Saturday, 8 December 2012

Running to Extremes

Well, I'm not exactly known for doing things by halves.  So as a result, I'm planning to do the Tough Mudder next year (in September).  I'm a bit crazy that way.

Yes, I do know that the Tough Mudder involves running about 20km through mud with obstacles including electricity and fire (neither of which bother me at all, though Kal's freaking a little over the electricity and me having a heart problem) and small tunnels that can be filled with mud and water (which freaks me more than a little) and swimming through ice-cold water (which will pain me).

One of my friends has volunteered to join me.  So if you are crazy like me, or are actually fit, then feel free to join us.  Otherwise, I'll understand.

This is obviously involving lots of training.  I can run about 10km, though not at all fast and occasionally I have to stop to walk for a bit.  I completely lack upper body strength, and core strength, and general fitness, so I'm working on those.

And I'm actually doing well.  I feel fitter, and several people have asked me if I've lost weight (some approvingly, others not) (I haven't - in fact I've put ON 200g, which for me is a triumph.  I've basically been 50kg or more for less than a month of my life, and my GP wanted me to reach that when I was 16... 28 and not yet there...).

So I'm challenging myself...

And yes, at the Tough Mudder, you must sign a death waiver.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Not quite yours then...

At placement, some of the children were arguing over a Woody doll. It belonged to one of the children (i.e. it was a "home toy"), so I returned it to her. The boy who was arguing for it, told me, "But I NEED it." "It isn't yours though," I told him. "I've got one, but I left it." "Oh no, you left it at home? You can maybe bring it another day." "No, not at home. I left it at Target."

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Exciting News

I am once again a home owner. I have had settlement on my property in Noble Park.

As long as I never need to go there, I love the place!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Getting Fit

Life is busy at the moment. Aside from working almost full time and studying full time and serving in church and going on mission trips and running three blogs and making art, I've recently decided that I need to be much fitter. Because at the moment, I'm not.

Until recently, I've had absolutely zero motivation to do any form of exercise aside from occasional dancing. I was quite simply too sick and too tired to do any such thing. But this year I've been getting my energy back (with the occasional result of me trying to do more than is humanly possible) and now I actually feel like I should be moving.

So I started jogging.

I also joined a gym.

In the few weeks I've been exercising, I've already taken 12 minutes off of my run times. Yeah, that only says how bad I was at the beginning. My run is about 4.22km. And no, I still don't run (or even jog) the entire thing.

The bright side is I could definitely do a 5km fun run (as long as they let me walk some of it!)

My current time (22.08 - not when this post shows, scheduling posts is the only way I can keep up the blogging with no internet at home) is 34 minutes. The internet tells me it "should" take me around 25-30 minutes. I'm hoping to get there soonish.

On the gym front - I worked out that if I go to 1 class a week, I've broken even. So my minimum is 1 class a week (I'm not such a fan of the machines, so I've only used them 2 or three times). It's Wednesday today, and I've been to 4 already this week. So I've getting my money's worth.

My favourites are the dancing ones - Sh'bam and Zumba. I also really like CXWorks, and boxing was also fun. I'm trying out pretty much everything.

I have a PT, which the guy who signed me up said was his "absolute favourite trainer", which I assumed was a code word for a PT who needed another client. Yesterday though, I saw him training with her, so that's pretty good.

I've also done some cycle classes, which resulted in me being slightly saddle sore, but I promised JW that next year I would do a fundraiser bike-ride in memory of his friend. SO YOU ALL BETTER SPONSOR ME! I think he's signing us up for the 20km (which I can do on the machines, but on the road it'll be a different story), but he could be crazy and sign us up for the 60km, because he said he might do that. In which case, YOU ALL BETTER SPONSOR ME LOTS AND LOTS BECAUSE I MIGHT DIE AND THEN MY ORGANS WILL BE DONATED AND AT LEAST THE CHARITY WILL GET SOMETHING, IF ONLY MY ORGANS. (Do you htink they'll want my organs? I mean, seriously? My liver's good, and a few other things, but my lungs and my heart? Well, they're probably better than the ones they have.)

