Sunday, 29 March 2009

The Last Post....err.....Week

So, here we are in the last week of our time on Melville Island.
It feels quite strange.

The tensions are high-ish and there is no end to the support that the general population ha shown us, it has been fantastic. They put on a farewell for us last night and it was great. They are lovely people here.

There remains tension between us (and all the rest of the community actually) and the management. It is difficult, I feel for them as they have made some hard calls and they were never going to be popular ones.

Mind you, they have very little contact with the general population and this is the cause for most of the discord, even though they would not say the same thing themselves. There are some serious issues here and people are very disqueited by the turn of events of late.
Since I posted last another Family Group Home Parents have resigned after feeling they were given no viable alternative. They are a great couple and will be sorely missed.

Yesterday I had the best adventure.
I went north to Jessie River to fish.
What a primeval place. We have been there before, and it is croc heaven.

I mis-read the tides chart and instead of arriving at low tide we arrived at VERY high tide.
We decided to fish anyway (it's an hour's drive from Picker). We had to drive through some of the sea to get to the creek where we then walked up to a large flat plain inland. Steve, the groundsman, used his cast net to get some live bait, which then died.
At one cast he caught 5 Barra, one was 50cm, and he threw them all back, as the legal limit is 55cm.
In Tassie I would have kept them all and had lots of beaut fish in the freezer.

I took some of Steve's reject fish and went downstream on my own and promptly caught a 65cm Barra. Later Steven's son caught a 60cm one as well, and a new teacher, Mark, caught a Black Fin Salmon.
We then lit a fire and roasted it in the coals, and ate it there and then. It was great!

On the way out we had to fight our way through the bush, as the tide was so high we could not get along the beach anymore. This included cutting a big tree out of the way.
The last bit before we went inland was again in teh sea, and I was worried we might not nake it, but we got out to the road safely.

Along the forst section of the track a huge Buffalo was on the road, and I took off after it.
They can run at 40kph, and they don't slow down.
We were so close that it was throwing dirt onto the windscreen like paintballs. It went for 700 ish metres and then veered off the track.
You can't outrun a buffalo, OK.

On the main road home I noticed that the diesel was lower than it should have been, due to the torturous route out of the beach area, and so turned off the A/C, and wound down the windows to conserve fuel.
Then a wallably came across the road and, deciding the this was not the time to die, tried to do a U-turn.
It was almost on it's side, scrambling for traction in the road gravel, we missed it by a few centimetres, and it sprayed a heap of gravel throught the window into the car, and across my face in the process. A first for me.

Almost all the warning lights were on the car, due to a fault caused by teh water I assume, and then the fuel light was on.
We made it home, JUST.

Man, what will we write once we are in civilisation again?

The plan is to finish packing and then send all our stuff via Tiwi Barge (grrrrrr...) on Wed night/Thurs morning, possible some stupid hour like 2AM, due to the tides etc.
We then have Patrick Salter and his son Thomas visiting on Thursday, so I will pick them up from Millicapiti on Thursday morning, and we will all leave on the ferry to Darwin on Friday afternoon.

I am scared about the future, yet we know God will provide, and it will be interesting and exciting as well.
We have some options opening up already.

This week we paid 1/2 of the purchase price on a caravan that is in Q'ld, and it will be delivered to us in the next few weeks. We pay the other 1/2 when the courier checks it out for us and gives the all clear on it.
Even buying a caravan is not normal for us.

Well, I have to work and pack, and plan and ... well you get it.

CU in the next post.
Len and Judith

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