Victorian bush-fire book donation
South Australians collecting books for victims of the Victorian bush fires

best day of the journey

Today, Friday, was by far the most impressive and best flowing day of our journey so far. This morning we had a chat with a man who lost his house and his daughter also lost her house, we were so happy he accepted 3 copies of “A New Earth”. We are still on the showgrounds in Whittlesea, next to 50+ fire trucks, hundreds of firefighters and tents. It has been forecasted to be a hot day with a lot of wind, so everbody is on high alert again. We went to the police post to ask for permission to enter Kinglake. Unfortunately this police crew was very strict; no contact or escort, no entry. That we accepted without any hesitation.

We put the rest of our load on a new pallet in the large tent and a helpful woman on a forklift parked the books in the tent, we hope they will reach the intended people. Then we drove all the way back to Brumby Books warehouse, to collect the largest load of books yet, two pallets we emptied. Probably a little over the load limit, but without any problems we drove to Yarra Glen, the place we went to first day. All our books were neatly on display and it looks like many books were taken already. The receiving officer, not a happy reader, said that we could not donate more books to this center. In the mean time Petra spoke with a lovely girl, Shannon, who turned out to be our saving angel. She has read some of Eckhart Tolle’s books, which was no surprise to us.

She said she had to go to Kinglake anyway and we could follow her (car with number 171 in it), with the entire load of books we went up hill to the police checkpoint (no match for angel smiles!) and we drove through the utter devastation to Kinglake. This area is really damaged severely and it is obvious people need mental support here. When we arrived in Kinglake goods relief center, a sombre looking woman walked passed and her face just lit up; she said she lost her house and all her books and she was very happy to see us arrive with two pallets full of books in the trailer. The people in the relief center were very helpful and although the place was “full”, we managed to find a good spot for around 20 large boxes with books. We cleaned the corner a bit and carted most boxes out the trailer, while members of the Greek Orthodox church in their large black dresses donated cleaning materials.

Shannon said there is another relief center in Kinglake West and we went up there with around 8 boxes left in the trailer. That center was in the process of relocating and they could not store anything more, so we had to return to Kinglake, where we could store the rest of the boxes with books, except 2, which went to Yarra Glen. Before we went back we loaded many other relief material in our trailer to take back to Yarra Glen relief center.

We were so happy we could bring a large portion of the books to the hardest hit area. Now we had a beautiful shower in the Yarra Glen Grand hotel and are relaxing (falling asleep) in the old fashioned but well maintained room. You don’t see that a lot anymore that hotels actually have nice rooms.

So tomorrow we have 1 more pallet to pick up at Brumby Books and Graydon, the storage manager, will gladly return to work to open the business for us. We have some more pictures of this day, but Petra is asleep and we get these out of the camera tomorrow after a good sleep.

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