So I am alive, well, and getting buff.

I think all this running has made me crazy. Not enough oxygen to the brain, I expect.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Dumb Comments

It amazes me the amount of utterly stupid things that some people say about Africa. Really, REALLY dumb things. Here's the one that I think takes the cake.

Dummy: I really want to go on a mission trip to Africa.

Me: Great. Where in Africa?

D: You know, AFRICA.

Me: Anywhere specific.

D: Maybe the Congo. Or Liberia. Those states in Africa.

Me: Right. (Thinking, you're joking. You just called two countries states. And those two countries are nowhere near each other, and speak different languages, even the European languages. You just want to go because they've been mentioned before at church events.)

D: But I was wondering, when you move there, how will you learn the language?

Me: In Uganda, the national language is English. But I'm working on learning Luganda at the moment, and I plan to start working on Lugisu next year, when I'm not studying and so have more time.

D: (getting really excited) You know what you should do? There's this boy, in the _____ centre. He's from Zimbabwe. You should get HIM to teach you!

Me: He's from Zimbabwe?

D: Yeah!

Me: I don't think he's going to speak Luganda or Lugisu.

D: Of course he speaks African, he's from Zimbabwe!

Me: I'll keep it in mind (so I can blog about this later!)

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Sunday, 5 August 2012

African Exam Answers

I marked an exam in Africa (for P4, or approx grae 3). Some of the answers were hilarious, so I recorded them for the blog.

Write Saturday in short form:

Write Sun in full

Charity Begins...
Charity begins... the work
Charity begins... crying
Charity begins... with the letter "C"
Charity begins... talking

As black as...

Monday, 30 July 2012

Adults Say the Dumbest Things

I spend a lot of time on this blog chronicling some of the awesome things that “my” children say. And a lot of time chronicling some of the hilarious things that people from church say (especially Joab and Shaun, who have provided so much of the material for this blog, that if I made any money, I would probably have to start paying their rent). But this post is to demonstrate some of the REALLY DUMB things adults have said in the past few weeks, mostly at work, and the responses I’ve thought (but haven’t said).

Parent A: I’m really concerned about my child’s language development.
There is no reason to be concerned that your seven month old is not talking. You might, however, want to be concerned about the fact that he weighs over a quarter of what I do.

Parent B: We took our child home last night, and he was all FLOPPY.
Your six month old was “floppy” when you took them home after 6PM? Your six month old who just sat up?

Parent B: You must feed him up. We want him to be BIG STRONG MAN.
Beefcake. BEEFCAKE!

Parent B: He got tonsillitis. So you must be careful, and do not let him use another child’s dummy again, because he was very sick.
Um, fairly certain tonsillitis isn’t contagious. And if it was, you’d think that another child in the room would have it. And if you want him to only use his own dummy MAYBE YOU SHOULD LABEL IT WITH MORE THAN A WHITEBOARD MARKER.

Parent C: Please rug our daughter up if you have the air-conditioners on. They give her gas.
Is she sitting in front of them, swallowing the air they spit out?

Reliever: Where have all the BRIGHT children gone?
They moved up. Because they weren’t bright (well, brighter than the children still in our room). They were older. And thanks for implying our babies, most of whom are less than a year, are stupid because they aren’t walking and talking. Jerkface.

Monday, 23 July 2012

In which I try to buy drugs

So, I was getting a killer cold. Normally, I just suffer the germs, and if I need to, take a day off. But at the moment I’m way too busy to be sick, so I decided to buy some cold and flu tablets. The real ones, not the fake herbal ones with vitamin c and Echinacea.

Anyway, I went to the chemist, and asked for some. The chemist asked for ID. I looked at her as though she was crazy. I mean, if you’ve read my story about me trying to buy alcohol, you will know that I don’t have any ID. Still, I try my working with children card.

The chemist tries to enter it, and after five minutes comes back and tells me that the system will ONLY allow for driver’s licenses or passports. Nothing else.

I thought that was strange. I mean, seriously.

