A Morning in the Outback


A Day in the Outback  (133) (768x1024)Snags on the barbie…. snags on the barbie…. snags on the barbie… were the words on everyone’s lips all weekend long as Dave told the kids it was a clue to what was to come the following Monday morning. 


Dingo, Joey, G’day, Heaps, Ankle Biters, Sticky Beak, Oz, Dunny, Snags, Rippa….


Monday many more strange words were heard coming out of the basement classroom… 


Dave Williams, our residential expert on Australia (being a native Australian may give him a bit of an advantage) spent the morning sharing a different world with the kids of Joyce’s English class.  A Day in the Outback  (38) (768x1024)


The kids began by studying a map of the continent and examining pictures of plants and animals native to the land.  Dave gave an informative presentation, highlighting the aborigines and their culture, and sharing footage of slowpoke Koala’s and noisy laughing Kookaburras. The kids were enthralled!  Rilinxe sat with his mouth hanging opening taking it all in.  Moments later…


Dave propped open the back door and declared, “Lets head to the outback!!” 


That they did.  The group of 11 students, Joyce, and their guest teacher for the day, headed “out back” to the garden, where Dave had prepared a rustic fire in the background of which the flag, of red, white, and blue with its Union Jack and Commonwealth Stars, hung proudly. 


A Day in the Outback  (91) (768x1024)Dave explained the background of the boomerang and its use as hunting tool the the aborigine people, and then presented each of the kids with a rough boomerang cut out that they sanded and then finished in the “dot” fashion of the people’s native art.  They were thrilled.  Between coats of color they propped them up on the stones around the fire to help speed up the drying time, more than one getting singed in the process.  Montesquieu finished quickly and was puttering around the fire when he saw the bottom strut to an old rocker, shaped in the perfect curve, he declared it to be a boomerang and began sanding it down. 


Making boomerangs is hard work, and the kids had a powerful appetite in the end… fortunately for them Dave had a savory “down under” surprise for them, “snags on the barbie”.  Dave grilled sausages for them over the fire, slapping them in a bit of bread with “tomato sauce” and and wilted onions.  Hearty and full of flavor it left just a bit of room in their bellys’ for another Ozzie treat, “lamingtons”.  A tall spongy cake, with raspberry jam in the middle coated in chocolate all around, and sprinkled with coconut.  Delicious… and delicate!  The kids handled the preassembled layers and took on the task of chocolate coating and coconut, our crumbly recipe might need a little work, but it all tasted the same in the end. 

No one wanted the morning to end.  I am certain that the kids would have stayed in the outback all day and through the night should they have been permitted.  They took turns wearing Dave’s “cork hat” (though corkless for lack of the accessory), and waving their artist boomerangs though the air.  It was a morning full of laughs, and learning, and a lot of new lingo.    A Day in the Outback  (48) (1024x768)Too many new words to keep track of, as the kids left the outback and headed upstairs Montesquieu suddenly remembered, “Where are the snags on the barbie!?!”  To which Joyce replied, “We ate them.”  Not satisfied with her response he quizzically scanned the wasteland when his eyes stopped on to rocker rung, “THERE IT IS! The snags on the barbie.”  When he realized he had gotten the Ozzie slag mixed up he had a good chuckle at himself and slung that big ole boomerang on his shoulder to head up to the snow, with a belly full of snags, to go hunting for kookaburra, while watching not to step on the wombats, or come cross the path of a strong Flyer and its Joey.  There couldn’t be a funner way to learn!    


2 comments (Add your own)

1. Marie wrote:
Oh what fun! You couldn't have found a better way to learn about Australia. I love seeing the smiles on the kids' faces and even remember a few of them.

Wed, April 25, 2012 @ 3:42 PM

2. Katie wrote:
Best ever! Frantina LOVES her platypus & wombat puppets I brought her....i think they'll have to make an appearance in Joyces class before I go home, ha. This post made me so happy!

Thu, April 26, 2012 @ 4:19 PM

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