(video) American English vs. Aussie English, part 2 :: Getting ready for kindergarten

kindergarten/prep
Kinder/preschool
Arvo/afternoon
Capsicum/bell pepper
Rock melon/cantelope
ring/call
call/visit
Overtake/pass
casual/temp
flick/turn around
robe/closet
Footpath/sidewalk
car park/parking lot
French fries/chips
Que/line
Feeling crook/sick
Plait/braid
Cutlery /silverware
Gastro/stomach flu
Tomato sauce/ketchup
guillotine/paper cutter
Whipper-snipper/weed wacker

Watch the part 1 video for more laughs.

Food Down Under

A lighthearted post so you can feel like you’re here visiting us.

Let’s start with bread, shall we? Yum. The Aussies love love their bread. Free-standing bakeries galore as well as in grocery store.

All sorts of deliciousness.

Flies off the shelf. (Especially when you shop at the end of the day.)

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Speaking of “you snooze you lose” in getting to the grocery store, hope you have a plan B for stir fry tonight.

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Oops, a plan C?

Back to bread, I think it’s most amazing because it’s fresh and no preservatives.

Read: goes bad quickly.

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Delicious.

Even if you bite into one thinking you bought a chocolate twisted pastry.

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And it turned out, unexpectedly, to be Vegemite.

Other things they — and now we — love.

Dips. You’d think this county was constantly preparing to host a Super Bowl party with the dip-age options.

But seriously. They. Are. So. Good. And combos you’ve never had before like spicy sweet potato and cashew.

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Cheese. And about 59 kinds of fetta (feta). Likely because of the huge Greek influence. If I remember correctly, I just read that Greece is #5 on the list of current immigrants.

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This translates to amazing options for Greek salad and souvlaki. And lots and lots of hommus (hummus).

And ample opportunity to spot cute Greek grandpas meeting over coffee at the shopping center.

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In addition to the grandpas, you’ll see lots of this:

Screen shot 2016-02-24 at 2.41.56 PM.pngThree generations having a coffee together. (Makes me miss my mom and dad afresh–they were here for 3 weeks in December.)

Coffee.

It (or tea) is part of most Aussies’ “morning tea” ritual. It’s a ritual where the world stops a bit–even if just to walk to the office or home kitchen and brew it (or grab one at the shopping center while making your almost-daily trek for fresh groceries).

And pause.

Oh coffee, how had I never really understood your true deliciousness before? (Thank you, influence of Italian immigrants on coffee culture here.) And the way you, oh coffee, cause me to pause?

Even Lizzy knows my delight. When I play restaurant with her she’ll ask me, in her waitress voice, “A standard latte with one sugar?”

Yes please.

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Then there are things they love that we’re not quite…in love with yet. Christmas plum pudding, just like the song.

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Two things.

  1. This pudding is so heavy. I had no idea.
  2. It was $67AUS (about $50). Glad it’s on sale!

In the near future, we’re hoping to do a funny video of Aussie words I thought I knew but didn’t.

Here’s a fun example.

I say hundreds and thousands and you think, dollars.

How about the Aussie word for sprinkles?

Isn’t that the perfect description, though?

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One more thing to grab before we leave Coles (one of the main grocery stores).

I need some family underwear, where would we find that?

Oh, aisle 15. Perfect.

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The faces of Australia

We celebrated Australia Day with the masses in Dandenong, another suburb of Melbourne, about 15 minutes from us.

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I love that these are the faces that surround us. These are the faces of Australia.

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Are you like me and surprised that Australia’s fabric involves so many countries?

We’d love for you to pray with us for these beloved people, made in the image of God, for relationship with Him, but who–for the most part–haven’t responded to Jesus’ offer of abundant life.

Yet.

What a picture of what Heaven might look like with all of these tribes, tongues and nations represented!

 

From Wagga Wagga to Wollongong

I love the names in this country. Part British. Part Aboriginal. 

And pretty obvious which are which. 

We are headed to Wollongong, about 2 hours south of Sydney, for the conference for all our Cru missionaries in the country. (About 150 of us).

 

We drove 5 hours yesterday from home to Wagga Wagga. I think a new, needed phone app is one that would calculate how long it will take you–in reality–with small children. And where to stop for toilets and wiggles and dinner  when you are navigating a country you haven’t traveled before.  

 

Thank you, Euroa. Your tiny town provided a place for dinner when we thought our only option would be the local–and sad–little IGA. (Yes, just like at home.) 

The town hotel that making more of it’s money from Pokies (gambling) than from overnight guests offered a Thursday night special of Parma and chips (chicken Parmesan and fries, a staple here).

I’m still trying to figure out how Aussies do meals on the road because most cafés and takeaway (takeout) places that pepper towns all close about 3…or 5, at the latest. 

