Tuesday, August 18, 2015

postcard from Alice

My camera and photography skills don't do justice to the magnificence of the land here in Alice Springs and surrounds.

I can completely understand how people become enchanted by the desert. The natural beauty is captivating, red dirt, golden grasses, olive green trees growing against all odds. The light, the changing colours it all draws you in.

Alice is our base and from here we travel out with Arrernte Elders to spend time with them on their land. What a gift.

I am a heart on my sleeve kinda gal - cry at the sight of a newborn sorta thing - so to meet Elders of this land and hear their stories, tears are frequently filling my eyes. So much humility, grace, strength and wisdom in the Arrernte people I have met in the short time I've been here. More about that later as my heart and head take in the depth of life and culture here.

We shared a simple and beautiful kale and veggie soup made by our hosts neighbours, a delightful couple B and her husband S, who escaped the cold of Victoria and living their retirement in full colour. They're savouring the weather, the landscape, and the increasingly "alternative community". B is a celebrated artist here, we're looking forward to visiting her in her studio and opening our budding little artist's mind (Sol) to the painting life.

I don't even know where to begin writing about the Indigenous art here. The colours and stories are so vibrant and the canvases abundant. I am trying to take it all in slowly.

I've embraced the art of the honest selfie in this post. I'm soaking in the amazingness of this place on broken sleep. Hands up who else has a five year old who rarely sleeps through the night? Not that I was going back to have a third baby but there is NO way I could do serious sleep deprivation again. Hats off to mothers of newborns, you are doing an amazing job!!

Homeschooling on this trip has fallen into a fairly easy rhythm for which I am extremely thankful. As with pretty much everything you do with children, if you make it fun they're up for it. In this photo of the number cards, the fun part for Sol was using a huge long stick as a pointer to point to the numbers as I said them. He was having fun with the long stick and brushing up on number recognition at the same time. Simple but effective.

Getting him to write each day proves a little trickier as he just wants to draw or paint, so I let him do the drawing or painting and then ask him to write some words about the picture. I'd like him to write more but I figure the drawing is helping with the fine motor co-ordination needed for writing so it will all fall into place eventually. She hopes!

River is totally engrossed in a project about Red Kangaroos "I'm enjoying it so much Mum I'll be sad when I finish it!" Dream child. (I may or may not have had to spell out my expectations about attitude the day before. Seems to have worked).

That's enough from me for now. Friends and family I'm missing you! Thanks everyone for reading.

More soon x

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