Day 3. White Bus - Quirindi to Barraba

Quote of the day: "Volunteers don't get paid not because they are worthless but because they are priceless." - Barry the bus driver


Our fantastic TBL journey continued to Barraba where on the way we were greeted with cows on the road. One cow even tried to play chicken with the bus but of course our awesome bus driver was able to carefully navigate pass him. We safely arrived at the pavilion at Barraba but had to quickly get ready to have dinner at Wallabadah. It was definitely a night filled with games, delicious food and a joined dinner with the Blue team! Our bus even turned into a temporary moving nightclub on the way as we all shook some moves to Carly Rae & Party Rock Anthem! After the scrumptious dinner, people's opinions on "would you turn in a friend for cheating" and "would you date a friends girlfriend/boyfriend" proved to be very interesting! We also had a chance to view the beautiful starry night sky through telescopes prepared by the friendly Wallabadah locals which proved to be an amazing finish to the shared dinner!


Returning to our accomodation hall we defrosted playing some move it games before joining hands in a straight line. We stepped back and forward, our eyes closed, bending and swaying in the close knit group we have become. The questions eventually separated us though, as our differing backgrounds and experiences were revealed. This was a deeply thought provoking experience, showing that while we are all in this TBL journey together we all come from different backgrounds. I found this a thoroughly enjoyable game which has real meaning behind it.


In the following game we "circled up cir circled up" and again responded to questions by stepping forward or staying still. This shared experience of stepping into the circle together has greatly brought us closer as a group.

As scary as it was to put faith in others to hold you up, we all had a ball making an awesome human trust circle where there were no supports but the person you were lying on. Much to our disbelief we made a strong circle on our first go! YEAH BUDDY!


This morning we all jumped out of bed to the sound of Good Morning and Call Me Maybe! After countless rounds of hearing the song Call Me Maybe I am proud to say our united group now sings along in our varying high and low singing voices! Breakie was gobbled down, bags packed and the frosty air embraced as we stepped outside to start our second service project. Half the group headed off on the bus to pull weeds, polish saddles and wash fire engines. Shrubs were given names, fire trucks were climbed and saddles made shiny by this half of the group.


The other half remained back at the hall/sports field to await our instructions for our painting task. OH&S completed with our high visibility vests, we commenced scrubbing and painting the outer fence posts of the field. Feeling like Michelangelos in the Sistine chapel as the paint dripped, our hair was given a new white look as we painted 53 of the fence/post sections. Completing our task with an enthusiastic "Yeah buddy!" we boarded the bus, bending over like crippled grannies!


The two halves of the white group were united once more over sausage sizzles and dribbles of golden syrup on damper provided by the lovely and welcoming people of Quirindi. Our inner child was again revealed as we climbed on the newly cleaned fire trucks and pretended the siren was roaring. Our close posing in front of the famous golden guitar with the blue team revealed the whole TBL team as one, though our crew members did try a bit of sabotage to the blue teams bus! With our countdown routine now absolutely downpat we have set off to Barraba! And so now I leave you as I sit here surrounded by a lovely group of laughing and talkative friends, the countryside with a golden setting sun rolling past, simply loving spending time with my TBL team!


By Emily Quinn Smyth

Photos by Tuan Nguyen & Ravneel Chand