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John and Lyn at Robinson River

Welcome to jak's Page. Here is where I will be keeping a record of my adventures in RR for all of you to read. Please feel free to leave a comment for me. If I have time in between discovering places and meeting new people I will reply to them!

Diary Entries

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Location: Australia

Well, we are bcak at Robinson River after a great weekend in Borroloola. It is the main weekend of the year with the show and rodeo. There was a public holiday last Friday for the show and then the rodeo kicked off on Saturday.
Lyn and I stayed in town at the guest house on Friday night and then came back late on Saturday night as Lyn was on call at the clinic on Sunday.
All of the Robinson River Community, bar 6 people, went to town for the weekend. We were amazed to see the gear that parents bought their kids for the rodeo. Leather riding boots, big cowboy hats, embroidered shirts and jeans. The kids looked great! We watched plenty of the Gymkhana on Saturday as well as the bull riding and saddle broncs.
We finished up at the school on Saturday night to listen to the Darwin Symphony Orchestra present a 2 hour concert. The MacArthur Mining Company flew the orchestra in from Darwin in the morning and then back again after the concert. It was a bit of a coup for the local organisers as this is the first time DSO has performed in Borroloola. There were about 200 in the audience and 75 on stage. There were also fireworks timed into the performance. All in all a great evening in the old town. We had 0 kids at school yesterday and just as well as all of the teachers have gone down with a nasty virus.

Only 5 weeks until our time in RR is up. It has gone very quickly, but Lyn will be glad to get home to family, which she is missing a lot at the moment.
Cheers JAK

Monday, 06 August 2007

Location: Australia

Hi Everyone and especially all at Donvale.
It is a public holiday today, the equivalent of Labor day but it is called picnic day here. John has been out fishing on the RR this morning, with no results, in a little tinny with Bob the other teacher. Helen, the school Principle, myself and John, a relief nurse at the clinic all went across the river and went bush walking in the escarpment while the other 2 fished. Unfortunatly we didn't get far as there was a small wild fire and the wind was quite strong so we turned back pretty smartly. The fires are a bit more dangerous now because the bush is now very dry and there is no humidity. We had a nice sit in the shade by the side of the river waiting to be picked up by the fishermen. John and I think we will go for another fish on the river after work this week. Its lovely and the motor is electric so its very peaceful. On the weekend of the 17th August is the Borroloola show and rodeo. I have requested not to be on call that weekend and we have booked a night's accommodation at the Guest House at Borroloola. A few of the young local men will be competing and the children will enter some of the competitions in the show side of things- painting, cake making and craft. I have decided to enter the jam competition and will make some marmalade. Wish me luck, I have no idea how stiff the competition will be. I'll use my mothers recipe and its pretty good. Work continues to be busy and rewarding for both of us and our time here seems to be passing quickly now. I'll get John to put some more photo's on the site and I hope lots of you saw the 7.30 Report. It makes me sad to think of the effect that losing the CDEP payment will have on this community. Well thats all for now. Looking forward to seeing you when we get home Lyn.

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Location: Australia

Well, we had a fabulous time in the Kimberley Region of WA during the recently completed winter holiday. The NT schools have a 4 week break in June/July, so we felt honour bound to use all of it to see some of the beautiful Kimberley region. It has only shown us how much we don't know about our own country. Who knew about the beauty of the Victoria River area and the Gregory National Park? Not us!!!
We went to travelled about 6500 km in the 4 weeks. It's a long haul between places up here. The highlight for me would have to be the Bungle Bungles (Purnululu National Park). The most amazing range I have ever walked around. We also flew over them in a helicopter which gave us a better understanding of the size of this wonder. Amazing that very little was known about it before the 80s.
Fiona joined us in Darwin for the last week of the break and then visited RR for a week. I think she really enjoyed her time in the community and got on very well with the kids at the school. She is touring in kakadu as I write this entry.
School has started again and our time here seems to slipping by very quickly. We had the 7.30 reporters here yesterday filming in and around the community. They had one look at my head and said that I wouldn't be required!! It should go to air on Wednesday or Thursday so keep a look out. Cheers for now.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Location: Australia

Hi everyone,
Coming up to the final week of term 2 up here. We have an open day on Tuesday and then I am taking a group of students into Borroloola for an athletics day with 2 other local schools. Should be good. Did a longer walk along one of the ridges overlooking the community on Saturday morning. Some really spectacular country and views from on top. Would love to know the geological history of the place, as there is a lot of conglomerate rock about.
Haven't seen any paintings on our walks so far, but you never know.
It has been very quiet in the community this weekend as there was a big funeral in town. The borrowing system for library books is going well with 26 of the kids having borrowed books so far. I hope to get them onto the computer borrowing next term.

It has been a balmy 27 to 30 degrees up here this week. Wish we were experiencing your 11 degree days!! NOT!

Have a good week.

