Well after what felt like the shortest break ever, it’s back to teaching as usual in Balgo. Or, as usual as teaching in a remote indigenous school is. Which actually is rather un-usual.
This term sees the Ketjungka Trade Training Centre hosting a nun that is teaching the women and girls the art of silk painting, a kitchen garden being built as well as a wood fired pizza oven and hopefully the opening of a weekly cafe. Well as least this is the plan so far.
Sister Susan has got the women creating some amazing silk paintings. Even with this medium the work that some of the women produce has a way of jumping off of the silk and telling its Turjkumpa (dreaming story). They paint scenes of water holes and bush food, gatherings for ceremony and animals that they hunt in Wirimanu (the Balgo area). We definitely have some talented artists in the community. Word has spread like wildfire that silks are being painted and Gadia (white people) are descending on the centre to snavel up a piece of local art.
The garden beds, which I cant wait to get built, as some fresh herbs to cook with in hospitality would be very novel, are slowly coming along. Last week we had all the boys working together on them. Now that was some fun teaching! Think 9 teenage boys all with power tools, hammers and saws… Fun times! We did get nearly 2 whole beds finished though and those lessons were the most engaged I have seen the boys nearly all year. Hopefully we’ll get more time to work as a big group to get these garden beds finished.
The cafe isn’t going quite so well though. There was a funeral last week and it’s turned cold this week so that means that students steer clear of the centre. Perhaps next week there will be less craziness (if thats possible) and we can make a start on the signs and menu.
This afternoon, on account of the hectic week and the fact that I will have all the boys on my own this arvo, as the mail plane with the other teacher is stuck with a dead battery, I’m going to bring my fire pit over and we’ll have a bonfire cook up. Should be fun!
Till next time