March Summary or Move to Broome

Took the last drive West on the Great Eastern Highway.  Kalgoorlie to Perth on 19 March.  Initial plans were to go back to Perth on the train, but the Fleet and Flat Couple missionaries had to drive out to Kalgoorlie to close down one missionary flat (the Elders) and bring back to Perth;  bed, couch’s, frig, and other household items.  Saved the train fare and returned with the Dodds,  and we much prefer that.  We had stayed at the Dodd’s flat in Perth on several occasions when we had gone to Perth for conferences’, etc.  Love the Dodds, except best not be sleeping when you cross a railroad track else you will take a few years off your life when they give a mighty WooWOO as you cross the trachs.  Fun road trip it was.

The long straight road to/from Kalgoorlie to Perth

The long straight road to/from Kalgoorlie to Perth

Note.  Not a cloud in the sky, not a crook in the road.  Great place for a nap.  NOT!   Always get yelled at for that.  On this journey there were no naps, just fuel stops.  Interesting.  On our typical jaunt from Kal to Perth or return we would burn about 2/3 of a load in the Camry (with four onboard).  On this trip in a Toyota van pulling a very loaded trailer, and four adults, and lots of luggage we used 12o litres of petrol from Kalgoorlie to Perth (at about $1.07 ltr).

On Friday (20 March) morning we boarded Quantas 737 aircraft for a 2.5 hour flight over desolation from Perth to Broome.  Airplane mostly full.   You know you’re in the boonies, when you climb down a ladder and walk across the tarmack to the small terminal.  We were greeted by Elders Harward and Hussie.  They had been in Broome only 8 weeks.  But they had had a baptism, and were well engaged with the town, and members.


This is Broome.  Actually we are seconds from kissing Mother Earth once more.  Short final to runway 090 is where Sister Hoag took this photo.  Good job Sister Hoag.  A few days later I was eating at an outdoor place just a little right of this pix and thought the sandwich would leave my hand as the big plane flew over head.  This settlement has been here since mid 1800’s – way before runways.  Probably the runway was not so close to the shops in the early days of flying, but had to be lengthened for today’s equipment.  From the air it can be seen that Broome in a smaller peninsula, and the airport divides the town.

The little I know about Broome.  It’s about Pearls.  Big business from mid 1800’s till shortly after WWI.  Facts from a history book on Broome:  ” Highest price paid for top grade shell was 335 pounds.  Record catch was in 1913 of 1,213 tons.  Of this London received 984 tons, New York 205 tons, Le Harve 20 tons, and Trieste 4 tons.”  In our parents and grandparents day, buttons and other baubles were made of pearl shell.   Pearling still goes on here,  but I think it is cultured mostly.  Many many pearl shop in and about town.  Not real cheap either.  Or we have not found the lower cost shops.   Have not been on the hunt either.  Sister Hoag did break a necklace chain and took it to a shop and they fixed it (for free).  At this shop they made all their own stuff.  It was very classy, but very pricey.  The other big business here is the resorts.  We took flyers to Caravan Parks (Campers for you yanks) telling of our meeting place and times.  Someone here just did a great job making the flyers and passed them to the missionaries.  We visited 6 Caravan Parks in the Broome vicinity.  One stand out from that task.  No park allows dogs (you should see the Aussie dogs – oh I have a pix)


Yes BIG dog.  Most Aussie dogs we have seen are bigger dogs, but this one was the biggest, and he was only 10 months old.  His owner, a friend of our branch pres. and fellow church member was passing through Broome on way to a new assignment.  He’s a police officer ( a state agency here) and had just gotten off the road having traveled 9 hours from Turkey Creek (North of here) and ultimately ending up in Port Hedland.  Gotta be a happy man.  We was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out back.

Back to Broome story.  After Caravan parks there are many resorts, but interesting none on the beach proper.  Why?  Not sure – check back later I’ll find out.   The common understanding is that population of Broome is 14,000,  and grows to twice + that in the peak of the season.  Today it was 100 degrees.  We were not interested in a trip to the beach, and the Caravan Parks we visited were quite empty.  One nice lady at a Caravan Park said the peak season is late May, June, July, and August.  For you yanks that is summer, for us down unda it be winter.  We’ll probably be here for the whole winter, or our summer started in April 2008 (in Texas) and will end  . . . .maybe when we get back to Texas in late March 2010.  We Texans understand heat, but here it has the humidity to go with,  and that trumps our location in Central Texas.  Plus  . . .the stores, and other places here are not even close to as cool as I am used to.  Yesterday we went to the grocery store for the weekly haul, and I was dripping before we left.   Actually better outside in the fresher moving, but hotter air.  We had our date night at the Broome Port pier restaurant.  It wasn’t called fish and chips, but that is what it was.  Not the best that I have had, but I am not a fan of some fish.  Week before we at at Cafe Carlata, an Italian food place.  About the same price as the pier, and much much better.   ($45 US for both of us)

img_0927This be the pizza chef at Cafe Carlata.  He will make more pizza for me in the days ahead!  AND Sister Hoag had a veal dish that excellent.  I visited the kitchen and thanked them for their work.  Best restaurant meal in Australia thus far (but then again Kalgoorlie is about digging gold, n0t eating)

