Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Home again, home again, jiggity jig

It is very strange to be back in 'civilisation' after spending the past two weeks in the seeming emptiness of far north Queensland. There is no way I can possibly encapsulate the entire trip into words, and certainly not in one post, so I will simply give some of my impressions, and elaborate on them at another time.

- Time is a strange thing - my whole perception of time changed while I was away, and to my surprise, the hours of travel along dusty dirt roads passed quickly and became almost like a meditation.

- The way we percieve different landscapes changes the longer we spend time there - many times during the trip I felt quite alien from the landscape when I first arrived in a place, and was sure I would never feel comfortable or at home there, but after a day in that place I started to feel quite differently about it.

- Australia is truly a land of contrasts - we would be travelling through parched, dry bushland and suddenly come across a beautiful billabong with waterlilies and brolgas; at other times we would be standing on a paradise beach with coconut palms and azure sea, but not be able to swim because of the deadly crocodiles and stingrays; in the dry season the rivers are only stagnant puddles along dry watercourses, when in the wet they rise 10 meters and cut off all road access.

- The amazing warmth and generosity shown to us by the three indigenous communities we visited will touch me forever, I think. It was one of the most beautiful and humbling things that I have ever experienced, to be welcomed with open arms by people who have been so dreadfully wronged by the culture that I represent.

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