H for Health, Home and Happiness
I had been struggling to find a suitable “H” topic for Our A – Z of Australia. Mr O has a friend who lives in the USA and is here for a short visit to his wife’s parents. As Mr O starts work on Monday, about the only opportunity he had to enjoy a catchup with his friend was yesterday. I suggested that rather than drive after a social get-together, Mr O stay the night and come home this morning.
I got several text messages during the evening, one of them saying “There is no place like home. I miss my wife and kids.” He hasn’t even read The Wizard of Oz.
There is the personal perspective: we are now all together and yes, we could do with a bigger home, but we have a home and we are all happy. Yes, my family do miss their relatives back home and yes we are pondering my current medical journey: even so we are happy and we are home.
Australia is a great country to live in. We have clean water, the electricity stays on (there was much laughter and joking the one time it went off for 10 minutes), our education and health systems are wonderful compared with many others around the world and we have a stable and healthy economy, even if the politicians love to argue otherwise for political reasons!
The part of Australia we live in is both colder and hotter than Nigeria. The sun is brighter. The children don’t have to share their chairs at school and there is no longer corporal punishment in Australian schools (or homes for that matter). The boys have bikes. All have swimming lessons.
In some respects the last 8 months have been tough. Sending Mr O to school full-time was a financial commitment we found really difficult. Even now as he starts work and starts developing a career it will take us time to dig our way out of the debts incurred fighting to be together, but we are managing. Adjusting to the different economy has been interesting for my family. To them, some things are amazingly expensive yet other things are free or much cheaper.
Rules and regulations have been a bit of a shock to the new arrivals. Mr O values his driving licence so much as he appreciates how hard it was to get. He also now appreciates car insurance as he experienced his first accident last week when someone drove into the back of his car. The other person is automatically at fault and we don’t have to pay anything to have the car fixed.
All Australians should take time to consider how other parts of the world live and be thankful for what we do have. In some countries around the world, my current medical situation may not have even been detected and if it had we may not have been able to afford treatment. Two relatively young guests at our wedding have since passed due to such situations. We are terribly sad when we hear such news.
In Australia we don’t have the bitter cold of Europe or the tornadoes of Kansas and surrounding states. We don’t experience earthquakes such as those that devastated Christchurch in New Zealand or Japan last year. We do have bushfires in many states and up north certainly experiences cyclones. We had massive flooding in early 2010, illustrated above. As sad and devastating as some of these events have been, the number of lives lost has been far less than when natural disasters have struck other locations around the globe.
We don’t have malaria, we have plenty of fresh food all year around. Famine is not something we face. We are not in a war zone.
We have a relatively safe community as I discussed in C for Crime earlier in this series.
Australia isn’t perfect – no country is – but overall it is a damn good place to live! It is part of the reason I fought so damn hard to stay in my country.
H definitely relates to health, home and happiness for this family. We are glad to call Australia home.
Visit http://myatozchallenge.com to find more countries and articles on the A – Z Challenge.
Related articles on this site: