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A little hard yakka.

Haven't been able to do much dev this week. I took the week off work to join a "mission" with the church I go to, in a suburb of Sydney: Shalvey. The week was pretty physically tiring. There were several teams involved with all sorts of stuff from running free sausage sizzles and organising "youth events" to dropping invites for the "family fun" day we were hosting on the Saturday. The area is considered to be one of the poorest in Sydney, so the emphasis was on helping out with people's physical needs and making some contacts for whatever future projects we might do there.

I did a fair bit of letter-box dropping (involves a lot of walking around and dodging the local canines), but most of the work I was involved with was cleaning up people's houses. We got the contacts for this through word of mouth and people we know in the local day-care centre (there is a high proportion of teenage single-mothers in the area). Some of the work was simple lawn-mowing or fixing up broken-windows, etc. Some of it also involved cleaning out the junk that accumulates in and around some people's homes. It was a real eye-openner to see the condition that some people have to live in. The place that most sticks out to me was this one lady who had seven children (and looked like she was well on her way to an eighth). I have no idea how she managed to keep track of seven children pretty much by herself, but obviously something had to suffer and it seems that was her backyard. Roughly speaking there were several beds, a dryer, several children's bikes, four or five TVs, bags of old clothes and many other miscelanious items partially hidden under the waist-high grass. We moved just about all of it out to the sidewalk for the local council to pick up and mowed the lawn as well as delivered her a food hamper. The sheer volume of stuff we removed required most of a day to do.

Needless to say, seeing things like that makes most things I could complain about in my life seem pretty shallow and petty.

Anyway, sorry for the OT, just thought I'd do some sharing. I'll hopefully be able to get some more dev done this week now that I'm back at work (yes, I realise that sounds like an oxymoron). [wink]
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