MJD Foundation

Gwenda's Respite Trip

On Monday 19th April, Gwenda Lalara set off from Bickerton Island on her big trip to QLD.  Kathy Massey writes the diary of her trip below.

 Arriving Darwin








Arriving Brisbane






Raining shopping day






Gwenda and Joyce in the bus






 Warm and Dry





 Aust Zoo 1






















Aust Zoo
























Monday 19th April 2010, Gwenda set out on her big trip, travelling from Bickerton Island to Groote Eylandt in a very small plane.  After a very wet start at Groote, Gwenda, Gayangwa and Doreen arrived in Darwin. There was so much rain when they were boarding the plane and getting Gwenda up the stairs that they were all very wet.
Gwenda, Doreen and Kathy walked/wheeled Gwenda to the Airport Inn and Gayangwa went in the bus with the luggage, soon everyone was settled into their rooms, Gwenda was pleased to be out of the rain. So was everyone else!!
We had some Chinese food for dinner and then went to bed. Gwenda enjoyed her dinner very much

Tuesday 20th April we all put on our city clothes and walked over to the Darwin Airport to check in.  We were all very excited to be starting Gwendas journey. We were all very sad that Jane was not allowed to come.  As usual QANTAS staff were amazing in getting Gwenda on the plane in Darwin and off in Brisbane.

Arriving in Brisbane, we were met by Gwenda's favourite person Bryan Massey.  Bryan is Kathys favourite person too! After about half and hour we arrived at Annie Street, New Farm to Libby's house.

Gwenda met up with Indigenous Community Volunteers Joyce Cox again. Joyce used to help look after Gwenda at the Angurugu Aged Care facility a number of year ago, and now she has joined ICV and we all meet again.

Wednesday 21st April, we had a well deserved rest until lunch time then went ....in the rain again to Toombul shopping centre to help Gwenda buy some warm clothes. Gwenda and Gayangwa both like pretty clothes and so into the shops we went, quite an entourage.  Libby went in a separate vehicle to purchase the food for the ladies stay at her place so we were all kept busy. I think Bryan and Joyce and I had the fun part in and out of the shops. We all were quite exhausted when we arrived back at Libbys place about 5:30pm.

Thursday 22nd April was the big Seaworld day and we really missed Jane because she was going to swim with the Dolphins.  It was a bright sunny day and we packed everyone into the bus for our drive to the Gold Coast. Gwenda was very excited. She had not seen so many cars and high buildings before. Gwenda has never been further than Darwin before in her life of 60+ years, so this holiday in the city is an amazing experience for her.

Joyce, Kathy and Gayangwa helped Gwenda by showing her lots of interesting things on the way to the coast.
We had a lot of trouble finding the disability car park so we had to park a long way from the entrance to Sea World. When we wheeled Gwenda up to the entrance Gayangwa found the disability car park!!!!right near the entrance. 

First stop was lunch. Gwenda loves to eat and her favourite meal is chicken and chips. Bryan went to collect the lunch. Joyce ordered fish and chips, her meal came first so she went off to help Gayangwa, that left Gwenda and Kathy looking after the food. Sea World loves their Seagulls and there are lots of them flying around trying to get food. First they stole Gwenda's chips, she was not amused then a really cheeky bird flew straight for Joyce's fish.
There were three pieces now there were two! We ended up eating our lunch with some big beach umbrellas to
scare away the birds.

After lunch it was off to the dolphin show. It was amazing to watch the dolphins, they were so quick that Gwenda wasn't able to catch sight of them easily.

Then it was off to see what Shark Bay had to offer. Wow! For a lady who has spent her life by the sea and some of her life fishing this was an amazing sight. There were stingrays, sharks and big and little fish.
Then we went to the underwater aquarium and it was there that Gwenda asked for a fishing line! We had a good laugh and watched her enjoy the moment.

Very tired by this time it was off to the shop to buy a hat and stuffed dolphin soverneir , we bought one for Jane too and we were all thinking about her during the day.

Home was a welcome sight and it was early to bed for us all.

Friday 23rd April was a rest day. Joyce and Gayangwa took Gwenda for a wheelchair walk to the New Farm shops were the ladies purchased LOTS OF LOLLIES to take back for grandchildren.

Saturday 24th April we went for a drive along the Redcliffe Peninsular and looked at the sea and the sand. There were some big cranes on some building sites which facinated Gwenda.  We had a picnic afternoon tea near the beach and really enjoyed being out in the sunshine.

Sunday 25th April, everyone went to Bryan and Kathy's church.  We met some nice people and enjoyed the morning. We had a nice feed of fish and chips for dinner on Sunday night.

Monday 26th April, we set off mid morning for Australia Zoo.  It's such a friendly place and we were all excited. Joyce and Gwenda had not been there before, each time Gayangwa, Bryan and Kathy go they see new and exciting things.
We packed a picnic lunch and walked around for an hour before lunch.  Gwenda was facinated by the big teeth on the crocodile made of stone. She had such a great time looking at all the animals and was very alert most of the day until the drive home.
We saw koalas in trees, birds and wallabies and kangaroos and we had our photo taken with a really large python snake, Gwenda was so excited and every time we show her the photo of us all holding the snake she smiles.  It really was the highlight of the day. Gayangwa wouldn't touch it and stayed behind the wheelchair, we all teased her about that.

Gwenda wanted a tiger hat and some sunglasses so we were able to buy these and then went off to see the tigers and Gwenda's favourite the elephants. She watched them feed and spent quite a long time watching what they were doing. It was such a wonderful sight to see her so excited by what was going on around her .
We took lots of photos and will make up a memory book for Gwenda to take home with her and for her to show Jane, we also bought some little souverniers for Jane because she couldn't come.
Gwenda patted the kangaroos and fed some ducks.
We had our picnic lunch in a place where the rock wallabies were up in the rocks watching us, there were some curious stares from people passing by at us having a picnic on the grass. What fun and what good food.
A very tired group headed home in the late afternoon. 

Tuesday 27th April was a rest day. Bryan and Kathy went to get some photos copied and Gwenda, Joyce and Gayangwa rested.

Wednesday 28th April was a trip to the little town of Montville and to the Glass Blowing place.

Thursday 29th April was some shopping and getting ready for the flight home on Friday.