An email from Stuart Barnes, our dear Kiwi “son”, made our choice of Western Australia complete. We first met Stu in 1992 when he came as an IAEA international exchange farm worker to live with us soon after Rick and I were married. As his “parents” we were close in age, and we became very close friends more like family, really. We have seen him several times over the past years, met all his wonderful family in New Zealand, celebrated his wedding to a Canadian girl in Vancouver, and Rick has visited them in England, where he and his wife call home for at least half the year. They are an inspiration, traveling the world for the other half of every year.
Stu and Chantelle and their beautiful daughter Eva arrived in Perth on Jan 27, so we arranged to meet them at the airport and drive together to Stu’s uncle’s farm near the seaside town of Denmark in the South-West area near Albany. Rob and his son Deano, as well as Stu’s oldest brother Gary, have extended their warm welcome to us as well, so we are happily parked in a farmyard on a beautiful hilltop, surrounded by paddocks with kangaroos and a few beef cattle. We have brought the rain with us, a welcome relief after so many days of unbearable heat. And the grass is turning green before our eyes.