We’ve had a very big weekend, so now’s the time to catch up on what happened while we were at Uluru!
After our Welcome ceremony and hand printing on the welcome banner we set up the tents and orientated ourselves at Yulara.
Looking around the resort finding food and souvenirs was very exciting. That night after another tasty dinner we headed to base camp tent, a giant marquee, set up at Yulara. Where we were again welcomed with smiles, cheers, games and songs. We were joined by pilgrims from South Australia. Our friends from the Mutijulu community even came to welcome us and sang a song about fire at Yulara in language. It was very special to have elders from the community join us and such an honour to be in their country.
After much laughter and merriment we left with our hot chocolate and marshmallows, not to mention the crunchy, sweet Anzac biscuits. Bedtime and sleep!
We travelled out to Uluru from the camp site to see the rock today!
Our guide joined us on the bus and we walked the Mala Walk this was tremendously moving and informative. As Steve (our guide) talked the stories of the Anangu and some of their traditions. He reminded us that what he was telling was only the tip of the iceberg of the Tjurkupa (law, creation period). We were all interested in the stories and there were many questions asked to clarify our knowledge! This ended at the Kantju Gorge with a quiet contemplation time to think about the stories we had heard. To listen to the bush, using all our senses. To absorb a sense of place and identity. A beautiful time, it was like being in a cathedral.
Some time at the Cultural Centre watching dot paintings by the women and children of the community, reading information about the land and culture and signing the ‘I did not climb’ book filled the time before another tasty lunch.
The afternoon bought an opportunity to go with an Anangu lady and hunt some honey ants. Time spent walking in the bush, digging holes and watching a professional honey anter do her thing. A fire made before hand by the students roasted sweet potatoe and roo tail. Unfortunately this took too long and needed more cooking before eating. The rest of us stayed at camp to rest, wash and chill out.
Tonight saw the arrival of the pilgrims from Victoria and we were off to the tent for a welcome, games and songs. Lots of fun and noise!
The evening ended on hot chocolate and anzac biscuits, with the hum of conversation and new friendships struck. Sensational community!
A little sleep in today. Some of us went on the base walk or Mutitjulu Walk. Others did washing and swam in the resorts pool, quite a surprise to resort guests to see smelly student campers coming to share their pool. It was a refreshing morning.(The pool at the campsite was closed for maintenance.)
In the afternoon we participated in a community festival held at Yulara School. With circus activities, face painting, dot painting balloon sculpting and group games. A wonderful friendly time of fun and fellowship. Ending in a water ceremony that Calli- Rose, and her brothers David and Lykiam participated in. This was to wash away the past and usher in a new future. Wonderful times!
There was a prayer vigil held tonight and all students participated for the first session as it was optional for everyone. Some powerful things happened as people prayed for the first time and had an opportunity to respond to God in various ways.
This was a late night with an early rise in the morning.