Friday, September 26, 2008

The Gold Outback, A Dog Movie Star, The School of the Air, and a Reunited Mother and Daughter

bush Today returning from the Gold Outback Bush Country to Kilgoorlie, WA I visited a different kind of school, and witnessed two other unique opportunities.

From Kilgoorlie to Marapoi Station is about 150 km (two hours?) of driving in which one encounters maybe a dozen oncoming drivers at most. With the exception of a single town of about 80 people and dozens of kangaroo road-kill carcasses on the side of the road (at least!), there is absolutely no one dwelling along the way.

Day before yesterday and again this evening, I had the chance to greg visit a spring camp sponsored by a so-called "School of the Air", so named because its students, mostly kids belonging to sheep-herders and aboriginal kids who live in remote locations, have their classes via chat on the Internet (in markfly previous generations, radio). This week the kids have actually been face-to-face in a end-of-school camp and today were their field day activities, a performance, and BBQ. Here are my host Greg and I are wearing a fly mask used in a song the kids had sung earlier.


Now on to the so-called chance encounters. First, back at dog2Marapoi Station in the bush, in the morning at a community meeting I was introduced to a dog movie star who will be appearing in the upcoming movie "To Hell and Back". A full fifteen minutes of the movie occurs at the station, and the dog's owner, Gary, is an half-aboriginal actor who has appeared in a number of movies and who plays a priest in this one. Anyway, check it outdog celeb in a few months when it hits the theatres.

Back in Kilgoorlie (population 30,000) again in the evening, I was sipping a Latte at McDonalds looking at page one of the local newspaper which showed the picture of a mother and a 14-year-old daughter who had not been seen or heard from in 5 days.

As we were preparing to leave, my host Greg commented that a lady who walked by looked like the mother featured in the paper. As he was gathering his own kids from the play area, he asked her if in fact she was. There they were: reunited and talking through the events of the past few days. Without being a nuisance, my host commented that a lot of people had been worried about them, that he was very happy for them, and that the girl's mother really loved her daughter.

Well, I'm pretty bushed tonight, not from being out in the bush, but from dealing with cultural differences and being around lots of people all day. I think I'll call it a day.

1 comment:

Amrita said...

The dog is really so cute.

Australia is such a unique place.