Thankful Thursday: Cairns, Tropical Paradise

I live in Cairns and many of my friends and acquaintances that live in other places often tell me how lucky I am to be living in a place that is widely considered to be a Tropical Paradise.

I don’t deny it.  I am lucky.

I briefly lived in Melbourne for a couple of years because I wanted to experience something different.  But while I was there in the mostly-cold and the long commute to work (and morning sickness on the train – not fun) I longed for the warmth of home.

So when Miss O was less than two, we returned to Cairns.

The first reason was because I wanted to be closer to my family.  I wanted Miss O to know her Grandparents, her Aunt and Cousins.

The second reason – the breaking point  – was a child in Cranbourne being attacked in their own front yard. This horrified me.  Now I am not naive – I know that there are bad or opportunistic people everywhere – even Cairns – but I longed to be able to raise Miss O in a somewhat safer, more laid back environment.

So with the generous help of my mother and grandfather, I packed up all of our belongings and paid the $2000 for a removalist to moved all of our stuff back up to Cairns.  (And I don’t usually regret it unless I want to go to the shops at 2am and long for the 24 hour Coles and 24 hour Kmart that was so conveniently situated 5 minutes from my old home).

Since moving back to Cairns 8 years ago, I have put on 20 kilos (ugggh too scary too admit! Future post alert – new goal to lose 20 kilos) , produced 2 extra niblets, and have worked full time almost the entire time.  I don’t often get to spend a lot of quality time with my brood, something that I moan about a lot.

On Tuesday I took my brood down to the Cairns Esplanade so that Miss O could ride her new bicycle, and the boys could ride their scooters, before having a swim in the Free Esplanade Lagoon.

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We enjoyed the sun, the fresh air and the beautiful surroundings and I felt truly free, although I did whinge a bit about having to pay $1.00 per hour in the parking meter to park the car nearby.

Since then, over the last couple of days, I have been reading about Eden visiting Niger on behalf of World Vision.

Reading her posts, looking at the pictures, particularly the one she posted tonight about Zenouba the Starfish, makes me feel very sad, and very selfish.

Here I am, moaning about something as insignificant as paying $1.00 for the privilege of parking my car close to beautiful leisure facilities that I get to enjoy with my children for FREE, when in other parts of the world children like Zenouba go hungry and thirsty every day.

So Yeah, I feel very lucky.   And very thankful.

Thankful that I live in a part of the world that is free from oppression.  Thankful that my children have food on the table every night, and access to food and water, a loving home, a roof over their head, and luxuries like bicycles, scooters, music lessons, leisure activities and so much more.

And thankful that people like Eden, are brave enough to go to somewhere like Niger and tell us how it really is, so we can be thankful for what we have and make us aware of the things in our world that  really are important.

Linking Up With The Lovely Kate Says Stuff for Thankful Thursday.