Tag Archives: Australia

Mala Walk

17 Apr

We did the Mala walk with a park ranger, I think her name was Mel. I love these outdoorsy types, they always seem so grounded.

Mala means “wallaby” and the ranger explained some chi chi (children) creation stories to us because outsiders don’t get the full story. All these stories have to do with Uluru and the local beliefs about how the world came to be.

On the walk we stopped at a waterhole and heard stories about how people used to hunt animals here. A bunch of animals would be walking in a line to the waterhole, and the hunters would catch the last one, because if they hunted the first one, animals would stop coming here. For some reason if the guy in the back just suddenly disappears, animals don’t care??
We went to what historians assume was the kitchen, because there are flattened areas that appear to be where the women would grind grains.Uluru was actually underwater and tipped at some point, and you can actually see the water erosion that resemble the shape of waves crashing on the rock.

We learned that at Uluru, there are some areas that are considered men’s areas and others that are considered women’s areas. The aboriginal people in this area are called the Anangu (“AH-NAH-NOO”) people, and they don’t even believe a woman should look in a man’s area and visa versa. We were asked not to photograph those areas as there’s some concern an Anangu man or woman may mistakenly see the photo of a restricted area one day.

We walked on and I saw some pink flowers I thought were so pretty…

Then I found out it’s called buffel grass and it was introduced to this area years ago by scientists to fight erosion. Now, buffel grass is killing off the grass indigenous to this area, thus starving the animals that eat it, namely the almost extinct mala wallaby. So buffel grass is what we’ll be weeding.

Later on we went to the cultural center and saw some really well-produced videos about the area. It made me feel like we need to do a really good show about this year, then again these people have a proper crew, I wish I had one but we’ll work with what we have for now!

On another note, this place is dead expensive! I got an ice cream bar for $4.50. We went to the supermarket (the only one around as we’re in the middle of nowhere) and it is also REALLY expensive. None of us decided to do any activities available here, they cost an arm and a leg!

Tip: If you are a person traveling on a budget and come to Uluru, make sure to stock up on food (granola bars, cereal, instant noodles). The restaurant and supermarkets here are dead expensive.

The boys waited outside, I guess they were tired?

We went back to base and had a taco dinner prepared by the boys. They seemed really proud of themselves. They should have been, the food was really good, though of course they turned it into a very macho “whose food is best” thing. One said he couldn’t believe his mom does this every day. I made sure to capture that on tape so she can use it as ammo next time he won’t take out the trash.

Later, we went to see a sunset (they never get old)

Then went back to the waterhole at night. I kept stopping to take pictures, so I ended up being the last one in the group. We walked through a dark area covered by trees and I got very as I had the strange sense of being followed/stalked, wouldn’t you after hearing a story about the last animal always getting hunted? We left without getting any spears in the back, but of course I ended up having weird dreams that night.

Note: people who still need a night-light probably shouldn’t do walks like this. 

Looked at the list for YBY, and for some reason Africa is TBA.  If we have the locations and desired projects JUST LIKE EVERYWHERE ELSE, why is that part of the project TBA? That bothers me.  looks like Africa is not happening and they are just waiting before they say it.

On another note I’ve already heard one of the volunteers say nasty things about asian girls and aborigines.  I’ve corrected her each time, but I can’t change how she thinks, who knows what she’s saying about me behind my back.