I am learning so much up here in the NT but it is very different form home!
I’m quickly falling into a routine here with the children. It is extremely hot out here and I wish I had brought more dresses up with me! There is no TV and very scarce internet so a lot of my spare time is spent reading books, exploring or riding horses.
A run down of my day:
6-7am- Arrive at community to help children prepare for school.
They wash their own uniforms and have to wear a school shirt, any pants they would like and some shoes to school. They don’t have to take anything as the school provides most of it.
8am- Children to school.
They have breakfast and brush teeth at school building
8-10am- Schoolwork provided by teacher while I feed baby cows, baby turkeys, baby goat and the pet turtle.
10-10.30am- Recess. I prepare the food for the school children- usually fruit salads or biscuits with milk or water. We have to be very careful with how much we eat, as we don’t want to run out of supplies before the next grocery delivery.
Last wet season, a plane dropped food off as the community ran out of food a lot faster than they thought they would.
10.30-12.30pm- Younger children are with me for the rest of the day doing educational activities such as writing letters to relatives, making craft, reading or creative play.
12.30-1pm- Lunch with all the school children.
I prepare this and it is usually sandwiches, water and fruit.
We have beef sandwiches usually as we have so many cattle on this property to eat! Today though, we had hamburgers. Yum!
1pm-2pm- Older children return to school and I look after younger kids. Usually, we do activities like water play, puzzles or ride bikes.
It is very hot out here. It has reached 40 degrees most days and a low of 23 at night.
2pm-4pm- I have both older and younger children with me. I read the children’s reader books with them and do homework. I usually hide some fruit around the yards as the children are more excited to eat if I let them do a treasure hunt for it. We make craft out of recyclable items such as milk cartons or old pipes. If we order in craft supplies it can take up to 8 weeks to get to us. The children then have showers and baths before I walk the children back to their homes. Most of them share houses with up to
4pm-6pm- Prepare next days activities.
There are so many snakes out here. I see Pythons daily. As it is the weekend today I went into the main homestead and helped the owners brand, de-horn and ear tag the bulls they mustered up this week. It was really interesting to see how they do it all.
To begin this weekly blog, I will try set the scene as best I can so you can all understand where I am going next, where I have been and how I got here.
In 2013, I started my Bachelor of Education (Primary/Secondary) with a double major in Psychology and Health & Human Development. I have always had a passion for educating children not only in their school education but also in their personal and life skills development. I am consistently looking for opportunities that allow me to do so.
I have volunteered for the Smith Family Project in low socio-economic areas as well as held employment with the Department of Education's "Activated" project aiming to get rural and remote children confident and active. Then, earlier this year I volunteered in remote Northern Territory for a month in Rockhole, Binjari and Ngukurr Indigenous Communities with Linkz. This program is aimed at early childhood and youth development services to Indigenous children, youth and their families.
Below is a link to the Rockhole Rap that Rockhole kids created themselves with the help of Indigenous Hip Hop Project.
The above opportunities have led me to employment at Bug-A-Lugs as an outside school hours carer and also working each Saturday. I love working here at Bug-A-Lugs because of the family atmosphere that is demonstrated in all aspects of the centre. The 'My Time, Our Place' framework ties in extremely well with my passion for developing life and personal skills of children.
My Northern Territory Adventure continues next month as I head up into Mungoordada Community nestled on Kiana Station. My role on this station is to educate both Indigenous and non- Indigenous children as well as being attentive to students' other needs. Mungoordada community speaks Garawa language. The number of people in this community varies due to Indigenous peoples nomadic lifestyles.
The school day for these children starts by the children arriving, washing their clothes and uniforms cooking breakfast before they start their lessons.
I will be heading out to this community right before the Wet Season begins. During the wet season many people can not enter or leave as the creeks flood and cut off access to roads. I am lucky in that the main homestead, where I will be living, has both a plane and helicopter.
I'll upload a blog each week describing what myself and the kids are up to!
Watch this space.