Well it has been six days since I arrived in Canberra. Before I left, there was a lot of nerve, excitement, sadness and happiness. I was on an emotional roller coaster. I was even worried that the immigration in Sydney would not let me enter into the country. Illegitimate fear, because everything was smooth from the moment I boarded the plane until the moment I ran into Joel’s arm. The experience was surreal. We both had been waiting for this moment for a year; and it happened. God is good.
We spent a few days in a coastal town called Kiama, which was relaxing and a great way to get reacquainted with each other. Kiama is a quaint little town with lots of great coffee shops and stunning views. Right across from our motel is a park where we took a walk and went on the swing at night. The weather was a bit chilly but mostly sunny and nice. We could walk around in our tank tops and thongs during the day, but I had to have my winter gear on at nighttime. We visited the blowhole, went on a long drive to Kangaroo valley, caught new Pokemon, drank coffee, ate really good Indian and Mexican food and watched Olympic games. It was a low key vacation but a really refreshing one.
As fun as the time in Kiama was, we both were ready to come back to Canberra. We definitely enjoyed the vacation (and thanks to our friends from church for gifting us with the pocket money and the hotel room), but Canberra is where we belong. Joel and I are excited to begin our normal life together as a couple…to finally settle here.
My first impression of Canberra is its bigness. Everywhere I have lived in, whether it is Bangkok, Chiang-Mai or Tauranga, the distance from a place to the other is relatively short. Having driven around town with Joel these past two days, I realized how spread this city is. It takes at least 30 minutes to go from one suburb to the other. Though it definitely takes longer in Bangkok to go somewhere, there is always something to look at. Here, there are lots of trees and road. Hence the name “the Bush capital”.
Admittedly, this is not the city I immediately fall in love with. The city itself was built to be the capital. So everything seems functional and has its purpose, but there is not much artistic influence on the architecture here, except the parliament house and the war memorial as far as I have seen. It is, thus, understandable that I do not feel drawn to it straight away because all of the cities I had lived in before are major destinations. Yet Canberra is now my home. God has brought Joel and I here to build a family, to serve His people and to expand His kingdom. We hope that this city will gradually grow in my heart, especially when I start developing routines, making friends and creating memories.
So this is where we are at right now. Joel is going back to work next week. I will start applying for jobs. Once we have another solid income coming in, we will begin to look for a house of our own. It feels good to be able to start planning again. With all that we have been through, we have learned that God is faithful. We are taking confidence in His words found in Proverbs 16:1-3
“To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue. All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”