Sunday, August 2, 2015

Conference at the University of Sydney

It was so, so, so many hours of flying, but we got to Sydney, Australia, with little of note happening. I slept enough I was reasonably fresh when we got there, which was good since I had just over an hour from when we checked in before the conference started.

My dining hall

The conference is really delightful. It is a small group, all dedicated to studying the same general topic (children in Antiquity), and in the end our papers will make a handbook for children in antiquity. We each have half an hour to present our ideas and then ten minutes for questions and discussions. We usually take more time than that on those discussions. Then we have breaks and lunches where the discussion continues as well. And all the people here are so good. They are great in their fields, and they are wonderful, kind people.

That first evening we also had a small reception at the university’s museum, which had a collection in it on children in antiquity. They have a wonderful, delightful little collection there, and again I so enjoyed visiting with everyone. What a marvelous time.

A Lego Pompeii at the museum. I knew my kids would love it.

The university is quite enjoyable. It is a mix of modern buildings and older buildings, many of which are designed to look older than they are. Many are intentionally modeled after old buildings at Oxford. I loved the atmosphere of the place, and found so many friendly people who showed me around and told me about all sorts of things. This is a friendly, open place and I am with friendly, open people.

Wednesday was full of more good lectures. I had a hard time staying awake in the afternoon, but largely I am doing well with the whole Jet Lag thing, and am really enjoying the conference. The lectures started early and went late on that day. There was really pretty much nothing of the day but lectures. I have gotten hooked on a little local treat called lamingtons. Very tasty.

Thursday went splendidly well. Paul and I met quite early to make sure we had meshed our presentation together well and would be all ready. We left for the building where we are holding the meetings early because it was starting to rain, but we still had time to finish everything. We were the third lecture, and I felt like it went very well. We had a lot of questions afterwards and a lot of enthusiasm about our paper. I think many people found it quite intriguing. I was very satisfied with how it went.

There were more good papers that day. Then we went to a museum together, and together we had a very nice dinner in a historic part of Sydney. I was also able to go on a short walk and see the famous Opera House and bridge. I will miss seeing these people I have done the conference with, they were delightful and I feel they are friends already.

The Opera House
The Bridge
The next day was the day Paul and I had set aside for finishing up business and then seeing some things. But it was pouring rain and was only 50 degrees. I had brought my snorkel equipment and wet suit, but it was not good enough weather for any kind of snorkeling. 

The beach where I should have gone snorkeling

So we went on a ferry ride to Manly, and walked around and saw some wonderful beaches and trails and scenery. Just the ferry ride was delightful, even in the rain and rough water, because it gave us a different view of Sydney.

Manly Beach

When that was over we just worked on finishing several things up. I spent the rest of the evening working. The next day I woke up early, packed, and off we went. The flights were okay, but very long. I had several kinds of delays, so I got home three hours later than I thought I would. I was so very tired (I didn’t sleep well on the plane), my rear was so very sore, and I was hungry. But seeing the family woke me up. They were thrilled with the treats and gifts I brought home. 

We had a lot of fun together. I went with Julianne to visit a few people, and finally I was able to get the sleep that I so badly needed. I am glad to be home.

Now we have four weeks to get ready to move to Jerusalem. Better get going!

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