Anne Marie's Australian Adventure

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Archive for February, 2009

Life Continues

Posted by Anne Marie Serrano on February 18, 2009

It is really difficult to think about our day to day lives while we continue to hear of the lives lost and the homeless people in Victoria. I continue to worry about Sue and Bill although we hear via our email connections that they are alive and continue to fight the fires that surround their property. Their land is not just their home but their business. I’ve heard that they fought the fires for 15 hours and finally sent their four Airedales to some friends in Melbourne so that could prepare for the next onslaught.

On a lighter note, school has started again and the Canberra Youth Theatre called and asked for me to teach one of the classes until they could find a permanent tutor. Since we didn’t know when and if we are returning to the US, I didn’t commit to teaching a class but they needed someone and I was happy to take a class for them. Today was my first class and the kids are delightful.

Leslie and Manu will be coming on Thursday and we will meet them in Sydney on Saturday. So next week I should have some more interesting information for you about Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef. The floods are suppose to be subsiding in the area. I hope we have good weather for Leslie and Manu’s sake.

It has been much cooler this week. The change has been dramatic. I went from sleeping with a fan to bundling in a down comforter. CRAZY!!! I hope you are all well. When Sue and Bill finally get their power back I am hoping Sue will write about her experience and she will allow me to post it to my blog. Thank you all for your kind words and best wishes. This has truly been a worldwide concern and your kindness is appreciate.

I should have some pictures for you also. Take care.

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Fire and Rain

Posted by Anne Marie Serrano on February 10, 2009

We are far from the awful bush fires that have been raging in Victoria and parts of New South Wales but we have been touched by the tragedy. My friend Sue Forrester and her partner Bill have their house and business in the area. For three days I have been trying to get word about their situation. As I watch the news of the fires spreading from town to town I have been checking the map to locate the towns. The areas   – entire towns – have been destroyed and they surround the area where Bill and Sue live.

Power is down and phone networks are either down or overloaded but I continue to try calling. We are part of the Airedale Rescue email list and through networking with the members who still have internet access we were able to find out that they are safe and their house stands but it is still a dangeroussituation. But though those emails I have read of some really sad stories of some people from the group who have lost homes and neighbors. So far 160 people have died (this number grows everytime I watch the news or listen to the radio). Thousands of people have lost their homes. It reminds me of the terrible fires in the Oakland hills – that overwhelming feeling of helplessness.

I won’t really feel relief until I can talk to Sue personally but at least for now I know they and their dogs are safe. This is truly a country of contrasts. In the north they are having floods. We are scheduled to go to Queensland in two weeks when Leslie and Manuvisit us from Belgium. Townsville is flooded and several people have drowned and it continues to rain.

For us it has just been hot – very hot. Today was the first time in days that it was at all tolerable to go outside. Everything is dry and brown. You can’t water lawns (unless you have a water storage tank) and it really makes this pretty city look sad. We are in the middle of summer and Canberra is surrounded by trees and bush lands. Several years ago they had some bush fires so people here are very concerned about the fire hazard. Thanks to all of you who have emailed to make sure we are okay. We are fine but sad for all the people who have lost their homes.

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