A Travellerspoint blog

This ones for you Grandma

I can't Believe it has been 8months

78 °F

Today I was struck by the date, March 2nd. This means that 8 months ago my Great Grandma Whitten passed away so unexpectedly. She was an amazing Lady and I know she is in Heaven looking down over my trip. As I send emails and post cards updating friends and family over the past month I have had the urge more than once to email Grandma letting her know how everything was going. She was excited for me to get to have this trip I remember talking about it the Monday before she passed when I was sitting at her house that afternoon. I wish I could send her pictures and share this with her and I take comfort knowing she is in Heaven reunited with her husband and spending eternal life with God! How amazing is that. And how amazing is it that I got to spend 20years of my life with my Great Grandma! I am so blessed. I still have to catch myself some days when people talk about grandparents when I go to say I have a 104year old great grandma and those moments are sad but I can still smile and say my great grandma lived to be 104 lived in her own house till the day she died! If I could write to her I would tell her so many things like at surf camp I taught the Canadians the card game kings corner and or we played crazy eights, and I thought of her the whole time! I can still remember sitting in her house like it was yesterday. I lived today going to class, enjoying the sunshine and the beach for her today. I would love to tell her about the great friends I am making and how we had 50cent chicken wings tonight sitting looking out over the water. I love talking about her and telling my friends about her she was so amazing! And I know she is watching me have the time of my life on this trip just in a different way then she was before, and one day I will get the chance to tell her all about it. Not now but some day and I will wait patiently for that day. I will get to tell her of all my adventures that she missed but it will be a great day, and maybe then I will get the chance to beat her in upwords just one more time. Today grandma you were missed in all of our hearts and I know tomorrow will be a hard day for my mom so please keep her in your prayers. I lost a wonderful grandma but she lost a best friend. (I love you mom and you are in my prayers today) I love you grandma and I will carry a part of you everywhere I go, thank you for being such an amazing woman and sharing your life with me. I will miss you till the day we see each other again.

Psalm 139:16


Posted by Dykemah 01:50 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

I think I am Hooked

To bad I live in Michigan

overcast 79 °F

The weekend was a BLAST! I wouldn’t change a thing unless it was to make it longer!!! I love surfing!! It was so much fun! This is how the weekend went:

