Posted by: Colleen Ens | July 2, 2010

Let the games begin…

Let the games begin!

June 23 to July 1, 2010 – parts prepared in-flight from the Sunshine Coast to Melbourne

You can’t believe how this time has been for me. Seeing things I couldn’t imagine I would, right along with things I’d rather not. I’m in flight now, for the first time since landing in Brisbane via Fiji in February 2010. It wouldn’t be fair to say time has flown by, as it has not. Too many times I’ve tried to ignore the voice yelling out “what could possibly be worth being so far away from those you love and those whom you love back?” 

But here I am at 35,000 feet – never uncertain when airborne.  Happily gazing out of the window of the fuselage. Trucks on the tarmac getting smaller by the minute, now cruising over flat and lush pastures, now my favorite part above the clouds so bright and while on top and a brilliant blue sky above.  Seeing the red earth tinged with green tell me there has been so much more rain than what has been the norm for the last ten years and it is very welcome, so far, so good for the local population.

   The great dividing line between here and home is less in the weather, in spite of how dramatic Aussie rains and suns can be and more inspiring through its incredibly abundant bird life. The concept that they don’t fly away, to warmer or cooler places still intrigues me. More so the idea that flowers bloom in the winter because the summers are too hot for them to bloom – such a foreign concept!

            …The colours are so vivid,

            How do these birds manage to go through life with so much colour? What do you suppose a Cardinal would do if he came across this squawking creature? The Crimson Rosellas fly in large flocks and ambles up and down flowering branches as though they are clumsy clowns. These guys are so much fun to watch! They are slighter larger than their Rainbow Lorikeet cousins who’s names are as colourful as they are! Sometimes it takes a while to recognize the unexpected details, sadly the beauty is not everywhere. Many of the inhabitants have dangerous driving habits and not altogether racially tolerant. As I contemplate our landing, I’d say I’ve landed on my feet and can’t say I’m suffering very much. 

… a break in the clouds

Now I’m happily thinking of a space of less than 24 hours when after four months and 20 days Zol and I will be reunited. I wouldn’t have believed anyone if they saw into my future, now half way through an enriching experience in a post grad degree at the same time putting out of my mind how I can possibly cope with perhaps even a bit longer stretch before I return home – home to winter in Canada no less when at the same time heat stroke is a possibility here, should circumstances allow me to help my flat mate – Jenn move to her new life – it its there, for her in Melbourne.

            If you ‘never know someone till you live with them’, knowing Jenn as I am beginning to do has been the absolute best thing I could have done to learn this wonderful ‘down unda’ culture.

            …Life as a student – gotta love those university breaks!

So, to the most significant piece of news first – I have been blessed with honours and a high distinction’ here, which matters to me a lot more than I thought it would. While on campus, dealing with deadlines, papers to be submitted including presentations and project work with hard-to-read partners well it created a life of its own. Today the grad dip program is at a half way mark. I was happy to be done with the first semester at university and now I’m happy to be half way through my practicum requirements.

            The kids were fantastic, my critics, my friends, my trial audiences – pretty ironic when you consider in my own childhood a struggled with the grade 5’s I’ve been teaching for five weeks HA! Most fun so far was making plaster of Paris casts for the kids ‘C.S.I. projects and both the students and myself up to our collective elbows in plaster dust. I smile when I remember how my first week’s project included decorating the library in a Canadian Blizzard Scene – the theme being ‘Chill out with the good book’.

            …. Blizzards and Brilliant Birds

            So there I was, my first week of my practical experience at ‘Currimundi State School’ in the class of grade 4/5’s split and my mentor teacher tells me he has my first project lined up for me. It’s the new library’s ‘Book Fair and the theme is laughable – I should be thinking of chilling out at all – queue Colleen in the shops of Brisbane tracking down images of Polar Bears and Penguins. HA! After a week of pure endurance and a lot of effort the Library is transformed into a Canadian winter wonderland and at the end of the week, my mentor teacher – Darren – is telling me he’s never seen anything like it J. His previous experiences from his many ‘prac’ students didn’t put in the same amount of effort. Overall, no matter how often I hit the target or even a bullseye in my University studies, the real prize has come to me through the recognition of “high distinction on my first practicum – now just to repeat the process … but first – we focus on something we can’t afford to miss – our Asian adventure.

A doubly momentus day!

Our day begins with two major events:

1/ From a strategic and political perspective a Welch-born woman has moved forward – you may say – sharpened her elbow and has been named today as the first Prime Minister of Australia. Can’t say as her bearing is much to write home about but like it or not Ms. Julia Gillard is at the top of the heap at this time.

2/ What matters so much more and to mark the day of this historical event in personal terms as the day that Zol and I got reunited. Zoli and I found each other in Sydney after an interminable wait – we were almost five months apart. I could never have foreseen this


            Last week I met a couple from Quebec who were making their way along the way from the coast and so making their way along the coast and so very intent on expressing this adventure day to day. Veronique and Julien hailed from Sherbrooke – a lady who works in lab and a blood bank and a man who currently drives bicycle in lieu of the city bus he drives back home. My flat mate Jenn admired them and called them intrepid and I agree.

If I were going to worry about the path that I am on, I would have to say the current path is a good one and too good to worry about. My response is that it depends on the day that I am asked the question. Any day that includes the vantage point which includes connecting flights,high above the clouds is a good day to ask me. So I say no looking back now. 

I’m so blessed. These adventures are so welcome, so invigorating – hard sometimes to recognize a good opportunity when the greatest pay off includes accepting the delayed gratification of being with Zoli, more to be here, in this day when we reconnect and just smile….J Now for our own adventure – Asian style!



  1. I am inspired by your razor sharp focus on what you want to create in your life, every time I read a post of yours. You are already teaching, my friend. And a great teacher you will be to our babies who hold the future in their hands!
    I can’t even imagine how much you and Zoli will be able to cherish the sweetness of the moment you reunited. Not many people have the courage to give each other the time and space to grow. Now you have your first golden reward tucked away in your hearts for having just such courage and love for one another.
    Enjoy your time together in Asia and sending lots of love your way!

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