After settling into the EP house (thank you, Werner) we realized there was one more weekend with the car. So we headed north a bit to Newcastle for some good old fashioned Adventist heritage time and some camping.
If not everyone gets this post, no worries, the pictures are kinda cool. Tompaul and I, in our neverending quest to seee all things historically Adventist, decided to go up to Avondale (the Adventist college in Australia) and pay a visit to Sunnyside (Ellen G’s home nearby). A friend invited us to a morning church, casual come as you are, they serve brekkie with actual COFFEE, which reminded us of Gracepoint (our home church in Nashville).
We woke up early and drove up to Avondale about 2h north of Sydney in the town of Cooranbong. Church filled a need I forgot I had and we had haystacks (mmm, haystacks) at Kim and her husband’s house. They went off to do some heavy duty yard work ministry and we went off to see good o’l Ellen’s house.
I love how Ellen White ended up in Australia. People were being dumb, she realized she wasn’t wanted and said, “Go suck on some Wham (click the link people, its not the band). I don’t have to stay in cold boring Battle Creek, MI. I just got an invite to go down under where it’s warm…see ya!” Some of her best work was done here…welcome to Sunnyside.
Like all of Ellen’s homes, it was spacious, had plenty of land, and space for people to chill. My favorite thing (which I don’t have a picture of) is her dressing gown. She gave it away when she moved back to the States and it was colorful and bright. Not so drab and dark as we usually think.
The best part about Sunnyside is…the South Pacific Islands Museum. This is actually an award-winning museum in the back yard of Sunnyside (from the outside it totally looks rinky dink, but inside wow). It focuses on the Seventh-day Adventist church’s involvement in the South Pacific. It has some pretty amazing stuff. Many of the missionaries were given gifts from the islands they worked in and they were donated to this museum. It has some of the best carvings, idols, haircombs, original costumage and stories I have seen. Let’s check it out…first up a communication drum from the island of Ambrym, decorative yet functional!
This one got me….several bird of paradise plumes.
Here are some traditional costumes from one of the Solomon islands, I wish I had written down which one.
This was one of my favorite things. A long boat from the Solomon Islands that was used to ferry the Duke of Edinburgh (yes, Prince Phillip) to the island as a ceremonial welcome. You can’t see it but one side says “SDA.”
Okay the museum was full of cool things, it was free and really nicely done. They painstakingly detailed which group the gifts were native to, and what they were used for. If they were idols they described who and what. I was actually surprised. It is worth checking out. One of my favorite things was a clipping of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Poem. Not the Rudyard Kipling one…but the one describing the Papua New Guineans who carried Australians to safety in the second world war. No known injured soldier was ever abandoned by the PNG “fuzzy wuzzy angels.” If you wonder how PNG feels about the fuzzy and the wuzzy the word papua is a description of their poofy hair.
Here is an excerpt:
- Many a lad will see his mother
- and husbands see their wives
- Just because the fuzzy wuzzy
- carried them to save their lives
- From mortar bombs and machine gun fire
- or chance surprise attacks
- To the safety and the care of doctors
- at the bottom of the track
After this random bit we traveled to Newcastle where we set up camp and went swimming. Here is a view of the beach from our campground. We went to the pool, swam in the beach, and went beach walking. It was HOT as hades there.
The beach was nice, the waves were perfect for jumping. I gave Tompaul my credit cards and license to put in his trunks…but there was a hole in the pocket. The only thing was lost? The credit card, the one where we don’t have to pay a fee for international usage, the one that we needed. This led to a 6-hour experience of Lisa trying to get a replacement and some dummy at Capital One not knowing that Sydney, NSW is not in America. Because when the card did not come I called back and was told they don’t send cards out of the U.S.
Nevermind. The beach was awesome. We walked for hours.
For dinner we went to the foreshore and searched out a highly recommended restaurant named Scotties. The inside is a fancy resturant, but that window on the side is the key to some of the best burgers in the world. I got a veggie burger as big as my face. If you have ever shopped for veggie burgers you know they are not regular size. This one was home made, huge, and had avo. We made the mistake of ordering the large fries, which were amazing, fresh-hand-cut, and wrapped in butcher paper, making one feel special. There were so many the package was big as a small child. My only complaint was the shakes were slightly lackluster. But EVERYTHING else was to die for.
Tomorrow´s blog? Sydney, baby.