People keep asking if we have settled back into life in Alice yet. I think I can say we have. I still have stabbing longings for Chulucanas sometimes but I suppose that is fairly normal.
I am working three days per week at Batchelor Institute. It’s okay but unfortunately I haven’t got many students. The organisation that we have partnered with who were in charge of recruiting students and picking them up for class and dropping them home for the program have done nothing. For the first two weeks when we had no students come I asked them what they have done, were doing to get students. They basically ignored my phone calls and emails until I finally caught them and basically their answer was waiting for people to contact them about it, which would be difficult as most people don’t know about. They hadn’t even contacted previous students which I tried to do and a couple were interested in coming back but needed help getting kids to childcare which they won’t do and I don’t have a car to do. By week three I had found one student who has come every class. We get on great. She seems to enjoy the classes and tells me lots of stories too. They had found two. One a nineteen year old girl who came once. When I asked her why she had come and what she might like to do here she said she came because she they made her and she didn’t what to do anything. Then she sat down and put her head on the table for almost all the class. The other woman has come to two (of five) classes. She is 35 weeks pregnant now so does find it hard to get here and will be finishing up soon for obvious reasons. Anyway, point is both totally inappropriate for the course. It’s all so frustrating and makes one realise why it is so hard to engage Aboriginal people in education.
I spend the other days looking after Nina. Mum or Libby help out for a bit on Friday so I can shop, clean, have a swim and rest etc. Nina and I go to a great playgroup on Thursdays called Kwatja Etatha (waters living) at the Lutheran Church. It’s got great toys and activities and so multicultural.
Martin and I are still attending the Quaker meetings on Sunday. Ryan kindly looks after Nina so we can go to that and I even get a swim in before which is very healing and rejuvenating on a Sunday before the start of a new week. I am also attending a home church. They meet every second Sunday mornings to talk faith, social justice, the Bible etc and the other week we meet in the park to engage with the community. I do that so Nina can come too and I really like that it, great people to live life here with, but being part of two faith communities is a bit of a stretch so we’ll see I guess.
We have caught up with most of our friends here. That’s been nice especially if they have kids and we can see how the kids have grown. Not that we have that many but I think more and more I am becoming an introvert so with all the social stuff that happens on the block, work, playgroup, church I don’t really feel I need any more.
Martin is looking after Nina on Mondays and Tuesdays and they enjoy baby rhyme time at the library and going to the pool a lot. It its still pretty hot here. On Wednesdays Nina goes to a family day care. It was tough the first few weeks but we slowly built it up and she likes it now. Martin works on the block for Keith that day, brush cutting, bush regenerating, gardening etc. It sure is a lot of work. He is also trying to help John and Malley get some tours up and running and an Arrenrte class that will be starting this week with them that we will be attending. He has also got back into soccer and it studying his cert IV in training and assessment so he can become a trainer in horticulture or bush regeneration or something similiar which I think he will be great at. The community garden has asked him to run some workshops there so that will be good practise.
We also just found out that he got the job as a motorbike rider instructor. It will be weekend work, Fri night, all day Sat and Sun morn which is great as we won’t need to get more childcare. We don’t really know yet how many weekends it will be as he starts next month but hopefully every second one.
Okay that’s us settling back into life here. It’s good really. I also really like knowing it’s a long term thing. It feels settled and like you can really get into things and take your time as you won’t be leaving. I often look at houses and properties and we talk to our friends about buying but really we don’t have money yet so that is definitely a long term thing. For now still trying to be present to now.