Posts Tagged ‘Fregon’


‘They live in the now. More than any people on the earth, the aboriginal people live in the now.’
Matt – the headmaster at Fregon had hit the nail on the head. Living in the now was from the life philosophy described by Eckhart Tolle and lots of other writers that I have read. All focus of thought and deed is now – no worrying about the past, and no thought of the future. Living life in the only time that exists – now. What a way to live.

Cooking kangaroo tails

Cooking kangaroo tails

Our minds have exploded in the last few days spending time in the aboriginal communities of the APY lands. We have stayed with the head of the community in Fregon and with school teachers in Ernabella and Fregon. We have talked to the kids in the schools about our bike trip and seen the excitement in their eyes. I always hope it might make a small difference to at least one. We have met many passionate people working in the schools, youth centres and art centres. These people do such inspiring work, living in a world of contradictions and questions where two cultures meet. We have stayed in more familiar homes of the non-aboriginal school teachers, and have seen the more outdoor life of the aboriginal people whose homes themselves are rather bare and a far cry from anywhere I have ever lived.

Art centre

Art centre

Art centre

Art centre

Artwork

Artwork

Painting

Painting

Aboriginal people don’t have a notion of ownership. If family asks for something you need to give it. This concept really is so different and at the core of aboriginal culture. The sense of ownership is at the core of the western culture, which means the two cultures must clash. There is little incentive to work, and material possessions only play a transitive role in people’s lives. If they can be used now they are. In the future they will use whatever is around at that time. I find this all very difficult to grasp – I realise how far I am from understanding these people, and am very pleased to also talk to non-aboriginals to try to understand it all just a little bit better.

Kid

Kid

Jude

Jude

We stayed our second night in Fregon with Claudia and Jessie – working at the school – a fun evening with lots of laughing. We spent all the morning and the first part of the afternoon continuing our walk around the community talking to lots of different people and finally managed to leave just before 2. Leaving Fregon we were passed by a youth worker from the next community Mimili. She invited us to her house to stay with her partner. With an outlook on more interesting conversations and encounters, we tried to race to Mimili – what seemed like almost impossible on these sandy roads when we left. The road was good, the wind was behind us (for a change), and we made it! Thank you Helen and Kell for a great evening in Mimili.

Road to Mimili

Road to Mimili

Road to Mimili

Road to Mimili

Road to Mimili

Road to Mimili


‘Bush tucker,’ he said as he slid off the little white dots from the eucalyptus leaves and ate them. They were some sort of mite eggs on the leaf and tasted sweet and a bit like honey. This evening we sat around the fire under the verandah of the village-chief’s house in Fregon and made damper – bush bread. Unfortunately we burnt it.

Bush tucker

Bush tucker

We left Ernabella after a wonderful day and second morning with Pat. She gave us many great insights on living in this remote aboriginal community, and took us around in her car to see the area. We went to the school in the morning before leaving Ernabella and spoke to the kids. It was fun seeing the kids, and they seemed to be engaged and interested. I hope maybe it might have made a small difference to one of them. They are the new generation, and I wish them all the best.

Water hole

Water hole

Red road

Red road

Ernabella school

Ernabella school

Kids at Ernabella school

Kids at Ernabella school

Leaving Ernabella we saw what happens to the cars when they die (if they are ever taken from the side of the road). In the local rubbish dump there was a field of burnt car carcasses. Along the road there was a car carcass every few hundred metres – sometimes on the road, and sometimes dragged off into the bush just off the road. Some were inverted or planted head-first in the soil. It must have been a spectacular crash to get them there like that.

Car graveyard

Car graveyard

Car graveyard

Car graveyard

‘Here is a coffee,’ said Pat as she got out of the car 30km out of Ernabella to give to me on my bike. She then drove forward to Clement who was ahead of me, and we had a coffee together in the middle of the bush.
We then had several cars pass that pointed us to Fregon. The head of the village was expecting us (a visit to him was the reason for us getting the APY land permit), and we were looking forward to meeing him and the community.