Psych Assessment

25 01 2009

I just finished all my psych tests (before the interview part of the Psych assessment). ECM are really gracious and put that all on the other side of your acceptance – I guess it doesn’t all hang on your sanity then… 🙂

I’ve been looking forward to this assessment for a while. It’s a great opportunity to have someone spend the time thinking about how you work, what things might be helpful to know or barriers you’ll hit, and then to be able to address or plan things from a more informed position. And because I love those Cleo/Dolly Quiz’s and this feels like a more ramped up version!

But one of the questionnaires flattened me. Assessing mental states and dependence issues in 334 questions – I was ready to poke my eyes out. Question after question assesses drug usage, suicidality, difficulty capturing thoughts, anxiety, paranoia, depression… I had to take a tea break in the middle just to get through.

And depressing as it was, the hardest part was that almost every question I answered – I know someone that would answer differently, who is struggling and hurting in that way. Amongst close family and friends people who are battling every day to keep their head afloat, and not to do further damage to themselves.

Those questions were a journey of grief.
And of thankfulness.

The rain in Spain…

23 01 2009

Today I was driving along in my little Ribena Berry (which in heat like today becomes a vehicle of torture) and I found myself in a moment of reprieve. Looking around trying to work out what changed, I noticed a huge lorry next to me providing shade as I drove… and I managed to sit under his wing (albeit dropping down to 40k/hr, not at all my usual mode) all the way down Concord rd. I love overpasses to and have been know to drive under them at 10k/hr… making the most of the shade ☺

I know that I am unusual in my love of moisture in the air. I’m often told me ‘at least its dry’. Seriously, I can’t imagine osmosis is working for me in this heat. I can’t help but think that any minute someone is going to notice I’m baking from the outside in, and poke me to see if any juices are still flowing. All I need is seasoning for a nice crispy skin.

For ages I’ve been under the impression that there is moisture in the air in Spain… maybe its images of the Mediterranean. But I Googled it today and it’s 40C averages in the middle of summer and dry all the way… Makes me tired just thinking about it.

Faith cloaked in culture

6 01 2009

I’ve just spent Christmas with my family – the first of many ‘lasts’ before I head off. It was also the first on our own after many years at a family Christmas – so we had to work out how to do Christmas on our own and work out what was necessary and what you jettison (because it’s Cairns and really who can be bothered baking in 38C?)


Each of us found ourselves saying ‘it just wont be Christmas without…’


Much of the way I do church, family and events like Christmas is formed by history, tradition… and temperature. Over the next few years I’ll have to do each of these things totally differently (Christmas in winter L, my birthday in summer!)


It’s funny to work out how much of even the ‘Christian’ moments are Faith cloaked in culture. I’m looking forward to experiencing these moments in a new culture – and being reminded of what is common, what is essential. And sharing those with my new ‘family’. Even if I’m freezing cold and surrounded by a language I don’t understand J