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Thanks to all who have sent me encouraging messages/emails/pokes today. It helps.

I went on an expedition to the Canberra Centre to buy more milk for the conference and ended up having an absolutely massive coffee and brownie at Starbucks (note that I never have coffee at Starbucks – I’ll have a chilled beverage of some sort if necessary but I try my hardest not to go anywhere near them (please believe me, cafedave!!!!)) – that’s how desperate I was for caffeine and sugar. It did help a bit. I also bought a glass star for my Christmas tree from the Oxfam shop, in keeping with my tradition of buying one pleasing new ornament each year for the tree.

The expo kicked off today. The expo is for people who are exploring doing student ministry and want to find out more about it and the opportunities available. I haven’t really taken part in it at all, because I’ve been doing random jobs and just trying to keep going as best I can.

There are many small, frustrating things that have been happening since we arrived. For example:

  1. The college our office is in has recently undergone a security upgrade. All the doors require swipe cards to open, and if a door is left open for longer than about 2 minutes, a high pitched constant beeping alarm sounds. This can only be stopped by closing the door, or pressing a button, every 2 minutes. This is really not ideal when you have an office that many people need to come in and out of, and only a limited number of keys. At one stage, I was sitting next to the door just so I could press the button every two minutes and stop the beeping noise. It seemed very much like some bizarre psychological experiment. Now that the busy period is over, the door is closed so no more beeping. However, there is a low-level pulsing beep coming from one of the doors outside, and it sounds like we’re in a hospital. It’s really quite surreal.
  2. The outside doors are locked for the night at 5.00pm. So people can no longer go in and out of the building without swipe cards, and even more bizarrely, they can’t get out without swipe cards. This is very, very annoying.
  3. The conference mugs, which are given free to every delegate so they can have morning and afternoon tea, did not turn up last week to S’s house when they were supposed to (she lives across the road from uni and was going to mind them for us until the conference). So I rang the supplier and organised for them to be delivered straight to the conference site instead and he assured me they would be delivered first thing Wednesday, in time for our first delegates to arrive. But no, they did not turn up yesterday and after much ringing around, we discovered they had been delivered to the wrong address and were going to be delivered by 9.00am this morning at the latest. I wasn’t holding my breath, which was just as well, because of course they didn’t turn up this morning. Then we got a call from S saying 8 boxes had been delivered to her house and the courier refused to take them to the uni where they were supposed to go. This was worrying because a) they weren’t supposed to go to S’s house, and b) there were supposed to be something like 32 boxes. So I drove over to S’s house, retrieved the 8 boxes, which were enough to keep the expo delegates happy, and I still have no idea if and when the remainder of the mugs are going to show up. I have achieved a zen-like state of calm about it, and I think the supplier was grovelling extra hard because I was being so nice about it, but it’s getting to the point where if one more thing goes wrong with the job I’ll explode all over someone and it won’t be pretty.
  4. I hate the showers in my college. They are mouldy and they smell and make me feel claustrophobic (some of you may recall that I have major bathroom issues). I am trying to be thankful that the shower pressure is good and the water hot, but it’s very hard to wash yourself adequately when every fibre of your being is screaming at you to get out.

But – I have internet access. I have a comfortable bed. I have good food and plenty of it. I have people around me who are praying for me. And I am part of this amazing movement that is all about proclaiming God’s word. There isn’t much to complain about, really.