A few interesting things this week before a busy couple weeks coming up travelling.
Last weekend we went 10 kms down the road into central Lima (which took us over an hour to do in crazy Lima traffic) to stay 2 nights at the Westin Hotel. Every 6 months all of the mission presidents and their wives from the five counties in the South America Northwest area come together for training and meetings with the Area Presidency. It is a good time for them to have a little bit of time with each other .... No one else really understands the time, effort, commitment, and 24/7 dedication that goes into being in that role for three years. We are very privileged to be able to attend the conference with them. It gives the three doctors that work with them a chance to meet them face to face and network with them. Break time and meal times are a flurry of questions and discussions over good food - another benefit.
We enjoyed the comfy bed, beautiful soft pillows, a huge bathroom and a room almost bigger than our whole apartment. Best of all .... air conditioning that we turned down as cold as it would go so that we had to use the quilt when we slept. It was the first time in 10 months we could feel the weight of a quilt while we slept - heaven!
Monday night we had a chance to share with our other senior missionary friends some of the best things about being Australian. They have been educated since we arrived just by the differences in our language and speech - they wanted more info. So we put together a presentation on Australia. Music, pictures of beaches and animals and gum trees, our beautiful country and very Aussie landmarks. The things that would kill you pages - spiders and snakes and crocodiles and sharks had a great reaction! A great little video we found on Adelaide (thanks Brooke). We really do come from a beautiful country and a great city.
We tried to educate them about our past, our special days and our money (which most of our American friends agree looks like Monopoly money). We showed a couple of videos including one explaining Aussie Rules football (cricket was just too hard) and the recent interview on The Today Show with the two guys who foiled a robbery at a service station. We couldn't help laughing when our friends had no idea at all what they were all saying - they couldn't even believe they were speaking English. We had fun with lots of Aussie sayings and tried to explain TimTams, Milo, pies with sauce, pavlovas and Vegemite sandwiches.
Lesley had experimented with making pavlovas over the last couple of weeks .... one not too successfully....... ovens!! AAAHHHH!! ..... Don't get us started! Craig's comment after one unsuccessful attempt - "it's ok I don't mind BBQ'd pavlova". Finally the experimentation paid off and two successful pavlovas made their way to our Australia night covered in cream and fruit. They were joined by a plate of Vegemite sandwiches which most were brave enough to give a try. Pavlovas are on the menu now for our next dinner get-together. We had lots of fun. We are sure they would have enjoyed just listening to us speak for an hour - our accents are still noteworthy:)
We are very grateful to be here and to experience a new country and culture and we are learning heaps. We also are very grateful to have lived in a beautiful country all our lives and to call ourselves Australians.
Happy Mother's Day to our mums, and to the mums of our beautiful grandkids - we hope you had a great day!