What a difference sleep makes! After a glorious night of rest, I woke to birds singing outside. I missed a beautiful sunrise in person, but Malcolm was kind enough to snap a photo and send it to me by email. I viewed the sunrise on my phone while still wrapped in warm blankets.
The Rotary Club of Kingston generously rented an accessible van for me to use during my stay. There is accessible public transportation, but I will be visiting areas beyond the bus system. I am grateful for the extra mobility and freedom gained through use of the van. We had a bit of a scare this morning when it didn’t want to shift out of reverse even though Malcolm had it in drive. The neighbor’s hedge got closer and closer as we crept backwards across the road instead of up the hill. I access the van through the rear hatch, so I was hoping we wouldn’t end up stuck in the bushes. Thankfully, it eventually shifted into drive and we avoided crashing through the hedge.
We drove through Kingston and Blackman’s Bay this morning. There were families walking down by the beaches and a few people out in the water. As we drove along Blackman’s Bay beach, we spotted a former Kingston Rotarian and his wife who were out for a walk. It was great to say a quick hello to Don and Daphne before we drove home for a visit with Bill and Lyn.
Bill and Lyn’s daughter, Samantha, was also a Rotary Youth Exchange Student. When I was selected as an exchange student, Bainbridge Rotary Club (NY) agreed to host a student with a disability whenever Kingston Rotary Club (Tasmania) found a student to participate in the program. Samantha was that student and she lived with my family and other Bainbridge families in 1995. Samantha outlived many medical prognoses but sadly passed away seven years ago. She is a part of my Rotary story, and I honor her perseverance, determination and legacy by mentioning her whenever I speak about exchange. Without the support and assistance of the wonderful Rotarians in Kingston and Bainbridge, she and I would have missed out on these amazing life-changing experiences.
Malcolm and Rae took Kelly and I to lunch at a picturesque restaurant in Woodbridge called Peppermint Bay. The restaurant is on the water, with views across the d’Entrecasteaux Channel. After a yummy meal, we drove off towards Huonville just as it started to rain.
Huonville has always reminded me of home. The small town is located on the Huon River. There are wooded hills and farms along the roads. Driving through the valley today we passed many apple orchards and fruit stands. It is wonderful to see flowers in bloom in March, a time of year still covered in snow at home. I know in my head Tasmania is leaving summer, but my head is still stuck in New York winter mode. We also saw many sheep on our drive. The crocheter inside of me imagines the soft yarn which could be made from their fleece.
When Rae asked me if I would like any special foods, I asked if we could make a Pavola. This meringue dessert was a favorite treat when I was an exchange student. I have tried many times to make a good Pav in New York, but they never turn out. I think it might be related to the humidity levels. Malcolm and I made two tonight after dinner. I will let you know tomorrow how we did!
Today’s copy of The Advocate, a Tasmanian newspaper, included an article about me and my upcoming speech at the Rotary District 9830 One Care Conference in Burnie, Tasmania. You can read it here. I was so tired yesterday and I don’t remember much of the conversation with the reporter. But I can imagine myself saying words similar to the quotes attributed to me. I am honored to be considered worthy of an invitation to return to Tasmania and I’m excited to share my message with the Conference attendees this weekend. Thank you Aryelle for taking the time to track me down for an interview yesterday!
**Today’s post is brought to you by Sally. She learned about my Australian adventure through my friend Tara, who happens to be her daughter-in-law. Sally, your generosity helped to make this trip a reality and I am appreciative!