Glenn Helen

Day 7, Monday, 1/13/03
Today, after a short and hot nights sleep we dove out to the barren desert and went to a dreamtime bushtucker program thing. We learned a lot of the history of the aboriginal people, especially the Wajiri people, who were there. Our guide spoke about the fact that the aboriginal peoples lives were pretty much unchanged until the last 90-100 years. So, they pretty much went from the Stone Age to the 20th century in less than one century. He also talked about why white men so easily took over Australia. The Aboriginals didnt feel they owned the land and didnt fight the white men until much after they landed. We looked at some original paintings and learned about Dreamtime, which is the Aboriginal Creation story. They believe all life force existed under the earth and when they came to the surface, they came in the form of animals (kangaroos, emus, and snakes). As they moved (or dreamed) they left their life force behind in the form of natural things like mountains, watering holes, kangaroo areas. These are called dreamings. When a woman is pregnant, whatever dreaming she is near the first time the baby moves is considered the babys life force or where he gets his soul.

We also looked at typical bushtucker and people ate nuts and seeds. Cory ate a live grub, though he didnt eat the head. I took pictures.

There was also was a traditional Aboriginal dance. It wasnt really a dance, though. It was more like some stomping and resting and chanting. Two people had paint. Supposedly, in their culture, they continue this dance for seven days and seven nights.

A trip into Alice Springs was next. We were all happy to sit on the bus in the air conditioning. We had a nice lunch in an alley cafe. We sat outside at a table because it was surprisingly cooler. We just tooled around for a while. I got the softest koala. I had seen him yesterday, but then Lorinda bought him and I was sad, so Cory got him for me.

Next, we went to the Alice Springs Desert Park. It was pretty, but it was really hot and you can only see so many lizards and birds in 100 degrees heat before youre ready to just go inside and sit in air conditioning.

When we got back to the hotel, we went down to the beach to learn how to crack a whip and throw a boomerang. We were in the first whip-cracking group. I wasnt too bad, but I never got it to crack and I hit myself on my leg a couple of times. By the time we went to throw boomerangs, a storm was moving in and the wind was way too strong to actually get it to return. The guy showing us couldnt even get it to do that. There are different types of boomerangs and the kind that returns doesnt look like the stereotypical Australia boomerang. It has more of a curve to it. (Drawings)

The people from the resort made us some camp food. It was really good beef stew, vegetables, potatoes and damper (bread).

The only difficulty was trying to keep everything from blowing over in the high winds. The wind felt great on the beach, but it made it slightly harder to eat.

Paul and Scotty decided to have a beach party in the bar that night. Some people went in town and bought some second hand clothes for a joke. We didnt b/c we didnt have time, but Paul and Scotty were the best. They had wigs and Scotty had a short, shiny robe as a dress. They were great. Heikel had Beg Kev (renamed Skippy) and was corrupting the poor kangaroo. He had him smoking, drinking and farting. And Heikel would just laugh his infectious laugh and we would all fall over laughing with him.

Eating a grub

Aboriginal Dancing at the Dreamtime excursion in Alice Springs

Heiko begins corrupting Big Kev in Alice Springs

Glenn Helen, Nanique learing to crack a whip

Scottie, Kenny and Paul at the Glenn Helen beach party

The corruption of Big Kev is complete

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