Day 442. 76km. Bush – Ernabella

Posted: August 30, 2016 in Australia, Cycling
Tags: , , ,

So many stories from so many people. Today was footy day at Ernabella and the whole town was there. We are in the APY aboriginal lands in South Australia, staying with a teacher at the local school. This is such a different world to Uluru just down the road, and so so different to city Australia.

Red road

Red road

Standing on the side of the footy field watching the game between Ernabella and another community we spoke to several teachers and to a social worker. The clash of aboriginal and western cultures leaves the head spinning. In aboriginal culture there is no sense of ownership – everything that is yours is mine. People have to give money to people that ask for it meaning there is no incentive to work, and so most do not.

The concept of money is also different to the western attitude – it is like a river – it flows in and it flows out. In this community there is fresh food, but, going to the shop after the footy match, the whole community had descended to buy chips, hot dogs and coke. The people working at the shop were white. The teachers and social workers were white. There are aboriginal helpers at the school but they often don’t turn up. There are so many facts and so many questions I don’t know what more to write.

Footy

Footy

The APY Lands are beautiful. Red red earth and a sandy road passing through a land void of people. It is such a peaceful place – you feel like you are the only person on the planet.

Skid marks

Skid marks

Shadow

Shadow

We had half a day of headwinds and half a day of tailwinds – and many fewer flies compared to yesterday. Thanks, Pat, for your great hospitality and conversation. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the area!

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