April 27, 2005

weekend in katherine

Yeah, well, like I said, I left Hodgson Downs to go to Katherine. I watched the Hodgson Downs mob lose their football game, poor things. And after that, I had no plans except to chill out and take it easy – eat, sleep, watch DVDs, whatever I felt like. R and J were away and kindly offered me their place to crash at. Thanks guys.

It actually turned into a lovely weekend. I met up with my banji (brother-in-law) from Hodgson Downs and ended up hanging out with him all weekend. He’s a lovely guy and one of my few good friends out this way. What’s really nice about hanging out with him is that he doesn’t drink or go to the pub, so I ended up having a healthy weekend and went to bed early and got plenty of much needed sleep.

I’m still pretty amazed that my banji doesn’t drink or smoke or even drink softdrink. It’s almost unheard of, as far as I know, to find young guys from communities who are like that. Anyway, we just hung out all weekend, watched DVDs, went to the movies (Million Dollar Baby… very good) and went to Edith Falls for a walk and a swim.

It was kinda cool going to Edith Falls with my banji. Edith Falls is in a national park that is managed by Aboriginal people, but it's a big tourist destination. So my poor banji was the only blackfella walking the tourist trail and swimming at the waterfalls. He wanted to do a little bit a climbing but was worried that he might get into trouble by someone. I laughed and said that everyone there probably thinks your a traditional owner and that you're the one that will rouse on them if they do something wrong. None of the munanga there would have known that my banji is from a different country. (By country, I mean different traditional land... e.g. my banji lives on Alawa country, but Edith Falls in on Jawoyn country).

There was a band from Ngukurr playing in Katherine on Saturday nite at the pub. If my banji wasn’t around I probably would’ve gone, but I’m glad I didn’t. The humbug would’ve been out of control and I would have ended drinking and not resting.

Well, Monday rolled around and I headed off in the morning. I was very sulky. Like I said before, being in town is so easy and there’s so much less stress and pressure. The first half hour I was on the road back to Ngukurr I was pretty filthy because I just didn’t want to go back. I gave my banji, his dad (I call him lambarra) and another lambarra a lift back to Hodgson Downs and then back to Ngukurr for another leap into the world of the community-based linguist!

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