Stripping off and relaxing in unfamiliar territory...
In Chiltern I stayed with a wonderful couple in their enchanted house. I arrived at their doorstep drenched and freezing. Maryann ran me a hot bath and while I was relaxing in the aromatic vapours I heard her playing the flute in the next room. I felt so lucky and special and while I was lying in the bath, almost drifting of to sleep I had a few thoughts about trust. Here I am, a young woman, lying naked in a stranger's house, however I certainly didn't feel like I was in any danger at all. I completely trusted these people because of the way they welcomed me into their home.
As I lay there I thought about the times when we have no choice but to trust someone. During this walk, (Mum, if you're reading this blog I'm sorry!) I have put myself in very vulnerable situations. However, I have had people like Peita, my project manager, looking out for me and I have taken precautions so that I'm not making unnecessary risks. What if you don't have this choice? Would you stay at a stranger's house if you had nowhere else to go? Would you cross potentially hostile territory to find your family? Would you trust someone to take you across the ocean on a leaky boat? What would it take for you to do that?
And if you did all that, then asked for help on the other side, and they locked you away, would you be able to trust them? Ever?
Left - I never thought I'd have to worry about floods at this time of the year! Centre - Leaving the historic town of Chiltern. Right - The road to Wodonga, recently ravaged by bushfires.
Thank you to Clare and her friends who made such wonderful walking companions for the day! They met me on the road and came from Yackandandah, Albury and Wodonga! It was very empowering to walk into Wodonga together to meet TV cameras and newspaper photographers! I loved chatting with everyone and I learnt so much about Albury's history of welcome. - Stay tuned for the next blog post to hear all about it!