Scary stories from a lovely place
Today, after a rather grim start to the morning, I filled my bag with snacks and books, rushed my kids into the car and drove to Sydney. My dad and a little gang of aging athletes was arriving at St Andrew’s Square after a month long, 2 500km bicycle ride to Brisbane and back. I wasn’t sure about going – a long drive, lots of petrol, city traffic, angry Sydney drivers – but after a few hours of wrestling and fighting with the kids I decided to go just so I could have 1.5 hours of peace with Triple J while they slept in the car.
It was a good decision, even though it was a long way and the Sydney drivers were indeed angry. Seriously, I think driving in Sydney is more stressful than in Johannesburg. Give me Jozi style taxis, beggars at every stop and the threat of hijacking over Sydney traffic and road rage any day. But it was worth it to listen to my kids point out every crane, monorail train, truck and bus and to watch them enjoy running around a dilapidated city square and cuddle their much missed Australian grandparents.
The bicycle ride was a part of my Dad’s work with Anglican Aid, the Sydney Anglican Church’s development agency. Specifically this project is to raise money to build homes for people in parts of India effected by devastating flood. It sounds like one of those far off, cliched sort of aid projects, and it’s hard for me to imagine, as I sit in my lovely little house, with my heater, comfortable bed and television, what it must be like to lose everything in a flood and not have any means of sheltering my family. But they are real people, with practical, basic needs who deserve a dry place to sleep and enjoy their family. The ride was also used to connect with church communities in New South Wales and Queensland and to raise the profile of Anglican Aid.
It’s been a pretty massive undertaking for my Dad and I feel just a wee bit proud of his efforts and motivation.