Thursday, May 17, 2007
This week finds me in my new abode. I’m loving it here – my house mate is lovely, my bed room spacious. The house is raised so the view from every window gives way to the lush tropical tops of trees.
The main thing I miss since moving here is making my morning and afternoon way to work over the rail bridge through Ryan’s Park. My way now, though a similar distance to work, leads me through the town centre, which has a completely different vibe. When I go through the park, I am greeted by the people sitting there, or I greet them, calling out ‘hello’, ‘good morning’ as I pass. Then recently changed, much to my amusement and delight, last week when one of the Warlpiri interpreters introduced me to a group of friends he was sitting with. Now every time I go through the park I am greeted with calls of ‘hello Nangala!’, ‘good morning Nangala!’, ‘hey, Nangala’ Such a welcoming atmosphere. Since moving, my way through town leads me past people who keep their heads down, not looking at me, let alone talking to me. Perhaps this will change in time…
This week I attended my first bush court at Barunga (supposed to be pronounced ‘Bar-ung-a’, but Katherinites usually say ‘Bar-ang-ga’). What’s that? you ask. Bush court is when the Legal Aid lawyers, magistrate, interpreters and correctional services make their way out to communities to conduct court there. Queenie (the interpreter) and myself spent a peaceful day sitting on the grass discussing stories, people, and problems with interpreters. There is another bush court next week
(Timber Creek), the week after (Lajamanu/Kalkarindji), and two weeks after that (Ngukurr). It’s great to be able to see the places and meet the people I have been hearing about. For some places I need to apply for permission to enter through the Northern or Central Land Councils – I have permission, I must carry a permit at all times while on Aboriginal land.
Well, even after my afternoon siesta, I am bushed (writing this Thursday night, though probably posting on Friday morning). Good night all.
Kriol phrase of the week: Maiti ai garra lenim yu lilbit dijan langgwuj.