Monday, September 20, 2010

Gypsy soul tour diary - Alice Springs continued

18th September 2010

We went to the music shop here to buy a guitar tuner for myself and got talking to the owner Darren who turned out to be a mine of information about the music scene in Alice Springs. I think the next time I book a tour I might ring some of the local music shops and speak to the owners first, because they might know the scene a lot better than anyone else in town.

Today we’re heading to Stew’s step brother’s place about 20 k’s out of Alice. Scott has worked for various Government Aboriginal departments over the past 18 years and his partner Raelene (who is Aboriginal) runs a business teaching cultural practices to people who want to work with aboriginal communities. So it will be nice to talk to them about that stuff and Stew hasn’t seen Scott for over 15 years. The last time he heard of them they were living in the bush.

Scott (stews step brother), Raelene, Shae and Jake

They’re still living in the bush, just outside Alice on a property that’s over 3000 hectares. Part of the land has been handed down to Raelene by her grandfather. Scott has built a house decked out with all they need and made it into a very beautiful home. Lot’s of space and lots of animals including 'Alvin' a naughty little cat who taunts Freddy, 'Tito' who is a bigger cat and looks after Alvin and 'Bj' who is a great bit rotweiler who has this face that looks like he's going to cry any minute, very gentle. Freddy's integrating very well.

Alvin in the back and Tito in front

Alvin teasing Freddy

Bj - Gentle giant : )
When we got there we spent hours talking about what they do with the communities they work with. Raelene even asked if Stew could write a jingle for a protest they’re doing about a Nuclear Waste dump the government wants to put in about 2 k’s from where their land is. Her sister also gave us a poem that her sister wrote about the land - which has even been given to Kevin Rudd and others in Canberra.

Here's a first verse of the poem by Kathleen Martin (Raelene's Sister)

'What the Land Means to Me'

When I look at this land,
let me tell you what I see
I see this great big land,
that means so much to me
This great land we have used for thousands of years
just to survive
Now we stand here before you,willing to fight to keep her alive

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