Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Today I Found a Pound Coin in My Bag and it Looked Foreign!

A commune
Hiding in the upstairs computer room from the midges and the bedbugs...
Well, its an experience I guess

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

[Insert Some Useful Comment Here]

Where to start?? So much seems to be happening at the moment I hardly know whether I am coming or going!! :)

 I am still staying with Vanilda because she asked me to stay an extra week to help further with the work that needs to be done for her granddaughters treatment and fundraising. I have had a lovely time learning about Brazilian cooking and helping her to gain confidence with the computer! She was also kind enough to give me last Friday off (though she still fed me) to go and meet up with a friend from university! It was great to catch up with a friend from home and our day involved coffee, wine, a swimming pool, a water fight, lots of laughter and a reasonably large quantity of drunkenness so I very much enjoyed it!

Now the question is what to do next? I have decided to try and participate in a language swap because I have always wanted to learn French. I know I am in Australia but there are so many backpackers around speaking all sorts of languages that it is quite easy to find someone who will exchange their knowledge of whatever language you like in exchange for help with English or whatever language you speak which they want to learn! I meet up with someone for the first time in Cairns in the next few days so we shall have to see how that goes.

Vanilda has offered to keep me here longer if I want, so that I can keep helping her and suggested that I get people to pay me to teach them basic computer skills! I tried to explain that I have no formal teaching qualifications and my computer know-how really is not that great, but she seems to think I am a good teacher and that several of her friends at least would be interested in me teaching them what I have taught her. If that were the case then it could be a good source of money (at least for a short time). I could still stay here and only pay $10 a day for my accommodation and food, which is like 6 or 7 pounds (basically nothing) and a hell of a lot less than i would be spending to live in a hostel and feed myself!

I could also move to Sydney, where I could earn more money and there is another girl willing to help me with french if am willing to help her with English. Though that said other people in a range of places have shown interest including someone in Darwin and somebody else on the Gold Coast.

 Earlier today I was offered yet another option, to go and help out on a farm in the middle of nowhere taking care of 3 children (8, 11 and 10 months) and doing some farm work. This would also include supervising the oldest 2 through their workbooks for distance school (some kids live so far away from the nearest school here that they just do distance schooling from home!) I would love to do this! It is also a position that counts towards my second year visa (I need to work 88 days in qualifying jobs). The lady who approached me to come and work with her family was unaware about my limp and food allergies though, so now I have told her I will have to wait and see if she still wants me!

 Lots of options, no idea which to go with! I will let you all know what happens! Apologies for the number of errors that are probably in this post, I have not got time to read it over and check it! I am busy busy busy arguing with the computer!

 Much Love :)

Also, I found this and couldn't help it, this made me laugh a lot (if you are granny then sorry for the swears):

A good summary!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Wwoofing with a Computer!

I am spending this week wwoofing just outside of Cairns (well kind of in one of the suburbs).  I am living with a nice lady called Vanilda, originally from Brazil, and we have spent quite a lot of time talking about cultural differences between Australia, Brazil and Britain so that has been cool.

I was supposed to come here and help in the garden and such, but I have so far spent most of my time showing this lady how to use the internet for research and fundraising.  Despite using the computer and email often, she only has a basic grasp of the internet it would seem.

The current need to use the internet more effectively came about because one of Vanilda's grandchildren, a little girl aged 3, has recently been diagnosed with Autism.  As any family would, hers want to research the condition and its treatments as thoroughly as possible.  Vanilda has the most free time (with no full time job and other children to care for) and so seems to have taken a lot of this research upon herself.

The family want to implement a form of early intervention called Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA), but because there is no NHS here, the way they need to go about organising the treatment and funding and such is more complicated than at home (and it seems it can be pretty complicated even there).  There is some assistance with funding but the family will need to fundraise on top of this allowance in order that the little girl receives adequate treatment.

There is so much information out there and it must be really overwhelming when the diagnosis has been made. We got talking about this and Vanilda is saying to me well how are we supposed to know which therapists are best? who to chose? I have no idea but I have an interest in disability and know that there are help groups and information online for just about every condition under the sun so I asked if the family had managed to find any online resources or forums or anything like that? No.

I know almost nothing about Autism and nothing whatsoever about healthcare in Australia but when I mentioned that the information is online and that websites and social media and giving sites and such can be used to raise awareness and funding, understandably, Vanilda wanted to know how!  So I have spent today trying to explain use of the internet and forums and blogs and YouTube and stuff. Undoubtedly I am going to spend tomorrow relaying the same information to the little girls mother, who is coming round in the morning for the purpose and is, apparently, not much more tech savy than Vanilda. 

I am very happy to help and I suppose any information which builds on that which they already have is good, but helping out in the garden would definitely be a lot simpler and less emotionally charged!

Its just the sort of thing I would manage really isn't it, go to a place to do some weeding and somehow find myself wading through the extra complicated parts of the Australian medical system!