By the number of parks and rest stops and propane BBQs offered as we drive, I’m thinking they really do pack their cars on trips to picnic and cook in the parks way more than Americans. 

So, grateful for God’s grace as I’m still learning how life works here.  

After staying overnight at a Big4 campground in a tiny modular-home-type cabin (like a KOA) in Wagga Wagga, we were off again. 

After a play at the playground. 

 

4 hours more to Wollongong. Or wherever that non-invented app would tell me. 😃

The landscape still surprises me. It’s like I forget how unpopulated Australia is, with the majority of people living in two handfuls of coastal cities–mostly on the east coast.  

Lots of ranch land and sheep and horses. And open space. It’s beautiful.

  

 

We just stopped for a lunch break at Gundagai, a town that seems out of the gold rush days. (A huge part of Australia’s history.) 

A burger with the lot (everything, including fried egg and beet root–sliced beet) a very Aussie lunch.  

  

Pray for us?

  • For us to have receptive hearts to whatever God would say to Scott and me during the 5-day missionary training/refreshment time
  • For 4 college interns who are coming to serve at the conference. There is a great likelihood that some might join the ministry after graduation and our (Angie and 2 others) recruitment team is thrilled and looking forward to lots of face-to-face time with them.
  • For the kids to settle well into the kids’ camp provided. And for new buddies who love Jesus

Australia as seen by car :: Wanna take a drive with us?

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Joshua loves seeing the big trucks on the road. It's not unusual to see huge trucks like this on highways and even normal, every day streets. It's not my imagination that the lanes are narrower here. They are. Thankfully, truckers are good drivers here. Plus, I'm sure it helps me slip by when I hold my breath and hold my door handle tighter...
Joshua loves seeing the big trucks on the road. It’s not unusual to see huge trucks like this on highways and even normal, every day streets. It’s not my imagination that the lanes are narrower here. They are. Thankfully, truckers are good drivers here. Plus, I’m sure it helps me slip by when I hold my breath and hold my door handle tighter…
These random stops for breathalyzer test aren't uncommon. It was 11am. It's actually encouraging to see in light of this being a country with the greatest-per-person drinking ratio (I believe).
These random stops for breathalyzer test aren’t uncommon. It was 11am. It’s actually encouraging to see in light of this being a country with the greatest-per-person drinking ratio (I believe).
Genius Aussie Idea #1:
Genius Aussie Idea #1: “L” & “P” plates. They are signs that people, by law, have to hang in their car when the driver is a Learner (L) or Permit-holder (P). A great, subtle way of saying, “watch out/gimme space!”
Great Aussie Idea #2: Keep Left signs. Knowing how many international drivers they have here who grew up driving on the other side of the street, these constant reminders have saved me more than a few
Great Aussie Idea #2: Keep Left signs. Knowing how many international drivers they have here who grew up driving on the other side of the street, these constant reminders have saved me more than a few “ooops” swerves.
Great Aussie Idea #3: The bus-only lane and the light that turns green just for them, a few seconds before all other lanes of traffic. Genius way to help keep buses on schedule.
Great Aussie Idea #3: The bus-only lane and the light that turns green just for them, a few seconds before all other lanes of traffic. Genius way to help keep buses on schedule.
Great Aussie Idea #4: lights above parking spaces. Red=occupied, green=hurry up and snatch it. Why didn't I think of this?
Great Aussie Idea #4: lights above parking spaces. Red=occupied, green=hurry up and snatch it. Why didn’t I think of this? Now that you’ve landed the parking spot (often hard to find) is the 12-point turn because the spaces are so small.
Speaking of buses, here's what they look like, Mom.
Speaking of buses, here’s what the school buses look like, Mom.
The 1,439th purple car we've seen here. I'm serious. Not sure what the draw is to this color but more than a few people love purple. We jokingly increase the count every time we see one.
The 1,439th purple car we’ve seen here. I’m serious. Not sure what the draw is to this color but more than a few people love purple. We jokingly increase the count every time we see one.
Uniforms are the new black here and these cute kids are coming home from school.
Uniforms are the new black here (all schools use them–and identical sun hats during half the year) and these cute kids are coming home from school.
Roundabouts. 11 months into our time here and I still have to think--and sometimes say out loud--
Roundabouts. 11 months into our time here and I still have to think–and sometimes say out loud–“look right!” Traffic from the right has the right-a-way. Let’s just say I’ve heard one or two honks that have helped me remember.
Land is crazy-expensive here so people tear down houses and maximize the space by building as many apartments or small houses as can fit on it. Thus, the addresses seem odd, in writing. Unit one is 1/19 and unit two is 2/19.
Land is crazy-expensive here so people tear down houses and maximize the space by building as many apartments or small houses as can fit on it. Thus, the addresses seem odd, in writing. Unit one is 1/19 and unit two is 2/19.
And since land is so valuable, often it's sold to a business. Their zoning often makes me laugh as you'll see a house next to a business (like our chiropractor's office here) next to another house.
And since land is so valuable, often it’s sold to a business. Their zoning often makes me laugh as you’ll see a house next to a business (like our chiropractor’s office here) next to another house.
About every 10 minutes as you drive, you'll see a strip of shoppes that look something like this. There will usually be a Post (post office), a Chook/Charcoal chicken place, a Milk Bar (little convenience store), another restaurant like a Chinese takeaway (takeout) and, maybe, an Op Shop (like a Goodwill)
About every 10 minutes as you drive, you’ll see a strip of shoppes that look something like this. There will usually be a Post (post office), a Chook/Charcoal chicken place, a Milk Bar (little convenience store), another restaurant like a Chinese takeaway (takeout) and, maybe, an Op Shop (like a Goodwill)
Many houses have built-in shutters or block-out blinds. The sun does seem brighter Down Under, thus the mandatory sun hats for kids.
Many houses have built-in shutters or block-out blinds. The sun does seem brighter Down Under, thus the mandatory sun hats for kids.
The kids' toys in stores reflect the country's love of caravans (RVs and pop-up campers). When people holiday (vacation) here, it's often by camping and/or caravaning, for cost.
The kids’ toys in stores reflect the country’s love of caravans (RVs and pop-up campers). When people holiday (vacation) here, it’s often by camping and/or caravaning, for cost.

