Wednesday, September 26, 2007

In the land of Oz!

We have safely arrived in Australia.

Our temporary address (for the next two months) is:

1 Johnson Avenue
Hoppers Crossing

Our temporary phone numbers are:

614 0382 5056 (mobile)
613 5330 1937 (Neil Davies home number, we'll be here 'til this Sunday)

We're doing well. We're being taken good care of. Thanks for your prayers!

I (Rachel) am a bit overwhelmed by it all. Your prayers are appreciated, especially for me to get a good job, and for Mark to get a good start to his job (he starts tomorrow, Thursday!) and really enjoy what he's doing.

Soon I will post some photos of two very cute twin Koala babies that Mark and I saw this past Sunday at the Wildlife Park! We also enjoyed feeding and petting and HUGGING kangaroos.



Friday, September 07, 2007

Back in Arizona!

Howdy folks! Mark and I safely flew from Australia and England and reunited in Phoenix, Arizona. He was waiting for me at the airport with flowers in hand and a smile on his face! Thanks for all your prayers for our safe travels. Mine were unusually uneventful, which I praise the Lord for. It's not easy navigating London and the underground system with two 70 lb. suitcases and a very heavy packback... and a pillow, and a bag of food. Mark had an equally fine time with his layover in Hawaii! He stayed with some friends of mine (thanks Paul and Crissy!) and was able to cruise the island, watch the surfers, and even do some snorkeling.

The morning I left from London I was wearing a wool jacket and scarf, a sweatshirt, jeans, and wool socks (admittedly in part to be prepared for the usually cold airplane flight), to be welcomed into temperatures of over 100 degrees F (and this is at 7pm in the evening) in Phoenix! The warm clothes came off very quickly. I have to tell you, I AM LOVING THE HEAT AND SUNSHINE! Only you friends of ours in England will truly be able to appreciate this. It was definitely initially strange to have sunshine everyday, and warmth everyday. England was unfortunately completely bypassed by summer. One British friend even admitted she has her thermals out already!

We're happy to be reunited, happy to be in excellent weather, happy to be with family and old friends and happy to have proper Mexican food again! Mmmmm.

Take a close look at this photo above... it's me sitting on my mom's lap! The girl next to me is Michelle. I've shown you this photo because below is Michelle and me 26 years later with our husbands at our sides. Our mom's were (and still are) good friends. Michelle grew up in Chicago, but has recently moved to Phoenix, Arizona with her husband. They were able to pick us up in Phoenix, drive us down to my parents' place in southern Arizona, and then hang out with us for the weekend. Here you see us at the rodeo (that's right... cowboys and bucking broncos!) in Sonoita. It was a fun experience!

After the rodeo we drove in to Mexico. My dad wanted to show us the church and Christian retreat center that his church in Sonoita, Arizona helps fund. They are in the poor barrios (neighborhoods) of Nogales, Mexico.

The happy couple reunited!

Shopping in Mexico...

Last but not least, the day after we had a bridal shower for my cousin Melissa who is getting married Thursday, Sept 13th (next week). She is marrying a Marine, and they have just received word that they will be moving to Hawaii! I am very pleased for her and can't wait to visit. I am honored to be her Matron of Honor at the wedding.

Me with my friend, Bonnie, at the Bridal Shower. Abi, thanks for the tanning cream... I have received many compliments on my fake sun-kissed skin!

We'd appreciate continued prayers for safe travels as we still have many airplane flights and long drives ahead of us. This weekend we fly up to Winnipeg, Canada to visit with Mark's family. We are really looking forward to seeing them!

We are both still really excited about Australia. We finally received our 4-year visas yesterday, so that's an answer to prayer. I asked Mark the other day if he saw any kangaroos when he was there and he said, "Only a dead one on the side of the road." How disappointing! Oh well, I'm sure we'll see plenty more.

To all of our friends in England, we miss you! Thanks so much for the book you made us. It's SO special... we love it and will cherish it always.

And FYI, we can't access Facebook from my dad's computer (in case you were wondering why we haven't written back). For some reason it is a blocked site. However, I do anticipate being able to check at Dave and Janie's (our brother and sister-in-law) house in Winnipeg.