We also made a pass through the Saturday outdoor market last week.  It is held on the grounds of one of the oldest buildings in Broome.  Initiall the cable  company, then the court house.  img_0932Big tree is called Boab.  Lady in red top not stealing watermellons cause I didn’t see anyone selling them.  As a matter of fact it was mostly clothing,  jewlery, and food things. Oh and a chap blowing on an ole tree piece.  Sorry . .tried to upload (not enough banwidth here) a video of Robert blowing into his didgeridoo (sp).  A real talent.  Said it took him four weeks to learn to do the circular breathing.  He has traveled the globe blowing in a hollowed out (by termites) piece of tree.  They add bee’s wax at the mouth piece to keep their lips from cracking.  I shall return a later Saturday and get a photo,  you Texans folk will have to wait for my return to hear the long song on this unique Aboriginal instrument.   As people tossed coins onto a towel he had place by the end he worked            “thank you”  into the piece he was blowing/playing.  FUN.

The beach. . .have not been really.  Just a few glimse’s nice.

img_0918Lower tide close to the light house location called Gantheaume Point

img_0924A hop skip and jump up the road from the picture above.  The night before there was a signifcant rain storm and you can see the red dirt washed into the ocean.  The water here is a beautiful shades of blue.  We’ll get there on a “P” day when the temp goes down a few degrees.

A word from our sponsor.  After all we are missionaries.  The branch here in Broome is very small.  Total roster was 32, but about 6 are moved away.  The branch president had his wife and Sister Hoag and I are the only couple there.  There are three faithful brethren (two weeks in a row) and two sisters.  A few children (two belong to Pres. Robinson) and one newly baptised youth.

img_0907Biggest meeting held here in awhile.  Our first Sunday here (22 March).  Next week fewer.

Branch President  doesn’t take a head count he writes down the names.  We meet for two hours, and alternate in the second hour between Sunday School and Relief Society/Priesthood.   Last week in Sunday School President Robinson taught of/about the restorati0n.   Way different, but I love Sunday here.  We really feel needed, and appreciated by all.   Much to do, many many lest active folk.  A few part member families, and of what we have seen there some wonderful people.  Our approach will be much different than past missionaries.   Missionary work here will be a challenge.  From a distance folks seem to be accepting.   Up close they say “NO” quite distinctly.  Our missionary business card (not a church issue – just something I created with computer) says at the bottom:  “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”  We had some lasting positive impact in Kalgoorlie that was witnessed by some farewell events in our last week there.  We shall be patient and find ways to serve here in the community.  Smaller community and bigger challenge in little Broome (no traffic lights here)

Stay tuned…I’ll try and keep the inteval closer.

Published in: on April 4, 2009 at 5:19 am  Leave a Comment  

February Update continued . . .

We had to leave this for awhile, but want to get the rest of the Super Pit Tour info close together to make sense for all.

The last pix in the previous post was a picture taken INTO the pit from a visitor view place.  Now we go inside for more detail,  and again special thanks and mention of our special host John of Otraco.

How many "little" truck are working their way to the top?

How many "little" truck are working their way to the top?

But one more pix from topside to get prospective.  This is a zoom shot across to the other side of the pit and I can count 9 of these very big  dump trucks laboring to the top.  We followed one out Friday on our tour, and it takes awhile doing about 20 k/hr

Did I mention the drivers (male and female) of these big trucks work a 12 hour shift.  7 on 3 off, 7 on 4 off.  They start at $72,000 year, but get to $80,000 after about 3 or 4 months.  Tough job for 12 hours down the hill, up the hill.

View from the drivers set of BIG truck

View from the drivers set of BIG truck. Peter (l) John, Carol, and Elliot(r)

This is the view from the drivers prespective of a BIG dump truck.  Here’s the capacity.  This truck is a Cat 793 and it will haul 240 tons – 35 ea on site,  a Cat 789 will haul 190 tons – 10 ea on site,  and a Cat 777 will only haul 100 tons – 10 ea on site.  The 777 does not go into the hole, it is used around the mill (no tours there I didn’t even take a pix from afar) or hauling road base.

Next is tyre changing time.  Old tyre had a defect (bulge in side) and had to come off …good news we got there in time to see it happen.

img_0672Process:  Select tyre, press outer wheel rim on with underside of tyre handling arm, pick up and place on truck, add ring (see it setting on the ground) oh an ‘O’ ring goes in there too and then 115 PSI from a sizable air hose get inflation done reasonably quickly (10 minutes or so).  When a truck comes in for a change and if it has been working the tyre is so hot it has to be watered down to cool it off so it can be handled.

Oh ya ya gotta get the old off.  So deflate (takes awhile) then break bead with tyre handler then break inner bead with a special air drive hydraulic ram, then lift off with tyre handler.

img_0687This is no tonka toy.  Also note some holes in wall here and there.  Oldie time mine shafts.  The have been diging gold out of this place for over 100 years.  Started in this region about 1900.

Obviously lots of stuff comes out of this hole to find speck of gold.   I read somewhere that gold bearing ore on one truck load works down to something the size of a golf ball.  But many many loads are just rock.


