The Townsend Family, Sydney, Australia
Tuesday 26th June 2001
Rufus arrived at the Townsend's on the other side of Sydney by courier just before lunchtime so mum brought the parcel down to school for me to open up after I had my injection. All the office staff thought he was adorable and are going to give him a school badge to wear. Mum said he could stay with me for the rest of the afternoon at school so after lunch we both went to library.
All the kids thought it was cool that Rufus was travelling around the world and asked lots of questions. After school we went to introduce Rufus to my Nanna who only lives two streets away from school. He had fun riding on Nanna's dog Kim's back and meeting her Cockatiel Oscar. Then it was home to meet my older brother Andrew and sister Sally.
Andrew wasn't real impressed but Sally fell in love with Rufus and didn't want to give him back to me. She wants him to go to softball with her on Saturday. We decided we would give his clothes a wash so we had to put the fire on early so that Rufus didn't get too cold. Later when my dad got home from work we talked about where we would take Rufus on the weekend. It was a long day for Rufus and he went straight to sleep when we went to bed.
Wednesday 27th June 2001
Didn't have to go to school today so we all spent a lazy and quiet day at home. Rufus slept most of the day! When he was awake he played network Counterstrike on the computer with me and Andrew and chatted with Andrew's girlfriend on MSN Messenger.
Thursday, 28th June 2001
Today Rufus had to go to school to help our Diabetic Educator teach the teachers all about diabetes. Even though James has had diabetes for a year and a half, he has only just now needed to have an injection at lunchtime and therefore the school thought it was time for everyone to be properly educated on how to look after him, as he is the first and only child in the school to have it. James is 11 years old and is able to look after himself very well, so doesn't need all that much assistance. His friends look out for him when he is low, but he's never gone so low that he can't fix it himself. He can sense his lows coming on before they become too bad. All the teachers and staff thought that having Rufus there along with James was a great way to help them understand it all. Poor old Rufus had to have lots of practice finger pricks and injections however, but he was such a good sport about it all and loved being able to help educate everyone.
Friday, 29th June 2001
Today after spending the morning in the classroom, it was off to sport for the afternoon. James and Rufus enjoyed their tennis session with the other girls and boys in James' class. That night he had to get to bed early because he was going out to softball for the day with Sally and mum and they had to leave very early.
Saturday, 30th June 2001
Rufus scratched the sleep out of his eyes and stretched his weary bones. He looked outside and it was still dark. Why are we getting up so early he thought, surely they can't play softball in the dark? James' mum told him not to worry, that it would be light by the time we got to the fields. When we arrived everybody wanted to know all about Rufus and soon the word spread and people kept coming up and wanting to hold him and hear all about his travels and, more importantly, it gave us a chance to educate people about living with diabetes. Pretty soon it was off to our first game.
James' sister Sally's team was playing the team who was coming second in the competition, so it was going to be a tough game. Well, was it exciting! It was close all the way through and, with 4 minutes to go, Sally's team was 2 runs ahead and had to get the other team all out to win the game. They did it with about 1 second to spare. We all squealed with excitement, and Rufus had to have his photo taken with the umpire and the whole team and their coaches.
After that, Rufus went with Lynne (James' mum) to help her umpire a Teeball game. Both the teams she was umpiring had to have Rufus sit on their bench when it was their turn to bat. Then it was onto the A Grade game, where Lynne had to score. Rufus kept a sharp eye on the game so that he could help Lynne if she missed anything. Just before the next game, James arrived to spend the rest of the afternoon with us. He took Rufus across to the shopping centre for a while and they visited the pet shop to see all the baby animals and to have some much needed lunch. Finally, after Lynne scored another game, it was time to pack up and come home. A quick dinner and it was straight into bed for us all. Lynne's going to have to get up and check both Rufus and James tonight because they're both sure to go low from all the exercise and excitement of the day. We all felt great that we had been able to educate so many people in one day about diabetes.
Sunday, 1st July 2001
After breakfast, James and Rufus went back to sleep because we were still tired. James' friend Ben had come to sleep over the night. After lunch, Rufus, James, Ben, Sally and mum took a drive to Manly and caught the ferry across the harbour. We got to see the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House and then went for a walk around the really old part of Sydney called The Rocks, where there are still remnants of Sydney's convict past. Another ferry ride back across the harbour to Manly and then it was back home again. This was going to be Rufus' last night in Sydney with the Townsend family, so we had a typical Aussie barbeque to celebrate his visit. He is really going to be missed and we feel very fortunate to have been part of Rufus' travels around the world.
Bye bye Rufus, and thank you for coming to visit us.
Rufus and Ruby, the bears with diabetes, is the creation of Carol Cramer, who owns the copyright to Rufus and Ruby. The graphics of Rufus are from Rufus Come Home, written by Kim Gosselin and illustrated by Terry Ravenelli, and are used by permission of the author.
Last Updated: Friday December 20, 2002 09:27:54
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