April 18, 2005

nomo hambag

A munanga who works at the shop here, A, is making a Tshirt that will say 'no humbug' on the back and I told her how it's spelt in Kriol - 'nomo hambag'. That's going on the front. Haha... can't wait to see it.

Speaking of humbug, I had a tough weekend. Well, in one way it was a good weekend because I didn't go anywhere and chilled out at home all weekend. But in another way it was tough to avoid the humbug. For example, at 9:30, my good friend K asked me over for a morning coffee. I arrived an hour and a half later. Between 9:30 and 11, N and J arrived and needed to call Gove hospital, R came and asked for some toilet paper, G came over to use the phone and the R came back wanting me to help her get a tyre off a rim. Ah, but somehow I managed to do not too much. I even managed to watch two dvds, one was totally rad: Princess Mononoke, an anime movie... very good, exciting yet beautiful. I never thought I'd get into anime movies but this one director is amazing. He's done 'Spirited Away', 'princess mononoke' and more... they're lovely movies.

I also finalised my holiday in July. One week in Melbourne. One week in the NT with mum. One week in Malaysia with my sister's family. How's that for a holiday? Can't wait... only ten weeks.

Today wasn't too bad for a monday. In the morning we did some language work on Marra. It was fun. We did some videoing with 3 old people and my 2 baba - G and G. The old man who was there speaking Marra lives in Doomadgee in Queensland but is here visiting. I hadn't met him before today. It's funny... the longer I hang around, the more speakers there are that come out of the woodwork. Before I probably thought there were about 5 people who speak Marra... now I know about 10 and there's more out there. Imagine if you somehow got them all together... you'd actually have a speech community again. That'd be neat. Who wants to give us money to make it happen? :-)

This afternoon seemed to be spent driving around for various errands for various people. But we got stuff done too. Baba G started planning for this week's Marra lesson... 'body parts - lesson two'! hehe... These are the four keywords for this week: magur (eye) guwarda (ear) jirri (nose) and ngarndal (mouth). Good work Baba.

Speaking of praise, the teachers at the school here wrote us a letter congratulating us on running language classes so well last week. If only the education department gave us some damn money. But it's not all praise. There's a fairly influential guy running around town who is on a few important committees of big Aboriginal organisations. Before I had a chance to talk to him, I heard that his opinion is that local people should be doing my job. That in itself isn't bad, I agree with him... but his sense of urgentcy about it is bordering on a 'i don't have a right to be here, because i'm not a local/Aboriginal' kind of opinion. That doesn't make me feel nice... even if it is understandable. It's insulting to me. I don't appreciate anyone making a snap judgement about my work or about my right to be here. I don't actually know if this guy was really thinking this way, but it's the impression I got. Well, actions spoke for themselves because he came to visit language centre and the place was abuzz and it was plainly obvious that we were busy, all happily working together, and actually getting somewhere with our work.

Now I just wish I had an extra two hours a night so that I can eat, shower, stretch/exercise, play on the net and do some homework and be in bed before 11pm. I'd love an early nite.

3 comments:

Sarah 'Bulanjan' C said...

Hey Greg,

I've been wanting to email you but haven't got your email address at hand. Can you email me so I can email you back?

Ta,
Sarah

Anonymous said...

Hey Munanga linguist,

Great to read about your advertures, reading it was just like senior year except for funner.

Elle

Seriously, your blog is great. Maybe we might end up making a film out of it....

Anonymous said...

Hey Munanga linguist,

Great to read about your advertures, reading it was just like senior year except for funner.

Elle

Seriously, your blog is great. Maybe we might end up making a film out of it....