If you haven't heard, devastating fires are sweeping Australia, burning homes, destroying koala habitat, and enveloping cities in smoke. Since their summer is opposite of ours, many of the firefighters over here are available to go help, but this rarely happens. They have good firefighters already, it's expensive to get people over there and there is red tape involved.
A few years ago I optimistically put my name on a list, but the people who went were of a much higher pay grade than me. This year I had a better chance, I thought. I had more experience and more qualifications. I looked at the regional list; surely I would have a better chance than many. Some people with only basic qualifications had added their names; I admired their enthusiasm. In the end, only a few overhead folks went.
It's probably for the best. Taking care of my house and cats for the month commitment required would put a strain on my friends, with the associated snow shoveling and the pampering my spoiled cats require. Also, some of the fires are burning in places where I, as a 24 year old on my first overseas trip, hiked and explored. That's always hard to see.
So I'll stay here and enjoy our current mild winter, and start on the seasonal hiring. I'll watch from afar though, and hope it rains soon.