Some of you may have already received this message, but it doesn't
appear to have gotten through to everyone. If it is a duplicate, we
Tomorrow morning we will leave Hastings for Richmond to get a flight
out on March 7th. We can't believe that the year is up already.
We have so many wonderful memories of this country. We've petted
dolphins and wombats, walked in rainforests and on gibber plains, collected
shells from the beaches on three oceans, listened to the calls of bush
stone curlews and the compelling drone of the didjiridu, smelled gum leaves
and woodsmoke, and eaten kangaroo, emu, and barramundi. When we close our
eyes, we will see the fierce sun of the outback and Uluru will haunt our
We will take the land home in our memories and our photographs, but
the people of Australia will live in our hearts. Some of them we have met
in person, some through the Internet, but they have all given us so much.
While we were just beginning to plan our trip, folks from the birding-Aus
e-mail list gave us the information we needed to make it a reality. Their
generosity and cheerful assistance set the tone for all our interactions
with Aussies. People we met along the way were friendly, interesting, and
unfailingly kind to these Yank tourists. We won't try to list them by
name--we don't even know all their names--but our thanks go to all of you
who graced our lives with your friendliness. We have been so lucky to have
met you. We are still very proud of the red, white, and blue; but a part of
us now is Aussie green and gold.
One person we must thank publicly. John Gamblin has been our mentor,
guide, friend, and guardian angel all through the trip. Thanks, mate; we
couldn't have done it without you.
To the folks at home, we are happy that we could share our trip with
you, but you must come to Australia to see it for yourself. We are looking
forward to seeing all of you in a few weeks or so.
Sid and Sharon
Sid and Sharon Genaux
on the road down under
in the Wombat Shelter
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