Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Monday, May 25th – a week ago we were getting up at 5:00AM and headed for Midway Airport.  Now, we're on the other side of the planet, and preparing for a nine-hour trip from the Euro-centric city of Melbourne to the ACT (not a test score; rather, it means Australian Capital Territory) city of Canberra, the government seat of Parliament and the Capital of the nation of Australia.

What does one do to keep the natives happy on a bus ride of such length?

I'll tell you:  critters are the key.

And in Australia, there are lots of critters.

Lots and lots of them.

Take koalas, for instance.  They are NOT bears, something that the Aussies are quick to bring to the attention of our Yankee mentalities.

Back in January (which seems like a decade ago), Fr. Anthony Casamento brought over a boatload of these little creatures for our choir; many were adopted as personal pets and have found their way back to their homeland once more (see the picture above!).

And then there is Adelaide.

When we first arrived in Melbourne, our ACU colleagues presented us with an official "mascot" for the tour.  Our job was to name her (and her joey – the mascot is a kangaroo), and make sure she was cared for well and prominently displayed wherever and whenever we sang.

The consensus was to name the critter Adelaide, in honor of a lovely sounding city that we WON'T be visiting on this trip.  The joey is named Cookie Junior.  Don't ask me why.

At first, caring for Adelaide was reckoned a punishment for being late for the bus.  But what quickly became evident: the choir considered caring for our little stuffed thing a privilege... daily, she has been handed over to a member of the ensemble for exemplary behavior whilst moving through our tasks Down Under.

It takes a lot of stamina, patience, gentility, and love to wind our way through a demanding tour.  People are tired, pulled between the demanding roles of tourist, singer, instrumentalist, ambassador, boarder in a family home.  But thank God for the wisdom of our Aussie hosts, who put Adelaide and her young one in our midst!  All God's creatures, large and small – and stuffed – are helping us along our way.

No comments:

Post a Comment