Ya gotta keep the dust down.  The water these big boys disperse is SALT water.  Why.  Its available here, and probably “tapped” in the process of this large excavation.  It is seven times saltier than ocean water, and wrecks havoc on the equipment here.  Look close, rust is everywhere.   Fresh drinking water comes in a pipe all the way from Perth and was one of the early engineering marvels that made this whole place possible.  I think earlier posts show the pipe along side the road most of the way from Perth.

img_0693How to fill a big truck?  Daaaaa.  Get a big big loader.   That is not an elf standing there,but a fully grown Aussie.   This big boy can get the job done in about three or four scoops.  I understand that there is a sensor on the truck that transmits to the loader and he can see as he loads.  The trucks have a long hard haul to the top, so not to overload is key.  The driver/operator cab is 10 meters up from tera firma.  This unit was down for service and a crew from Kamatsu were all over this thing.   MORE . . .

img_0697Carol, Elliot, and host John.  All had to wear hard hats, and safety glasses, and vests.

John’s garb is somewhat typical miner clothes.  Orange and blue top, and levi bottom.  Most mine workers have a very reflective band sewn into the top and bands around the legs.  Maybe this is the place to mention.  One could get hurt kinda final here, and I am not aware  of but only one death at the mine site, and that was a lady driver of the big dump truck, and she was found on the ground next to her vehicle, and the speculation I hear was she was washing her windows, and for unknown reasons fell to the ground.  Was flow to Perth hospital and died a day or so later.   If one is at all reckless or inattentive,  smush is a reality.   We had to see and 20 minute video and answers questions on a test before we were given visitor badges.

That’s John’s Nissan Patrol that was our tour vehicle.

img_0702Had to get myself in here to prove I was there.  Some  close to missionary atire.  White shirt, tie (says Texas all over it), and the shoes were clean at the start of the day.  But we were in mud, and that’s how it goes.

The wee elfin is Elliot again,  her husband works here too, and they are firends of Johns.  We’ll meet Steve soon.  Elliot is of course the pronunciation, but not correct spelling.  She’s from Brazil, and was also a fun member of the tour crew.  Lucky for us she had the day off and was with us for a special treat/tour.

img_0713This is a whacka-packa (don’t know the official name) but it is pulled about by a tractor and tamps down the tailing pile.  It weighs 13 tons, and hits with the force of 50.  And if you go to slow or to fast the ride will remove fillings of shake you silly.  Steve is the operator of this ride, and he has one of the cherries dispositions.  Did the ride do it?   Naaaa.  Also note the truck dumping in the background.  This goes on 24/7.  Never closes.

img_0717Lunch time for the Whacka-packa operator.  This may be the first time his wife was able to see him at his job.  Note reflective stripes on shirt.  We see this all over town.  Kinda hard to hide a mine worker – good news.

Steve took his lunch kit back to the tyre shop to eat, but John took we three to lunch in town to cap off the tour.  Hows that.  Primo tour,  much learned, fun, and then lunch.  Then John dropped us back at the flat and I borrowed his lawn mower to cut my grass.  Having us as neighbors extracts a high price.  Oh I do cut his grass while I have the machine going, but all our grass together is not a large event by any measure.

So there we are for now…. Takes for ever to upload these pix with my current internet thing.  I used up my budget for the month already and so we are not shut off but slowed.

Hope this reads ok.  My proof skills are marginal at best.

Published in: on February 8, 2009 at 4:13 am  Leave a Comment  

February Update

Wow time flies.  Making time today to do an update.

First . . Missionary Work is loads of fun.  Being aware that folks are watching ALL the time is challenging.  At lunch the other day our host said something to the effect that we had to “get back to work” and I explained that we were working 24/7.  Even now.  Getting to know you and others and having folks find out what we are about and knowing us better is our task.

We love our work at the nursing home, and  Elda (that’s how its said here thus that’s how I’ll use it) Hoag loves one of our meals-on-wheels recipients a lot… upon returning to the car (Sister Hoag keeps cool, and does the books and Elda is the runner) the question was asked; “you know how long you were in there?”  Mmmm a bit?  20 minutes!!!  Ooops, but Robert and I have to solve some of the worlds problems, and Elda has to do teaching moments to/for Robert (he’s 92 + so maybe its the other way around).

robert-stewart-2This be Robert.  It was a cool day alla the jumpa.

We’ll have to be after a few more pictures.  We need to show Brian, but need his permission, etc.  Brian has a baptismal date (March 13 – his dad’s birthday).

This past week we had a super tour of the super pit.  First a pix of the host.  This is John Orchard.  He is the manager of the tyre shop (vendor, etc) for KCGM (Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mine).  John is our neighbor in our duplex.  One could not ask for  a better neighbor.  Friendly and kind with a big dose of generosity heaped on.  Luck us to live next door.  He’s been at this tyre business a long time, at Otraco in Pannawonica (Iron Mine waaaaaaay out in the bush – 200km from a very small town of Karratha) for 9 year before Kalgoorlie.

img_0699That is John (r) and Carol (l) with Elliot (how you say it -sure not spelled that way)

The tyre company is OTRACO ( and this is BIG business.  Pix to follow of the dump trucks and other vehicles that must be shod with rubber.

