My country's been having a difficult time of it over the last few weeks. I know many of you have been hearing about the unbelievable bush fires down in Victoria that have taken so many lives in an awesome and terrifying rage. In South Australia they've been struggling with soaring heat waves that have devastated the elderly and the very young. In NSW they've had fires too - though not as bad as Victoria's (and they've been sending many of their own firefighters over to Victoria to help). And then my state, Queensland, has had such severe rain and flooding that by the end of last week, more than 60% of my state was under water! 60%. And QLD is a really big state.
Nothing has affected me directly - we've been fine in Brisbane - but my heart as really really ached for all of those who have been facing such devastating natural disasters. It's difficult to see the images and hear the stories and not be able to rush to their side. Prayers help I hope. I've been really proud of my country though, and the way we've all pulled together, and been so generous. I was humbled the other day to hear about the people up in Northern QLD (some of whom are completely cut off from the rest of the world by flood waters), who have received monetary government assistance to help with the floods, and who have then turned around and donated it directly to the bush fire appeals. We've only got a small population in Australia, and yet we've raised over $100,000,000 in that appeal. And people are sending everything from clothes to beds to fridges to those who have lost everything.
My Mum's just started a blog now too: Sandy Speak, and she's posted 2 really fabulous articles about the things that have been going on. One is just photos, and the other is written. She's managed to say what I feel but haven't been able to put into words. Please go have a read if you have a moment (and leave her a comment - she loves comments too!).
PS. I know, I know. I haven't written in ages and I was supposed to write every day! My Internet at home has been down, and then I've been really and honestly flat out with everything I have to do each day.... :)