Thursday, March 20, 2008

Catching Up = Tuesday

Time flies when you're having fun, eh?

Tuesday was a vocational day and I went to Muru Mittigar, an aboriginal education and cultural center. The 5 acre facility is a wonderful outreach tool for communicating the history and influence of aboriginal culture, and employs 50 people. Rab and Tom presented their information to a large group of fourth graders in a matter-of-fact, nonpolitical way that captured the children's attention and emphasized that aboriginal culture is to some extent a part of their lives, whether through place names or familiar items like boomerangs,which were hunting tools.

The children attended a private school and all wore light blue polos, dark blue shorts, and blue floppy hats to protect them from the sun. A few were fidgety in their seats, but overall they were impressively engaged and participating, answering questions and always remembering to raise their hand first, index finger pointing to the sky. The boys were particularly interested in learning about the weapons ...

After lunch, Tom took half the group to a field to demonstrate the boomerang, which was a big hit. "Again! Again! Again!" the kids chanted when he didn't catch it. "Throw it as hard as you can, make it hit the mower!" yelled one boy.

Eight of the students got to try for themselves before going for a plant walk, during which I talked with the front office about their advertising and publicity efforts.

When the children left, there was time for a quick boomerang lesson of my own with Tom before my ride came, and though I didn't risk knocking my own head off with it, by the third try it was at least spinning out in an arc. Will have to work on that.

Dinner - well, for dinner we all boarded a bus and headed out to Pete's host family's home on the river, a lovely place an hour away with plenty of room for outdoor entertaining. We enjoyed a barbecue and the hospitality; some of the group engaged in a lively political discussion, and oh yes, by the end of the night there was singing...

While talking with Mina's host Chris about his Cessna and love of flying, he said, "Flying over Australia, the poetry just comes out of the ground." I thought that was lovely.

He also said that flying along the coast at 500 feet, it's not unusual to look down and see a surfer riding one wave, and an enormous shark one wave behind (see, Olivia, you were right, so thanks for the shark warning! hey, what are you doing for your 10th birthday party?). If the situation is serious he'll buzz the surfer, and that's an understood code for get out of Dodge.

I guess you never really know how close you come to something that could change your life; aren't we all just skimming along the surface, riding one wave or another to where we think we're supposed to go?

No comments: