September and October 2014 will be a month that I will always remember – it was so great having Mom come over from South Africa to stay for three weeks. I hadn’t realized how much I had missed her. When you immigrate to another country and you are so far away you try not to think and dwell on all the family things you miss out on. Every now and again there is a family event ( wedding, Christmas, special birthday/anniversary celebrations) that tug at my heart when I see everyone’s photos and suddenly I realize how much I miss family. So with that said we had a great time when Mom came over. The time flew by way too quickly and we tried to pack in as much as we could around the access visits our foster boys attend (see my blog Sweet Hope Chronicles for that journey).
It was fun showing her a bit of Australia – our wildlife and bird life are a bit different here and so we enjoyed seeing it too.
The day after Mom arrived we headed to our local lake for a walk. Lake Lysterfield is about a ten minute drive from our home and has lovely walks around the lake as well as mountain bike tracks and then of course there is the lake which is beautiful. We were hoping to see kangaroos but because it was a busy day full of people soaking up the elusive Melbourne sun they stayed in hiding.
The next week we managed to get in some shopping and I had great fun taking Mom to IKEA. She was amazed at how big it was and all the different homewares you can buy there. I also took her op shopping and that was great fun for her to see. Being in a new country gave Mom some opportunities to try some things she would not usually do at home. One of our favourite foods as a family is Sushi and we just had to convince her to try it. I remember when we moved to New Zealand I was not keen to try it as I always thought Sushi was raw fish and I had no desire to try that. However I soon discovered that in the context we lived in sushi was not that – it is meat, rice and vegetables wrapped in a seaweed paper and is absolutely delicious. So after buying some tuna, chicken and salmon sushi Mom and I sat down to lunch one day. I think she really enjoyed it.
Another new experience was filling up the car with petrol – we just had to get Mom to do it and explain that there would be no tip for her effort.
It was really great that Mom could do the everyday things with me come with me like watching Aaron do his school fun run.
One of the nicest trips we had was out to Healesville Sanctuary. This is wildlife park that has all the native Australian animals and birds. Even though we have been here for five years we had never actually been there before so it was a great outing for us too.We watched a bird show called ‘Birds in Flight’ that was fantastic. They brought out each bird and explained a bit about them. It was incredible getting up close and personal with them. The birds of prey were especially amazing and a wedge-tailed eagle flew so close over our heads that it actually brushed my hair. it was literally hair-raising but so exciting.
He truly was a magnificent specimen
We also saw the Black Breasted Buzzard and how he cracks things using a stone.
Some of the other birds we saw:
We got to see all the local Aussie wildlife too: Dingo pups (hard to believe they can be so dangerous when they look like your average dog)
A baby wombat
Red Kangaroo (male)
Finally Mom gets to see a Kangaroo – but not in the wild yet – we’ll get there!!
I really enjoyed seeing the koalas up close because after living here almost five years I have only ever seen them a couple of times and usually way up in the trees.
Tasmanian Devil – their ears go bright red when they get angry – a mean little critter.
This baby koala was just too cute
We had a picnic lunch in the sanctuary which we all enjoyed while the sacred Ibis ate crumbs at our feet.
To get to Healesville Sanctuary we drove through the yarra Valley which is wine country and very pretty. Many of the trees were in blossom and made for beautiful scenery.
All in all we had a great outing. My next few posts will be about some of the other places we visited – too many to do in one post. Great memories and times together.