Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Still Day 4

Garry was very keen for the kids to give something back to the community as thanks for their hospitality and kindness, so after our gorge visit we planted trees around the little mud brick church and also repainted one of the murals around the town.

And then it was time to get the fire ready for the evening activity. Kelvin Johnson, one of the community leaders had been out the previous day and shot a kangaroo for a feast on the Thursday night. He had also [prepared a large fire which had been burning for about 12 hours and on which we were to cook the kangaroo. Most of the kids were OK about the roo, although some of the girls didn't hang around to see it being prepared and cooked.

Kelvin gutted and cleaned to roo, then removed and skun the legs. The main body of the roo was then thrown on the coals to burn off the fur. If left unsinged it gives the meat an unpleasant taste.

After the singeing, the roo was taken off the coals and the tail was removed. This was cooked separately and is considered to be the best part of the roo. Kelvin the dug a trench in the coals and the roo was placed in the trench and covered with rocks and coals. It was then left for about 4 hours.

Meanwhile the kids and I gbegged for one of the legs and we hastened to the kitchen to ransack the larder for ingredients to add to the leg, which we then wrapped in foil and added to the coals.

Garry and some of the local ladies helped make large dampers to cook in the coals and the kids were shown how to coil strips of damper around sticks to cook over the coals. Once cooked the sticks were removed and the holes filled with butter, honey or jam. Delicious!!!

As it grew dark, the excitement grew. The women who had been helping earlier decided that we might as well have a real party and they disappeared and came back with sausages, chops and salads, while we raided our food supplies for anything that we could add to the feast. We set up a screen on the back of a truck and projected all our photos onto the large screen. The roo was removed from the fire and prepared for eating, our leg was uncovered - perfectly cooked and everyone tucked in to a great meal.

We sat around the camp fire and listened to a muso from the community sing a selection of Buck McKenzie songs about Nepabunna. He taught the kids a fun song about their tummies (we heard this song a number of times in the next 24 hours!!)and all the locals joined in the fun.

It was a great night, warm friendly company and lots of fun. We tumbled into bed, tired but happy, not really looking forward to leaving the next morning. We had a wonderful week, we had experienced and learnt so much and none of us wanted to leave this magical place and return to the mundane life of school. Thank you so much to the people of Nepabunna. We will never forget what you taught us.


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