Sort of. I guess. What did we come here to do? Because it’s been a HUGE weekend and our minds are a little fuzzy.
Oh yeah. This:
The first morning at Uluru is spent actually getting down to the business of visiting the Rock. It’s a bit hard to describe the feeling of seeing it for the first time. It doesn’t even come through in the photos. The size, the colour and the presence just don’t translate, and even after years it still gets to you.
In our bus groups we go through a tour called the Mala Walk. It’s not just about the geological properties or history of the rock, but it tells a story that has meaning for the local Aboriginal people.
The story helps us understand a few things. Like how the Anangu survived on what was available here, how they related to each other and to other Indigenous Nations, and how they taught their children. For us it opens our eyes to the fact that our own culture is not the only way of looking at the world. That we understand each other better when we realise that our interpretation isn’t the only correct one.
The biggest impact comes at the end of the walk when we visit Kunju Gorge. Pilgrims have a chance to sit in silence and use their journals to record how the rock makes them feel.
That sounds very hippyish, but you’d understand if you were there. There’s a certain amount of waking up that happens on this trip, and at some point you just have to sit still and figure it out.
If we’re lucky we get to hear some of these reflections at our evening sessions in the Big Top or the concert. This year there were poems and prose and it was pretty amazing.
It’s hard to write about the Mala Walk because you really do have to be there. But it’s an experience that sticks around for a lifetime.