Heading off from Lees Point,Darwin


A noisy night in a Brisbane caravan park… Last night at Moonee Beach near Coffs Harbour was beautiful. Flying to Darwin tomorrow for or big drive back via Cairns.

Saying a tearful goodbye to Fred, one of the refugees from Congo who volunteers at Crossroads, made us realise that, no matter how useless we feel, we impact those around us without knowing it.

We might aim to save the world but our directive may be just to care for those we meet day to day.

This is an awesome song written by Helen Mottee, from Wauchope, now working here at Crossroads. Lyn put together the video and sound. You need to click the play button.

This week Hong Hong uni student “Lorenzio” completes his October visit to all 800 Hong Kong 7-11 stores (if you’re game have a look at Lorencio plans to donate all the money he raises on his adventure to Crossroads.
(7-11 have given him $711 worth of local travel vouchers!)¬† He’s a legend!

Kowloon at night

Coming home…

As many of you will know by now we have made our decision to return to Sydney
in early January. Having made our decision to return we were delighted to find
out that Neville’s brother, John, will marry Lyndall on January 13th. This now
leaves us, sadly, with a rapidly dwindling amount of time left here at
Crossroads. So there is much to do as we prepare for our departure. Along with
getting ready for the usual vibrant Crossroads Christmas events we will be
tidying up loose ends and handing over our jobs here.

and Vivien having a
night on the town in Macau

For Neville, leaving Global Hand has not been an easy decicison to make but
things seem to be well in hand for the UN project for which there is now some
breathing space while processes are completed at the UN side of the partnership.
There is still some remaining work to do and changes to make to the various web
pages and processes. Neville hopes to be able to continue to assist with the
project in his spare time in Australia. One of the highlights this month in
Global Hand has been to spend some time evaluating new ways of doing things as
the team begins to consider new projects. For example, a charity in the UK is
keen for Global Hand’s assistance in setting up an online resource sharing
system for the pharmaceutical industry. They want to divert excess medical
supplies to those in need, especially in disaster situations.

Lynda and Vivien
and Vivien

Meanwhile, the applications for shipments keep rolling in so Vivien is
frantically trying to get them all up to date before she leaves so that the
transition to the next “Applications Officer” is smooth. She has really
appreciated some help with reducing the backlog from Lynda and Nicola (Vivien’s

In the midst of all this we’ve greatly enjoyed being in the community here.
The Big Wedding was in early October and didn’t make it into our last
newsletter. What an occasion it was, with people from around the world
congregating on our site for the marriage of Elizabeth (Whiz) Watson to David
(DJ)Begbie. The wedding was wonderful, if a little unusual, being held in our
Crossroads “slums” and in various national costumes, guests included.

Mr DJ and Mrs Liz Begbie
DJ and Mrs Liz Begbie

and his sister from Mongolia

Matty (Samoa), Pablo (Spain), Api (Fiji)
(Samoa), Pablo (Spain),
Api (Fiji)

Vivien's Mum and Dad, Nicola and Peter
Dad and Mum,
Peter and Nicola

The other special highlight was having Vivien’s parents here. Vivien’s Dad,
Peter, came for two weeks while Nicola stayed on for a month and assisted Vivien
in the processing office. We enjoyed some lovely days out including a trip to
the Big Buddha and the old fishing village of Tai O. Vivien and Nicola also went
to Macau for a night. While Macau has now surpassed Las Vegas as a gambling
capital, there is still plenty of the old Portuguese town to explore.

A typical Crossroads Week

There is never a dull moment at Crossroads. We thought it might be
interesting to mention a few of the goings on over the past week. And most weeks
are just as busy and varied.


  • A variety of people arrive from places as diverse as northern China,
    Switzerland, England, India, and Australia
  • Vivien’s mum heads home to England ūüė¶
  • Our friends, the Kingsleys, visit us en-route to London
  • June Dally Watkins comes back for a few days to present her new book,
    “Simply Cooking”

Container loadings

  • Two 40 foot containers for Macedonia: these will contain bathroom fittings
    along with medical equipment and furniture including hospital beds. These will
    be used for an ear, nose and throat clinic. We are also sending cots and kids’
    supplies for a paediatric clinic. The toilets and bathroom fittings will be
    used for a school assistance project called Flush With Pride.
  • Israel: We are sending lots of household furniture and goods for
    distribution to poor families, both Jewish and Palestinian.


Vivien's Mum and Dad, Nicola and Peter
hassles a “refugee” in the simulation.
Who’s that mean looking

  • Hong Kong schools, the Canadian International School and the South Island
    Schools come for community service days
  • Ladies Group, the Mormon group come to help, as usual
  • Students from another school come to participate in the “Refugee Run” (see
    photo at right)
  • A Rotaract team and a corporate group participate in the “Paper Bag Game”
    poverty simulation
  • Two US navy teams of 30 were supposed to come to help for two days but,
    due to some red tape, their aircraft carrier, the Kittyhawk, had to bypass Hong
    (quite a shame for us as a few of the team had booked in for a ship
    visit. Next time maybe…)

Team movements

  • Mal and Sal Begbie contine to meet with various UN agencies in Geneva,
    Paris and Rome to build support for the new UN and Business Website
  • Daniel and Paulo go to the Philippines to develop a partnernship with
    another charity to train some computer technicians

Hong Kong

  • Batman comes to Hong Kong but doesn’t want to swim (See this CNN article)
  • Locals go to the polls to vote for new Hong Kong government (and, as we
    had a polling station at Crossroads, we had a captive audience for our Silk
    Road Cafe and Global Handicrafts shop)

Just back from two lovely days in Sai Kung Country Park with a great bunch of Crossroads folks.¬†¬† Even though it’s hardly wilderness we enjoyed the walk to Sai Wan beach in “Big Wave Bay”¬† (big waves?).¬†¬† There’s an excellent swimming hole about ten minutes walk up the creek from the campsite.

 Sai Wan swimming hole Campfire Sai Wan beach campsite 

View behind Sai Wan Sam Lunch back at Sai Kung

Mid-autum festivalWith reasonably clear skies, a full moon and a very crowded night time beach, Vivien, Drew (the older kids teacher) and I wandered around and wondered what¬†this “mid-autum” or “lantern” festival¬†was all about (Wikipedia helped – with a photo too).¬†¬† Hundreds of people, mostly families went all out buying multi-coloured glow sticks (candles having been outlawed because they are so dangerous) and then waving them around for a couple of hours.

Being very, very ignorant I couldn’t see the point of it all but then I sometimes wonder the same thing about a commercial, western Christmas.

Cyclone roller coaster at Coney IslandI always thought Coney Island was an Aussie thing.¬† Then I heard Van Morrison sing about it and I suspected that I might have been a little too parochial.¬† Finally I got the chance to visit the original Coney Island amusement park in New York.¬† I was amused at how run down it was but then heard that it’s been purchased by developers and so our day was the last day of opening for much of the park.

Highlights included the Cyclone roller coaster which saved me from the need to visit the chiropractor but scared the wits out of me. The other great attraction that was fun as a bystander was the gently-named “Shoot the Freak”.¬†¬† For only US$20 you could purchase 35 paintballs and empty them all at a very fit, young fellow dressed in body armour who would try (not very hard) to dodge them.¬† Something for the whole family.

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