Here I am back at the farm. I slept well last night - and that includes the bit where I woke up to type last night's blogpost. It's a great place to be.
Breakfast was a pleasure as usual: a cooked breakfast followed by muesli, stewed peaches and yoghurt with brewed coffee. You may have already guessed that I'm letting the diet go this weekend!
The sky was bright and pale this morning, so on my way to the seminar centre I was able to get one of those "vertical through the trees" shots that I'd had a hankering to take for a bit.
I think the silhouette thing worked out really well!
The morning session involved role-playing group psychological first aid. It was great how we all started to feel more confident in the process and in our ability to help fellow members with it. Ian, a volunteers from over at Benalla, has said that volunteering with the CFA can be addictive. I must say that I tend to agree!
Oddly, one of the dominant memories I'll carry away from the course is drinking colossal amounts of tea. When part of the set-up of the learning centre is a Twinings tea chest, it really adds to the day.
Lunch took the form of roast pork and butter chicken (yeah, we eat well!). It was probably just as well Brendan (one of the other members from my unit) and I burned it off with a brisk three kilometres or so to the top of the logging coupe in the back of the college. It also let me get a couple of the sort of photos I'd been hoping to get around here.
Not gonna lie: I kind of fell in love with this place.
The afternoon was more straightforward: we were taken through a couple of the methods of Critical Incident Stress management that are for specialist use (where we as Peers would assist but not conduct the session). When I came down this weekend I was still on the fence about continuing with the course, but through yesterday and today I found myself more and more wanting to be selected to get through. and not to fail. I think everyone else was feeling the same, and so you can imagine that there were some pretty big smiles when we were told that all of us had made it through and will be appointed probationary members of the Peer Support unit. I'm really proud of that: it's a skill I'm proud to have!
Harry, the mascot of the SES Peer Support team
Ian and I, and a volunteer from one of the units on the Murray River, began our trek back to Tatura and beyond at about 3:30pm. The volunteer from the Murray wanted to take a route back by way of Heathcote because she was convinced it would be quicker than going back on the Midland Highway (I was not convinced then and am not convinced now). Notwithstanding the questionable efficiency of the route, it did at least take us through the town of Redesdale, which means I was able to grab a couple of photos of the unusually-designed Redesdale Bridge. It's really something to see, right?
We stopped in Heathcote so Ian and I could have our usual mid-trip coffee and then continued on to Tatura. I picked up my car and drove back to here.
And now, back to reality. If I can I'll squeeze a FEMA course in tomorrow and fill the gap a bit. I guess the core of it is that it's when I'm learning new ways to serve in emergencies that I feel like I am doing what is most valuable.
I may blog later if I can't sleep. If not, have a great day!