Dump truck tire size 4000.00R57  cost$34,000, made in Lexington KY.  Come here via ship and truck through port of Fremantle (near Perth).  A tyre will last up to 4 months (rotate at half life) and they use 420 tyres of this size each year.  There is enough steel in each tyre to make two cars.  They weigh 3 tons

img_0663The folks that change these tyres are called “fitters”, and there were three in the crew the day we visited.  One was fairly new.  Peter was a old hand (at age 22) and very skilled.  I think he could pluck nose hairs with this machine that could lift a corner of your house.   He would also do it with added useful information, and humor.  A delight.  I understand the pay is good too.  Wanna make $95,000 a year.  Get in line to work for Otraco changing tyres.  Start @ $90,000 and go up!  Key traits – keen sense of safety and “switched on” after that they can train you.


This is Peter getting onboard to work at the tyre change we witnessed.  How to change a three ton tyre?  Carefully with BIG machinery.

Bigger tyres are used on the loader img_0193Shoe this pony at $90,000 each.  Didn’t ask the life expectancy, but will.

Now a jaunt into the pit.  We were MUCH privelaged.  Not everyone gets two excellent guides/hosts like John and Peter.  Peter had to go with because John is not licensed to drive into the pit yet.  So Elda, and Sista and Elliiot rode in the back seat of Johns company ride.   We had seen into the pit the first day here in Kalgoorlie.  Now into the hole (about 800 meters deep).

Looking into the super pit

Looking into the super pit

Time out . . .back later . . upload time is slooooooooow..

Published in: on February 7, 2009 at 10:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Happy New Year! Welcome 2009

This post will give a” boogin” tour amoung other things Kalgoorlie.  One day last week we had some time and inclination to have the camera ready as we got about the town(s) of Kalgoorlie/Boulder.

Good stories begin this way  . . . Once Upon a time..there were two communities here – Kalgoorlie & Boulder –  at the gold fields and each were a separate political entity.  I have yet to learn that part of my history lessons for this area so I am not certain the establishment dates for each.  Suffice it to say with todays modern conveyance a separation of about 10 miles is nothing, and the two towns have grown together long ago.  I will post some pictures here that will give some indication of age, etc.  There are  distinct business/shops area for each town.  Kalgoorlie has Hannan Street, Boulder has Burt Street.  The old building facades have been preserved.  Each place had a town hall, court house  etc.

Shortly after arriving here, and being asked by a family member we drove as close as we could to exterior roads and did the complete 360 in about 30 Km, and about 30 minutes.  Take the slowness for first time navigation out and 20 minutes would be adequate to make a compete loop (at the speed limit – so 50 KMH, some 60 and a little at 70.  A visit to Google Earth will also give a great perspective of the place, but I am now going to share detail that GE can not replicate.  I am the man on the ground.  If there is something that you want to know in more detail – ASK and I will dispatch a photo recon event.

Saample of fence top bougainvilla

Sample of fence top bougainvilla

We will from this point on just call them boogins.  A few more pix to elaborate, but this plant is well suited for this place, and they are a very common pleasure.

Pretty flowers ugly fence is common.

Pretty flowers ugly fence is common.

I count 6 plants along this alley fence.  I would imagine that the view from the back yard is lovely, but many back yards have a UGLY junk yard dog hanging out waiting for some unsuspecting intruder.  Speaking of “intruder”  I delivered a meal to a person (meals-on-wheels) and there was a well made sign that said;  “Today’s intruder is tomorrows Rotwiler feces”  Or something to that effect.  I just don’t want to go popping over folk’s fences and especially not in Kalgoorlie/Boulder.

Ugly dog sample

Ugly dog sample

Not a great picture, but you get the idea.  This place is full of such ugly creatures.  This duo is small by any standard I have personally seen.  The residence in front of us, and the one to the side closest to the street have dogs (that bark all night) in their yards.

On to more appealing things – more flowers

Old Plant.  Trunk about 6-8" dia.

Old Plant. Trunk about 6-8" dia.

You will not see senior plants like this in newer (nicer) neighborhoods.  I have no idea how long this plant has been here, but I have to believe 25 to 30 years anyhow.  Note stone arch over entry walkway.  Also see fairly common hot water solar system.  We have lots of solar here.  About 105 something yesterday.

Now some houses.

New construction

New construction

There are a few places here in town where new homes are being built.  This is very typical.  Framing done, brick on.  Next step is steel roof (some tile roofs, but a home across the street from us they took the tile off and installed new metal).  After roof is on then the interior construction continues.  I’m not sure about insulation, but it does not appear to be common.  In our flat there is n0 (0, zip, nada) central heat.  Our air is cooled (somewhat) by an evaporative unit on the roof. So doors and windows need to be open to get the job done.  It is fairly dry here (low teens, to single digit) so the evaporative units work – if you system is well maintained.  Not our lot in life.  We are not dying, but we’ve been to membes homes that have very cold air coming out of their evaporative system.  A repair man has been here twice and in so many words has said “unit tired – needs replacing”.

