Thursday, March 13, 2014

More beautiful Tasmania

Last Friday we had Danny Chin from Hong Kong visit us.  He is the tech person for the Pacific region for Family Search.  He spent the day with us, learning what and how we do things.  On Saturday, we took him for a mini tour of the countryside since he had never been outside of the city in all the years he has come here.  We first went to Richmond, a historic town, and poked around the shops, buying some interesting wood products.  Then down to the peninsula around Port Arthur.  We did some hiking at Remarkable Caves and then at Tessellated Pavement.  Very unusual geologic formations.
Remarkable Caves

Kay and Danny Chin

Tessellated Pavement

We had another holiday on Monday.  It is called "Eight Hour Day".  It is like our Labor Day, when workers finally got an 8 hour work day.  We decided to take a mini vacation, so after Church on Sunday we drove up to Swansea, on the east coast, about 2 hours from Hobart, and stayed in a Bed & Breakfast which was a lovely Victorian home.  They called it a Colonial home.  It seemed like a little farm, with ducks and ducklings and turkeys greeting us upon arrival.  We wanted to see the penguins which come in at dusk, so we drove up to Bicheno.  We found the tour place, but the tour was sold out for the evening.  But the note on the door made up for our disappointment.  They were only seeing 5-10 penguins coming in at night.  We didn't think it was worth the $50 for the tour for that few penguins.  So, hopefully we will be in a place to see many more next Nov/Dec when the numbers are in the hundreds.

On Monday we spent the day at Freycinet National Park. (Pronounced Fray si nay.  It is French).  It is on the coast with Oyster Bay on the inland side.  Marv hiked to the top to see Wineglass Bay.  Kay got 3/4 of the way up but realized she couldn't get to the top and back down in time for us to meet a group doing an ATV tour.  Our tour consisted of a couple from Darwin, AU and three from Hong Kong who had never driven an ATV before. Marv and Kay were in a Ranger and the guide took one of the Chinese girls in his Ranger. Our guide did some training with all of us and determined that the other two Chinese people could not operate the ATVs well enough to drive.  So the other girl joined the guide in his Ranger and the Chinese man took Kay's place in our Ranger and she got to drive the ATV.  She was so glad to have had the experience of driving over rocks and holes in the White Mountains of Arizona on our ATVs.  We drove 10k (about 6 miles) through the forest to the coastline at Friendly Beach.  Had a snack, then drove back through the rain shower.  It was a fun experience.

Oyster Bay

Granite Mts of Freycinet Nat'l Park

Wallaby on the trail

Wineglass Bay

Ready to Ride

Friendly Beach before it rained

Here comes Kay

Marvin and the Ranger

East coastline

Unusual phrases we hear often:
"Good on ya" said when you are doing something that they like.
"Let's see how you went" We would say "Let's see how you did."
"How are you going?" We would say "How are you doing?"

Monday, March 3, 2014


As you probably already know, England sent their “hardened” criminals to Australia.  The destination was Port Arthur, 60 km from Hobart, Tasmania.  It is on the beautiful Tasman Peninsula and was known as a non-escape prison.  It was used from 1833 to 1853 and used a psychological approach to reform it’s prisoners.  Food was used as reinforcement for good and bad behavior.  Young boys were also sent to prison, as young as age nine.  One boy stole 3 boxes of toys and was sent there.  The boys were not housed with the adult criminals, but in a separate building.  Life was hard with a lot of physical work.  Many of the prisoners were also sent to Hobart to build the infrastructure of the town.  So here we are at Port Arthur.  We took our two zone leaders and a young elder who is waiting for his visa. (He got it and will fly to Provo on March 17 to learn French in the MTC and then fly back to New Caledonia to really start his mission).  Google Port Arthur and in the wiki you can read all about the prison.

Marvin in leg irons

Boat building site

Elders Harvey (England), McCleary (W.Jordan, UT), Tempany (Melbourne AU)

The main cell block building

All prisoners were made to attend religious services

We planned this trip in conjunction with the Fun For Less tour group. (They usually are composed of 95% LDS adults.)  We got their itinerary and found that the ship was coming to Hobart and the tour was for Port Arthur.  We arrived about 10:00 and didn't see any sign of a tour group.  We took the bay cruise and looked around a little and then had to meet back at the main building for a walking tour at 12:30.  Well, who should we see when we got there.  We recognized the blue Fun For Less flags and as the walking tour cleared out, we stayed behind on the outskirts of the group.  It was fun to see the expressions on their faces when it began to register that "There are five missionaries standing there."  We were invited to join their group to hear the walking tour.  I think we got them a little distracted as many seemed to wonder over to us, asking questions about our mission, etc.  It was really a fun occasion.

Processing BOOBOO

Elder Rust really thinks this is a funny mistake I made.  (Easy for him to laugh)!  We are now working on immigration files.  There are about 70 boxes full of files which contain letters from people inquiring about immigrating to Tasmania.  We have a 111 page document which lists the files in all the boxes.

Just a few of the boxes we have completed.
 Our supervisor had highlighted those that we did not need to image because the contents range beyond 1960 (privacy laws).  So, it is my job to pull those files.  So, one morning I was preparing the documents and we spent all morning on the box imaging all the letters, etc.  After we image a box, we have to go back and evaluate our work on the computer and change any that we feel didn’t look right.  All that was done.  I was putting the files back into the box when I realized that the first one we imaged (a very large file) was highlighted in yellow.  DO NOT IMAGE!  It was almost 500 images!  You can make sure that I double check all yellow files now.

Symphony in the park:  It had been dry and warm for days and we were looking forward to hearing the Tasmanian Symphony in the park, a free concert.  Luck would have it that it was supposed to rain that evening.  Sure enough, as soon as the concert started, it began to sprinkle and it got increasingly heavier.  After the intermission, the MC decided to call it quits.  He said it was hard to play stringed instruments when they are wet.  The symphony is really good and we enjoyed what we heard.

But this one was a nice evening.  We went to the botanical gardens in Hobart to see A Mid-Summers Night Dream.  Kay had acted in it high school and really wanted to see it.  She had to interpret what was going on to Marvin, but we both enjoyed it.  There was no stage, just three light poles and two ropes laid on the ground to designate seating areas.  Most everyone sat on the ground.  They must be younger than us!!!  The cast used the area in front of us and between the seating areas and the trees.  It was really fun.