Friday, 16 October 2015

Spring Already???

Well, folks, spring is well and truly upon us.  For those of us in Aussie land, anyway (and if you happen to live in the southern hemisphere)... for those of you up north - I envy you.  You get winter soon!!!  *insert sad face* )

But even I'll admit that there are some wonderful things about spring.  Take away the wind, and the pollen and the allergies :P  and there is incredible new growth and new birth happening all around us.  In Australia, we have Easter in autumn, when everything is winding down and dying.  I can see why you people in the NH have it in spring.  New life is amazing.  There are daisies all over the park next door, and the wattle trees have blossomed in different shades of pink, red and yellow.  From where I sit, I can see the gardens of our neighbours.  Flowers are coming up and starting to show off their beautiful hues of purple, pink, and white.  Even the trees seem to have taken on a new sheen of green.  
Birds seem to be everywhere.  In the park next door, we always have a pair or two of magpies that nest in one of the trees.  (Never fear!  They like us, and let us in the park with no swooping in sight!!)  Yesterday, Elise got some sausage out of the fridge and sat under one of the trees with the meat in her hand.  The magpies were intrigued and came to investigate.  They hopped up a bit closer, and a bit closer and when they both were only a foot away from her hand, they threw back their heads and began to sing.   I don't think American and Australian magpies are the same... if you don't know when an Aussie magpie sounds like, check out the video here:
It's only a very small selection of what they can sing, but once they get into full voice, their song is so pretty!  Its one of my very favourite bird calls.  :)

With the thought of spring comes the realization that the end of the year is nearly upon us.  We are into Christmas rehearsals at church - I am in the choir this year which is proving to be rather fun, albeit amusing.  Most of the female singers in the choir are altos which leaves Joy and Me (and sometimes Elise) to sing soprano.  My problem is that there are some funny people in the choir who make me laugh whilst I am trying to sing a rather important melody.  My comfort is that the others singing said melody (Joy and two tenors) usually dissolve into laughter as well, so while it doesn't do any favours for the song, I am not the only one ruining it!!

We are also doing some drama for the Christmas production this year, which is exciting.  I did a bit of drama for it last year (I was a Disney shepherd and a Shakespearean Wiseman)  and so I am looking forward to seeing what I may be able t do this year.  Because our team for both choir and drama is not as large as we could wish, there will be some double-ups and some swapskies to get everything in.  But that's ok - it's why we call it creative arts!!

I thought I would share with you a picture taken at the end of August of me and three of my sisters.  It was taken at the women's conference that our church hosts every year.  The theme this year was "Imagine" and it was amazing to see women daring to dream and God giving people vision for the future... He is so wonderful!!  Anyway, I like the photo (although we had a hard time getting Grace to agree to come and join us!  XD)  From left to right: Joy (15), Jess (19), Grace (17), and me.  :)  

A couple of weeks ago, Jess and I spent a week at Tahlee to help cook for a youth camp.  Tahlee has a program for English immersion students and so currently they have six Koreans and two Bolivians staying at Tahlee to learn English (or learn to teach English).  They are such lovely people.  Jess and I got to know them quite well over the week.  On our last night there, the students invited us over for a movie night.  They told me to bring the movies so I borrowed a few from our adopted grandparents who live there, and went over after dinner.  We decided on Ever After starring Drew Barrymore.  It is really interesting to watch a movie that you know almost off by heart with 1) six Koreans who have never seen it before, and 2) two Bolivians who have only ever watched it in Spanish.  The first thing I noticed was how fast and what a thick British accent the characters in the movie speak with.  The reason I noticed this is because I had spent all week talking to students on only learning English - suddenly I was very aware of the English they would have more trouble understanding.  After the movie, one of the Korean girls asked me, "Was that a British accent?"
"Yes, it was," I replied.
"Do you understand it all?" she asked, awe creeping into her voice.
"Yes," I admitted.
"Ahhh!"  She cried in exaggerated frustration.  "ENGLISH!!!"

Koreans are very expressive - something happens in the movie and all six of them cry out, "Oooohhhhh!" at the same time and escalating to the same pitch at the same time.  Jess and I thought it was quite funny.
It was amusing too when the stepmother in the movie says some horrible things to Danielle, and my sweet Bolivian friend exclaimed, "It is even worse in English!"

Ever After is about a two-hour long movie and finished at about 9:45.  Most of our group (including Jess) said goodnight and went to bed, but one of the Bolivians and two of the Koreans informed me that they had never seen "The Sound of Music" and begged me to watch it with them, so we did... all three hours of it... starting at 10:00 pm.  I have to say I don't think I would do that again - start a movie of that kind of length at such an hour, but how often do you get to watch "The Sound of Music" with people who have never seen it before???  It was fun - everyone got quite tense towards the end, with my Bolivian friend talking to the screen in Spanish and holding onto my hand rather tightly.  I found the hardest thing about it was that none of them seemed to understand the enormity of Hitler's movement or what he stood for, and seemed to think that it would be better for Captain von Trapp just to do what he was told... I tried to explain best I could without talking over the next scene.  They really enjoyed it though, and it was a lovely time with them.

Sorry this post has been a long time coming - life has been in the way lately!!  Actually this whole year has been so incredibly, insanely busy... but it's good - we wouldn't really change it!   Hopefully I won't be so long in posting again next time!  Hope you all have a very blessed weekend!  :)