Effect of sun and gravity over many many years (got to be a 1930's vintage home, but not sure

Effect of sun and gravity over many many years, got to be a 1930's vintage home, but not sure

You can’t accuse the photographer of excellence, but the fence is very new looking.  Color and repair.  This house did not show any signs of life.

How many 'upgrades' adds do you count?

How many 'upgrades' adds do you count?

Very few homes of this vintage are a single building.  Fair to say that rooms were added as circumstances demanded.  Front porch is very common. The curved porch roof is common, and probably tells a story about age.

Mary B's home.

Mary B's home.

I can tell you more about this house than you want to know.  We are helping Mary B clear out.  She went from this home, to the hospital to the nursing home over two years ago.  Mary is now in a wheel chair, and does not get around well at all.  She was born in 1942 and lived in this home all her life.  It is the family home, and her parents are gone these many years (saw sympathy cards that indicate her mom passed in mid 80’s – father preceded that by ?)  Mary lived there with her brother and neither ever married.  Her brother passed a few year ago.  She has no family left in Austraila, and the parents origin is Croatia. Front porch and left side sleeping areas added ?,  back porch and bath tub added after.  Clothes wash room and toilet are separte outside buildings in the rear.  AND she lived here till 2006!  The clothes wash shed (Mary’s words) has a couple of old small machines, a  copper boiler next to wash trays.  Copper boiler was wood fired.  Interior cooking was wood fired stove (till 2006) -see chimney on right side of building.

Wood fired cook stove

Wood fired cook stove

The buckets of wood parked on top of stove (by me) attest to the fact that Mary used this stove till she left.  (Did I say 2006!)

Bath with a view

Bath with a view

Again no awards for photo skill, but this is the bath.  Hole punched in wall by vandals, but no interior damage to house.  The place was ransacked (looking for $) but no damage.

Dunny on right, wash shed left

Dunny on right, wash shed left

Clothing was room.  Machine left, then wood fired copper, then double wash tub.

Clothing wash room. Machine left, then wood fired copper, then double wash tub.

All business this place.  No windows.  Very low roof <7′.

Front room or lounge.  (posed pix I sent Elders family with "new flat" caption.)

Front room or lounge. (posed pix I sent Elders family with "new flat" caption.)

These two helpers carried this piece and two chairs of same vintage/fabric out to dumpster in front of house.  The dirt fair-thee-well  poured off it in this short journey.  Next morning – gone.

A park (or reserve - per sign on fence).  Many parks in Kalgoorlie

A park (or reserve - per sign on fence). Many parks in Kalgoorlie

Next picture explains how they keep the grass so green in this hot/dry/windy  place.

SIgns tell the story of green

SIgns tell the story of green

Other signs explain that one should clean up after their dog, and horse riding and golf not allowed.

Typical vintage home in Kalgoorlie/Boulder

Typical vintage home in Kalgoorlie/Boulder

Lots going on here.  Not so standard picket fence.  This is probably old style fence.  New easier fence is steel roofing material.  Ugly, but effecive.  Car parked between street and fence (common),  roof tired , air con is big box on top.

Newer home.

Newer home.

And many more up and down the street.  Two car garage.  I’ll bet the garage has part walls on interior.  Aircon on roof, just not visible in this pix.

Uncommon two story

Uncommon two story

I think that two story is <1%.  This place is just up the street from above pix

Showing gable finial

Showing gable finial

Mission of this pix is to show the gable finial.  Lots else to notice.  Big house, aircon on roof typical.  Well done yard, but oops some rubbish (blue in color) blew in.  Wind blows big here lots.

Another newer home showing. . . . .

Another newer home showing. . . . .

. . .newer steel fence.  Note hose draped across the roof.  This is drain from aircon.  They all drain water if they are on.  This water is diverted to the lawn.  Never down the gurgler (drain).

Gday mate.  Been fun touring around Kalgoorlie/Boulder.

Closing commet/thought.  Different climate, different houses, different culture,  SAME church.  Tis true!

Published in: on January 4, 2009 at 1:57 am  Leave a Comment  

Christmas #1 in Australia

Well here we are again.  Obviously I don’t spend a lot of time here, and am still learning.  Or having to learn all over again each time.

First mission chrstmas was a new event.  #1 because had no family here to celebrate with.  That’s a first for us.  In my three years of US Army (a log time ago) I was always with family for Christmas. Christmas 1961 it was only my brother, but not alone.  This time I had me wife, and we were just fine.  Good for us.

I’ll add some pix now to show some Christmas flavor in Aussie landimg_04422Not a usual scene.  My estimate less than 1% of Kalgoorlie is decoraed outside.  Downtown has minimal lights.  One big tree in town square erected and lited for the season.

img_0437Summer eve sunrise here.  Actually taken at Super Pit overlook.  Super pit is behind me.

img_0450One of many many batches of raised dough cinnamon rolls.  On my third container of cinnamon.  Great surprise, and “gift” for Christmas.  Two neighbors received, and professed that they were new, and special.  One neighbor said his daughter (age 10) took a taste and declared them all hers.  Took two bathces to Branch Christmas feast.  Carol took pumpkin pie.  Both of these very common things are very unusual here.  Say pumpkin pie to a child here and they turn up their nose.  More for adults.  Pumpkin is a veggie served quite commonly here.  Have seen it on the table, and in the store.  We would label it as squash, and children don’t like it any more here than they do there.  So squash pie is a new event that will take some getting used to.  All open minded adults loved it.

