It was a cool, foggy morning here in Sydney. I woke up and went for a run around the neighborhood to explore the area. I passed morning commuters walking to the train station and kids catching the bus to school. I came home, ate breakfast with Rachel, and got ready for the day. Ann picked me up at 10:15 followed by Cayla, and we went to Santa Sabino school. Cayla and I finally met Sr. Rose Mary, who was our main contact in Australia when organizing our programs. Jane Sullis, who works with social justice in the school was also with us. Cayla and I asked endless questions about the Solomons - from what our jobs will be to what foods we can eat. The women were very knowledgable, enthusiastic, and helpful. The meeting got me even more excited for our time in the islands. We received a tentative outline for the rest of our trip and touched on every imaginable topic about Australia and the islands.
We will spend the first week on Guadalcanal at two separate locations. The next three weeks will be spent in Malaita in the diocese of Auki, working with Bishop Chris and living with the nuns. The plans and schedule for our time there are not definite, and it is likely that things will be adjusted once we arrive. However, I will primarily be shadowing and assisting in the secondary school with academics and recreation. I’m already brain storming obstacle courses, races, and hopefully an “Olympics.” After three cups of tea and lunch, we looked around the archives of the Dominican sisters in Australia and the Solomons. Sr. Rose Mary showed us beautiful and intricate necklaces, woven mats, and wooden carvings brought back from the Solomons. Cayla and I can't wait to find our own treasures like these in the market. Sr. Rose Mary, Ann, and Jane were delightful and it was great to learn about their experiences.
At 3:30 Ann dropped Cayla and me off at the Vosila’s house. Rachel took the two of us to the shopping centre to buy a few things the women suggested we bring - iodine solution to clean cuts, water purification tablets, and extra water bottles to store water after we boil it. After walking around the shops for a little while, we brought Cayla back to the Bell’s house. At home, I tried on Rachel’s extra ski clothes because we will be spending the weekend skiing with a few other families at a shared lodge. I’m so excited to spend more time with the Vosila’s and meet their friends. We ate a delicious dinner, relaxed, and watched the Australian version of The Kardashians. I really appreciate the hospitality and comforts of their home, especially knowing what’s ahead in the Solomons.