19th and 20th August 2010
On a wet, miserable Canberra morning I waited anxiously until it was time to drive to the airport to board our airplane, leave the cold climate behind and embark north to the Sunshine State. Mum, Jarrett, Nalani and I were escorted onto the airplane first, that is what happens when you are in a wheelchair, they get you settled prior to the other passengers boarding. I was beside Mum, Jarrett and Nalani sat together across the aisle from us. Dad had to stay behind in Canberra for work but will be joining us late on Friday night.
The plane was reversed out ready to begin to taxi, all the lights inside the plane kept flashing and then the pilot announced that we would be returning to have engineers fix the problem. It turned out that it was a problem with the generator, so we were delayed for a little over half and hour. I must admit I was just slightly nervous as we did taxi and take off, hoping that the problem had been fixed correctly. Once in the air however everything went smoothly and we actually made up some time, landing in Brisbane only fifteen minutes later than expected. We had to wait on the airplane until my wheelchair was brought up from the cargo hold and then we headed off to collect our baggage.
I could not believe the difference in temperature between Canberra and Brisbane, it was like going from one season to another, Canberra being so wintry whilst Brisbane felt so much like Spring. Once we arrived at our accommodation in Redcliffe and unpacked we went for a walk along the beach front enjoying the wonderful fresh salt air. Although the weather was so splendiferously warm I found that my knee was still in excruciating pain and was extremely swollen.
After dinner we went for a walk along the beach front, where many of the trees were lit up in a colourful array of fairy lights like a glorious rainbow. It was still so warm and very humid so I was not surprised when I woke during the night in pain to hear rain falling outside the window.
The rain continued today and the temperature was no where near as pleasant as it was on our arrival, although it was still an improvement on anything that Canberra has had to offer lately. We had a leisurely morning of going for a walk to the Redcliffe Shops where I found a Wests Tigers Pen to buy. The rain started to tumble from the sky and it did not look promising for our afternoon when we were going to St Pauls School where the Cross Country Race events are going to be held.
After lunch we called a taxi, he was such a friendly taxi driver and told us as we drove over the road where the Hornybrook Highway was that the new bridge is the longest bridge in Australia, spanning 2.9km. The rain was still falling constantly from the sky as we arrived at the school, luckily when we went shopping in the morning we had purchased some ponchos which kept us fairly dry, I was fortunate enough to find a pink one! The Opening Ceremony had to be called off due to the rain but when the rain stopped we all walked the 2km Course that Jarrett will be doing two laps of tomorrow. It is a terrific course and I could see the excitement in Jarrett's eyes as he discussed his strategies with us as we walked. Mum carried me most of the way but Nalani gave her a little break for a few hundred metres, I am so lucky that I was able to really feel part of the day. One issue is that because of the rain and the course being a cross country one, there were some muddy patches which were rather slippery. The forecast for tomorrow is for beautiful sunshine so hopefully the course will dry out quite quickly. Jarrett did a second jog lap of the course with his coach and they discussed race strategies and the possibility of having to wear spikes to run in if the course stayed slippery.
While waiting for a taxi to take us back to Redcliffe we were surprised to see a familiar face at the front of St Pauls School where we were waiting, it was Mr Browning, he used to be the Principal of our school. He even knew all about my journey and was so pleased to be able to see me and let me know his prayers had been with me. He wished Jarrett the very best of luck and offered to show us through his school after the relays on Monday. We had a long wait for the taxi but eventually one arrived, the skies had begun to clear and by the time we arrived back at Redcliffe there was a delightful pink sunset that brought so much promise for a wonderful day tomorrow.
My knee is pulsating with pain and terribly swollen, hopefully with no rain and a warmer day predicted for tomorrow I may be granted just a few hours of relief. The rain has completely stopped as I type this with my left hand, my right hand is still giving me some grief but at least I have use of my left. I pray that Jarrett will run with wings on his heels and be kept safe throughout the race tomorrow.