I have been sooo incredibly slack with this blog and I do apologise.
I was about to write the November post when I got news from home of my Dad dying and had to head back to Aus for December – but I have been back in London for a month now and it’s been so busy I’ve barely had time to remember to post on the Facebook!
So here goes!
November – a recap:
A couple of the exciting things to happen at Pax in November included:
Blackland Farm Day Trip:
I, Isi, and jess went on a day trip with Tadeja to Blackland Farm. Blackland Farm is one of Girlguiding UK’s properties and it is beautiful! We had an absolute blast, lots of good conversations and enjoyed doing the maze and exploring.
Jess cooked us an amazing dinner for Thanksgiving and taught us all a bit about the holiday. The best part about this meal was that there were two families from the US staying with us who also joined in. I have never seen soooo much food in my life – it was epic.
Tadeja, Isi, Jess and I spontaneously decided to go to the winter Wonderland at Hyde Park – wow. It was like, the most Christmassy thing I have ever done. Delicious food, beautiful lights –we had a wonderful night out.
December – the month that was
December brought with it some really not great moments – beginning with the phone call on the 4th that was my Mum and brother informing me my Dad had had a sudden heart attack and not been able to be revived.
I will always, always, be eternally thankful for the wonderful people who were around me at Pax lodge that day. When your world is ripped from under your feet there are no stauncher friends then those that stand around you and gently hold you up. They took over my travel and worked to get me home, even if the first flight fell through. They cooked dinner, they put on Disney movies, they slept with doors open, and they drove me to the airport at ridiculous o’clock in the morning. They were the most amazing, wonderful, friends a girl could want.
Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting is a sisterhood and has really been solidified over December as something I am proud to be part of.
My wonderful Butterfly guides (all about 16), the young leaders I have worked with, and the women who were my leaders, all formed a guard of Honour in full uniform with the Scouts at the funeral, further proving that I am eternally grateful for the movement started over 100 years ago.
Whilst home I got to see some of my girls at the end of year break up which was super lovely – but about as guiding as it got.
Being home meant that I got to do family Christmas and New Year’s – which was actually really really nice. As always our family had a lot of fun – with water fights and glow sticks making the events memorable and full of smiles.
January – back to Pax!
January saw me hopping back on a plane and heading back to Pax Lodge to finish my internship – at this point I want to take a moment to say a huge huge thankyou to everyone who made this possible. For family members who have paid for plane tickets home, to everyone who donated to the fundraising page that was started for me to get back, to the wonderful Deb Tripp who has handled all travel plans despite her own loss in Dad – I love you all and am overwhelmed with your support.
The plane trip was, as always, long and uneventful.
As I walked up the hill towards Pax Lodge I was met by Tadeja coming out to give me a hug; and as I got a cup of tea I was chased around the dining room by Isi wanting to give me some love too. And as I entered my room, I was hit with dozens of balloons, Christmas presents and flowers.
It was like coming home to a family that I love.
January was a whirlwind of productivity – we have World Thinking day coming up soon and I am/was a bit behind on where I wanted to be by that point. I spent a few days in the dungeon working on our Thinking Day Tree, I have created World Centre Uno and WAGGGS Top Trumps, the program is finalised, applications are in and it is all systems go!
In January it also SNOWED AT PAX LODGE – Heather, Isi and I were very very excited and spent an evening frolicking in the cold. It didn’t last long but there is something kind of cool about snow where you are living – especially as it’s always been a day trip growing up to get to snow!
I was honoured a few weeks ago when I and Isi were asked to present two girls who were visiting Pax lodge with their Baden-Powell awards. It was incredible to be part of that special moment – and at such a special place. We were also asked to present two new Guides from the same group with their promise pins and scarves. Being an intern at Pax Lodge has allowed me to be involved in some of these moments – and they are some of what I will treasure most heading home.
I also cooked an Australia Day feast. Despite all the political discussion around Australia Day, it is nice to feel a connection to home from the other side of the world. We watched Oddball and enjoyed Shane Jacobson’s shenanigans (what a legend). An excellent movie, by the way, would encourage you all to watch it! Our centre manager, Nico, is also an Aussie and he contributed his outfit, Lamingtons and Anzacs.
And so we are now in February and the last month of my contract here at Pax Lodge! Our new volunteer-intern started this month, Josie, and we are all very excited for her to join our family – but more on that in the February post!