Wednesday, 27 May 2009

La La Land

Sometimes it is easy to forget that we have just been on the Tiwi Islands.
Everything is so 'in order' here.

Well.... apart from us that is, we are still having lots of change happening, we need to move in a few weeks again, and as yet we have no firm place that we will go to.
We have been offered a rumpus room and a place for the caravan, the room is just large enough for a bed for Jude and I and a lounge-ish space.
If we take that we would share with the caretaker at Marrara, who lives on the top floor.
And some dogs.
And some chooks.

The bloke is tamed.

We also would have people in the caravan in the build-up, and that would not be nice.

The other place offered today is with Karen Kidd, closer to Darwin city, where we stayed for a few days when we first left Picker.
That is further from the kids school, and would take 20-25 mins to get there. Karen's husband is sailing a boat from Tas to Darwin, and is now caught in the Q'land storms, and has to wait until the weather clears before he can set sail again.
Where will we go?? Who knows as yet.

On the Tiwi College front... well.
Now I don't have to censor it! Remember this is private info!

We had the pleasure of having staff from TC here this weekend, and that was great.
It is obviously extremely difficult there now. A combination of less teachers (hey...that's us) and stress is making it very difficult for those who remain.
In the mix of teacher quota numbers was the Principal, who said he would assist the teachers on afternoons to have a break (as one is legally entitled to) but there has been no assistance at all in the classroom, same as last year. The teachers are way stressed and not happy. They have no breaks all week, after pick-up, until the students leave on Fridays.
Discipline seems to have gone out the window, with students openly walking around smoking etc. Some night the students were out of their homes all night, I am told.
This week one girl threw a stone which badly damaged another girl's ear, last week one student threatened to cut a staff member's throat (and was expelled). All reports are bleak, with many more losses than wins it seems. Most of the house parents are due/desiring to leave at the end of term in a few week, and this will be a HUGE problem for the school. Replacing them is very difficult.
I am also told that the Indigenous Teacher Aides have not been there for three weeks now, as the Hospitality area of TC has been closed and they would have to cook for themselves now. Apparently this is too hard for them to do, so they aren't coming back! Sad, they are good blokes as well.

My good mate Bernard, who is 70 years old and retired and a respected Elder is still there, working away, much to the shame of the younger TAs.
Even he was hit in the mouth by a girl last week, which is unbelievable, and incredibly disrespectful. This fact alone staggers me.
We love these people, but they really need to have some control over their children for this to succeed, which appears shaky at the moment. Please remember them/pray for them as you are inclined to do.

Please also remember us as we try to find a place to live, it is VERY expensive here, not uncommon to spend $500 a week on a small house, or $700 if you want a bit bigger place etc,
Our place in Burnie would be worth a fortune here.

So, that's it so far.

We continue to pay for and get ready for Vietnam, which looms close now. That will be some more picture ops I am sure.
Until next time, CU

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