Cheers John

Monday, 11 June 2007

Location: Australia

Hi everyone.
My last attempt at a new message failed, the computer is slow and tricky here, so here goes. We are very much settled into a routine now in RR. It takes 2 minutes to get to work, if that. The morning routine is so easy and relaxed. We try and go for a good walk each afternoon for about an hour with Adrian and Maree and go to the river or the cattle yards or around the goat paddock.The country is really beautiful. We have seen dingoes regularly, no snakes thank goodness. Yesterday I went for a bush walk into the escarpments around RR. We climbed up to the top and got a true sense of the land around the community and where the river flows. The Top End is so vast with so little in it. I felt very insignificant. John took some more photos around the community to give you a better idea of what it looks like. The health clinic is a house that has been converted to use as the clinic. The inside of it is exactly the same as our home which is a little disconcerting at times. I work with one other nurse, Liz, one aboriginal health worker, Bruce, and Karen who is a trainee health worker. We had school health checks last Tuesday, 49 children had thereeyes, ears , skin, teeth hearing and sight checked and were also immunized and dewormed. It was a busy day. Overall the health of the children was quite good with only a small number of them to follow up. Some hearing tests, dental reviews and checks for anaemia. This is a problem with the younger ones and is caused by worms, hence the need for blanket dosing for all. Our vegetable garden is growing now and we have lots of beans up. The pumpkins, cucunbers, zuccini and tomatoes are also doing well. We have some rock melon coming on as well but not as many as hoped. Our battle now is to keep the goats out of our yard and the cane toads under control. They dig quite large holes around the veges where we water and dig up the seedlings. The goats jump the fences and we will probably have to add a row of barbed wire to the top of ours to keep the out. There is also a massive pig in the community that can also be a problem at times especially with the rubbish bins. The little problems of life are so different here. Im pretty good at herding goats now. Well I hope you like the new photos and I will write again soon. Love Lyn

Monday, 04 June 2007

Location: Australia

Hi everyone,
Well we have been up here for 4 weeks today and it seems like 4 months with the number of things happening and the amount we are learning. Lyn and I had our first real weekend off this weekend and went into the big smoke "Boroloola" to do some shopping and more importantly fishing!! Caught my first bara and was I happy. Couldn't get my head into the car for a couple of hours!! Weather is cooling off in the mornings andevening at the moment, but it still gets up to about 32 or 33 during the day. Had a cool Sunday. Only 29! Hope you are coping with the cold and wet in Melbourne. I thin I am getting somewhere with the older kids. They are reading a little better and seem to be enjoying their time with me out of the class. That's all for now. We are heading across to check on the vegies and to plant some of the seedlings put into ontainers a couple of weeks agao.

Cheers John

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Location: Australia

Hi everyone. This is my first entry on our web page. We have settled in slowly with our first 2 weeks being very busy. I went to Darwin for 3 days when the Carey group were in RR. It was a Remote nursing emergency course and I learnt some very different and amazing emergency procedures. How to manage multiple trauma victims and insert an airway into the throat or an IV line through a babies shin bone. I hope I never have to do any of these things. I met some wonderful nurses working in remote areas who should all be given medals for the things they do to improve Aboriginal health. I'm now working full time at the clinic here and every day is an adventure. You just dont know what will come through the door. I treated a 5 month old baby with scabies on Friday and penecillin injections are the bread and butter stuff of a days work, very different to Rehab in a private hospital. I will take some photo's of the clinic and the people I work with, one other nurse and 2 aboriginal health workers. John and I are enjoying our time so far and feel welcome in the community. Our home is very comfortable. We do hear dingoes howling at night and saw one yesterday on our way to do a little fishing. John didn't catch anything but Adrian caught 2 Bream and gave them to us for tea tonight. No Barra yet. Well thats it for now. Love Lyn

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Location: Robinson River, Australia

Hello everyone,
Having just set up this page with Adrian, the boss up here in the school, I though i would give it a try.
What a day at school. A lot of humbug, as the locals call ordinary behaviour, from kids of all ages. Not the norm up here. Had one really good lesson with Claudia and Kathy after lunch, but the others were less than memorable!!!

It is a fantastic spot up here and Lyn and I have been welcomed warmly by the school and the community. Names are a bit of an issue for me at the moment. have most of the school kids down pat, but the adults are taking a little longer to learn.

Going fishing this weekend. SOme good barra and bream being caught at the moment. Turtle has been on the menu for the locals as well.

Will try to put some pictures on now.

Cheers JAK

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Recent Messages

From Daughter Jessica
Hello Parents! Please update pictures and stories!!! Want to see some great shots from your adventures!! Love Jess
Response: Done
From David Hodge
Hi Lynne & John,
great to see your page. I hope all is well at RR, Dad gace me the address so it great to see what you are up to. No good about Sheedy but Neale will fill the spot ok - we have taught him well.
go the dees,
Hodgey & Lyne.
Response: Not sure if I want your discard Dave! Don't mind about Sheeds. He's had a good run and done a lot of good for the club. Just updated the site so have another look. Ran into a bloke who know you at katherine. Not a bad fella. Big bloke who runs the Tyre shop in Numurkah. Forgotten his name but we had a bit of a chat.
Cheers John
From Bec and Adam
Hi John and Lyn,
We loved reading your diary entries and looking at your photos. Brings back great memories!
The RR community looks wonderful, very clean and gorgeous scenery.
It sounds like you guys are making a great contribution to RR. Sounds like Lyn will be able to function as GP soon!
The kids look realy healthy too. What a great house!!
We look forward to reading more. Have a great holiday, enjoy seeing the Kimberlies, hope you survive Fitzroy Crossing! We had a great time in Kunnanurra - we did the flight over the bunglesbungles from there, if you get a chance we highly recommed it.
I'm going to the Garma festival as a volunteer, in AUgust, will your community go? If you get a chance to attend it's a pretty unique experience. It's held out of Gove.
signing off
Adam and Bec
Response: Thanks Bec and Adam. Just updated it so get in again if you like. Just had the 7.30 report here yesterday so have a look tomorrow night; Wednesday or Thursday this week.
Cheers John
From Lisa Woolf
Hi John & Lyn,

WOW - looks like an amazing experience - you guys do know how to end up in the most interesting and exciting places.....

I look forward to reading more updates!

Keep enjoying!


Response: Hi Lisa,
Heard from Jess and Rimo of your plans ini Africa. Hope it goes really well and you keep safe.
Cheers John