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.
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.
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!