Deep Desert Christmas

xmas-tree

For me, Christmas is irrevocably linked to summertime, swimming, salads, smoked ham, chicken and turkey (all served cold), prawns and other seafood, and too much brandy trifle. My blogging friend, Svasti, has written a blog post that captures joyous summertime essence of what Christmas means in Australia. Please read it here.

Living in Central Australia means that we have what many would consider a very unusual Christmas. We don’t often spend it with families – our families live 1500 km and 3500 km away from us. Usually, we spend it with colleagues and friends…

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PhD Pages Added

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I’m currently working on the (promised elsewhere) Desert Christmas post (just need the photos from Mr AnthroYogini’s computer). However, it’s high time I put some solid anthropology up on this site.

I’ve added PhD Pages to the top of the main page. If you’re interested in joint management, co-management, the process of writing a PhD or you’re just curious, please take a look. I’ll try not to make it too boring, although as anyone who’s done a PhD can attest, it’s incredibly boring to most other folks.

And for those of you who are taking PhD writing way too seriously, just remember the words of my supervisor:

After the examiners have finished with it, a PhD thesis is read on average by two other people.

Notes on the NT Intervention Part II

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I wish I could say a few more positive things about the NT Intervention. But I can’t. All the Intervention seems to be doing is employing a hell of a lot of Canberra public servants with absolutely no idea about Aboriginal communities in Central Australia. Unlike other critics (to whom I shall not link) I don’t think the Intervention is ‘biowar’, ‘genocide’, comparable to the occupation of Iraq, or even a land grab. Rather, I think it’s an ill-thought out, but well-meaning, hodge-podge of random ideas put together by senior public servants with no bloody idea!

Here, for the record are a few things that seem to be working which have emerged from the Intervention:

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Book Review – The 4 Hour Work Week

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The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss, is a book with a pretentious -if not slightly unbelievable- title.

When I first became aware of the book about a year ago, I thought: oh yeah, another self-help book with the promise of becoming a self-made millionaire in the same time it takes for you to go through the Drive-Thru at MacDonald’s. Pass. I didn’t bother ordering it from Amazon.

Recently, I saw that my local Dymocks (Australian chain of bookstores) had got it in. I picked it up, leafed through, and promptly bought it for my daughter. She decided it was too much hard work before her trip to South Africa and then to uni, so she left it for me. Last week, I finished reading it and I’ve decided to write a more detailed review than I normally would. So here is what I found both useful and useless from the The 4-Hour Workweek.

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The Weather Makers

The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery is a scary, sobering book.

 

For those of us who understand ascribe to the Yamas, such a book should immediately resonate. For those of us interested in human culture and its effects upon other species, this book is also of interest. The book is about human effects on climate and the biosphere. Of course, this book aims to highlight the effects of global warming and call for change, but there are other human-derived changes discussed in it as well, such as acid rain.

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Emergence

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I walked into the gym Wednesday afternoon to do (not teach) Body Attack. For almost two years, every Monday and Wednesday afternoon I have taught Body Attack with my daughter, Rhiannon.

I stood in the change room, and it hit me: Rhiannon is gone. I cried. I sent her a text message. I felt lost without her.

A couple of hours later, she called me. She’s in South Africa for a couple of months (her boyfriend’s family are from South Africa). She asked me how the class (Attack) was and said she missed it already. She also told me she’s sick. I want her to come home. We talked for about 10 minutes, and then she was gone.

I know she can’t come home – there’s university starting in March, in Perth, which is about 3000km from Alice Springs. Probably, she won’t ever come back to live in Alice Springs.

Which leads me to other plans…

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Exhaustion

flatI am so tired, I could sleep for a week and still need more.

The last three days of the intensive were good. Better than the rest. There was an awesome kirtan on Sunday night. One of the participants made MP3 recordings of all of the lectures (including the kirtan) assembled the files and made copies for us all. (Om Namo, Tashi Dawa, you gorgeous Arnhem Land yogini).

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