Friday, 10 October 2014

Murray Darling Basin Tour 4 - "A sense that we have come and listened and seen.."

Up early, coffee, porridge, get bus ready as most of us were heading out to Mungo National Park.
Our guide, Graham Clark, jumps on the bus. Stewart, his friend, follows the tar and then turns onto a smooth open highway that someone covered in much sand dirt rocks and grooves. Just like the roads at home - only in a bus! Hmm…..

Look to the sand.
 As we drive out we get a commentary on the dirt. I slowed down to hear and so Graham could point out things of importance – like dry lakes and ants nests. As we entered open country we stopped for a break. Morning tea was worth waiting for.

Stewart and Graham packed up. They were very organised, telling stories of work as they worked –about his mate’s full time job as photographer for magazines.  There were lots of questions about how and what. I rescued him so he could do his own thing, plus more... and so people would stay together. What was said was met in mixed ways but for me this was a great time to walk on the grounds early man had lived on, tended and died on.

Fossilised trees
Trees frozen in time, shells and bits of carbon. The clouds gave me great photos and on top of the hill we had 360 degree view. 
 To then hear the pictures of Graham’s culture drawn in the sand was very interesting. We had lunch back at the information centre - again made up of kangaroo plus bush tucker and ham. 
All good.

But I will let the photos talk ....

Keeping the story line.
Mungo National Park
Then …..home to the boats. A quick clean up, then our last Forum. Again great church food and hospitality! By now our group had split and mixed with the locals. The local ministry team spoke and so did Myung Hwa of what had moved  and touched her on trip. This was a good night as we again heard voices of different people with different views. Back to the boat for a big day tomorrow.

Coming back - on the river it style.
Morning - Up at 6 am, ready to be off the boat by 7am. 
Everyone else gets to travel across to the Dockside Marina.  I grab a healthy breakfast - soy coffee and bacon &egg roll and hash brown (no, really –eggs are healthy!) then drive round to the dock, load on trailer, placed the bus in a spot where I could not get parked in, then off. 

We pulled up at Lake Bora for a roadside service. Myra preached. I did communion. Pity the service I loaded and prepared was on a dead tablet so I had to follow God’s will in front of the Moderator Elect! ( I may be sent back to Bron for retraining!)

 We then all said our good byes as Geoff, our friend from Vic, had chosen to catch a train from Kerang. At our lunch spot on Father’s Day lots of messages were coming in to those on tour. I thank the group for the kindness shown and coffee given.

Mungo Shearing Shed
The long ride back was not as easy as the going but yet a sense that we have come and listened, seen innovation, new technologies, communities and Individuals, efforts to bring about change along with cultural customs aimed at bringing new visions. The ancient tribal boundary trees are on the other side of rivers, as no one tribe ever owned the water in the river. 

Yet we fight over ownership of the river’s water.

Phill Matthews

PS Let's look at that amazing sand picture again!


(I just love this photo!
Hands up-
Who else likes it too?

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