Quite a good day today, all in all. I’ve got accommodation. I’m in the warden’s house. It has a TV and sofas and beds and two desks and everything! I’d swap a TV for a window though (the windows are boarded up except for one which has opaque plastic on it – it’s perfect for watching the skinks that run across it – that’s better than the TV). It’s got a microwave with a bottle of fish sauce on it and kettle, even. Too flash. The bathroom’s chocka with frog shit, an occupational hazard unlikely to be found in too many jobs (but pretty common for fieldwork in north Australia). (The hot water is only about 5 degrees warmer than the cold, as I found out this morning, but that’s not a big problem in this climate.) I have also managed to continue my run of fieldwork places next to building sites, so maybe this does count as fieldwork even if there’s TV.
We did a frog story today, we listened to some of the old Nimanburru tapes, and a couple of the Laves stories. It’s going to work well, although I’d better get better at reading Bardi fluently. I can say the words I practised (ingoorrooloorrloorrinana noorroo…) but I’m not chunking right. Need to practise.
One of the upsides of a TV (despite it not being real fieldwork) is that I get to watch NITV (National Indigenous TV, which is new since I was last here). I don’t know much about it, but it seems to be better than Imparja, which in Arnhem Land at least is mostly major commercial channel rebroadcasting. Yesterday I watched a great (if surreal) program. It was a cross between reality TV and Crimestoppers and Border Security. It’s about a police exchange between Kununurra and a North-West Territories or Nunuvut police station. There’s an Aboriginal guy in Canada and a First Nations policewoman out here. It was fascinating. 6:30 or so on Sunday. I’ve just finished watching a doco on the stolen generation, concentrating on Moolla Bulla station and Beagle Bay.