for a reason..

Funny story for this blog:
(background knowledge needed: english people call underwear 'pants' and pants 'trousers')
I went into a shop today needing to buy black trousers...unbeknown to me i was about to make a fool out of just going up to the shop assistant 'i need some black pants for work..' this is where she gets confused 'what sort of black pants?' me just being like 'oh umm more like formal ones, kinda dressy material..' her just looking a bit distraight as i dig myself a hole..then realise what im saying as she says 'OH TROUSERS!'...and that is the story how it may have sonded like i was working on a street corner haha

Also my mum might be coming to visit for my birthday (8TH OF OCTOBER lol)then staying on for my commissioning day (where we all get welcomed into YFC) excited! cant wait to see her!

And i have developed a fondness for tea...milk with one sugar...which is what I have put down to being the reason i am putting on stacks of weight haha not the chocolate or the lollies at BUT one of the trustees of GYFC is the owner of the local leisure centre (pools, gym, saunas etc.) and has given us all a free years membership!!! pity it takes like 20 minutes to walk there haha so im going to look like a supermodel by the time i get watch this

Friday, September 5, 2008


oh my much has happened...and my memory is failing me so forgive me if i forget to add things in and if i dont give you a total blow by blow account of my last week here...

I'm in Nottingham at the moment staying with the other 40 volunteers in the Univeristy Halls...its so good coz we eachhave our own rooms and we can kick each other out of our rooms at any time..However I have learnt that when you're getting ready in the morning and someone knocks on the door you do not assume it is one of the other girls on your floor and you definitely dont shout out 'IM NOT READY YET!!!' because it most likely is the little old lady who changes the sheets on the awkward.. me just standing in my towel while I throw my sheets out the door and try and apologise for my rudeness..haha
Also NEVER turn your alarm clock off and think you're going to doze until you really need to get up..Because you will sleep in and get woken up to all the girls, already dressed, waiting for you to come down to just rushing around my room getting ready.. normal lifein England

But Nottingham..! my my my! robin hood?! and that is their claim to fame!! everything is named after or has a picture of robin hood or something to do with the story...The souvenir shop is packed with mini merry men figurines, robin hood outfits and hats (which i have to admit that we all bought and took great joy in wearing them round..)...But im such a tourist, taking photos and going nuts in the souvenir shop..haha

Longer blog later

Oh yeah and just for the record .. they dont use the word FAR OUT here as an exclamation..and they take great joy in mocking me for a slight australian crass...haha

and how many times can i ask if im australian? haha

But everyones lovely and im settling in really well!!!


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

sorry no blog today!

im addicted to blogging..but i just dont have the time to do it right now!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

bloggy blog blog

So day two of my blog..this is going well...I didnt know I would be so organised to blog consecutive days...
Just thought I would let you know that I nearly had a heart attack coz i didnt think that Mochachinos existed in England..! I looked all over for them coz there arent many cafes in Halesowen where Im staying, more like pubs and bakeries haha those English...
But when I found a cafe that sold them and my heart sung I looked at the price.. £2.40 for a mocha...which is like OVER 7 DOLLARS!!! Im seriously going to have to give up coffee..sad but true..I'll just have to sleep like every other person to get my energy and maybe on special occasions such as my birthday i can splash out..hopefully its worth it...But here's me secretly planning to go into town this morning and get one..I mean ive gotta be upbeat for meeting all these new people dont I...excuses for everything...

More observations:
white pants are very popular in England..Im not a fan but then I wasnt a fan of straight leg jeans and then here I am wearing who knows...I mite be wearing white cotton pants when I get back...i hope not.

There's a store here totally devoted to Disney memorabilia..and not just the new movies..EVERY DISNEY MOVIE POSSIBLY EVER MADE...! Its like a kids dream..well actually to be honest i wasnt too un-excited myself about it..which was shown by Erin (the American girl that flew in at the same time as me) suggested that if they had one of the disney princess costumes in my size that she would have bought it for me..I was a little disappointed they didnt..and enough highschool musical stuff to make Israel happy for life...

Double decker buses still manage to excite me no matter how much everyone tells me that its just a normal thing in England...

This is such a God journey though, on a more serious note, I'm just gunna have to keep trusting that he KNOWS my situation and is with me through my homesickness, doubts and fears of meeting all these new people...I totally believe that Im meant to be over here and God wouldnt have put me over here and just left me to fend on my i will hold onto that ALWAYS!!

One last thing...I miss mum!! If you see her give her a hug from me please xxx

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

England so far...

So I can't believe I'm actually in another country...Its so crazy and new and so many things are different..
Ive never had a blog before so I'll probably ramble on about this and that and not actually ever hit a proper point in any of my posts but Im sure whoever reads them will hopefully bear (speaking of beer PUBS are so popular in England) with me...coz I'll update this often coz I hate doing those mass emails...with a passion..
I'll start with my plane trip...
Did i hear someone say 30 hours on a plane is actually enough to drive someone mad?! Stop over in Brisbane, Singapore, Dubai then Birmingham...Dubai airport totally freaked me out (43 degrees when we landed?!) crowded and people lined up everyhwere waiting for their planes..Me just a little white girl without a turban or a beard wandering through the airport hoping to find my plane haha I did luckily even though I got weird looks as I had shed a few tears at this stage haha But im still tough as
Judy Lloyd, a lady from YFC picked me and this girl called Erin from the USA up and took us to a pub for lunch..which i was so surprised by..but apparently its so if i come back and ask you to come to the pub with me dont expect me to have turned into an alcoholic..haha
Ive slept so much since Ive been here...waking up a lot in the night though real homesick which sucks...Have managed to chow through over $200 of phone credit so far...Thanks mum and embarrasing..
The town of Halesowen where Im staying (in this hostel that has dodgy shower curtains) has the coolest town center..classic english with cobbled paths and union jack flags strung up all over the place..too funny...and a church clock that chimes at midnight (yes I woke up to it) haha I mite need to talk to the council about that and get it fixed haha not a good tourist many amazing thrift stores too...
and some observations i have found:

policemen ride around on bicycles..this made me laugh so much coz its so not intimidating!! But apparently they're so fast!! I might test their speed out one day..maybe hassle them a bit and then see if I can outrun them! haha

There's a petshop in the city that has real live massive iguanas in the window..I was so shocked...I bought one for a nah i didnt but i wish!!!

And i found krispy kreme new vice..and the reason i will come back 30kgs heavier haha (sorry bob)

So this is my first post...and ive got to go coz these two little english boys want to use the computer..I could fight them anyday but I dont want to haha
miss home a glad I didnt write this blog this morning coz it would have been a depressing one and one MASSIVE MOAN!!

I start training tomorrow...with like 60 others.. (most of them boys..ahhhhh scary)!!