Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Australian visitors enjoy first trip to America

Australians Tom and Wendy Buvac just spent a month here in Orofino for their first taste of “American culture,” and it was an enjoyable treat for them. Even though the couple lives just outside a city of over a million inhabitants, their home is in the suburbs and near the “bush,” as they call it the woods.

Tom was brought here to learn the scope of the NightForce operations based here in Orofino, and wife Wendy took her annual “holiday” to come with him, leaving her job as a bank branch manager near Adelaide, South Australia.

During their month stay at the High Country Inn, Wendy and innkeeper Jo Moore had a great time during the days when Tom was busy at the NighForce plant. Jo introduced Wendy to the art of preparing and canning peaches and apples, folding huge quantities of napkins, cooking in large amounts (Wendy helped trim and cut forty thick slices of pork loin for a dinner party,) even cleaning cabins!

On days off the couple was treated to drives around the country, once by the Moore’s, another time by Tom’s mentor at NightForce, Mike Forest. On the days that Jo had meetings in town Wendy would go along and spend her time exploring Orofino. She walked up and down the streets, meeting people as she ventured into stores.
Some of her stops included the Hallmark store, where she bought cards and souvenirs, the Ronatta’s Cakery for a donut, the Flower Shop for some fall ornaments, Glenwood Pharmacy for some postcards, Eagle’s Nest for more souvenirs, the Natural Food Store for some gluten-free products for her mom, IGA for groceries to make lunches, and a stop by Augie’s for a coffee.

On a couple of occasions the couple was treated to dinner at the Edge. Wendy was also a guest of Jo at the CVHC Auxiliary meeting one day, to learn more about the Life Flight program, but for most of Jo’s daytime meetings Wendy enjoyed her walks around Orofino. She especially enjoyed watching the river, as well as the logging trucks going by.

When asked about their most enjoyable memories to take back with them, Wendy and Tom mentioned Lumberjack Days and the logging show as well as all the good eating to be had there, especially a Doughboy! She and Tom were asked at a local sandwich shop if they spoke a different language in Australia! (No, the same language, it just sounds different and has a few new expressions for the American ear!)

Both Tom and Wendy enjoyed a couple of visits to the Dworshak Visitor Center, where they viewed the programs and talked with the Rangers. Jo also introduced them to the hamburgers at the Woodlot!

Then last week, the end of their stay, the couple sat in the IGA “car park”, and were intrigued by the number of hunters stocking up and heading out to hunting camp. While Jo had an appointment at the Eye Clinic, Wendy sat and visited with a logger who told her all about the first week of hunting around Headquarters, where it would be wall-to-wall camps. (Tom’s hunting experience consists of being out in the bush with no one around for miles and miles, and shooting “varmints” such as foxes!) Tom said, “Too many people for me!” Jo told him he should be able to stick around to see all the rigs returning to town with their “trophies with antlers” loaded in the back of their trucks!

Some new words or expressions that Jo learned during the couple’s stay included “having a lie-down,” which means having a nap; putting things on the “bench” which is a counter here; “rubbish” is trash; a car park is the parking lot; and one of her favorites is the Australian name for a shopping cart: a “trolley!” She’ll probably be using these new words as part of her everyday vocabulary from now on!

Special note: Mike Forest left for Australia two days after the Buvacs’ departure, to help with setting up a new operation for the company over there.

After a couple of months over there he will be followed by other Orofino NightForce employees Sean Simmons and Josh Goodwin, on a rotation basis… what wonderful opportunities for our young men!

Tom Buvac of Australia, in Orofino for a month's training with NightForce

Jo Moore and Wendy Buvac, in High Country Inn's kitchen

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