One Month

1 August 2016

Hi from Alice Springs! We’ve now been here for a month! As always, time is a funny thing. It feels like we’ve been here ages, and also like we’ve just arrived.

So far we’ve gone camping, and have ventured out for various local hikes. We’ve even seen a kangaroo!

Kangaroo at Telegraph Station

I’ve been spending a lot of time learning about this little town, about the people and about their history.  There are two different historic timelines for this place. The first is about the Arrernte people, living in a place called Mparntwe. They have lived in Central Australia for thousands of years. They are believed to be from one of the oldest races in the world. They explain their beginnings through a series of stories known as dreamtimes or dreamstories. In these dreamtimes, the Arrernte people explain their beginnings, how certain geological formations came to be, and why the world is ordered the way it is.

Very close to here are places called Emily Gap and Jessie Gap. Those are the white Australian names for the sites. They are know to the Eastern Arrernte people as Anthwerrke and Atherrke. Anthwerrke holds special importance because it is part of the Caterpillar Dreamstory. The Yeperenye, the Ntyarlke and the Utnerrengatye are descendants from the caterpillars who helped make this area. They are called the Three Caterpillars. In the artwork depictions (thousands of years old), which has been preserved at Emily Gap, they are telling the story of the Three Caterpillars.
Emily Gap

Native Art at Emily Gap

These caterpillars became the mountains ranges. As the ranges are the caterpillar bodies, the gaps in the ranges are the results of the stink bugs (Irlperenye), attacking the caterpillars and tearing off their heads. If you’re interested, this is a great place to hear more about the Caterpillar Dreamstory.

The second timeline has to do with the white settlers, and their exploration of the land, their attempt to find passage from the south to the north, to find precious resources, and to settle the land.

There’s a lot more for us to learn about and explore – we’re excited to spend the next 3 years doing so!