Sunday, July 25, 2010

Quickly Acquainted...With the Hospital.

Getting cut open and taken care of is a great way to get comfy with a new country ay? The last three days of my Australian extravaganza were spent in Norwest Hospital in Bella Vista, New South Whales. This was not only my first Australian hospital experience but my first hospital experience ever


I woke up Wednesday morning at Caressa’s apartment with a cramp feeling in my stomach. I tried eating a banana and it only caused the pain to get worse. I got back to my house around twelve o’clock that afternoon and still felt a bad cramping, it was now across my entire abdomen. Skype calls home to friends and family helped me get my mind off of the pain for a few hours and I had thought resting would relieve the cramp feeling. That night was a cookout for all the new college students and I was in so much pain I couldn’t go. It had reached the point of me not being able to get out of bed without excruciating pain. Some friends heard I was sick and came by with some medicine after they left church. Nothing worked, I knew this pain was not a pain I had felt before. It definitely was not a little stomach virus. I probably slept all of two hours that night and woke up around 3:00 a.m.. It felt as if all my pain had moved to my lover right side of my stomach, I knew it was my appendix. A friend took me to the nearest clinic the next morning (Caressa was in orientation during this time) and the doctor immediately knew it was appendicitis, he told me to go straight to the ER. The realization that I was about to have to go to an emergency room alone hit me. I began to cry to the doctor explaining that I had no one here with me and how I had never been to a hospital in my life. I was terrified. On the way to the hospital I texted Caressa and told her what was going on. Right when orientation was over she met me in the emergency room with Martha Stunt, from the church, my roommate Nastassia, and a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. She knows me so well. When they arrived it was like everything was all right. I really wasn’t scared anymore, just in a great amount of pain. The surgeon didn’t see me until six o’clock that night, I waited a long eight hours to be seen. It is a miracle my appendix didn’t rupture. Caressa and Nastassia wished me luck as they wheeled me back to where I would begin pre op and sweet Martha, who filled in for mom that night, followed me. At this point the pain had gotten so bad I was begging for them to put me to sleep and get my appendix out! But, since nothing is ever fast in Australia, it was another forty-five minutes before I was moving from my bed to the operation table. When I laid down he told me I would be falling asleep soon and I do not think I lasted another twenty-seconds before I was out cold. When I woke up I remember feeling no pain at all. Dr. Soo really did a great job. Martha Spent the night with me at the hospital in my room that night. Caressa returned the next day as soon as orientation ended and stayed all day and night with our life saver, seasons four and five of Grey’s Anatomy. There is no way I could have done this without her here with me. It made me feel so much better. Later on hospital day two, new friends from school came by to see with flowers. It was so sweet. They kept me company for a while and prayed for me before leaving. I will definitely adjust nicely to those kind of new friends.

I have realized I am far from the hospital type of person, the last two days of recovery I felt like I was locked in a dungeon. The food was awful. I absolutely can not stand sitting still. When I was disconnected from my IV to shower, before the nurse could hook me back up I was downstairs with Caressa getting a turkey panini from the cafe. It was the best and pretty much only thing I ate while I was there. Besides the Krispy Kreme, Mcflurry, and French fries Caressa brought me. She was the best nurse. Now being out, I still can not believe it happened. It’s crazy to me and I am so glad it’s over. Such a funny way to build trust in my new home, let them remove my appendix.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Free Time

Throughout the past week I have been learning all the places to go around the area. Some are great and some I will have to stay away from for my body's sake. There is a gym called fitness first that's about a seven minute walk from my place. Only 15 dollars a week for unlimited work outs, I say it's a deal. Last friday night Caressa Nastassia and I all went to the United service which is all ages of youth combined. Worship was amazing. After, some girls in my house invited us to all go to Max Brenner. This place is a chocolate cafe from heaven. We had a chocolate covered waffle, strawberries and bananas. According to all the new friends it was a must and it was definitely worth it. I just made sure to run a little further the next morning.
Last night I went out in the city for some of my favorite new friends farewell night. They just finished their year here and have to go home back to New Zealand now. I love Kellie and I am going to miss her a lot. Ten of us went out salsa dancing then walked through the city to a twenty-four hour restaurant called Pancakes on the Rocks.
It is right next to the Harbour Bridge and has the most delightful pancakes I have ever tasted. (but another place that's not good for the diet I'm working on) The night was long and by the time we arrived home it took about five seconds to fall asleep. Nights like those are the best. Good times with new friends, and it's only the beginning of my stay.

Thursday and Friday we go to the church to enroll for our classes. I am excited about getting my schedule and starting school, all of the students have said I will love it. I have also been dropping off my resume's at every place that will take them. Say a little prayer for me, I need to get one of the many jobs I have applied for.

Yesterday I found myself a little sad and missing home, but I have to keep in mind that that's a part of being away and to stay busy is key. Skype is a wonderful invention and will be the reason I make it through the next four months. I will post again soon!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Stop Go. Yes No.