Outreach using a short film :: God’s pursuit of college students

Lat night, Scott and I prepped our backpacks and downloaded the 6-minute film. This morning, the kids and I bought headphones at Big W (Aussie version of WalMart), swung by the office to pick up Scott, then drove the handful of minutes to Monash University*.

Our Cru friend and filmmaker, Chris, produced “The Parting Gift,” a few months ago and today we were hoping to show it to college students to launch into spiritual conversation. (Read about the film in a previous newsletter.)

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Bean bags and iPhones everywhere in the student union today on campus. Can I be a college student now instead?

Scott: I was feeling less anxious than I normally do when doing an outreach. The bubbly 4-year-old holding my hand probably helped.

The only student who allowed me to share the film with him was Bruce, who is already involved with Cru’s international student ministry. Everybody else politely declined saying something like, “It’s not for me” or “No thanks, mate.”

I talked with one of our other missionaries afterward and he seemed to indicate this is typical. I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to engage with more students, but grateful for the sobering affirmation of how spiritually hard most hearts are in Australia.

Angie: The 6 of us prayed for our time and broke up into pairs to go talk with students. Scott took Lizzy, I took Joshua and two other Cru friends went together. I was excited but the nervousness kicked in as my 2-year-old buddy, our pram (stroller) and I navigated through the crowded student union.

Coffee for me and babychino (baby coffee…really milk) for Joshua, we sat down in a student-run cafe called WholeFoods (“For the people, not for profit”) that had a fun earthy/grunge feel that can only happen when you have students from all over the world, they way you do here.

A senior from Russia named Vlad sat caddy-corner from us. I’d overheard him talking to someone about a stock market game he was playing on the computer and asked him about that, and started a conversation. The international business/geo-sciences/philosophy major agreed to watch the film and rated his interest in Jesus before the film a 3 on a 10-point scale (10=very interested). When I asked his thoughts afterwards, he said it was good, artistically, but he was still a 3. A nice guy, easy to talk to. We talked a bit more, I thanked him and we left the table.

We headed to leave and join the other teams, but as we passed a table of 3 girls, Joshua must have caught one of the girl’s eyes and she started talking to him. (I tell you, small kids and dogs are great for conversation start ups!)

Good conversation with Sasha and Shaunti, even as they were both a 3 for their interest in Jesus. Their friend, Linda was a 10, though! Turns out Linda is a relatively new believer. I had to smile, thinking this is likely the first time she’s told her secondary-education friends that she is a Christian. She seemed glad to hear about a Christian group on her campus.

I think my favorite part of the film — and the brief discussion afterwards — is God’s never-ending pursuit of us and how evidence of that is the very conversation I was having with those 4 students. Even if their “number” didn’t change, it’s great to know God put Himself on Vlad, Sasha, and Shaunti’s radar today.

P.S. I see how God answered prayer, specifically that our kids would be a blessing and not a distraction to the students we talk to. That happened! A 2-year-old is a potential running-off rocket coupled with potential in the area of meltdown-at-unexpected-times. He sat patiently and I almost couldn’t believe it until I remembered I’d asked people to pray.

Want to try?

