Australia (part 6 - also the last one of this series)

5th of january.
My time in Australia is starting to end. With this post it will end and we have to part ways, but first.... few more adventures.

We start the day by driving to town again, to resize my ring. Then head off to Urunga, where we'd hope we could go for a boat ride. BUT turns out they have no boats to hire anymore. We head down to the seaside and just have a walk. At one point we do devotions there. It's really nice out there. We have lunch also there, and yet again my stomach isn't as big as i wish it was for all the goodies that Australia has to offer. :D
We continue our day with Big Banana. Pretty legendary place in Coffs Harbour. If you ever come to Coffs and look something up, you are bound to hear at least of Big Banana. It's a big place with different attractions, water park, ice rink etc. We started off with the candy shop (dah!) and got me some peppermint hard candy with chocolate thing inside. They make their own hard candy. If you'd want you could order special design. We wanted to ice skate (well more like I wanted to :P), but the ice rink was rather busy. After all, it was a "summer break". Well yes, for Europeans this is like "whaaat?" moment. Yes, during christmas and new years, they have summer break! I know, it's all weird. But see, when we have full winter, they have summer. It also applies to their school. So having summer break and a lot of them had come to ice skate there.
We left for shopping mall again. Got some laundry thing (as i was running out of clothes and figured i could do it here so it would be easier when i get back). And then Peter surprised me. He paid for me to get a manicure and pedicure! This was my first time ever that i had a pedicure done to me. While he went off somewhere i just sat there, with chinese people dealing with my toes and fingernails. Much pampering! At one point i was done and didn't have my phone with me (in Peter's pocket) and he was supposed to get back and pay. So i just sat there hoping he'd return quickly. He soon did, with flowers! Wow! Such a charming man! I don't deserve this pampering and all that, but i am so so grateful!
We put flowers in the car and left, heading back to the Big Banana. Thinking to try the toboggan ride. You might wonder what that is. You can google that, but the explanation i'd give is... well you sit on a thing. Not really a seat, more like a sleigh, without a snow. It has a break too. And then you go through a ride, with motor taking you up and then you slide through the ride with it. Pretty hard to explain. Nothing too exciting or thrilling. But cool to try out. I'm sure kids have more fun with it than me as an adult.

We went again to walk on the breakwall later. It was still pretty! I love the seaside. The waves and all that! So calming!

6th of january.

I actually did laundry. Yay! Nothing special, but still, cool to go back with more clean clothes than dirty ones.
We then returned to Big Banana and did one more toboggan ride. After which, we again went to the shopping mall and got me a book. Which i am still not reading much (looked like a good choice back then).
Headed home as we had scheduled to Skype with a married couple who are Peter's friends. Both of us were nervous somehow. Don't really like video calls with people we don't know. But we did it and it was actually fun. But also had quite a bit of anxiety. After all, meeting so many people within so short period of time, i hoped i made a good impression. I know that their opinion isn't that important, but still. They are after all Peter's family and friends, so was really hoping to make a good impression regardless of my anxiety and all that.

AND then we went to the beach the 2nd time! This time it went WAY better and i was more aware of waves and such. And my anxiety was much smaller. It's all about practice. We went in the water and had our film camera with us and had some good photos at the beach too. It was so much fun running from the waves. As i was a bit still scared of them. You could stand in knee high water but waves come and they just sweep you off your feet or crash over your head. So i might have screamed and laughed a bit too loud :D
We later had some ice cream and then went to ice skate! That was so much fun. I saw Peter first time on skates. And tried teaching him to skate. He tried to use the frame thing at first, but then i said, if you continue to use it, you'll learn to stand wrong and lean on it too much. So he listened to the wise skater and put it away. Yes, it was challenging for both of us. I had never taught anyone to skate before, but it was so fun! This was more like winter activity for me and something new at the same time. Because they had summer! Strange! Going ice skating in summer! Haa! Strange, strange thoughts indeed! We managed to get Peter to do small and steady laps, while i raced pass him few times. We didn't stay for entire time, as neither of us is so fit that we'd want to exercise for an hour or so. But we did enjoy this nevertheless.
Then we got our engagement photos!!!! They were so cute! I mean, we were cute on the photos and Bec had done amazing job!