From my arrival until now I have been non stop except for the time I made to write my last post. Moving and adjusting is a much longer process than I had expect it to be. Right when I think there is no possible way that we have forgotten a single necessity, I remember something else. I'm sure in about a week we will have everything settled and put together the way it should be. Each day it feels more and more like home.

Yesterday was my Mom's last full day here. We made sure to get all the big projects finished so we could spend her last day in the city. To get to the city from my house is about a thirty minute commute, which is not bad at all. Luckily I got a roommate who knows the bus and train system like a champ, because there is no way my mom and I could have gotten around without her. I have a lot of learning to do. Once we reached the city I was blown away by how gorgeous it really is. I have seen many pictures, but they do not come close to actually seeing it in person.
We saw the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Opera House first. The area that they are in is such a peaceful place, especially for being in the city. We had lunch at the Opera Bar which is outside right next to the water. The weather was perfect but cold when windy. Everything you would want is within walking distance. One second you are looking at the water, then the next you are either in the Botanical Gardens or at some of the best shopping in the heart of the city. The Botanical Gardens are beautiful. The pictures above were taken there. I can't pass up a tree climb, and I'm glad Nastassia couldn't either. She is a lot like me.
My mom and I were blown away by the shopping. There are so many more stores here and all of them have cute and unique clothes. I already know General Pants, Dotti, and Just Jeans are going to be some of my new favorites. Now I just need a job. The city itself is unlike any other city I have seen. It is unusually clean and the designs of the stores and buildings are very plush.The day in the city was long, but a perfect last day for my mom. Each day I am falling more and more in love with Sydney, I have a peace about being here. God has already answered so many prayers and I am so excited for school to start in a week and a half. I am ready to grow and seek God on a level like never before, that is why I am here. No matter the chaos, I am not going to let myself forget that.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


After four hours from Georgia to Los Angeles and fifteen hours from Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia we made it to my new home. The flight was not as bad as I had expected, I slept for about eight of the fifteen hours. We arrived at eight a.m. which is six p.m. in Georgia. Even though we were very jet lag, we didn't let ourselves go to sleep so we could adjust to the time change. My mom and I shopped around and got to know the area the first day, then Sunday night we went to our first service of Hillsong Church. It was awesome, there is such a moving atmosphere about the church and all the people seem full of life. My mom, who only got two hours of sleep on the plane, crashed right after church and I went and had dinner with Caressa.

Day two came very early, we were up at 6:45 getting ready for move in day! We arrived at the church where I was assigned my house and it just so happened that my roommate and I arrived at the exact same time. Her name is Nastassia and she is from Austria. We have so much in common and share the same interests which is such an answered prayer. She can speak English German and French which blows me away. Getting to see our house and room for the first time was exciting. We are living in a gated community with a work out facility and a pool. Another answered prayer haha. As we walked in we were greeted by our other housemates (we have seven girls living in our house) and one is from Marietta Georgia! The others are from Sweden, New Zealand, and Hawaii. We have a lot of cultures in our house which I think will add to the fun. Two new guy friends that helped us moved offered to take us shopping for the things we would need for our rooms and I don't think they knew what they were getting themselves into. We started at ten in the morning and did not stop until ten at night. We got almost everything we needed in once day. We were exhausted.

Some things that I have already noticed that are quite different from home is the shopping. Not only clothing, but also groceries. The malls have everything in one, it would be like having a Publix and a Target inside the Mall Of Georgia. It is very convenient, but will be very tempting to buy clothing when I am suppose to be grocery shopping. In Australia there are less department stores and more smaller stores, and they are all awesome. I have definitely noticed that the people who live here are a lot more into fashion than at home, and I am loving it. I am hoping to get a job at a cafe/restaurant because I have heard they are good about working around students school schedules. The first grocery store journey was interesting. There is no Honey Nut Cheerios, Kraft sliced cheese, Quaker chewy granola bars, Jiff peanut butter, and so many other things that are delicious at home. But i am going to make the best of it and was introduced to some new things that will do for now haha.

Right now my my mom, Nastassia, and I are going to walk around in the neighborhood then head to get more things we realized we forgot yesterday. I will keep you posted as much as possible about more exciting things I will be doing coming up next week! Caressa and I are planning parties and trips, pictures are on the way!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Last Days

Six days is all that I have left. Something is still telling me that I have no idea what I have gotten myself into… but that’s what keeps it interesting. Right? There is not a great enough adjective to describe how ready I am to begin this next adventurous chapter of my life. With not a single idea what to expect, a completely clean slate. Sounds so refreshing, yet somewhat intimidating.

I am going to be using this blog to document everything I experience, learn, and see. Keeping in touch with everyone from home is not going to be easy with the 16 hour time difference, so I will do my best to include as many details and photos on this site as possible. The things God has already shown me and taught me, I believe, is only the beginning. I can’t wait to see how my life changes throughout the next year. Thank you to everyone who has prayed for me, encouraged me, and help me become who I am. Because now all of the learning is about to be tested when I “leave the nest” and live life on my own in a completely different country. It is all scary, but more exciting than I had ever expected. I’ll keep you posted!