*Monash is an incredibly international university and enrolls approximately 45,000 undergraduate and 17,000 graduate students, making it the university with the largest student body in Australia.

a short getaway

What do Americans do on a cold 4th of July in Australia? Take a 24-hour, no phones or computers getaway! Pack up a car boot (trunk) to the maximum with sheets, towels and food (nearest grocery store 30-45 min away from our destination).

Then, take a nap, and drive 2 hours to a friend’s vacant house.

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I sent this picture to my mom and she put to words what I hadn't been able to: the difference between winter here and in Lincoln, Ne is that winter is green here. I've been too busy being girl-out-of-Florida cold to realize that. It pretty much doesn't freeze here, so that means trees and grass can still be seen in color.
I sent this picture to my mom and she put to words what I hadn’t been able to: the difference between winter here (now) and in Lincoln, Ne is that winter is green here. It pretty much doesn’t freeze here, so that means trees and grass can still be seen in color. (There are hills/mountains within a few hours that get snow and skiers, though, I’m told.)
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Our friends’ house, self-named the “Nut House” — a fun gathering place for their kids and grandkids when they’re not kind and allowing new friends like us to getaway there. We were hoping to spot kangaroos at the end of the street as they like to gather there, but…alas, not this time.
The challenge portion of the 24 hours came in 2 parts: getting a fire started in the fireplace (read: sole place of heat for the house) and making dinner after the chicken broth never made it into the car. As for the fire, Scott was the man in figuring that out (cheers from us). As for dinner, let's just say I got creative with making my white chicken chili. I decided to knock on doors to see about landing some broth. After patting myself on the back for my meet-the-neighbors/don't-have-to-drive-forver-to-store when a sweet grandma 2 doors down handed me a cube. I realized my self-kudos was to be short-lived as I ground it between my fingers into the chili and suddenly -- thankfully only 1/3 of it used -- realized it was dark brown and not at all smelling of chicken.  Not to bow to failure, I threw in a packet of instant chicken noodle soup I found in the pantry (fished out all the noodles I could and used the seasoning). White chicken chili...with a hint of beef and noodles, anyone?
The challenge portion of the 24 hours came in 2 parts: getting a fire started in the fireplace (read: sole place of heat for the house) and making dinner after the chicken broth never made it into the car. As for the fire, Scott was the man in figuring that out (cheers from us). As for dinner, let’s just say I got creative with making my white chicken chili. I decided to knock on doors to see about landing some broth. After patting myself on the back for my meet-the-neighbors/don’t-have-to-drive-forver-to-store when a sweet grandma 2 doors down handed me a cube, I realized my self-kudos was to be short-lived as I ground it between my fingers into the chili and suddenly — thankfully only 1/3 of it used — realized it was dark brown and not at all smelling of chicken. Not to bow to failure, I threw in a packet of instant chicken noodle soup I found in the pantry (fished out all the noodles I could and used the seasoning). White chicken chili…with a hint of beef and noodles, anyone? Turned out quite edible, especially slathered in sour cream, tortilla chips, coriander (cilantro) & fresh lime juice
Kids enjoyed their first trundle-bed slumber party. We were pleasantly surprised they fell asleep fast.
Kids enjoyed their first trundle-bed slumber party. We were pleasantly surprised they fell asleep fast.
You know you're in Australia when this is the hot-drink bar at someone's house. I'm forever spoiled.
You know you’re in Australia when this is the hot-drink bar at someone’s house. I’m forever spoiled.
A highlight for me was the fireside date Scott and I got after kids went to bed. Mesmerizing flames with a warmth and smell hard to find elsewhere.
A highlight for me was the fireside date Scott and I got after kids went to bed. Mesmerizing flames with a warmth and smell hard to find elsewhere.
We have a new Hungry Hippos fan. She'll even play by herself.
We have a new Hungry Hippos fan. She’ll even play by herself.
On the way home, we found a Greek restaurant and ordered our new favorite meal: slovlaki (shaved kabab meat, usually lamb), greek salad, chips (fries, not so Greek) and calamari rings (don't tell the kids--I'm pretty sure they just assumed they were onion rings).
On the way home, we found a Greek restaurant and ordered our new favorite meal: souvlaki (shaved kabab meat, usually lamb), greek salad, pitas, sauces, skewered fried goat cheese, chips (fries, not so Greek) and calamari rings (don’t tell the kids–I’m pretty sure they just assumed they were onion rings).
Tomato sauce (ketchup) usually provided by request and for an additional cost.
Tomato sauce (ketchup) usually provided by request and for an additional cost.
Thanks, Brian & Christine!
Thanks, Brian & Christine!

P.S. I’m heading in Wed at 11:15am (Tuesday 9:15pm EST) for a follow-up ultrasound to make sure I’m healing well from the miscarriage and that nothing’s left inside that might cause infection.