Friday morning we were up bright and early to be on the bus at the uni by 6AM! I thought I was in for like a 3hour drive when the driver informed us it would be a 6 – 6 ½ hour drive depending on traffic! We were all surprised! Thankfully my ipod was charged, the bus was comfy and equipped with a TV and movies! We also headed down the coast so there was lots to look at, Australia is a BEAUTIFUL country! And the scenery just keeps changing so it never gets old! You go from rolling hills to beautiful coast line to farm land and back, crazy! We finally arrived shortly after 1pm (new south whales time, 12 our time) once we got there we checked in and headed to our rooms
Or should I stay storage units haha those are no joke what we stayed in all weekend, just enough room for three small bunk beds….good thing we didn’t spend much time there! After we got changed it was time for our first surf lesson!! It started with a talk where they taught us the rules
And then we got our boards
And headed to the beach where they taught us to paddle then and to stand up on the beach before we got into the water. One of our coaches (who is the second best male surfer over 40 in the world! So I think he knew what he was talking about) told us over and over again all weekend surfing has two parts; 1. Lay down and paddle and 2. Lay down and stand up. So we learned those two things and then hit the waves! It was so much fun!! I didn’t want to get out when our lesson was over I was ready to hit some bigger waves and learn more, but it was dinnertime. So we headed back up to camp put our boards away, showered and got dressed for dinner. Dinner was good the rest of the camp might have been very “campy” but the food was great another surprise of the weekend! After dinner was time just to hang out, we sat by the bonfire for a while then headed down to the beach where there were no lights and the stars were AMAZING I don’t think I have ever seen so many! Seeing that many beautiful stars leaves me in aw of our God, the fact that he put them all there, knows all their names, created them all yet still knows my name and every hair on my head and loves me…HOLY COW it BLOWS MY MIND we serve an amazing outstanding God! We went to bed rather early because we had been up so long and spend the afternoon surfing.
Saturday Morning came early, our morning surf was at 7am which meant we were up for breakfast at 6, and let me just remind you New South Whales is an hour ahead so to all of us this was a 5am wake up call!!! But I wouldn’t change it our morning surf might have been one of my favorites of the weekend. One of the coaches Mitch was helping some of us learn to “drop in” on a wave, to paddle and stand up before the wave crashes. It was amazing! I loved the challenge and you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face once I got it, even with the nosedives I was on cloud nine in that water! He even stuck around for like a half hour after my lesson when people when back to help me (my own little private lesson it was great!) after the morning surf we headed back up to camp, it was a little cloudy so we played some beach volleyball…
Or maybe grass volleyball ahaha and the dog popped the volleyball so we played with a soccer ball ….. not a great idea it hurt! But we played till lunch! Lunch was good just like breakfast and dinner! After lunch Ashley, Willy, Ryan, and I hired out (rented) boards and went out for our own surf to practice and take some pictures of our own. They take pictures for us too during our first few lessons and they were really good they had them playing on screens around camp but you only get 15 and they take a while to get put up so we wanted some now. So we took turns and got some good ones!
We headed back up to camp and rested for about 20mins before our afternoon surf lesson. They taught us out to turn with the wave and ride it all the way into the shore it was great, kind of like snowboarding so I caught on pretty fast. Then it was shower and dinner all over. We hung out by the fire and had a limbo contest, I got almost to the end but I think it might have been rigged for the birthday girl ;) oh well I had fun. Then it was back to the beach for some more star gazing! Ashley and I just couldn’t get enough! Our talk about how amazing God was on the beach got the boys asking questions and we talked for about 2hours. They are asking questions and still having a really hard time grasping the concept that we could put all our faith in one God and one book (the Bible) so please keep them in your prayers as well as Ashley and I, it is hard to be looked at like we are crazy and have our faith tried to be torn apart that much. We are happy to have each other and comforted by a HUGE shooting star when it was all done almost like God was reminding us he was right there the Whole time! it was a true God moment! In the bible it says nonbelivers will look at us like we are foolish and it is happening but I know God is working on the boys hearts and in the end hopefully they will understand and want what we have. But prayers are so needed and appreciated!

Sunday morning was an early start as well but this time it was by choice, ash and I got up early to watch the sunrise on the beach! Then we headed back to bed for about and hour till our morning surf at 9:30
This was our last surf of the trip and Ashley and I had so much fun, we were going for all the big waves with some help of the guys. They would help tell us when to paddle and to stand up so we could learn our timing. They would yell paddle chicky paddle, it was so funny. And then they would laugh when we fell but we heard them talking to each other one time and they were impressed we were going for it, they said look at those girls charging it (surfer term for going for it) it was a blast we felt very accomplished coming out of the water that day! Then it was a quick outdoor shower and dry clothes before lunch, once lunch was over we boarded the bus for the trip home.
This bus ride was nearly 9hours!!! Crazy right! We got to stop at Byron Bay for about and hour and a half to drop some people off so we got to go see the beach it was beautiful! And then walk around the shops some. The main street reminded me a little of Duval street in the keys with all the little shops and bars and such. Then it was back on the bus again til we got to Brisbane to drop off some more people. They let us out but only for like 10mins. But driving in and through the city and what little I saw of it standing on the street it looks like a fun city to visit, like a mix of Chicago and NYC. I hope I get the chance to head down there soon, I think the weekend before Emily goes home we will spend a few days there! Back on the bus for the remainder of the trip home to the sunshine coast! When we were finally home we were exhausted, time for a good clean shower and a sand free clean bed! It feel so good to be clean!
Monday brought back the reality of school, and the sunshine back to the sunshine coast. It has been nice to have it back after a week of rain last week (hopefully I don’t jinks this) and today brought more classes. I had my first go out and take pictures session for my photography class around campus it was fun, nice to get out and explore the campus for an hour. I got some good ones and am trying to figure out if I can make my own postcards out of them, so maybe some of you will see them in the mail!
Tomorrow is my last day of classes for the week and will consist of some classes and reading for those classes, trying to get ahead of my work because next week EMILY WILL BE HERE!! I am so excited to see here Saturday morning! I think the rest of the week will go by fast because tomorrow is class then we are headed down to the Wharf for 50cent chicken wings! Then who knows what Thursday will bring, maybe a beach day and Friday the plan is to head to the Gold coast to see the Roxy Pro Surfing Competition. That should be a lot of fun and a long day! Then Saturday morning I will catch the train to Brisbane to pick up Emily!!! It will be a fantastic Reunion! And I can’t wait!!! I will add some pictures and when I get my pictures from the camp I will be sure to add those too! Thanks for all the love and prayers!

