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December 14

Crossroads Fri 14th December 2012


Jill’s house, Brisbane

Angela Schumann


            The crew are all finally here- woohoo! It feels like a really good bunch of people, and I think that the walk’s going to be great. There are nine of us all together: Allison and Daniel, our walk leaders, John (who practically is one too even if it’s not official), Stephen the American, Chris from the Gold Coast, Andrew and James from Melbourne, Dory (Frances) from Newcastle and myself.

We had a very interesting addition to our party yesterday. A young woman from Melbourne has asked to come along with us for two weeks and film us for a documentary that she’s making on the pro-life/pro-choice abortion issue. And the twist is: she herself is pro-choice. I think that as pro-lifers we are so used to being misrepresented and attacked by the media and journalists that a lot of us had an initial uneasiness about her intentions in filming us. However, from what she has told us, Bec is a remarkable person and I think that God has sent her to us for a reason.

She says that she believes that the media has not given us fair representation and that she wishes to delve deeper into the issue, on both sides, than the standard media headlines. She says she is intrigued by our conviction, and also by Catholicism, and seeks to know the reasons why we would give up our summer, and spend so much time and effort in general in pursuit of our cause. I think she is a brave woman for asking these questions when so few do, and I hope that through her work people will be able to see that we do what we do not from some kind of misguided sense of superiority, lunacy or misogyny, as so many seem to think, but for one simple reason: love- that our sisters deserve better than to go through the trauma of abortion and that their babies deserve to live.

Anyway, she is a pleasant addition to the gang, and if she can put up with my snoring, my compulsive hitting of the snooze button and my raucous sleep-cycle then I say she deserves to stay!

Yesterday was spent going over our training materials for the pilgrimage, including the talks that we are to give at the parishes. The last two days have also involved three airport trips for myself and John.

Here is the ironic bit of the trip: I’m the kind of person who could find a street sign to back into in the middle of the desert; I’m the kind of person who could get lost in my own hoodie; the only thing I’m good at driving is people insane. And yet, I’m one of only three people on this walk with a full license, who can drive the buses. Oh yes, God certainly has a sense of humour.

Thus, I have been doing the airport pickup trips, which are about an hour round trip (or would be if I didn’t keep getting lost), with good old John to mediate between the GPS and me. Let’s just say that for most of the unfortunate travellers, their first experiences of Crossroads have been me yelling at them to jump into the van and then regaling them with my colourful expletives as I negotiate the twists and turns of the city of Brisbane.

Originally us girls were going to stay in an apartment for the week, but now we’re in the house along with the guys, which is much more convenient for meeting up for training and getting to Mass together.

There is also another reason why us girls moved: On Wednesday night there was an ‘incident’. I would be dramatic and call it anti-pro-life persecution, but we actually weren’t displaying anything pro-life, so we were really just victims of a random act of hooliganism.

Allison, myself and Dory were parking the Avis van outside of the apartment, Allison pulled in toward the curb to let a car pass by, and, in true festive-season, welcome-to-Brisbane hospitality, the inhabitants supplied us with breakfast by pelting a few eggs at Allison, which came through her open window and smashed onto the inside windscreen of the van. To her credit, Allison did not indulge in the language that I use when driving the bus on the East-West Arterial Road. In her words, had they been driving along from the grocery store and spontaneously decided to reach into the carton of eggs and let a few loose at us? Or were they simply driving around on a Tuesday night with their nightly supply of car-eggs, searching for victims? So many unanswered questions…. The worst result of the whole experience, however, was not the smell in the van the next day before John cleaned it off, nor the surface of the steering wheel, which was a combination of egg goo and stress sweat as I navigated my way to the airport, oh no. It was the litany of puns that I felt morally obliged to make in the wake of the incident. They were eggxcruciating.


Today we went to 8am Mass at St. Stephen’s in the city, same as yesterday, then have had a chilled out day doing more training at the Emmanuel centre. Bec started filming. This has resulted in more inhibitions for me before I say stupid things. This is a good thing. Unfortunately it does not apply to blogging.