I think I’m right in saying that for all university students, finding a home away from home is pretty important. I left Bristol not knowing where in Melbourne my home would be. I’d imagined that in such a situation I’d be SERIOUSLY worried, but for some reason this time I wasn’t. Perhaps if I tell you the story of how everything came together you’ll see why.
It all began in January when I applied to a student community house belonging to a Melbournian church, Hawthorn West Baptist. Everything seemed ideal; it was a Christian, student community, the rent was far cheaper than the usual in Melbourne and I’d be sure to make a home there. They got back to me saying that they’d love to have me, and I was SO happy! They mentioned that it was slightly dependant on a few different things, but that almost certainly they’d be able to have me. But as the months went on and my flight for Australia crept ever closer I still hadn’t heard whether or not I definitely had a room there, until a week before I left I received an extremely apologetic email saying that they didn’t have a room for me after all.
I became very well acquainted with Australian Gumtree in the following days. Some ads looked okay. Most looked expensive. But there was nothing I could really do until I arrived in Melbourne. That was until I received an email from a girl called Meg Hanlon, entitled ‘Greetings from Melbourne’. Amongst other things, her email read “I live in a share house on Cardigan Street with four others. At the moment we are a group of Christian girls with one of our beloved housemates moving on to community missional living. We are in a five bedroom house, super duper close to public transport and about 10 minutes walk from Melbourne University.” I was wild with excitement!! Like… WHAT?! I was expecting to have to contact hundreds of people to find a room, but here I was being asked if I wanted to live with them!? I thought there must be a catch; Carlton is SO close to the university and a really perfect suburb, it must be too expensive. But in a later email Meg told me it costs $517 per month (about £310), as opposed to the $800+ I’d been seeing on most ads!
On my first day in the city I made my way to 103 Cardigan Street, with Ranga by my side, to look at the house and meet the girls. I was blown away by outgoing, friendly faces and by this gorgeous house! I told them there and then that I’d love to move in and they said they wanted me too. Three days later I moved in, and a week later I’m writing this on my desk in my lovely room in our lovely Cardi House, with my hilarious, fun, kind housemates Meg, Kathryn, Emma and Bec (I know you’ll be reading this – I expect nice things in return for these nice words).So now I see why I wasn’t worried. It was because, deep down, I knew that I was going to be placed into a loving home.
Now at this point I must give huge credit to Hawthorn Baptist; the man I had been in contact with about the community house had, I recently discovered, emailed around the whole church asking if they knew of anyone who had a room for a girl from the UK. And it was a friend of Meg who put us in touch. It goes to show that we are often affected by acts of kindness of which we aren’t even aware. He did in fact email me on the same day I was looking round the house to let me know that they had a spare room last minute, but I couldn’t pass up the wonderful Cardi House and its inhabitants. No doubt this house and my friends here will be an integral part of this blog, so you’ve got that to look forward to. But for now… I’ve got an amazing house which is becoming my home. Yipee!