In Him,

Psalm 115: 15

Posted by Dykemah 03:05 Archived in Australia Comments (1)


and first week of classes

overcast 72 °F

My first week of classes went well. The transition back into classes was hard but i made it, I have to continue to remind myself i am here for school! Courses are much different here and that is taking some getting used too. most of my professors are from australia but i do have one from Ireland. Sometimes their accents are a bit hard to understand but i will power through! who can complain when you can do your reading on the beach! I will not be updating this weekend because bright and early tomorrow morning i will be off to SURF CAMP! i am sooo excited! i have been itching to surf and now i get the chance to learn so i can go from here on out!! Ashely and i can't wait, i am packed and ready to go. the bus leaves at 6am tomorrow(not quiet as enthusiastic about that but i'll manage for surf camp!) We will be there almost all day friday, all day saturday and most of sunday. It is at Spot X in Byron Bay, this is in New South Whales so we will get to experience and new state too! Also Ashley (who loves to research all this, which is good for me!) informed me that Byron Bay is the first place the sun hits Australia in the morning so i am sure we will be up bright and early! sunrise surf? Heck Yes! I can't wait!! I will be sure to post pictures and video hopefully of me surfing!! What a great trip it will be one to remember thats for sure! Pray we have good weather because it has been fairly iffy here on the sunshine coast again this week, rain on and off the past few days which is really a bummer but it is the end of their summer here which is their rainy season. I guess the good thing is you can surf in any weather but some sunshine would be nice! Have a wonderful and safe weekend!

In Him,

Psalm 34:10

Ps. It is really easy to comment and subscribe to my blog, I would love to know who is reading it! and LOVE to get messages from home! all you have to do is hit comment or subscribe and pick a user name....SO SIMPLE, i have faith you can all do it!!! Thanks guys!!

Posted by Dykemah 03:52 Archived in Australia Comments (3)

Crocs, Koalas, School Oh My

if only it could just be; Tigers, Crocs, Koalas oh my!

sunny 88 °F

Saturday brought a day of excitement. We went to the ZOO! Home of the crocodile hunter, it was only about a 20minute bus ride from the uni and WAY better than little John Ball back at home. We spend almost 7hours at the zoo and never a dull moment. We saw it all! Lizards and snakes and Tasmanian devils of course the crocs and exotic birds, elephants and tigers and the beloved koala! We got to feed the elephants, which was great fun!
Then we headed off to the wild life show and saw snakes swim in the water
Wild birds, the parrots were beautiful!
And of course the CROC! Monty was his name; he was HUGE and they threw him food and did crazy stuff
We walked around some more and saw Koala island and the dingos and camels and the kids zoo which had little 6week old pigs, they were kind of cute. Then it was time for lunch! It felt good to sit down and in the shade for a few minutes. Willy wanted his picture with a big snake so we went to do that then it was off to the Koala live show, we learned so much about them, did you know they sleep 19hours a DAY! And only eat leafs that’s why they have so much fur because they have no fat to keep them warm! We had so much fun holding them and petting them!
Then we were off to see the tigers and the Kangaroos, cant go to the zoo and not hang with the roos!!! and we saw the rest of the zoo! We had a lot of fun; by the end of the day we were all ready for a nap. Though our day did not end there. Once we got home we had fajita night with the whole gang. Zack did most of the cooking which was really nice and it was all REALLY GOOD! One of the best barbies yet! Because we were all so tired out from the zoo it was a rather quite night for us all.

Click here to see some video of my trip to the zoo!