AND then! We went shooting! See, one of Peter's hobbies (that gets him out of the house a bit), is shooting. Not hunting, but target shooting at a firing range. I got registered there as a guest and was also able to shoot. Peter helped and instructed me and helped me load my gun between shooting. THAT was amazing time! I'd been to firing range before, but not with a real rifle! I actually shot so well, that i beat him! I was proud of me! Haa! (guess who likes winning????!!! )

7th of january.
We took our engagement photos with USB and went to local super market (again right?). Just to print off some for me. Also dropping off film rolls that we had used during my stay there. To get all these things ready before i leave.
We grabbed some snacks from there and headed to another lookout/beach. In Woolgoolga (yes i know, they sometimes have so funny names!) and Sandy beach area. We had lunch at Sawtell. I can say all these because i have notes where i write this off from. Otherwise, i have no memory of all the places and names and such. :D
We then went to get some snacks for me on the plane. You never know how the plane food is, so better be equipped with something to keep you going.
Later picked up printed photos (isn't this fast service right?) and headed home. I was tired and took a nap.
Then Peter had some meeting at church and i tagged along as i had nothing much to do anyway.
Later that day we had last meal together with his parents at a place called Hogs Breath (see what i mean by strange names? :D ). Anyway, drinks were alright (we had some mocktails to start with - non alcoholic stuff) but the service regarding food was this time pretty bad. But finally got our foods, and as usual, my stomach was small. But it was alright. We returned home and i started packing. I hated this. I didn't want to go...

8th of january.
I finished packing and said our goodbyes. Cried. Again. I had grown to love these people and this country more than i knew was possible in two weeks? Couldn't i stay longer, i thought? But no, my tickets were bought long time ago. And traveling to the other end of the world, is not cheap, i can tell you!
We got to the airport early. It's a small one in Coffs and Peter was able to come with me through security. I worried about suitcase being too heavy, but it was okay. We got something to eat, but i wasn't really hungry. I was sad, that again i had to say goodbye. We both thought it was gonna be easier. In some ways it was. I wasn't as heartbroken as i was when Peter left Estonia. But i was sad. It sure is hard letting go. Leaving and walking away. But this time, this time we knew more about our future. We are after all engaged.
We sat there waiting. And we both got emotional. We didn't know when we'd see each other again. But we knew, we'd be heading for marriage, one day. Not sure when, but we at least knew, that this is more certain now. That helped a lot. At one point, i think i sent Peter away. Him staying longer would've made me cry more. It was hard. To let him go. But i knew i had to leave.

These two weeks, such short period, but at the same time, felt like we had spent months together. I am so grateful for all the people we met, places we were able to go. People blessing us, with their company and presents! I had fallen more in love with my man, with this country and the people who i met! I knew, i wanted to come back. See you again Australia!
As my plane took off, it was bittersweet feeling in me. I knew i wanted to return here. I knew i left something precious behind. My heart is here. My love is here. And I prayed that God would let me come back.

****

It's been almost four months from that day. And i'm okay. Sure i was sad at first, not to mention jetlag and all that. But i got home and returned to college life. As before, we speak daily. We pray, we read the Bible together. Recently completed a marriage preparation book together. We have applied for a visa for me to get there. And we are praying for miracles. Both financially, but also time wise. We'd love to get married when my school ends in the end of june. Maybe july or august. Praying for miracles. You are welcome to pray with us!

I hope you have enjoyed this story time with me and Australia. It's been fun to look back and i have pictures here on my wall, in my college room to keep memories fresh. In a week, Peter will be here with me! We now know when we see each other and it is gonna be amazing!
He is coming to Denmark, to Bible college. To visit me for AN ENTIRE MONTH! This will be so exciting time for us, but also challenging for him i think. After all, an entire month of random Danish weather. Different food. So many people. Well, but i hope we manage and put this time in God's hands.

Thank you for reading! Until next adventures!

Be blessed!

Comments

Thank you for writing this series Mirjam! I've enjoyed reading your thoughts of Australia and our weird customs and traditions, as I'm sure others have too. I'm nervously looking forward to spending even longer with you in Denmark, and praying that our next meeting after that will be forever :)

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