“We have other cold and flu medicine.”

At this point I was feeling rather desperate, and I didn’t want to go all the way home to get my passport and then come back. I asked if the alternative was herbal or real medicine. It was real medicine. They got it, and showed me. It was indeed real medicine.

“So what’s the difference?” I asked. I mean, why can I buy this one without any trouble, and the other one I have to be able to fly out of the country in order to buy.

“The schedulings different.”

I tried to get her to explain, but she just told me that it meant it was the same, but that it was different. I left with cold and flu tablets, but confused.

But half-way home I realised: the passport number cold and flu are the type you can turn into amphetamines, and the other ones you must not be able to. I guess watching Glee teaches you things!

If only she had just told me!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Robin Hood and Guns

I was over at kids church, and tehy were playing games. I don't play games. I don't play them at life group, I don't play them at kids church. If I had been a kid at kids church, I would not have played games. Because games are terrible.

(Okay, I've played a few okay games. Role playing is fun. And a few other games. But we don't play those games. We play races or rhythm games or other things. I'd rather shoot myself.)

I said this, and the others were all horrified. "You didn't like games?"

"I liked real games. Fun games. Like playing Robin Hood."

This drew only blank looks. Turns out that Megan has never played Robin Hood. Evelyn has never played Robin Hood. Auntie Daisy has never played Robin Hood. None of the musicians had ever played Robin Hood.

I finally turned to Ben, the one child there at that time, and asked him.

"Robin Hood?" I explained it to him. You pretend you're Robin Hood, or someone else in the Merrie Men if there are lots of you. Then you shoot arrows at enemies. It's FUN. FUN I SAY.

"Oh yeah, I think I played that," Ben said. "Only we didn't use bows and arrows. We used guns."

Monday, 9 July 2012

Portarlington Celtic Fest

So, I went and I had a great time. I was slightly distracted by HUNGER GAMES MY SISTER BORROWED HUNGER GAMES FROM HER LIBRARY AND I MIGHT HAD STOLEN IT FROM HER AND READ IT ALL IN A DAY AND MAYBE EVEN READ IT IN A FEW OF THE PERFORMANCES AT THE BACK but mostly I listened to some great music and had an awesome time.

It was just me, my sister, and my dad. Which limits the complaining immensely. The boys never shut up. Actually, neither does Julie, but at least 3/4 of what she says isn't whinging.

Anyway, there was the harp concert! I love the harp concert. So much fun and beautiful music. It's wonderful to hear some of the interesting interpretations of traditional songs (Claire Patti, I heart you) that are played.

Obviously, I went to a lot of beautiful harp concerts. Taliska (with Claire Patti) still sucked, but Culdee was great and I am in rhapsody over Rhapsody, which was definitely my favourite group for the fest. I got my dad to go to one of their concerts, and he mega enjoyed it too!



Aside from the beautiful music, I did go and see some folk rock. Claymore, as always. Brilliant. The Go Set and Between the Wars were also very good, though I rather suspect that Between the Wars are just slightly off their faces. That's what happens when you go into folk rock I guess. :P


I have decided that the bodhran is the sexiest instrument for a guy to play. I may even add it to my list of essential criteria for a husband. To go along with the Christ-loving, orphan-loving, mission-going and baby-making lists. Because there are so many people lined up in the wings for me.

Well, there are in Africa. Though I don't think many African men play the bodhran.

Back to the fest!

There was sword fighting, which I think I might take up if I can manage to work some spare time into my schedule (ha! ha!), and the food was good. The weather wasn't even too atrocious!

It was great! If you ever have a chance to go, then DO!

And incidentally, Claire Patti is releasing a Solo CD on the 28st of July. At the Boite Music Cafe in Fitzroy. I'll be there. Text me if you want details, and I'll pass them to you... sorry, they are at home and I'm at the library.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Home Again, Home Again

So, I'm back home.

It was an interesting journey.

Africa was great. I got proposed to and everything. I don't know if it's a trip to Africa if I'm not proposed to at least once by someone I've never met before, and won't meet again.

