After being constantly on the go for the past 3 weeks, this week has been a completely different change of pace. I took Sunday to rest and relax after Global Forum and the rest of the week I’ve been processing and reflecting on all that happened last week. I’ve been asked to coordinate the debriefing for the staff around the event, and am loving the opportunity that affords me to process further all I’ve learnt, and also learn from other people’s perspectives.
This week has also been week one of the Academy in San Francisco, focusing on investigator training. These academies are highly popular and this week has been no exception. It’s been so great having our Chief Investigator, Dennis Mark, out here from his home in Texas. It’s not often I get to catch up with him, and so it was a good opportunity to hear about the exciting things he is involved with as he really is on the front lines of rescuing girls from trafficking situations. I think Dennis, along with his wife Bobbie, has one of the most demanding, and at times heartbreaking, jobs in this movement and I have such respect for him.
The reason I have been at the Academy this week is to try to look at the content from an Australian perspective to look at how some of the information would need to be adapted into the Australian context. It has been invaluable having the Hirt family from Sydney and a number of other Australians as part of the academy this week. They ask really intelligent questions and think of things I haven’t thought of yet!
However it wasn’t all work this week! At Keturah’s urging, I took some time out on Thursday and visited the Science Museum with my friend David. It was so good to get out and do something completely unrelated to work and to see some sights. It was great to see the penguins and the albino alligator and some crazy looking fish, but the highlight for me was the Planetarium. It was incredible to be taken on a journey through space and be reminded just how spectacular creation is. It certainly gave me a bigger perspective, and reminded me just how small my problems and concerns are!
I’ve found this week I’ve been very aware that my time here is quickly coming to an end. In just 2 months the fellowship will be over, and a short time after that I’ll be on a plane home. Whilst I’m excited to see friends and family back home, it will be so hard leaving this place and these people behind. Now more that ever before, I feel like I have found a cause to attach my life to and a group of like-minded people I can do this journey with. Yet another reason it has been so valuable having the Hirts around these past few weeks. I am beginning to get excited about what can be achieved in Australia and I think that will make leaving here a little bit easier.