Cyclone Debbie now upgraded to Category 4...Safari luck prevails...Sightseeing photos...

 
Bob, our kindly landlord and new friend has insisted on driving us to see some of the sights in the area including the beautiful historic St. Patrick's Estate as shown in today's photos.
For our readers who may be unsure as to our current location, we are very far from the effects of Cyclone (hurricane) Debbie which is expected to make landfall later today in Queensland (in the north of Australia).
Here's a link to a local newscast regarding Cyclone Debbie.

Had we been in Queensland, as we were in June 2015 when we first arrived in Australia, we'd have been close to the area and most likely feel the full effects of this dangerous storm.


It appear the location wasn't open to the public due to an upcoming wedding but Bob managed to get us onto the grounds for photos.
Instead, we're a several hour flight south of Queensland, living in New South Wales, a 30 minute ferry ride from Sydney.  We send prayers for the safety and well being of the citizens of Queensland as they work their way through this difficult next number of days. 

Yesterday's visa entension brought us a significant round of "safari luck" over which we continue to reel with enthusiasm, allowing us to stay in Australia for our final 25 days with a renewed sense of lightness and peace of mind.  Whew!

Then, last night, shortly after I headed to bed to read news on Tom's phone (while he used my laptop) now that we're down to one phone and one laptop, he called out to me.  I jumped out of bed wondering what required my immediate attention.

"St Patrick’s Estate is a site of exceptional historical and cultural significance – a Manly landmark located south-east of Manly, a beachside suburb of northern Sydney. Established as the first National Catholic Seminary in Australia in 1889, St Patrick’s College and Archbishop’s Residence (located on the Southern part of the precinct) are legacies of a unique time in the growth and development of the Catholic Church in Australia." (From the website).
Alas, he had great news.  He'd checked the tile I'd made on my desktop for  United States Postal Service package tracking and something had changed for the first time since February 11th when it stopped showing any progress.  See here for details:
Date & TimeStatus of ItemLocation
March 26, 2017, 1:50 pm             Arrived              LOS ANGELES, 
               
Your item arrived at an origin transfer airport in INTERNATIONAL, LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES on March 26, 2017 at 1:50 pm. The item is currently in transit to the destination. 
   
March 25, 2017, 11:21 pm Processed Through Facility ISC LOS ANGELES CA (USPS),
March 25, 2017, 11:21 pm Arrived at Facility ISC LOS ANGELES CA (USPS),
February 11, 2017, 9:30 pm Customs Clearance ISC LOS ANGELES CA (USPS),

Our rep, Eric at our mail service in Las Vegas, Nevada, Maillinkplus, stated that perhaps his 12 day tracking process located the package which apparently had been sitting in a warehouse in Los Angeles, California and was finally on the move again.  Eric also wrote that its rare for an express priority package to become lost. 

What a magnificent building!
We've worried that our package may have been the exception and that the most important package we were ever about to receive had been lost in transit. Here's a list of some of the items in this package that caused us to worry to this extent:

1.  All of our tax documents (with social security numbers on them) for 2016 resulting in the fact that we'll have to file an extension with our accountant in Nevada.
2.  Our two new drivers licenses for Nevada for which we'd applied online. Without these we wouldn't be able to rent a car when we arrive in Minnesota in 60 days.  If we reapplied, the process would never be completed and shipped in time, if, in fact Nevada DMV would allow us to request replacements from outside the US. (They only allows one online renewal every four years).
3.  My new unlocked smart phone. 
4.  A one year supply of my contact lenses.  

The lawn was prepared for an upcoming wedding at St. Patrick's Estate.
With items #1 and #2, our identity could easily been stolen for a plethora of illegal purposes putting us in a dire state.   We'd decided if the package wasn't found soon, we'd have no choice but to sign up for one of those ID credit protection companies.

Plus, we hadn't insured the package (due to the high added expense) since the cost to Tasmania, where we had it shipped planning it would reach us in three weeks before we left the Huon Valley. 

View from the site of the upcoming wedding, hampered somewhat by a hazy cloudy day.
It wasn't that the value/cost of the contents of the package was that high.  It was the significance of the first two items listed above.  Everything else could easily be replaced. 

The shipping rate automatically includes AU $131, US $100 insurance and money wise, we'd only have been out a few hundred dollars more, not worth paying the high rates for added insurance.

Alternate view of the bay.
In any case, there's nothing we can do but wait to see if the package arrives in Tasmania in time to be shipped to us here in the Sydney area. Anne, our former landlord has agreed to forward it to us when and if it arrives. If it makes it to Tasmania in time, we'll pay extra to have it shipped to us overnight.

If it doesn't arrive on time before we sail away on April 22nd, we'll have Anne send it to Minnesota and it will be waiting for us when we arrive.  We won't be able to rent a car until we have that package in hand with our drivers licenses.

The church located at St. Patrick's Estate.
We're hopeful, based on yesterday's tracking update.  Maybe safari luck will kick in one more time for the arrival of the package.  We'll keep our fingers crossed and post the result of this situation here.

One of several entrances to the main building.
Thanks to our thoughtful readers for the many email and Facebook messages we received wishing us well on the immigration issue.  Your kindness means the world to us.

Today, another cloudy and rainy day we'll grocery shop since we are totally out of food.  Anticipating we may be asked to leave the country, we used every last bit of food over this past week.  Thanks to our thoughtful and kindly landlord Bob for driving us to shop and sightsee. 

Have a lovely day!
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Photo from one year ago today, March 28, 2016:
Our favorite cow, a neighbor, whom we visit regularly on our "neighborhood" walks while living on the alpaca farm in New Plymouth, New Zealand.  It was Easter on this date last year and we posted this as our Easter photo.  For more photos, please click here.

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