Saturday, January 30, 2010

Time in Australia

This past week I traveled to Australia to see an eye doctor. I have been having contact difficulties and without any reliable opthamologists in the country who do contacts I was forced to go South. The Wetzigs, Graham and Elaine, (retired general surgeon and his wife who worked with us last year) were gracious enough to invite me to come and stay with them and help me get my eye sorted out. So one visit to the opthamologist and 2 visits to the optometrist, I was reassured that there is nothing seriously wrong with my eyes, just some overuse and illfitting contacts which has required me to get new contacts. These will be coming up the beginning of February with another surgeon from Australia who is coming to work with us for a month.
When I wasn't at the eye docs I got to see a little bit of the Australian countryside and learn a little about some of the things they do differently than Americans. While walking on the beach there were a number of groups playing cricket. I think of beaches as a time to play frisbee or volleyball, but not in Australia. The Wetzgis explained the rules to me, so I have a little bit of an understanding of how the game is played. We also drove by a bowls club. Like bocce ball, but different and very popular not only among retired folks, but among all age groups in Australia. I also got to be in Australia for Australia Day, which is the public holiday where they remember the first ship from England that landed to settle Australia. Australia Day isn't quite the equivalent of the 4th of July, but folks display their Australian flags, had carnivals, and wore Australia clothes. On this day, we took a drive to the beach and to some of the places around their home in Rockhampton.
The Wetzigs were great hosts, other than feeding me, they also took me to see the movie Invictus. I have been reading Nelson Mandela's autobiography, and this movie was a great followup to the book. Graham and I also went to a breast screening session where they do biopsies and ultrasounds on abnormalities they have found on mammograms. I picked up a few ultrasound pointers that should help me back at Kudjip. All in all a very nice trip, but it was good to get back home to Kudjip.