Sunday brought more sunshine! And a prefect beach day, everyone else must have thought so too because the beach was PACKED. It was hot and sunny not a cloud in the sky a wonderful way to end my break! We came home from the beach just in time for a quick shower and to catch the free bus to church where they fed us a free dinner, it was tasty and a great way to get college students to church! Being back in a church service brought with it a flood of emotions, It felt great to be back in church but was sad and different all at the same time. being a new church was different and made me miss my home church with familiar faces, being there with new friends was good and I was so happy they were there but I missed not being at church on Sunday morning looking down the row with the comfort of knowing my family would be standing next to me. (sorry mom don’t cry) but it was a hard thing to swallow know I wouldn’t be able to do that for 5more months. But I took joy in being back in church swallowed my sadness because God has it all under control. Two of the girls who came along have grown up not really going to church and it was good to see them in church where the message was so clear about the difference between the gospel and relgion. One of the guys who came is a proclaimed “athest” so knowing all three of them came to church with me (mostly for the free dinner but hey it got them into the service) was humbling and comforting knowing God does have a plan. I ask for continued prayers for these three individuals that God will continue to work in their lives while they are here and they will continue to have a genuine desire to learn more and go back. Being in a Pentecostal church is a new experience for me as well so I ask that you can continue to pray for me as I adjust to that as well that I will be able to hear God through the worship and the sermons I this new environment. Over all it was a good day.

This morning brought class…. I had forgotten that was why I was here till today. It is a rather light week of classes here at the uni because in Australia classes run much different then they do at home. Instead of having class three or four time a week for 50mintues we have two hour lecture and two hour tutorials just once a week, a few of my classes are three hour lecture and one hour tutorials. This week just lectures are going no tutorials so a light week. This is a good week to ease back into the swing of classes and such. Well I am off to the plaza to pick up a few things (one being a fan for this HOT weather and no ac) then maybe to the beach for a little while. Thanks again for all the love and support!!

In Him,

Philippians 2:8

Posted by Dykemah 18:37 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

The Rain has Stopped!


rain 77 °F

We had our first full day with no rain today, it has rained for the last three days, ALL DAY! Yesterday we had rain in the morning and sun in the afternoon it was a sight for sore eyes. Someone joked at orientation Monday that all this rain was not in the brochure. Because of all the rain there we had a few down days of nothing to exciting. Early in the week we taught some Canadians how to play Euchre and surprisingly our new Australian roommate (who by the way is teaching how to speak Australian! So great!) knew how to play! Ashley and I were very impressed. Cards has been a common theme in apartment 55 these days, we have played a lot because of the rain. But a quick update from the week;

Monday: Orientation day! And RAIN ☹ but we made it fun, went to some presentations got our pictures taken and got some paperwork done. At noon there was a BBQ for the students where we experienced our first aussie sausage. It was surprisingly good. (I wish I had a picture but judging by how often they seem to serve them I think ill have another chance) What it is is a giant sausage they put on the Barbie, and then they put in not on a bun but a plan piece of white bread, you can put a little barbeque sauce or some tomato sauce (catsup) on your bread, I prefer the BBQ sauce which was odd because I typically don’t like BBQ sauce. And on top of it all some onions that were also on the grill. They were very good! The rest of Monday consisted of a trip to the bank, cards, and some more rain.

Tuesday: it rained some more til mid afternoon, when we got a slight break in the rain we headed into town to walk around some, a few people wanted to look at some surf boards so we walked around the little shops and had a good time, only a few sprinkles and when it wasn’t raining it was crazy humid so we stopped for some ice cream! It was very good, it was very similar to cold stone ice cream but they call it cold rock, Ashley and I thought that was kind of funny. Tuesday night brought a first for most of us, a toga party! The apartment complex welcome back BBQ was toga themed so we all had a great time making some toga, I have pictures that are currently being downloaded to my computer and I will hopefully post tomorrow! That night was great fun and I finally went to my first college toga party. Our Australian roommate Holly thought it was so odd that we had never been to a toga party at home because on TV and movies American colleges are portrayed to have big parties like that.
Wednesday, brought some morning rain and a cloudy day we thought it would be fun to hit the zoo so we set off to do that, however plans changed when we had missed the bus because our timetable was wrong. We were rather upset about it but moved on when willy offered to cook lunch! We headed back to the apartment for a gourmet meal; pasta, steamed veggis, and cashew chicken all from scratch with no help. Willy is from France and he always says how odd it is that we eat lunch “on the go” when he is at home they sit down and eat together for every meal, so he was so happy to cook for us and sit and eat and we were all more than happy to eat! After lunch the rain had cleared so we headed to the Beach we wanted to see Mooloolaba so that is where we went. We didn’t stay long because the clouds returned and it looked like we might get some rain, which we did as soon as we were back on the bus. When we got home Ashley and I took our bikes to the store they worked great! We had chicken and corn and potatoes on the Barbie for dinner, then some more cards! The wonderful lunch Willy made for us all

