Ken and Sheena - Living the Dream! travel blog

Had a slow start to the day – nice not to have to rush. Ken needed a new jacket as I did not like the paint-spattered work one he is wandering around in so we had a look around town until we found one we liked.

Then went to the Royal Flying Doctor Service where we were shown a short movie and then given a talk on the history of the RFDS and how it currently works. Part of the tour included sitting outside the glass fronted control room and as we were there they received a call from someone who needed help. Apparently they receive anywhere between 1 and 15 per calls per day (they have 9 planes!) – that is a lot of people who utilize this very necessary service. And the cost of using the RFDS is all covered by Medicare – how good is that. We were very impressed with the whole set up and after doing all our traveling and seeing how isolated some people are, you can definitely get a much greater understanding of why they value this service so much.

Our next stop was the School of the Air and again we were very impressed. First we were shown a short movie and then again we sat in a room outside the glass-fronted office where a teacher was on air to students spread right across the outback. There were cameras set up in the room so she could write on a white board on the desk and the kids could see what she was doing on their computers. She can also use this for showing them experiments or anything else she wanted to demonstrate to the kids. There was also space in the room with another camera covering it so that the phys ed teacher could demonstrate phys ed skills – amazing! Apparently all the kids are set up (at the Education Departments expense) with computers, web cam, Internet access, printer, fax in their own school room at the station, roadhouse or wherever it is they live. And they spend a normal 6 hour day doing school work – some of that on line with their teacher and the rest doing work assigned to them and being supervised by their mother, father or tutor. Once they get to Year 9 they then have to go to boarding school to finish their education.

Today was a great day to gain a picture of a whole different life for people who live out in the middle of Australia.

Went back into town to do some grocery shopping and to purchase some more wine. Very different rules in the Northern Territory. Firstly you cannot buy alcohol without showing your photo ID - they then record this into a database to keep track of how much you buy. There is a limit of 1 bottle of wine and 6 bottles/cans beer per person per day. If you want to buy cask wine you cannot purchase anything bigger than 2 litre and you can not buy these until after 6.00pm! Obviously these rules are in place to try to control alcohol abuse especially among the indigenous people. I did ask the question though about what do people do if they are having a party or a wedding or such like. The lady in the shop said the guests would have each buy their own and bring it with them – interesting!!

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