When one goes on a working holiday with others 20 years their junior, beware of energy surges!
A happy bunch of `missionaries` met in Derby, ready to tackle the Mowanjum Kids and fill their holiday time with fun and games. We went well prepared with games, craft materials and a set daily program. Our planning went awry on day one but we held together against the heat and confusion. Soon school teacher Matt was organising craft and games in the air conditioned hall.
Suddenly there was a wave of consensus between us to paint the outside of 3 dongas and 5 doors. Christine insisted on sugar soaping as first step. Arriving early we started, when Lorel from the Resource Centre thought it a good idea to send the kids out to `help` for TWO hours for free Internet access. Ten minutes past before the kids were slopping sugar soap over each other.
Following Chris`s electric shock and frypan blowout, the visit of two fine electricians, she carried on full of vigour (and luck), up the ladder to paint, with kids climbing the opposite side! How do you control 20 kids and 20 litres of paint - you ban them, then ban them again and again from the area! But given the first opportunity they descend in unison on the paint tray and coat themselves in `body paint`! But it was Richard who was appointed champion painter!!
With no bus available, kids were ferried to and from the 13Km to the Derby Swimming Pool by private car/ hire car, tray back and troopy. Here some respite as they frolic and have fun. But, which kids did we bring?? In a sea of black kids, we are informed we brought `that black kid there`, but when asked `we not Mowanjum, we back-street`. Ice blocks, hot chips, chicken sandies encourage them out of the water and back home.
Staying with Gail brings us close to nature, friendly, loving dogs of differing sizes, and the constant responsibility of feeding a baby agile wallaby. With energy abound, Matt and Karen, Chris and Gail knock up some lovely meals after a long day. Along with some cool drinks!
Painting, weeding, cleaning, Op Shop organising and garbage collection. Fun and games all round, chatting, building relationships, feeding little souls who have a future if we care enough about them. May we return again.
Oh to be 20 years younger.