Christmas at kalgoorlie Branch.  Thanks Branch Pres and Wife!

Christmas at kalgoorlie Branch. Thanks Branch Pres and Wife!

All the waifs.  Four missionaries, Branch Pres and his wife (hosts) and their son and relatively new daughter-in-law, and second counselor in Branch Pres (from Phillapines) and one other couple (live in an RV),  and a single chap that has the most welcome and friendly smile you’d ever want to see.  A happy throng.  As you can see Pres and wife (Kauwhata- prounced Kofata) out did themselves, and made it special.

Pres Kauwhata, Sandi, Arianna, and Frasier.

Pres Kauwhata, Sandi, Arianna, and Frasier.

This be Pres and family (that they have here)

img_0452Yep them be oysters.  I politely declined, and they said – oh great more for us.  That table was full  momnets later… sorry no Pix

The Papasin Family (Second Counselor in Branch Pres)

The Papasin Family (Second Counselor in Branch Pres)

Lots of goodies on the table.  Everyone had a party cracker.  Pull it open to a crack, and inside was a small ‘gift” – think cracker jack toy – plastic car, etc, a hat and a joke or funny question (how to make a bandstand – take away their chairs).  Bottles contain sparking grape of apple juice.

Way much food.  Left stuffed and thing E-N-O-U-G-H  for a great day.

I did not get pix of our breakfast that came to our door at 7:00 AM.  Croisant sandwich of tomato, ham and pineapple with fruit (grapes and cherries) along with a dish of strawberries with a dish of chocolate to dip them in.  Have we told you how good the strawberries are here.  Mmmmmmmmmmmm good!!!!

The Harding famly with Elder Burton. Pitcher is apple juice.

The Harding famly with Elder Burton. Pitcher is apple juice.

Elders Fullmer and Burton. (Pix of Fullmer family sent to Elder Hoags email)

Elders Fullmer and Burton. (Pix of Fullmer family sent to Elder Hoags email)

Current Missionaries in Kalgoorlie.  Elder Fullmer leaves tomorrow morning (Monday the 29th) for second stop on his mission.  He is not real excited to leave.  They leave on the train at 7:05..  Burton and new elder arrive Wed afternoon train.  Can not take bicycle via trail so Sister Hoag and I will transport bike via car rack on our next trip to Perth.


Now on to the last event of the day.  As I sized it all up.  Breakfast was very nice, and very thoughtful.  Mid day at the meeting house was fun, and the result of a lobor of love.  Then we were invited late in the day to a home we had just glanced by on a previous day.  She’s a member, and he’s hard to discribe in a few volumes.  Fun, energetic, warm, sincere, great reverence for his heritage.  Tristan and Maihe had a Christmas feast, and house warming all rolled into one.  The following pix will give a sample.  Lamb, mutton (I asked the difference – two years), pork, chicken, corned beef, cray fish (looked like large shrimp, or lobster) and other great things .  I called this part of the day special.  Except for we missionaries all there were Maouri (Kiwi).  Couples and a few children.  After eating someone brought out a guitar and most of the men played a few songs, and many joined in (sing for their pudding).  The ladies danced to a few of the songs.  To wrap up the evening there was a hacka (my spelling) or  war chant thinge.  I took a video with my camera and it was dark, but I got the audio just fine.  I may make a disc and send to some family members.  What a wonderful wrap for a speicual Christmas in Australia

Christmas Freast

Christmas Freast

the cooking done. time to unload.  Beer keg with top cut off gas burner on bottom. Cook time 5 hrs.

the cooking done. time to unload. Beer keg with top cut off gas burner on bottom. Cook time 5 hrs.

sing or dance for you pudding

sing or dance for you pudding

I’ve paid money for entertainment that wasn’t as well done.

I sampled most of the food.  Liked all that passed my lips.  We missionaries sang “Called to Serve” for our pudding.

All in all a great christmas in Kalgoorlie.  Waaaaaaaaaaaaaay out here in the bush.

Carol got more jewels

img_0510Center piece was b-day gift.  Ear baubles are Christmas gift.  Aussie rocks – fitting!

Elder Hoag got a new toy… and all had a very very merry Christmas.

We wish all who go here to have a very happy new year.  We have now started our mission for sure.  08 will soon be history.  09 will be all mission.  The world is in some kind of economic mess, but for us as missionaries we could not be happier, or well cared for.

img_0501Not many scenic overlooks.  This is on the edge of a small town, Kambalda, about 50 klicks south and a little west of here.  Didn’t have patience for many pictures.  A zillion flies are up you nose, in your ears, at your eyes, and all you want is out-a-here.  The flies DO NOT like AC in car.  Full blast gets shuck of them fast.

This has been a fun post.  I tried to post a video of a special “prayer” at the last feast we attended.  Not enough speed/capacity for this from waaaaaaaaaaaay out back.  Later we’ll try it.

