Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 288 – 302: Laramba Aboriginal Community

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Mar - 18 - 2012

One way to find a job in Alice Springs is to walk around to the different hostels and have a look at their job boards. A couple of days after I arrived in town I did just that, and saw an interesting posting about a job in an aboriginal community. After a quick call to John, the manager of a shop in the community, I had the job. The next day I met up with Valerie from Canada who would also be working in the shop, and we started the drive to Laramba.

John explained that the community was located 220 km North West of Alice Springs – and as such it was considered close to the city. There are other communities which are 1000 km away from the nearest town.

Normally tourists can’t just go and visit aboriginal communities, so to actually live and work there for a while would be a very unique opportunity. As we drove into the village I saw what first looked like normal Australian houses. I would later realize that the houses only looked normal from the outside. Inside they would be completely bare with cement floor and cement walls. A family would sleep on a few blankets in a corner, and all the cooking was done outside by a fire.

The shop where Valerie and I were going to work was owned by the aboriginal community but they had hired John (a white Australian) as a manager. The reason that he needed a few extra hands in the shop was a sport week in the community where people from the neighboring communities would come and take part. John described the aboriginals as very free spirited. While running a shop might not be one of their strongest points, they certainly took the football games serious. There were also a lot of painters and musicians in the community.

Most aboriginals receive support from the Australian government. By appearance, the people I met would rank among the poorest people I have met on the whole journey, but at the same time they were walking around with a rather large amount of cash in their pockets.

During the time Valery and I stayed in the community, we lived in John and his wife’s house – one of the few western style houses in the village. John had a few pets as well.

After a week full of very different and unique experiences we were soon heading back to Alice Springs again. Our time in the community had hardly felt as work. Yet, for the same amount of money I had earned in a week, I expect to be able to finance close to two months worth of cycling adventures. Australia is a good place to work at the moment.

Categories: Australia
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2 Responses so far.

  1. Marie says:

    Amazing experiences again! You’re truely lucky!

  2. Thomas says:

    Hey Marie! Yeah, in general I feel quite lucky 🙂 Do you still hang out in the Pacific or how is that?