Before I post all of my pictures, I'd like to share a very unique experience that occurred in Bairnsdale.
Even before embarking on this trip, I was not sure about our stay in Bairnsdale. I knew that it was a small town and I was worried about possibly being bored or not having enough to do since we weren't in a big city.
I was never happier to be proven wrong!
Out of all the places we traveled in Australia, the most "Australian" of the towns we visited was Bairnsdale. Not only was it neat to live on a farm of 2,000 acres for three nights, but the friendliness of the people and the sights to see were some of the most memorable of the trip.
My story, however, begins a year ago.
Normally during the summers I work at a small non-profit general store in the tiny town of Butteville, Oregon. We are known for our sandwiches, ice creams, desserts, and Saturday night suppers. One Saturday, a I serviced a couple that were genuinely very nice and loved the atmosphere of the store. I noticed that they had accents, so I asked where they were from and what led them to the store. They said they were from Australia, and that they were visiting some friends in Oregon. I commented that I would be in Australia a year from that time and that I would be touring with PLU's Wind Ensemble. I gave them my email and the university website and told them a little bit about myself too. I then served them a very large dessert since they were very nice to me and they took a picture of me giving it to them.
Now, back to Bairnsdale. So our concert was at a high school (known as colleges in Australia) and was expected to be widely attended by members of the community. Since it was such a small town, advertisements were broadcasted over local radio where we would be performing. That night at the concert, I didn't really know what to expect or how people would receive our concert. I mentally thought it would be just another concert and that it would be a good opportunity to pass our music on to people that don't often get to see concerts.
During intermission, however, I received a very pleasant surprise. The couple that I met at work the year before tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Kelsey?" With a vague recognition I replied with a "Yes?" They reintroduced themselves as Sally and Dennis that came and visited Butteville, Oregon the year before. It all clicked then and instantly my excitement flew through the roof!
It turns out that Sally and Dennis drove over three hours from Jindivick to Bairnsdale to hear our concert. It turned out that they heard an advertisement about us on the radio over a month ago and were some of the first people to reserve tickets to our concert. Then, Sally pulled out a postcard out of her purse of Jindivick. On the back she wrote a note about coming to visit Oregon and how I served them dessert. There was also the picture that she took of me serving dessert pasted on the back. Fortunately, they included the address of their residence so I can write them back with a thank you note.
After the concert was over, I thanked them profusely for driving such a long way to come see the concert. They loved it and said they were so excited to come out and support all of us.
So to Sally and Dennis, thank you so much for coming out to see us perform. It really touched my heart and gave me a really fun memory to carry for the rest of my life. Hopefully the next time I go back to Australia (oh you bet I'm planning on going back) I can visit Jindivick and we can laugh about the small world in which we live.