I’m tired. I find myself moving through each day here at Ngukurr with not much energy. Not really struggling, but just going through the motions, even though the motions are far from boring and repetitive.
If I wasn’t so tired and in need of a good break, I would be really enthusiastic about my day today. Today was a really good day and most days we are still doing lots of good stuff, but I’m tired and am finding it hard to be inspired.
But can I tell you about today?
The first good thing that happened was a visit from Ted Egan, who is the administrator of the NT. (He’s is the Queen’s representative here, same as a governor, but only states have governors.) He’s been visiting Ngukurr for a couple of days and yesterday happened to be at the school when we were doing language classes. He was very impressed with what he saw (good job Marra mob!). He met the Marra teachers and asked if he could sit down with FR, our deadliest Marra speaker.
So this morning Ted Egan came to Language Centre, chatted to me and the language mob, then I went and found FR because Ted wanted to interview her and record some of her story. Ted’s idea is that old Aboriginal people like FR should be getting a lot more recognition nationally for their skills, knowledge and for what they represent. So me, Ted and Freda sat down and Ted asked her to tell a little bit of her story, speaking only in Marra.
It was only a short session, but it was great listening to FR busting out her Marra. (Only bad thing was my mobile going off in the middle of it.) We took some photos and we’ll work on the story, which Ted is hoping to use as a tool for people like FR to gain greater recognition.
After that, some of the language mob and me went to the Batchelor Centre to do a bit of work on their Batchelor course. For their course, they need to learn some basic computer skills, which I’ve been reluctant to do because the language mob’s computer skills are nil to poor. But they were keen to learn. With 4 students and 4 computers, we gave it a go and it worked great. ET and AG have basically never used a computer before and there they were booting up, typing words and sentences in their languages and printing them off. RG and JJ were also doing it but they already know a bit about computers. For me it was a magic moment sitting back watching them quietly working away on the computers.
After that JJ listened to the recording from this morning with FR and Ted Egan. He was playing it (using the minidisk capably on his own, good man) while I was deep in conversation with someone else. Then my phone went off again (my John Legend ringtone), so I apologised and dug in my pocket for my phone. I looked at my phone but was very confused because nobody was calling me! Then I realised it was coming from this morning’s recording being played on the other side of the room and I felt rather stupid. Oh well, it’s nice when everyone gets to laugh at me.