But what was really interesting (read, epically terrible) was the trip home.

I had an allergic reaction at the airport in Doha. All staff were great, except the s**tty cafe staff who DIDN'T WASH THEIR EQUIPMENT EVEN THOUGH I TOLD THEM TO AND THEN CORRECTED THEM AND THEY STILL DIDN'T FIX IT. Anyways, I was massively, massively sick. I got a wheel chair and everything.

The wheel chair bit was fun - as was the 1st class lounge that I got to spend my time vommitting in. I would have enjoyed it more... if I hadn't been so sick.

Kind of lucky I was. My lift pulled out and I would have been travelling home by myself with no money for a cab if I hadn't. But a two sentence chew-out including "IM IN A WHEELCHAIR" fixed that.

And RMIT sucks. There was no class. I could have spent another week in Uganda.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Me? Right About Pregnant People? Never...

So over 6 weeks ago, I looked at someone at church and said... preggers.

Then I looked at another girl 4 weeks ago... preggers.

And I had my suspicions about another one... because I didn't see her when I normally did. Bingo.

I am the pregnancy predictor. That's right. Walk past me, and I'll know you're knocked up, maybe even before you do.

What can I say? When God gave out gifts, he gave me the "predict the pregnant woman" gift.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

The President Hacked My Email

I found out why I had blogger but no email. The President was in town, and the only email that anyone I knew had was working was my uni one.

That's right, the President blocked all our emails.

I didn't see him. I did see his car. Actually, I saw all of them. I lost count how many cars.

He has left Mbale, and so we now have (slow) internet and (slow) email.

Seriously, could my life be any funnier?

Friday, 15 June 2012

Arrived Safe in Uganda

Hi All, I have arrived safely in Uganda. I'm having a bit of trouble getting on my email, but hopefully I will be able to soon, and I will be able to give you all some updates. But for now, just know that I am safe and doing well.

Please continue to pray for me.


Saturday, 9 June 2012

See, I do think about these things

I recently bought a new skirt at an op shop - a beautiful dark red. I didn't have any head coverings to wear with it, but I soon found one at Target. And being on placement (makes Sam sad), I get to wear whatever I want. (Except the studd I'm taking to Uganda. That I can't).

So I wear that.

Anyway, I went to Touching Heaven wearing it.

Shaun looked at me. "You have a red skirt on."

"Yes." I said.

"And a red hat."


"Where is your red shirt?" he asked.

I informed him that you could NOT wear a red shirt with a red skirt and red hat. You needed a neutral colour in between. So I was wearing a black skivvy.

He thought for a second. "The least you could have done was wear red lipstick," said the indignant boy.

"I am."

He looked at me again, said "So you are," and went off.

Saturday, 2 June 2012


For the lack of posting. What can I say? Working full time and studying full time while serving in church and prepping to go to Uganda makes me boring. I haven't even practised the harp, or worked on Luganda. That's right, I'm lazy. Or I would be, if I wasn't too busy fitting uni assignments into my work day.

Anyways, I will hopefully post a post on the PA celtic festival, and maybe about the one funny thing that's happened, sometime soon. But no guarentees...

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Well, I Guess That's True

So, I went to Eleanor's wedding. While there, I got to talk to Mikey. He's been banned from asking Kallie about Pokemon, Sonic, and all other video games. He was told that he could "ask her about what she does". And then he was told that he was to ask that question and that question alone, to all others.

So eventually we turned the conversation to what he thought I should be when I grow up.

"A person. Because it would be really bad if you were an alien."

Sunday, 18 March 2012

My Family Are Nuts

My family has a very limited set of names to choose from. I'm Sam, my sister is Julie, brothers John and Robert. Dad is Robin, Mum is Shirley.

I have a uncle Robert. And a uncle John. And a great uncle Bob. And cousins John and Robert.

And family friends uncle Robert. Times 2. And family friends our age, called John, Robert, and Elizabeth (my middle name).

So you'd think when it comes to significant others, we'd choose something different. Think again.

My ex is Robbie.

Julie's boyfriend is also Robert.

