The team’s second last day in Leonora saw things start to come together. The relationships built with the kids over the last few days are paying off, as are the prayers offered on behalf of the team and the kids of Leonora. The day also included a visit to Gwalia, just a short drive out of Leonora. Gwalia used to be small but bustling mining town of almost 1,200 people. In its heyday it had the distinction of being the second largest gold mine in WA after Kalgoorlie and, at 1,080m, was the deepest incline shaft mine in Australia. The mine’s first manager, a young mining engineer by the name of Herbert Hoover, would later go on to become president of the United States.
We were yet again woken up by Avril singing (as I am sure you have heard from previous posts). Breakfast was cereal as usual (I had Just Right). The morning session started really well, the kids were really well behaved, which made it easier. I was on the registration desk and all the kids were really helpful in pointing out who they were which was a nice change.
We played a game with a ball where the older kids get in a circle and keep the ball up in the air. Diego helped run the game by standing in the middle. During the craft I helped with some of the kids making pipe cleaner people, which was fun. The guys doing the drama and the Bible skit did really well, the drama especially engaged the kids and they really enjoyed it.
Lunch was really good, we had honey soy chicken with rice and veggies. Annalisse has been a brilliant cook all week!
Gwalia in the afternoon had really interesting artifacts inside the abandoned houses, like old empty bottles of beer on the kitchen shelves. Where the people slept, the curtains between the rooms have lots of holes and the outside of the building is just corrugated metal sheets. It was really interesting to see this old mining town and learn about its history. The mine itself was huge and deep and at the very bottom of the mine it was filled with water (I think it is really salty water). The vehicles are also really interesting because they were really old but still intact and preserved.
In the evening we went to Mr Radingus’ hobby farm to have a BBQ with the kids. He has lots of different animals including horses, camels, goats, kangaroos, pigs, dogs, pigeons, chickens etc.
Before the kids came we had a big fire, and Daniel burnt his manga books in the fire. This was part of his devotion in the morning about building God’s temple/kingdom and not our own, and removing those things that distract us from what really matters. It was a great evening with the kids taking us around and showing us the animals.
We woke up to the sound of Avril singing and ate a breakfast of Coles’ copy of Nutri-Grain (Mighty Grain!) with a hot drink. Devotions was led by Daniel and he talked to us about building God’s kingdom – we also spent some time in prayer together for the kids of Leonora, especially those who had been fighting the night before. We walked up to the recreation centre and along the way Mr Taylor pretended to be making a nature documentary in which we all jumped past the camera pretending to be Kangaroos.
In the morning session my group all sat down and listened to us for the first time, which was awesome! Our activities worked really well and we had all the kids engaged. We also played an ice cream game were everyone was blindfolded and 2 people had to feed 2 other people ice-cream – we had all kids first up and then did it with 2 leaders being fed by kids. Half the time the ice cream just went all over their face.
After lunch we went out to Gwalia, a mining ghost town just outside of Leonora. Praise and I walked around listening to the walkie talkie guides. The mine shaft was really dangerous and used a series of bells to tell the operator which levers to pull – we heard a story about one operator who pulled the wrong lever at the wrong time and it resulted in someone dying.
We also went into President Herbert Hoover’s house which was so much bigger and fancier than all the other houses that we saw (the rest were quite derelict). I’m pretty sad that it’s going to be the final day tomorrow – it has gone so fast!