Sydney Day 2 by Ian Shepherd

Rain, rain go away…..! Well, day 2 (Tuesday) was set aside for our first and only tour in Sydney. The day started at 6:30 am with early wake ups, showering and preparations for our 8 am start to the mountains. We met our tour guide Laurie and our driver Gary and set off for Featherdale farm in Blacktown. Strange as it sounds, this wildlife farm is right smack in the middle of the town where I grew up. It is by far the most hands on of all the wildlife farms in Sydney. On entry our students set off on their amazing journey down the marsupial road. It is amazing to see grown adults turn to mush when they get to pet a kangaroo or koala. The pictures will tell it all. I took both video and still shots to show the extent of our one on one interaction with the local fauna.

After Featherdale we set off for the Blue Mountains and Katoomba. The weather turned cold and foggy so our sightseeing was somewhat limited of the valley but we did get to ride the incline railway (52 degrees down slope) and then walk the board walk along the side of the mountain showing the coal mines and fauna in the area. At the end of that walk we got to ride the gondola overhead car back up to the top of the mountain.

After our ride to the top we ate at the revolving restaurant and enjoyed a taste test of both Vegemite and Pavlova. Pavlova was a winner….vegemite got the thumbs down from all except one! While eating Jack Rich’s brother Alan and his family from ACU walk up to greet us. We ran into them in Dallas while waiting to fly to LA. Then in LA we ran into them again. Then in Sydney airport we bumped into them again….and then….up at the restaurant who should walk up….but the Alan Rich family! The world is a small place. What a blessing that these kinds of things happen.

As we made our way back to Sydney Ethan, Leah and I hopped off the bus halfway down the freeway and were picked up by Susan (my sister) for a visit with mum (Grandma Audrey). So I got to spend a couple of hours sitting next to my mum relaxing and catching up. I am 55 years old and still love to see my mum. What a great day.

Thanks to Sue who drove us back into the city tonight and helped us with groceries and a projector for our classes tomorrow. She is a gem!

Tomorrow, just classes and preparations for two days of company visits. Keep the prayers coming….!

Sydney – Day 3 by Ian Shepherd

Rain, rain, not again! Today was a class day with Dr. J meeting with his class at a library near the hotel and my class going out and working on any of the special company projects required to complete the course. There is an increased frustration with internet access. To get access each room needs $125 for 7 days coverage and then only two devices can attach. After meeting with one student today I contacted University of Sydney (near our hotel) and they have offered a classroom for two days (morning and afternoon) that comes with full internet access.

Tonight we watched the State of Origin Rugby match between New South Wales
(N.S.W) and Queensland (Qld). One of the most brutal games of rugby I have ever seen. I can report happily that N.S.W. won….so GO BLUES!

Tomorrow we have an early start at 6:50 am to go to Johnson and Johnson for a full day of interaction with their executive team. I do hope that our students are prepared and well read. When I called to tell each room about our schedule there were no students to be found. They are all out enjoying the night life of Sydney.

Keep your prayers coming! We love and miss all our families in the U.S.A.