I’m here! Alice Springs, March 4th 2018. While the dry heat gently bakes the already parched soil outside my window, I am sitting in a double-story air-conditioned apartment whetting my whistle with kombucha and feeling so damn bloody nervous!
Feeling already homesick less than 3 hours after stepping off the plane, a card given to me from my Mum with the words ‘Keep Calm & Carry On’ sits perched on the desk – a gentle reminder.
Myself and another student had the same flight from Perth and were kindly picked up by another student we met online. After having a quick tour through Alice Springs town centre, we were dropped at our respective ‘homes away from home’. There I met a fellow house-buddy, a pharmacy student, who gave me a casual run-down and happy welcome.
Town was busy, Woolworths in particular. The good thing about the heat is the absolute lack of appetite for anything stodgy or hot so I have a feeling a few kay-gee’s will be coming off the old hip-ees.
I’m tired. Not for the reason of physical exertion of which I have done extremely little (yes, I did taxi it to and from town) but just the travel and feeling really … out of place?
Tomorrow is Cultural Training day at the Centre for Remote Health. My flatmate usually would ride her bike but she said she’ll walk with me instead. Then Tuesday it’s off to Tennant Creek, 5 hours north of Alice Springs, for 4 weeks of placement at the local hospital. From what I’ve heard on the news, Tennant Creek is a ‘town in crisis’ with domestic violence and alcohol abuse causing sexual exploitation and abuse amongst local families. It will be eye-opening to say the least.
So, right now I am trying to settle in. I’m trying to pinpoint what is making me feel nervous but I can’t. Today is only day 1. This will be an adventure! Mark my words.