Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Summer IS Here

Summer in Tassie

Where has the time gone?  It’s almost the middle of February and summer has finally come, for sure, to Tassie.  Our coats are put away and only occasionally do we need a sweater.  Yet, the weather is always a mystery as one day we will turn on the air conditioner and the next we may need the heat.  The storms here are ferocious.  Yesterday, the morning was very warm and then a cold front blew through in the afternoon, breaking lots of trees and rattling our little flat.  Heber winds don’t hold a candle to Tassie winds.

Our first big accomplishment.  We finished our first big project which took 5 months to complete.  There were 161 record books of burial records to 2001.  Then we added 26 more books that were for cremations only.  Our current project, Registration of burials, we will finish this week.  They are 9 very large books and we are able to digitize both the left and right pages in one image.  The books register those burials which are in the 161 books.

One warm Saturday afternoon we decided to take a drive to Kingston Beach.  We were delighted to see some lifesaving competitions going on at the beach.  It was fun to watch.  Lots of people and their dogs were enjoying the beach, although it was very windy and a bit cool.

These plastic blow up balls seem to be very popular.

On our way back to Hobart, not far from the city center, we came to a shot tower.  These were built to manufacture shot for guns.  The metal is poured into a very long tube of water (the length of the tower).  As the metal falls through the water, it turns and forms a ball that can be used in old shot guns. 

If you look real close you can see the bird sitting


up in the tree.

  Just outside the tower, there was an area for picnic tables and there a Kookaburra flew into the tree.  He was quite large.  We had only seen small birds.  As we were leaving, he entertained us with his laugh which really did sound very human.

Our zone leaders invited us to teach the full time missionaries up in Deloraine about Family Search at their district meeting.  So we took the zone leaders with us and drove the 2.5 hours up to northern Tasmania.  They were so excited to get onto Familysearch and find their families. 

  The district meeting was the last one for Elder Atkinson (one of our zone leaders) as he was finishing his mission and returning to Queenland, AU the following week.  It was a hard day for him.  I had never realized how difficult it is for some missionaries to leave their mission.  I have only been on the other side, as a mother who is so excited to get their sons home.  That next week was transfers which really effected Tasmania.  Since we have been here, we have kept all the same missionaries.  Only two out of eight companionships stayed the same (excluding us).  

Elder Atkinson's last district meeting.

Aussie Animals

On our way home from Deloraine, we caught sight of this echidna off the side of the road.  They move so slowly that we were able to get close to him for a picture before he ducked for cover.  Elder Atkinson, who lives in Australia said he had never seen one before.  We were very blessed to see this one in the wild.

These cockatoos fly freely in our community.  One of our home teaching families feeds these birds, so they are regulars at his home.  They are quite large and noisy birds.  We hear them each day at our bus stop in the mornings.

On one of our “holidays” we decided to go to the Bongarong Wildlife Park just north of us.  The Park takes in animals that have been hurt or found when the parent has been hurt or killed.  When the animals are able to live on their own, they are released back into the wild. 
Notice the baby nursing

The kangaroos know you have food to share.

This emu packs a hard peck!!
  The tour with the park employee was really interesting.  When we were walking through the park on our own, the only animals we saw were some birds and the kangaroos.  She woke up and carried the other animals and gave good information about them. 

 This baby wombat was found by a 12 year old boy when the mother had been hit by a car.  He learned in school about marsupials carrying their young in a pouch.  He looked inside and found this youngling. He is about 9 months old in this picture.


Cute, sleepy koala
 The poor Tasmanian Devils!  They are so maligned.  These creatures are not the ferocious mean animals as we have been taught.  They move very slowly and their eye sight is very poor.  They only eat dead animals, all of them, bones, meat, etc.  They are great scavengers to clean the roads of roadkill.  Unfortunately, because they don’t move quickly, they are also victims of roadkill and are quickly declining in numbers in AU. 


P day means rest, right?  We enjoyed an afternoon at the park and a walk along the river.

Tasmania is nicknamed the “holiday island”.  I thought it was because many people vacation here, but yesterday a friend told me it was because Tassie has so many “public holidays”.  Today was one of them, Regatta Day.  We went down to the river in the city early in the morning, 8:30, and were able to watch the long boat rowing races and the Trans Derwent River swim.  All of the swimmers wore wetsuits.  I’m sure the water was a little bit cold.  There were activities all during the day.  We enjoyed the wood chopping events and the kayak polo games.  The Royal navy also provided a rock band, two types of helicopters and the manpower for a tug-of-war.  The Tassie governor came to present the trophy for the fastest long boat which was won by high school aged girls.  It was another fun “holiday”.

Swimmers getting ready

Wood choppers

One of the navy rescue helicopters

Kayak polo  What fun!

Aussie word fun:
The Australians often use slang and one of the most common uses is to add an “ie” or “ey” to the ends of words, ie:
Bikie = a biker such as a Hell’s Angels member
Sparkie = an electrician
Firey = fire fighter
Selfie = one who does things by himself
Cockie = farmer
Greenie = environmentalist
Postie = mailman
Rellie = family relative

1 comment:

  1. I love reading about your weather, travel experiences, and your work. I enjoyed seeing the picture of the shot tower. There is one in Virginia that we passed going to and from Kentucky to visit my mom when we lived in North Carolina. It looked just like the one in your picture. Glad that your time is passing fast but it seems to me that you have been gone forever! Joyce