On 26 July 2014
six eager girls (Alex, Jess, Emma, Bronte, Emily and Olivia) met the equally
excited Mr Dalton and Sr Lia at Melbourne Tullamarine airport and hopped on a
flight to Alice Springs. At Alice we got lunch and picked up our food for the
week to come.
Then we set
off down the last of the bitumen road all the way to Tilmouth Well, which was
our home for the night.
After a 5am
wakeup call we all slugged to the troopie and couldn’t wait for the day ahead. 3
typical outback toilet stops and 1 flat tyre later we arrived at Balgo.
minutes later we were running around playing footy on the dirt oval with kids
from all ages.
days we were involved in many activities such as:
Working in the Classrooms
privileged with the experience of teaching literacy and numeracy to children
all the way from Kinder to 15 year olds. It was a huge culture shock to see the
students doing work we would have done many years before they are doing it.
Most of the senior class didn’t know their alphabet off by heart. But what we
learnt was that they are a lot more knowledgeable than we are, depending how
you define smart. They knew so much about culture, nature, and the importance
of family and community.
We visited a
canvas art centre and a silk screen painting centre. It was amazing to see the
time and effort that went into creating these pieces. But what was even more
interesting to learn was that each artwork had a story, whether it be
travelling, hunting or about family. Each piece taught us so much about the
culture and we are grateful we had the chance to witness these first hand.
Sunset at the pound and the Jesus
without a doubt one of the most beautiful sceneries any of us have ever seen.
We sat on the rock face and looked forward into the untouched land underneath
us. Just before the sun set, we were taken to a little cave which we had to
climb into through a ladder. Inside we saw the left over belongings of a nun
who used to come down there to pray and feel at one with God. Then we returned
to see the breathtaking sun set right before our eyes.
Here we were
surrounded by 4 metre high rocks and even taller trees that was challenging yet
fun to walk through. We couldn’t believe the rock art we saw was painted over
25,000 years ago but when we saw how it had almost faded away it made sense.
There was a little waterhole and some of us tried to climb our way out but were
unsuccessful. Once we were done we made our way back out. Unfortunately, one of
the girls had an accident and left Balgo that night but the trip went on.
Thursday we went on the year 3/4 excursion to the bush. It was a 2 hour drive
but we stopped off to see an elder and the children dig a hole to find water. It
was a place where they used to stop for the night when they used to walk
between Balgo and the next community. Once we got to the bush we played in the
river with the kids and had the once in a life time opportunity to try kangaroo
tail. It was so rewarding to bond with the kids in this environment and we will
never forget it.
On Thursday Luurnpa hosted the athletics carnival. Senior students from the schools at
Mullan and Bililuna came to participate. We were in charge of marking
marathons, demonstrating events and making sure everyone kept to the rules. It
was good to see how the kids interact with each other in a different
Final Night Sunset
our last night watching the sun go down, at a different spot this time. It was
a lovely way to end our trip.
Every one of
us think about the kids we met every day and would go back in a heartbeat. We
feel like Balgo is a part of us and we hope we have left a mark on Balgo as
well as it has on us. We are also grateful for the lifelong friendships we have
formed as a group and that is something we will never forget.