Saturday, January 24, 2015

The final chapter: relocation to Australia

Departure from Larnaca
So the circle closes, and we write this final blog entry from a hot and humid Sydney just three days after landing back in Australia. Our last week in Cyprus could most aptly be described as 'hectic' but more importantly 'significant' with many touching farewells. For Ross at work he will remember the affirming speeches at his final lunch, and a re-invented version of 'Winds of Change' performed by his staff team and the song from the musical Wicked: 'For Good' which Jessie sang to describe how our family feels about our many Cyprus friendships and wonderful World Vision experiences.  For the kids as they had their final days in school, it was great to have a chance to say goodbye via Ross singing and playing guitar in their final assembly and Mum bringing in some cakes to share as a symbolic thank you to all that we have been grateful to for the school.

A final sad farewell lunch with Menaka
As with any move, logistics were a major factor as we finalised selling of cars, handover of house keys, final packing up and lets not forget "dog transport" issues. It was hard to say farewell to so many great people, and it was especially difficult saying farewell to Menaka (both for her and for us). After moving out of our house, we spent our last four days staying in a lovely 100 year old Cypriot house in the old town. This proved to be a great base for us, and also a good way to appreciate some of the things we loved about being in Cyprus. Ross even managed to get in a final cut-throat shave with Mustafa, his Turkish barber just across the border in the north. Sarah managed an early morning walk through the back streets of the old town and enjoyed a first time of not getting lost :)! Better late than never.

Show on our final night in Cyprus
On the evening before we left there was a big drama school performance which Jessie and Sam were both heavily involved in, and this was a much anticipated highlight just before we left. Certainly a very tiring final few days of rehearsals for them but lovely to finish off with a bang, doing what they really love. Likewise for Angus he had a big game with Arsenal on the final Saturday and managed to score his dream goal from a free kick outside of halfway. And Mum and Dad were both there watching! So this was a fitting final game for him also. And so we departed, feeling tired but thankful and then spent a few days in Dubai (mainly sleeping!) before the final leg to Sydney.

For us and the kids it has been a big transition, and we are sure it will take some time to process and 'come up for air' as we adjust to life back in Sydney. It has already been lovely to see family and 1 or 2 friends and to experience the smell of green eucalypts, green grass and the evening summer rain. The safe arrival of Zoe and her release from quarantine today was also an added boost for us all. The only one sadly missing now is Menaka.

The Arsenal boys after the final match
As the process of setting up life again in Sydney begins in earnest, we are glad in many respects that the kids are back at school next week, as this should help with adjusting to a new life and routine.  It's clear that they are already missing their friends from Cyprus so a few new challenges should assist with filling that hole.

As for reflections on Cyprus.... there are many, but overall we are very thankful for everything that this season has entailed. Thanks for hanging in there with us on this blog. It has been both cathartic and enjoyable to try and capture some elements of our journey over the last four years, and hopefully the blog will serve as a good reflection and reminder for the kids and our family life over the last four years.

And so we sign off on 'Letters from Cyprus', and now the next adventure in life begins!  Look out for the kids' latest initiative 'Letters to Cyprus' blog. It is their way of communicating some Australian experiences back to Cyprus. No guarantees on how long it will last but worth starting nonetheless!

The journey continues!
love from Ross, Sarah, Jessie, Angus, Sam and Anna

Mr Chris, a coach that Angus will miss greatly

Sam as 'Olaf', bravely persevering despite a fairly 
comical wardrobe malfunction
Where did that 12 year old go?

Our old town digs for the final four days

Happy on the bed one evening despite an unfortunate
bout of food poisoning earlier that day for Anna and Jessie

Heading up the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building
in the world
Dubai, a city literally and metaphorically built on sand!

Arrival in Sydney. "Can we just go home and sleep now Dad?"

Reunited at last!

Looking back: our arrival in Cyprus 4 years ago


  1. We have so enjoyed being able to share in the journey with you.
    I particularly love the 'arrival in Cyprus 4 years ago' photo as a benchmark of how much change has taken place. Lots of growth in many and various forms. Weed x

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