While I’ve been recuperating from a nasty case of strep throat, David has been been looking after the girls single-handedly and making friends in the public-housing apartment block where we’re parked. I’m thankful that he’s been encouraged by these interactions during this time.

Parked at Waterloo, January 2012
We're parking outside a tall block of units quite close to Redfern Station.

Sleeping rough in Redfern, January 2012
We're not the only ones sleeping in the carpark. An elderly man coughs his way through each night in the undercover section of the parking lot, although he disappears with daylight.

Our first interaction with Tracey was when she came around and invited David to bring the children to the “bread room” where snacks were being offered. The girls had a terrific time bouncing around a room bigger than the back of the truck, eating white bread and making friends with the other locals.

Our girls and kittens, January 2012
Our girls are happy to sook over the tiny kittens that someone brings to the bread room.

Playing in the bread room, January 2012
Although most of the other visitors to the bread room are elderly, our girls' energetic antics are permitted and encouraged.

Playing in the bread room, January 2012
With rain dripping outside, it's wonderful to have a large, dry room for the girls to play in.

Later in the evening, I felt well enough to go up to Tracey’s apartment for a shower. She’s offered us the use of her washing machine as well.

Lauren with Tracey, January 2012
I feel much better after having a shower (with Delaney) in Tracey's apartment on level 8.

Tracey has been living in the apartment building for twenty-three years. Her real name is Elizabeth. She started using “Tracey” as a stage name when she was dancing jazz and tap in stage productions in the sixties. Now she is the local heroin dealer, so we’ve been told.

David was also approached by a single father who lives in the apartment block. Joe invited us up to his unit to use his facilities and play with his son. It’s always a pleasure to hear other peoples’ stories, and our girls loved playing with different toys.

Lauren and Joshua, January 2012
Joshua brings out his iPad to show our girls his favourite books.

Chatting with Joe, January 2012
It's been lovely to chat with Joe and hear his plans for visiting Japan with Joshua.

We talked to Joe about technology, parenting styles and the politics of living close to a large number of people. There aren’t many other children residing in this apartment building, and Joe has had to deliberately shelter Joshua from some of the more unsavoury encounters with his neighbours.

Our connection with Joe and Joshua was an easy one. We feel that they are kindred spirits on the journey towards peaceful parenting, spiritual enlightenment and physical adventuring. We look forward to hearing more from them in the future and hope that they do get out and travel throughout more parts of the world!

We’re continually blown away by the friendliness of those who surround us. We’ve discovered that city folk are just as generous and kind as those in the country, and our stay at this apartment block has proven it to be so!