Love to all for now

Elda and Sista Hoag

Published in: on December 28, 2008 at 5:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Early December Update

A Christmas song not heard here: “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas”.  The stores have the BIG containers of sunblock front and center.  Temp getting higher and higher each day.  Windy also.  Mid 90’s each day now, but the night get down to mid 60’s. So we have great sleeping weather.
Last eve we helped with some prep work for over 250 people’s baptism.  A member came to the Family History Centre and we helped him retrieve some files of an old 31/4 floppy.  He was clueless, and Elder Hoag just guessed a lot.  Result  – mission accomplished!!  A success story.  All names on his newer Apple unit with some classy family history software.  We were most impressed with the revolving 3D family tree.  Don’t know how it really helps, but it’s classy to look at.
Our labors are mostly in the community service  area.  We go to the nursing home and help regularly, and have made  friends there.  Stacy is our ‘boss”, she’s the Diversion Therapy leader.  She may join us a Church soon to check it out.
I have some flat pix I’ll post here.

Entrance to flat

Entrance to flat

Now the front room

If I were at the computer it would look more usual, and some things would have been picked up

If I were at the computer it would look more usual, and some things would have been picked up

Now the kitchen – – adequate, but we don’t fit there together.

Tired range

Tired range

manual dishwasher

manual dishwasher

The box at the end of the sink is the pantry.  Service for 4 in plates and glassses, and all non frig food things.

Ugh - woman get off that computer and fix the flat!

Ugh - woman get off that computer and fix the flat!

That was a sexist comment.  What’s wrong with you Elder?  The table on the left is a new “find” from the second had store.  Just right for the projector.  The jumlbe of wire is a result of the power location.  Not to complain, but not what I’m used to. Kitchen has ONE power outlet.  Extension cord goes over the top of range back to run the micro.

Yes!  It really does wash the clothes.  Not a lot, but it does great.

Yes! It really does wash the clothes. Not a lot, but it does great.

See the two knobs over the machine.  One lets in fairly clean cold water, the other lets in the nastiest brown hot water.  Or it did the first day we were here.  All my brandnew white shirts got a new Kalgoorlie dye job.  Many soaks, and labors have them back to somewhat white.  The brown faucet is turned OFF!  It plays the classiest tune when it finishes.  We’ll put in a later update.

Dunny off the laundry/rear entrance room.

Dunny off the laundry/rear entrance room.

Works good!!  Queen size.  Small room, only sleep here.

Works good!! Queen size. Small room, only sleep here.

An Elders "night stand".  Check out power dist.  Yep it's an upside down laundry basket.

An Elders "night stand". Check out power dist. Yep it's an upside down laundry basket.

Wire to Carol’s light, my light, and fan.  Now a big load, but this is ALL that is in the room.  Bare walls – more later.

Enough bedroom pictures – simple story – adequate!

Sister Hoag's closet in the dressing room

Sister Hoag's closet in the dressing room

Yep that’s Elder’s shirt hung on the door knob – some things never change.  This is actually the third bedroom.  They are all small,  but it works!

The bath

The bath

Yep that be Elders towel hanging over door.  Rack to small.  Fold it and its wet tomorrow…DADADA.  All the knobs . . I’ll splain . . two for shower, two for bath, now that wasn’t rocket science.  Different is OK.

Yep Ceiling light fixture.  Same in all rooms.

Yep Ceiling light fixture. Same in all rooms.

Folks in Perth think we still use candles.  NOT.  We got e-l-e-c-t-r-i-c-i-t-y!  And we know how to use it out here in the bush!

Solar dryer.  Fencing is VERY common all over Kalgoorlie.

Solar dryer. Fencing is VERY common all over Kalgoorlie.

Some places the front fence is just like this back fence.  Not very scenic, but there is no view here anyway.  A few yards are well done with many flowers.  We’ll travel around town someday with the camera ready and show more of the town.

Rear patio and

Rear patio and

If you look very closely you’ll see the hose that carries the dischage water from the air con (Aussie for Air Conditioning) to the grass.  They even sell little sprinklers you can attach to the hose at a store that is a lot like Home Depot.  It’s a good thing to have the shade cloth over the front and rear.  Very tired, but doing its job of keeping the sun off the brick.  This kind of aircon can only work if it is dry, and they promise that it is dry here.

The new viewing (training) room

The new viewing (training) room

Last pix . . .  The screen was a extra Dell deal.  Really like it.  Notice no pictures on ANY wall no not one!!  BIG no no here.  My trainier on things Aussie explained that some landlord got big bucks from the church because somone hung something.  We were told we may not even use the sticky mounts.   How does screen stay up?  Magic!

Next post will include some discription of Kalgoorlie in pictutre format.  May include some pictures of folks from here too.

Published in: on December 5, 2008 at 3:04 am  Leave a Comment  

First Report From Australia

WOW is this over due or what.  BUT nothing that $$ Can’t solve.   The ole computer just gave up the ghost here, and after a long struggle is got replaced with a new HP notebook.  Oh and the camera I left the USA  with did not arrive in Australia with me.  And while we’re on the subject of justification for gagets . .we bought a GPS unit.  The GPS always seemed frivolus, but driving in Perth and remembering which side of the road to drive on and fit on smaller and busy streets, and FIND the destination make it dear gift (to ourselves none the less).

