Thursday at my internship we went to what’s called the “waterhole” or Nardha, the site of what was once an aboriginal living area. Now owned by the Queensland Government, it is an extention of the Nudgee Beach Park and is a protected area that is designed to teach people about aborignial culture. We took a group of year fours there to teach them about the different tools that aboriginals would have used with a kind of scavenger hunt activity that we set up before their arrival. Classes had to find stones for grinding food, tree bark for shelters, ochre for face painting, boomerangs and clapsticks that were used in ceremony, and wood for spears, all while travelling around the lake located in the middle of the park. After they had gathered their supplies, they were taught how to make spears and start a fire, just like the aboriginals used to (no one was harmed duing this learning experience).
One of the coolest parts about this park was that it had a Bora Ring, which were the sites of ceremonies for initiated men. After a certain age, boys were
initiated through a series of tests that demonstrated their skills. A large part of the ceremony involved dancing in large rings, stomping the earth down so compactly that grass still doesn’t grow quite right there too this day. This area was considered sacred, and no women or uninitiated boys were allowed to enter. It is sectioned off from the park so that no one will disturb this sacred area.
Also notable for this trip, we saw a kookaburra sitting in a tree (not an old gum though).
When we got back to the center, we did a few more activities with the kids, including letting them grind rice with the stones they’d collected and using the spears they made to hunt foam manta rays in the bay. I was tasked with helping the students build their own shelters. Groups of five were given several sheets of tree bark on cardboard and some string to help them set up their shelter on a premade frame. The kids loved it, even when I told them they had to take their structures apart. I really like that this internship allows me to learn a lot about Australia along with the students, so its very fun and rewarding.
Dinner for Thusday night was breakfast. Jess made banana chocolate chip pancake mix and I somehow got tasked with actually cooking them. It was pretty fun, and I didn’t burn anything or set of the fire alarm like the last time I made pancakes at home. They were also delicious, so that was a bonus! Claudia made some scrambled eggs and chorizo to add something healthy to our meal.
After The Bachelor, we all went out to see The Man From U.N.C.L.E at the movie theater down the street. Set just after World War II, an American spy teams up with a Russian spy in order to prevent an Italian group from starting a nuclear war. It was a pretty good story with a lot of humor and several buildings and vehicles blowing up, of course. I think I may have to see it again to form a real opinion on it, but thats very doable since movies here are only six fifty for students (score!).
On Friday I had my philosophy lecture in the morning and a tutorial in the early afternoon. When our professor let us out a little early, my friend Wally and I managed to catch the shuttle to the train station and just barely made it on the next train (we actually ran from the bus stop to the train, it was embarrassing). We got back to urbanest around 2:30, leaving at least a few hours of my afternoon free. My flatmates and I then decided to go see a production of Anything Goes at the Queensland Performing Arts Center (QPAC) near where we live that evening, since it would be closing on Sunday. We got all dressed up (which is always fun) and headed out for our 8pm show.
The show itself was fantastic. The stage was gorgeous, the orchestra was on point, and the actress playing Reno Sweeny should have been given some kind of award. For not having seen the show before, I actually found that I recognized a lot of the music; I suppose that’s the nature of living with Anna, the Broadway Queen, for my entire life. I think my favorite part was the tap number that ended the first act; talk about impressive! We were all smiles on our walk home and had the songs stuck in our heads for the rest of the night.
This morning (Saturday) I made my way to the West End Markets once again, but this time I was accompianed by Claudia, Jess, and Kelley. I was able to get all my produce for the week, and some cheap opals as well. The opals are still set in rock and are not polished, but still very beautiful. I don’t know yet what I’ll do with them, but I’m sure I’ll think of something creative. I finished off my Saturday with a trip to the gym and by watching Hercules (my favorite Disney movie) with Carla. I’d say it was a great day!
Tomorrow looks to be just as relaxing as today, but who knows what we’ll decide to do (we’re very spontaneous here). As always, thanks for reading. Cheers, America!