The other day we had the absolute pleasure of chatting to a client of ours about her experience living in a very remote indigenous community for three years! She has been kind enough to share a
small insight to her life in the community.
"I've been living in a very very remote indigenous community for the past three years. The community is 400km from Darwin on a dirt road, however for six months of the year it is totally locked in by flood waters.
Life is very different out remote! We would get our mail once a week by a very small four seater plane, which would also bring fresh food if you paid for it; coming back to Melbourne to visit fresh milk and veggies were a treat that I longed for!
In the community of Nganmarriyanga there are about 500 local indigenous people whom speak up to five indigenous languages before learning English. I taught in the prep to year ten school which has a daily attendance of about seventy students. It was a very unpredictable work environment with regular community disturbances. We had a constantly fluctuating attendance with new students coming and going depending on movement and disturbances between communities nearby.
The community housing is crowded and the jobs are scarce; life can get tough out there with isolation and poverty imminent. In saying this, the locals became my best friends.
On weekends we would go out bush in the ute fishing for turtle and barra, life has no clock there!Time is not a thing, yhou just do what you want, when you want. For the locals, time went by sun up and sun down!
We would see many types of wildlife including many crocodiles around the billabongs in the community.
Dogs are everywhere in the community, I rescued two dogs in my time in the community; Daisy and Bella both ridge back cross girls. If you were visiting you would think there were hundreds of strays, however each has an owner, they are just not as looked as we are used to. For example, it was not uncommon to find a tick ridden dog.
The dogs hang around the school at lunch time looking for scraps from the students, with many students daily having dogs take food literally out of their hands!
With no access to vets or animal medicines or food, it's hard having a pet. My Daisy girl was desexed on the back of a ute by a visiting vet from Darwin two dry seasons ago. You would have to pay shipping and freight costs ($4.00 per kg) for the dog food to come in on the mail plane, and I would have to get the Darwin vets to freight Daisy's puppy injections via the mail plain and get the local nurse to administer them to her. In saying that, it was the best life style for big dogs! They have free range to roam the flood plains and play all day!
Culture and community is strong in Nganmarriyanga, and family is the most important thing. I have learnt SO much from my time there."
This is just part 1 of this amazing story, look out for the August newsletter for part 2!