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!!