Before we left for Alice Springs, we had heard and were aware of the recent challenges the town was facing.
It seemed that the fears from the media exposure, lead many people to question our safety and voiced their concern.
What was confirmed to us, that hearing a bit about something does not tell it all. We recognised that it would be through embarking on our trip, that we would get a sense for ourselves.
The plane trip with the views and vistas over the terrain between SA and Alice Springs was worth the trip! Just amazing.
The day we arrived, we walked into the town centre (about a 2 Km walk and a great way to get our daily exercise!) to purchase some goods to service us for the week.
We passed many individuals and groups, from a range of cultures, most of whom engaged in the friendly greeting ‘Good morning’ or ‘hello’.
What was said…
As we immersed ourselves, we began to feel the essence of this unique town. We visited Anzac Hill (picture above) and the Telegraph (picture below).
We loved hearing the stories from locals who explained how they had originally arrived in Alice, intending to stay a short time, and found their love for the town, and decided to stay on.
They spoke about the unique experiences, the diversity, the work opportunities, the connections, the culture, the climate that had captured their hearts. They mentioned the cyclic nature of the challenges they experience in the town and shared how the indigenous groups form their own disciplinary approaches to settle the unrest. Hearing a range of views, reinforced the importance of being open to listen and feel the diversity that each lived experience brings.
We had the chance to run our poetry and expression session from Alice Springs. Amazingly the topic for the week was ‘kingdom’ and the poem below, was our way of sharing some feelings about what we felt and experienced.
The Red Centre
The spiritual reign
Between the ridges
In amongst the bushes
Radiating from the rocks
Through the cracks and fissures
The tiers of ochre
Deep breaths penetrating
Into the core
The essence of the kingdom
No need to control
No need for loudness
Say it all
Felt not preached
In awe, not fear
Have we been fooled
By the pomp and ceremony rules?
And we will never really know
Until we feel the inner glow
That is sparked within
As we take it in
A must go,
We noticed for ourselves, diverse cultures living and working side by side, people involved in many cultural and social gatherings and more people smiling and open for a chat. And chat we did, with so many people along the way.
We saw what we would term, a heart-based practice, with speed indicators around the city used to prevent speeding, and improve behaviours and community safety, rather than the speed camera approach, to punish and financially gain through fines.
We visited FoodBank to where many of our Knit a Care Square blankets are donated, and it was lovely to hear first hand of how much they are appreciated.
The Heart Based Living sessions we introduced on self-care and facing with issues and challenges sponsored by both the Alice Springs Public Library and the Alice Springs Town Council, was a free session to the community, that brought some rich and valuable exchanges and ideas. We used a practical approach that gave each person the opportunity to focus on something real happening in their own lives, to begin the journey towards improvement.Bringing people together, with open expression provided pathways to hear what people are experiencing and share how Heart-Based Living approaches can have a positive impact on their lives.
We hope to visit Alice again, and in the meantime look forward to preparing for our next travels; Melbourne/Victoria.