Saturday, February 28, 2015

Showing Julie the Sights - NASA DSCC, Mt Stromlo and The Glassworks

Adam drives:

The plans for Julies first Saturday changed a lot. Originally Jewel's basketball games was at Belconnen, so we'd planned on Julie and Jayde doing some shopping there, however the game was then shifted to Tuggeranong. Jayde also got a phone call to say that she had induction training for KFC that afternoon in Fyshwick, so we needed to arrange things around transporting her. Add to that the fact that Elissa was up in Sydney for some Church training  and Seth was out at a Young Men's camp, it was a busy day with lots of comings and goings.

Morning consisted of Julie came out to see Jewel's basketball game after which we had the girls do their chores at home. We then drove out to the NASA Deep Space Communications Complex at Tidbinbilla.

We drove out through the Tidbinbillas up to Mt Stromlo to grab some quick photos in the ruins of the observatory. There was a funny monment where Jayde went up to the telescope mount and almost put her head on top of a large huntsman spider that was sitting on it.

Next, we went and dropped Jayde at her induction training in Fyshwick, before I took Julie and Jewel out to Costco for lunch.  We then spent a couple of hours doing our crocery shopping. On the way home we headed into Manuka to The Glassworks. We took a quick tour and got to see somebody making a glass paperweight.

Whilst we were at the Glassworks I realised that I had a message from Jayde - her course had finished early, so we had to go back to Fyshwick and pick her up. We did so, then raced to get Seth from his dropoff point before finally getting for the day.

 As usual, a busy day. Didn't quite get to show Julie as much as I would've liked, but hopefully a few things of interest for her.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Taking Julie into Civc

Adam taxis the girls:

We decided that we shouldn't just sit at home with Julie last Friday evening, so I offered to take her and Jayde into Civic to do some shopping. We'd been told by the school that there wasn't a large amount of shopping in their home cities and a lot of the exchange students last year. We went into Canberra Central and the girls spent 90 minutes checking out all of the types of shops that teenage girls checkout.

As the shops were near shutting we decided to go for a walk through Garema Place, checking out the various art installations and taking photos with them.

The girl statue looks kind of creepy close up.

Julie said that she enjoyed herself, and that yes, there was a lot more shop variety here than back in her home city.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Taking Julie to See the Kangaroos

Adam plays tourist guide:

Julie's first day at school on Wednesday last week consisted of a trip to the National Capital Exhibition and Parliament House. In the evening she joined Jayde at Young Womens where the girls learnt water survival skills.

Thursday consisted of taking part in the French classes at school. Elissa was working late on Thursday so I picked up Jewel after school. Getting home Jayde and Jewel both had work to do an Seth was cooking dinner, so I offered to take Julie out to Tidbinbilla to see her first lot of kangaroos in Australia.

They weren't as close to the road as normal, so we went to the car park and walked in a little to find a number of smaller roos happily munching away on grass. We got as close to them as we could before they decided to hop away.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

ICC World Cup 2015 - Afghanistan vs Bangladesh

Adam experiences Dhaka:

The 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup is currently being hosted by Australia New Zealand. Canberra hosted the first of three World Cup games last Wednesday. The game featured Bangladesh and Afghanistan in its World Cup debut. Tickets were cheap and I figured that this could be a once in a lifetime chance to get along to a Cricket World Cup, so bought tickets for Seth & I with some of my Christmas/Birthday present money.

It was a day/night game, starting at 2:30PM. I had to pick Seth and Julie up from school though, so by the time I'd dropped Julie at home and Seth & I had gotten changed, driven to the ground and gotten parking it was 4:30PM.

Somebody had told me that there were over 8000 Bangladeshis coming down for the game, including convoys of 200+ cars. Most of these were parked on the verge around Manuka and were decorated with Bangladesh flags.

The ground was sold out although it only held about 11,000 people. There were a number of empty seats, but that's because many of the crowd were standing in the shade on the concourses around the ground. Some footage I took when we first arrived before we'd gotten to our seats.

Getting there it seemed that the estimate of 8000 Bangladeshis was a bit low. Almost every second person was in a Bangladesh jersey. It was practically a Bangladesh home game. Every single run their team (who was batting when we got there) made was met with huge applause. Breaks between overs or after wickets were punctuated by Bangladeshi or Afghani music playing over the PA system depending on the circumstance.

Our seats were out in the sun. It was cloudy when we left home so we only brought one hat with us. Unfortunately,  the cloud hadn't reached Manuka Oval yet and we were in the hot sun all afternoon. I ended up buying a souvenir World Cup baseball cap to stop from getting fried.

The crowd was very noisy, with groups of Bangladeshis and (vastly outnumbered) Afghans wandering the stadium, beating drums, chanting and waving flags. There were various people in costume, including a number of people dressed up as tigers - the Bangladesh mascot.

The game itself wasn't the greatest advertisement for One Day Cricket  - it wasn't close and there wasn't a lot of big hitting, but the noise and atmosphere of the supporters made it a fun experience, even for somebody not following either team competing. Seth enjoyed himself.

Some footage I took of the crowd getting into the swing of things.

It was funny during the dinner break. Normally the bars are crowded with long lines, whereas at these games they were practically empty ... the risk the bar staff take when two teams from Islamic countries are playing :)

One of the Bangladeshi players bravely attacked a balloon that had strayed onto the field.

Here's the game report from CricInfo, and here's the scorecard of the game.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

But What If I Like It????

Elissa bakes.....

Someone at work brought in a some home grown zucchinis that were huge. Trying very hard to keep our budget down at the moment I saw a chance to cook cheaply and healthily. I always add grated zucchini to mince meals to make them go further and make them healthier.

I wasn't planning on cooking any mince meals so had to think quickly what to cook with it. We were having the sisters for lunch rather than dinner on Stake Conference weekend, so I decided to make a Zucchini slice - but have them as cup cake size rather than a large slice. I also made zucchini cake with cream cheese icing for dessert.

Jewel was very cautious about a zucchini cake and didn't want to try it - so we gave her a small slice. She then cried - "But what if I like it?"

Somedays with children you just can't win.

Footnote 1 - she didn't like it but did like licking the icing off.

Footnote 2 - after making double batches of both these recipes we also had enough grated zucchini to fill two freezer bags - for next time I cook mince.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Lightning in the Clouds

Adam  shoots:

It's that time of the year when the weather gets stormy, with the forecast of possible storms almost every day. Last monday night we had a particularly active thunderstorm nearby, with lightning flashes every second or so for a good 15-20 minutes. It reminded me a bit of the incredible lightning show we saw last year. Unfortunately the lightning strokes themselves were obscured by a hill and other clouds. I did manage to get a few photos of the clouds being lit up by the lightning though. (Click on them to see a slightly better version - blogspot reduces the quality of the images in the blog entries.)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Writing Nice Things About Each Other

Adam writes:

Our "spiritual thought" with the missionaries last Sunday was writing nice things about each other. Here are the end results from that evening.