Quite a lot has happened since I last wrote. Because D had to stop flying, I had to make a trip to a remote community by myself. It ended up being a good 10-day trip where I was able to accomplish a lot with an older Aboriginal lady, editing a project we had been working on. Towards the end of the ten days, D was cleared to fly again! They said his fainting was just a vasovagal response to back pain. It was fun to go home after my trip and have a big reason to celebrate!
A few days after I got home, D had a trip of his own to make: flying people around over a long weekend. The day he got back from that trip, we had a 2 week vacation to Europe to attend the wedding of one of my best friends. We toured around 3 countries and stayed overnight in another one on the way home.
Of course, some of the joys of traveling around other countries are seeing the interesting architecture and trying new foods. The wedding was the fanciest I have ever been to. It started in a castle in the early afternoon and ended with a 6 or 7 course meal that lasted until midnight.
As soon as we got back from that trip, we were planning our next to two remote communities and we left a few days after getting back (with just enough time to start getting over the worst of the jet lag).
Our trip in to the communities was difficult with poor sleep at night in the first community which turns out to be a very noisy place. The second community was peaceful, but we only stayed there for 2 nights. After almost 3 weeks total, enough work had been accomplished that we could come home. We ended up flying a couple young guys back from a community out to town so that they couold geta flight to Sydney. We had a couple busy days providing meals for them, helping them find a place to stay for the night, helping them purchase plane tickets and getting them back to the aiport. They are attending a 6 month program that we are very excited about as we think it will help them be prepared to contribute more to their community. We've seen big changes in their lives since the "revival" last October.
This past weekend, I took two healthy "sick days." Besides going out to a garage sale briefly on Saturday and church on Sunday, I basically just stayed in bed all weekend watching Netflix and reading. I enjoyed watching "Untold Stories of the ER" since all the stories had happy endings. It was nice to not pressure myself to accomplish anything, but really I felt like all the reading and TV watching were serving as a distraction and weren't really restorative for me in the long run. I felt like I was blocking out my feelings instead of dealing with them and I was hit with a wave of anxiety when the weekend was over. I think I actually feel better about life when I get some things accomplished each day.
Changing topics, I'll share one little adventure we had a month ago, on Territory Day (between our last two trips). We were out for an evening walk and a man called out to us to call an ambulance. His wife was lying on the ground next to him. She was conscious but had chest pain. We called emergency and struggled to get them to understand where we were as we were on a funny little backroad. When they finally came we saw that it was the same emergency technician who had come to "rescue" D on the morning he passed out. We were able to let them know that he was fine and back to flying.
Just after we left them, we saw a firework land in long grass and a fire starting. We called emergency again as the fire was begining to spread. It took them a long time to come (there must have been lots of other more urgent fires to attend too). On our way back from our walk, as we watched dozens of fireworks going off in the distance all around us, we saw that the fire had spread out in a huge ring and had burned most of the field. It was approaching some trees and the walkway we were using. Fortunately, a ute with a water tank arrived and slowly started to control the blaze at the most critical places. We watched and I told D that I was keeping my sunglasses on in case someone else lit up another firework too close by (I didn't want my eye shot out). He replied that that was unlikely. Surely they would see this enormous grass fire and realize that this dry grassy land with all the dry trees was a bad place for fireworks. Shortly after he said that, another firework whizzed closely overhead! I was worried as we finished our walk home as people were shooting off fireworks everywhere, often very close to where we were walking. Luckily we made it home without one hitting us!