John's girlfriend is Sammie.

My cousin Andrew is living with us at the moment. His girlfriend is also Sammie.

At least Robert bucked the trend. His girlfriend is called Rachel.

Except her middle name is May. The same as Mum's.

Confusing much?

Wednesday, 7 March 2012


Well, I'm back at uni this year. While working 6 1/2 hours a day. And teaching kids church. And going to normal church. And trying to write 3 books. And read 186 books this year. And memorise more psalms. And go to Uganda (definitely in June, and hopefully again later).

So, yeah, I'm mad. What'd you expect? The blog is called Sam-Is-Mad, after all.

Anyway, I'm doing the version of my course for primary school teachers - which means less contact hours, which then means more time for work. Being the bright spark I am, I can get away with less than the average work. Which is good, because have you seen my to-do lists? My list for today had 27 items on it! 27! (This is written 1 week before posting. I love scheduling posts!)

Anyways, I was comparing the work that we have to do to what the other grad dips are doing. We have to log on every week and contribute to a blog discussion, with a 100 word post about the readings for the week. Every week. So over 1000 words.

The other grad dips get to make a poster.

Now, when I was in uni first time round, I HATED posters. In fact, when I initially saw the poster project and thought it was for us, I nearly cried. What a waste of time, energy and learning opportunity. Seriously, we're in uni. We shouldn't be making posters.

That said, I'm going to have to write every week! I'm going to have to do more work than the others!

At least I'll actually learn something.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Hazardous Journeys

Manhood from Hazardous Journeys on Vimeo.

All the videos in this set are beautiful (very visually stunning, and have a wonderful messege) but this one is stunning.

It is the third, so watch all three!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Thalia's Facts of Life

Working in childcare means that half the adults you meet seem to be expecting (dads don't tend to come to drop off or pick up - unless expentant Mum is labouring or is recently become unexpecting).

The kids are all always excited about their new babies. Which is really sweet. But then their friends get excited and declare that they too are having a new baby soon.

Whether they are or not.

But you can never tell. We've had mums get to 7 months before they were really showing.

Anyways, when I came into the room, Thalia ran up to me. "My Mummy's having a baby!" she told me excitedly.

"That's great!" I said.

"Yeah! She went into the toilet, and now she's having a baby!"

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Sam Gets Asked for ID

I don't drink much. I occasionally buy a small bottle of Pink, and have that while I read a dodgy romance novel (they're terrible sober, but delicious when slightly intoxicated).

I borrowed a novel from the library, and went to buy a bottle of champers from Woolworths.

I got asked for ID.

I offered my working with children's check. "You only need it if you're over 18. Otherwise, you ARE a child," I explained.

It was not accepted.

So on Monday, I went to Coles. Same thing. I was getting annoyed. I mean, sure, there are few things more obnoxious than intoxicated teenages, but I'm 27, getting only 250mL of alcohol, and drinking at home.

I guess that even though my eggs may be screaming out that they are fast reaching their use-by date, my face is still going strong.

So I went home, and got out the one type of ID I have. My passport. And went to Dan Murphy's, which meant I didn't need to cross the road, like I would have for Coles.

The guy serving looked about 14. He didn't ask me for ID.

Guess he understands my pain.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

I alway knew I'd have Asian children...

but I kinda assumed they would be girls.

Instead, I've got 2 sons.

Isaac (at work) calls me Mumma, and cries when I leave the room. He also spends half his time running up to me and the other half running away from me. That said, he is 18 months

But my other Asian son is from church. And he is a little older than 18 months.

Vincent is my oldest child, but definitely not the most mature. In fact, he spent most of my first ever care group lesson trying to distract me and cracking jokes. And calling me Mummy.

But he made up for it. The lesson was on how Proverbs 31 is relevant for the whole church. And one of the verses we talked about was, "Her children rise up and call her blessed."

At which he stood up, and then katowed to me, shouted out "Blessed!"

Now to expand my family... who knows? Maybe I'll even get a girl?

