Latest Immersion Update

Our Immersion team are nearing the end of their time in the Northern Territory. Here is the latest update posted to the blog they have been using to chronicle their amazing journey.

Day 5:

We all had an early start to the day as we wanted to get our gardening done while it was still cool. We alternated between gardening with Jessie and playing with the local kids, as we needed regular breaks in the already 37-degree heat.

As we were doing this, Mandy brought out some magpie geese which the locals had hunted, and we went and sat down and learned how to prepare them. We learned to pluck, debowel and dissect the birds so they were ready to cook. Some people took time to really get in to it – it was a bit gross, but still interesting.

After our magpie goose preparation we all got back together and put in one last full-force half-hour to finish the garden. We got it all done and we’re all really happy with how all our hard work turned out – so are Mandy & the community.

We all deserved a break – so we drove to the local pool, had a swim and a shower and felt refreshed after being covered in dirt from this morning.

Later in the day, once we returned from the pool, we went to the creek with Mandy and Travis to learn some secret men’s & women’s business in separate groups. The girls heard stories from Mandy and did some weaving while the boys finished making their clapsticks.

We then all had dinner with the community and said our goodbyes to everyone we have met here as tomorrow morning we are off to Mikginj Valley in Arnhem Land.

Happy Birthday to Bella – what a way to turn 16!

Day 6:

Today was a busy day of travelling as we headed to Mikginj Valley. It started off with another emotional goodbye to Mandy and her community before hopped on the bus for a long ride into Arnhem Land.

We stopped off at Cahill’s Crossing at a beautiful river where we could see some crocodile swimming around. The scenery was amazing and we all enjoyed the break out of the bus very much!

After our stop, we had a short drive to Gunbalanya, a small town just over the border in Arnhem Land. We went to the local supermarket to have a look at the prices of the products, compared to what we pay in Sydney. We all now understand that products which are easy to access for us, are not as easily accessible out here – and what is available is so much more expensive!

We then visited the Injalak Arts Centre where we were lucky enough to see the local people painting artworks first hand. They discussed the different techniques & tools they use to create the art. We then went further round the back to where the women were weaving with pandanus reeds to make baskets and jewellery. We got to walk around the shop (which has air conditioning!) after our tour and see all the pieces for sale. Some of us bought some small paintings to take home.

We then settled back in on the bus for the last of our journey. We arrived in Mikginj Valley in the late afternoon and set up camp. We had a birthday cake for Bella & Liam to celebrate! All in all, it was a good day!

Day 7:

We are in the Mikginj Valley with Samuel Nayinggul and his family. We woke up this morning to some avocado & feta on toast (not your average camp food!). The morning was spent journalling, playing games and chatting as we waited for Samuel to arrive – he was delayed coming from some Sorry Business (funeral).

When Samuel and his family arrived mid-morning we hopped on the bus to head out to a beautiful hidden spot where Samuel welcomed up to his country. He did this by spitting water from his country on to us, and then back onto the land.

After being welcomed, we sat down by the water to learn how to strip and weave pandanus. It is very complex, and the community make it look much easier than it is!

We spent time in between weaving having a swim in the very shallow creek where crocodiles do not swim. Seems crazy being surrounded by so much beautiful water that we shouldn’t go in – but having seen crocodiles a couple of times now, to be honest none of us are too tempted!

After our time by the water, we returned to camp for dinner. We spent the evening playing an intense game of volleyball, singing songs and watching the most incredible sunset we have ever seen! Another successful day in the outback.

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