After being here a few weeks our mission president came to town for a Branch Conference and asked if I still loved him after being sent to Kalgoorlie.  We still do.  This is our mission.  We are not worried about PLACE, or STATION, or GEORGAPHY.  We are here to learn, love and serve.  Oh how we are learning – language, customs, and food.  The love part is sooooo easy.  These Australians are easy to love.  We are anxious to serve, but don’t think we’re even close to being fully engaged.  We do feel the Lord is/will be patient with us, and the week ahead has many things showing up on the calendar.  (Nursing home – Teen event helpers – meals on wheels)

More about the nursing home.  First event was to accompany a bus load of folks to a lunch out event.  Helped load folks on/off the bus (walkers/wheelchairs/oxy bottles etc).   Then lunch – ate fish – was good.  Two ladies accros the table had a “shandy” for their beverage.  Shandy is 1/2 limonade, and 1/2 beer.  Can’t have any of that.  Second event was a trip to the Cinema.  Bad movie – we all left.  The lady that is our interface (Diversion Therapist) is on holiday, but we told her and others that we would be popping in from time to time.  We went Friday, and had a LARGE task laid on us.  I’ll make it short.. Mary went from home to hospital to nursing home over two years ago.  She went back to her  home a week ago and found it in shambles.  She can do nothing (in a wheel chair).  A care giver took us aside as soon as we walked in and asked if we could help Mary.  We have started.  After a visit we took her keys and drove to the home.  Keys not necessary.  Big hole in wall in bath room, very dusty.  Most drawers opened, and contents strewn about.  Withe the Kalgoorlie Branch (of the church) help we’ll shape this place up and get it ready for sale (probably worth more that she knows – much commercial all around this OLD (stove in kitchen is wood fired) home.  Mary has no family, never married, brother passed a few years ago.  We explained to Mary that she is an answer to our prayers to find a place where we can help.  We’ve now got it.  One more note of the nursing home.  Tuesday is the Melborne cup (a horse race much like Kentucky derby) where the whole country comes to a stop.  Big event at the nursing home and we’re there early to help set up and have dinner with the whole place.  Sounds like fun.

This is going on some, but I’ll try and make it some brief.  We have been back to Perth for a special zone conference, and had Elder Richard Hinckley there to instruct us.  Rare treat.  Learned a lot.  More later maybe.

Bigger shock is the price of groceries. but with the current exchange rate (.67us/1 Aussie $) we’re ok.  But still bannanas at $2/lb it’s still steep.  Beef is costly, lamb is less, and pork is the lowest price in the meat cabinet.  There’s a milk product that our orienting team (in Perth) told us about that is a good value, and can be stored until its open in the pantry.  Produce is good, the ice cream is not Blue Bell, but I’m probably better for it.

New words:   “no worries” – means it’s ok, or no problem.  In a shop the other day a lady talked about a flash flood hitting a small town west of here, but east of Perth in the out back.  The lady said all the water went down  the gurgler meaning drain.  Macka means MacDonalds as in hamburgers, etc.  We ate there last Fri eve to see what its like . just as bad here as it is there.

I’ll attach a few pictures, and more later.

Published in: on November 2, 2008 at 1:35 am  Leave a Comment  

Under way

"Graduating Classmates"

That be me back left second one in -eye’s and hair…

The whole MTC was wonderful.  Room, food, the associations, the lessons, and the depth of spiritual influence was like nothing we have ever experienced.  I have sent notes to some folks strongly recommending they prayerfully consider their avilability.  An experience not to miss for sure.

We are at SLC airport waiting for leg one.  Will arrive Wednesday afternoon 3:05ish.  About 19 plane hours.  Longest leg 14 hrs LA to SIdney – then 5 to Perth.  Fun FUN FUN!!!

Published in: on September 29, 2008 at 7:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pre MTC at Binns

Thursday was an early get up (3:30 am) for a arrival at airport at 6 AM.  Flight to SLC was fine, and early, walk from plane to baggage was 1/2 way across the airport, but we needed the walk after the 2.5 hr sit.

FUN!! Seening the Binns again.  Thier request was “what do you want to see?”….. a chair and bed.  after a chat & lunch and a nap we were progesssing nicely.

Friday after a wonderful rest we went for a tour of a close canyon in the Binns’ 68 Olds convertable.  Been refurb’d and upgrade engine (rebuilt 455 cu in)

After a trip to the canyon and stop for a burger Elder and Sister Hoag toured temple square.

view from Joseph Smith Memorial Building 10 floor.

view from Joseph Smith Memorial Building 10 floor.

The tabernacle and conference center were closed due to preperation for an event in the evening, but we enjoyed to stroll about none-the-less.  Chatted with several missionaries, two from Australia.  Both said we’d love Perth.  Everyone we told we were headed to Australia Perth Mission were envious.  A few more pictures.

Published in: on September 19, 2008 at 8:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

One Last Open House

A picture is worth 10,000 words here!  Some escaped before we broke out the camera, but we and our chillins are displayed here.

Published in: on September 14, 2008 at 10:57 pm  Leave a Comment