Day 3 Operation Refugee

Day 3, Sunday June 18 dawned and the first thing I did was grab my phone and check the total amount we’d raised in Operation Refugee. $2000 exactly! Thanks to some clever exchange rate calculations, my Scottish friend was the one to get the total to that exact amount.

I looked outside to a very white lawn and frozen garden and thought… oh boy, we’ll be sleeping there tonight. A little bit crazy!

This morning Antony stacked the load of firewood that had arrived, then set about getting the tent up. After making our initial target of $1500 yesterday morning, we promised we would sleep in a tent for the remainder of the challenge if we made it to $2000. Less than 24 hours later that target was met. So we now look forward to 3 nights in our frosty Ashburton backyard.

We have had an Iranian friend staying this week and had to take him to Christchurch airport, leaving at 12pm. We decided therefore to have brunch rather than try and cook rice for breakfast then make something else for lunch before 12. Given the success of yesterday’s flatbreads, I decided to give that a go again. Today’s mix was really sticky so I had to add quite a bit more flour to it. It is interesting when you have rationed portions of things how careful you are with stuff. I was trying not to use too much flour on the bench and rolling pin. We don’t have enough for more flatbread but there is still some for another recipe I might make tomorrow.

Flatbreads with re-fried beans

When rolling out the dough none of my pieces looked remotely circular, but one randomly looked a lot like Australia! Made me think of Leah, my Australian based cousin who is always doing crazy things to raise money for good causes. She sponsored us yesterday and encouraged others to do the same, in order to get us into a tent. Mission accomplished Leah!

Refried beans

Today’s flatbread was served with Refried beans. I fried half an onion (still have the other 1/2 for future meals), added some Moroccan spice, then put in mushed up cooked kidney beans. With a bit of salt added in this was pretty tasty. We had enough refried beans for 2 flatbreads each. The last flatbread we ate with a bit of oil/spice mix.

Making toasted chickpea snacks

We headed to Chch full and happy! I had packed some chickpea snacks which I prepared on Day 1.  I heated oil in a pan over the fire then added cooked chickpeas. I added salt and Moroccan spice to them and let them crisp up a bit, changing colour slightly. I divided these into 2 containers, one for me and one for Ants, to have whenever we felt peckish. Was good to have a little something to nibble on in the middle of the afternoon today although I was not particulary hungry. Antony had more of his, perhaps because he’d done a fair bit of physical work, moving and stacking the firewood in the morning.

Chickpea snacks

After dropping Hadi at the airport we had 2 hours before catching up with a friend. We went for a little walk in the Botanic Gardens and checked out the Canterbury Museum exhibitions. I enjoyed the current one on Kai Tahu women and also some of the permanent stuff – first time really visiting this museum and it was rather interesting. After the museum, Ants went for a lie down in the sun and I checked out the Maths Crafts thing happening at the Arts Centre across the road. Got some cool ideas for teaching.

Sunday Funday in Christchurch – Maths Craft (top left) & Museum exhibitions.

We had a lovely time with a friend talking lots about Iran which was really nice for us, re-living some memories. We had a cup of tea and chatted. (We’d earned 6 tea bags each but only used 1 so far, last night.) Suddenly almost 3 hours had passed and it was dark outside. Although it was 6.30, I was (oddly) not particularly hungry. We drove the hour home and just heated up what we’d made yesterday for dinner, a rice, tomato and chickpea dish. I added some lentil sprouts to mine which were delish and Antony added half a can of tuna to his.


It is now almost time for bed.. I’m sitting with 4 layers on and a blanket, in front of the heatpump, yet feeling cold… how will I cope outside!? Good thing we have warm sleeping bags. Thankful for friends who loaned us their bed roll as we discovered today we only have one! Temperatures tonight don’t look too bad… down to 3 degrees with rain around 6am. The following 2 nights it is forecast to be minus 2 degrees… frosty!

Since making our revised target in the early hours of this morning, we have only had one more donation. Yesterday in about 8 hours we had numerous sponsors, raising about $400. In the last 18 hours only $53, which was kindly donated by 1 sponsor. I am wondering if we need a new target to inspire people to donate if they haven’t already.  Any suggestions on what else we could do if we reach a new target?

There is a Leaderboard on the Operation Refugee site… I am currently in 4th highest place. As a team we are 5th. I’m only $207 behind the current individual leader… perhaps a goal could be to move up the rankings? Of course they will also be working on getting donations so this could be a moving target.

Look forward to hearing your ideas!

Thanks so much for all your support. Now it’s out to the tent…


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