The wonderful lunch Willy made for us all


Thursday: our first full day of sun! Besides a slight shower in the morning) all of our Canadian friends had a mandatory orientation meeting along with a few other programs so the apartment complex was a little quieter than normal, though we weren’t complaining. We spend the day out on our deck in the sun reading our books and talking. It was very relaxing! That night we played some tennis because the courts had dried off and then we were off to a new tavern for 2dollar tacos. However they did not anticipate so many people and ran out of tacos ☹ so we went for a walk in search of new food. Chinese was what we found and it was Delicious! Then back to the Tavern for a while then it was home where we sat out on our deck in the peaceful still air watching the Giant bright moon and talking, then once again the rain came, not for long but it sent us inside for the night.

Friday: today! Today was an exciting day. We hopped on a bus at 9am for the Hinterland tour. Our first stop, Kondalilla falls, we hiked around in the national part for a few hours and saw so many beautiful waterfalls, one of which had a rock pool at the base and we got to go swimming, the water was freezing at first but then felt so refreshing, it was different to be swimming in freshwater again. the best part of the morning was getting to jump off the falls, (pictures to come soon!!) It was a lot of fun and we are hopping to go back when we aren’t on such a time frame. The rest of the falls were beautiful the featured Kondalilla Fall was around 80m tall SO BIG! And it was beautiful; I enjoyed walking around and experiencing Gods great creation, so different then what we have at home, just one more reason I am so blessed to be here. After the falls it was lunchtime! we were all very hungry after all the hiking we did. After lunch we headed off to anther national park, one with a view of the Glass House Mountains, they were very beautiful. I hope at some point during my trip I will get the chance to see them up close. The rainforest walk was fun as well, not quiet as eventful as all the waterfalls but unique and fun in its own way. The rainforest walk was surrounded with new types of trees and vines we had never seen before some straight and some curled, it was really cool. The fig trees were really cool to see up close they are SO tall and so windy together their roots go on forever. It was an interesting walk. After the rainforest it was a bus trip back to the school. After a great day of adventure! When we got home we jumped in the pool and swam for a little while, then we sent the boys to the store for dinner. Tonight was chicken/prawn (shrimp) alfredo. Yum! Then some more cards and just hanging out and talking. We were all very tired from a long day so we called it an early/lazy night. And as I write this I may of jinxed the rain because it is once again raining here on the sunshine coast, but it is kind of nice because it cools it down and when it is well into the 80s with humidity and no AC ill take the rain if it cools it down so I can sleep! I am off to bed now because early tomorrow morning we are leaving for the Zoo! We are all very excited to see the famous Steve Irwin zoo, there are so many attractions our hope is to hold some Koalas, pet the tigers, feed the elephants and hopefully hang out with some kangaroos! Pray that we have a beautiful day to spend at the zoo and for fajita night on the Barbie!

Watch a video of my hinterland trip here!

We have had such a great time so far, and were talking tonight how quickly friendships have formed we are our own little family here on the other side of the world. Continue to pray for the other kids I get the chance to interact with so that they can continue asking questions about my faith and who I live my life for and get my Joy from, as well for me so that God will give me the words to speak to them! It is exciting to see God working here and helps me not to be homesick although some days I do miss home when I have my breakfast skype dates where I am eating my frootloops and my family at home is having a nice steak dinner, I enjoying my self everyday and have no regrets for coming. I am meeting new people from all over and experiencing new things daily. I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world! The prayers and support from home have been so encouraging. This week I received my first few pieces of mail and they were wonderful to get, a little piece of home! Thank you to all who have sent letter or cards you have no idea how exciting it is to get them. Today was a great day with great friends enjoying Gods wonderful creation here on the sunshine coast!! I am sure I will update tomorrow after my wonderful zoo trip! Have a great day!

In Him,

Revelations 3:20

Posted by Dykemah 04:58 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

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