Keen followers (all onbe of you) will be aware that I moved to Australia recently. And I’m incredibly glad we did.
Alice Springs is a podunk town. Maybe 28,000 total population. Two large grocery stores. One swimming pool…the CBS is about a 6 block square. Ther nearest decent sized town is at least a day and a half’s drive away, and 2 hours by plane. But that’s Darwin, and no-one goes to the Top End, so civilization is three hours by plane. Summers are a regular 40 degree minimum heat. The crime rate is really bad, and the poverty among our Aboriginal population is just horrendous.
I love it here. Properly love it. I think it might be the best place I’ve lived. When I go out the front door, I look into the sheer face of Mt Johns, about 100 yards away. It’s an incredible mix of green, when it rains, and hard orange. Everywhere around here is harsh. The minute you get outside the town, it’s desert and scrub outback. I take water even for a 40 minute walk because if you don’t bad things can happen; but God it’s beautiful. Miles and miles and miles of Outback. When I’m walking the dog on the return leg, I have Mt Johns and Ilparpa, the start of the McDonnells to my left and the dawn light starting to break on them. Cliched, but I stop every morning and just marvel at the harsh beauty.
The folks around here are small town friendly,. I was welcomed into the rugby community immediately, in a town that takes its sport really seriously. So many conversations here begin “Mate, “, and you get the sense that they mean it. If mateship ever makes it into the Constitution over here, the spiritual home will be here.
It could be that the Australian cultural landscape appeals to me. A blend of Australian, US and UK tv, and as much sport as you can shake a stick at.
The Aboriginal problem is a tough one; I’m lucky that I’m working for An Aboriginal Corporation that is all about improving the life and opportunities of its members. The poverty is unimaginable, and the cultural challenges defy description. But tyhere are good people trying to solve intractable problems.
So, I’m glad we’re in Alice. I like so much of it, but the countryside just fills my heart every time I g out the front door.
What do you love about where you live?