Off to a place called Canteen Creek (it has a new health centre, this site is really old) on Monday with an Aboriginal Health Promotion Officer called Jenny and a new staff member who is doing her orientation. I’m not nervous (wow! Rachel, is that you?) but I’m excited and looking forward to whatever I will do there. I saw Jenny at the Saturday markets and she said if the health clinic is too quiet, she will get me out and about like I did in Ali Curung. Awesome!!!
I don’t think it will take 10 hours to get there.
The sunsets in the desert are supposed to be magical so I went sunset seeking a few nights in a row. The problem is, I kept leaving it too late and by the time I got to wherever I could get a decent view, the sun had already said goodnight to the town and had pulled the horizon over its head. So here are some grasps at what few sunbeams remained…
Yesterday (Saturday 24th March) I called into the markets and bought a book about Australia’s worst crimes; just a bit of light reading on a warm desert day. I bought an iced coffee from Cafe Buzzbean (say hello to owner Kristen when you’re there, she is really friendly) and bumped into my AOD RN buddy who invited me to join her and her friend who had just started a new job as a parole officer. After chatting for a while (and with me now wanting to be a parole officer…It just sounds cool… “gotta report to my parole officer or I’ll be back in the clink”) I meandered off and read my new book at Lake Mary Ann.
Coming out of IGA today, I nearly collided with a you-beaut electric scooter carrying a bloke called Walter Boulter who likes to be known as Tony (pity, cos I think having a rhyming name is awesome). Tony and his lovely wife Joy, an ex-school teacher, have lived in Tennant creek for almost 50 years – 49 to be exact. Tony told me he used to be a Ginger Beer (engineer) who helped build a lot of the roads in Tennant Creek. When he arrived, they were all dirt. Tony told me the population of TC at the height of gold fever was 50 thousand! The last gold mine shut down only 8 years ago and the population plummeted. I had to lean in to hear Tony at some stages as he lowered his voice to tell me about the more sensitive issues about TC and his thoughts on them. I respected his opinions and appreciated his honesty from his point of view and experience living in a town for half a century. Getting on my way, we shook hands. We shook hands again, then it turned into a homie handshake then a fist bump. Not kidding you. Tony and I have a secret handshake (I suppose it’s not secret anymore). An 80 year old on a gopher and a 34 year old in thongs doing a secret handshake outside IGA Tennant Creek; beat that Dr Dre.
Walter (Tony) Boulter
So I am now sitting in the dining room with one of my flatmate’s sitting at the same table sniffling snot every few minutes. I told him he doesn’t have a cold and it must be symptoms of rheumatic heart disease, syphilis or scabies – 3 common illnesses in Tennant. The common cold doesn’t exist here, it has to be something far worse. He is not impressed and does not find me funny.
See ya’s! – Rachel.
Mum! Whippett Street! Mum’s whippet Zena
Frozen Roo tails at IGA