Tuesday, December 05, 2017

farewell speech

I had to think about what I have learnt from this place.

In the late 1960s Bob Dixon, a linguist, came to the Cairns areas.

At first he visited the TableLands, got to know some aboriginal people, and wrote down the Dyirbal language.

Then he travelled down to Yarrabah and found Dick Moses, the last Yidinji speaker. He sat down with Dick, under a fig tree, and wrote down the language.

After a while he complained to Dick. The green ants in the tree dropped onto him and were biting him. Would we be able to move to the verandah?

No way, said Dick. Those green ants are good for you. They are medicinal. When they bite you that will stop you from getting sick.

So, that is what I have learnt from this place. When things drop out of the trees and bite you then you have to understand that it is good for you!

Monday, December 04, 2017

beautiful cairns

Djarragun mountain: Djarragun means scrub hen. She builds her nest in a pyramid shape. I climbed her this morning, one quarter way, that is.

I will miss the beautiful natural environment of Cairns / Gordonvale. But one can't live by environmental beauty alone.

The plan is to continue teaching the indigenous in the NT. More, later.