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Sam Is An Artist

As most of you know, I'm planning on going back to Uganda at least once this year. I will be working with orphans and street children, which is something I am quite passionate about.

In order to raise funds for this trip, I've been busily making some beautiful paintings. Here are some that are available for sale.

I'll likely be posting more in the near future.
All paintings are $20, and go towards my plane fare and other expences. To put it in perspective, flights were a little less than $2000 last time, and staying cost another $650. Immunisations cost over $1000, but I don't need them again. I'm expecting my next trip to cost between $4000-$5000, as I will be going for longer and there will be other expenses.

As of writing this post (18.01.12) I have raised $280 in about 2 weeks! Praise God!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Sam Gets Spammed

As most of you would know, I got spammed a while back. I picked it up within minutes - it turns out emailing the Chinese Embassy about their human rights abuses has more benefits than just letting them know that there is an international presence watching over the way they treat their citizens.

I got a lot of emails back about it - mostly people letting me know that someone had hacked into my account, but a few people wanted to know what the photos were of. My sister opened it, thinking it was pictures of my trip, and then sent to everyone an email saying that I was a big fat meanie for not mass emailing everyone that I got spammed. Silly me. I thought one spam email was enough.

Anyway, the funniest email I got in reply was from Kushbu - who asked me why the heck I was sending her photos, given that she's blind. Which made me laugh a bit. Guess those spammers can't get us all!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Kallie and the Homeless Dude

Kallie was standing near the train station, and this homeless dude came up to her, pressed 50c into her hand, and said, “It won’t buy you much, but you can have it.”

That’s right, Kallie got GIVEN money by a homeless guy!

She did try to give it back, but he rejected it and laughed.

The funny thing is, she and Stephen had seen him the night before, and he was begging, and asked them for change so he could buy a pie. Stephen isn’t the fondest of giving money to beggars, so he offered to give them some of Kallie’s groceries. But in the end they gave him enough money to buy his pie and… a million dollars.

Okay, it was a million dollar tract.

The guy thought it was the BEST. He thought it was one of the most hilarious things he’s ever seen. Kal’s not sure if he can read it, but he’s now apparently going around showing all his friends. So Stephen’s managed to get a homeless guy to witness to all his friends.

And to give Kal his spare change.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Got my Nails Done

So, a while ago, I got my nails done. It makes you feel pretty, and I needed it. You see, in Uganda I had boys literally throwing themselves at me and declaring their undying love. I got hit on more in one day than I would have pretty much in the rest of my life put together. And back in my teenage days, I got hit on a fair bit.

And I cam back here. One of my friends at work (who's half African) pointed out that while African guys will always compliment, Aussie guys make you work for their compliments.

I laughed. "I've got it worse. I mostly hang out with Chinese boys. They won't even tell you when you look good... Only when you don't!"

Hence the nails.

Sam looks pretty now!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Most Common African Conversation

Hey, Hi, Mzungu, can I walk with you?

Um, Sure.

Mzungu, what is your name?

My name's Sam.

Sam? That is a BOY'S name.

Well, in Mzungu countries, it is a girl's name too.

So, Mzungu, Sam. I want to be your friend. So you can give me your phone number, and I will phone you, and we will have lunch tomorrow.

I don't have a phone.

But... how do your friends find you?

They know where I am.

But, what if they want to SPEAK to you.

Then they have to wait.

You should get a phone.

I'm only in Uganda for 3 weeks. I'm not getting a phone.

Hmm. I know! I will give you MY number, and then you can phone me, and then we can have lunch tomorrow.

Well, you can give me your phone number, but I won't phone it, because I don't have a phone.

You could borrow someone else's phone to phone me.

That's not going to happen.

You know, Mzungu, Sam, you are very beautiful. Are you single, or are you married.

I'm single. I'm also not looking, because I'm only here for 3 weeks.

But... every girl wants to get married!

I would like to have the option of knowing a guy for more than three weeks before marriage. He might not want the same things as what I want. Besides (with the aim of messing with minds) what do I need a boy for?


I'll just adopt.

But... mzungu...

Oh, here's the (school, compound, etc). See you later!