Here I am back in Tucson. It is
hot- really hot- somewhere around 100- 110 Fahrenheit
, which I suppose is around 40 Celsius
. Flying into Tucson from Phoenix, looking at the
red desert stretched in every direction, and some places carefully carved into patchwork squares- you get a sense of Arizona. Big, red and filled with beautiful surprises and uncompromising landscape.
I am here for the American Indian Language Development Institute at the Uni of Arizona. I went along today to have a look and
meet some people. It is
my first time visiting a conference/institute as an invited speaker, and it reminds me I need to have confidence in myself and say what I came to say clearly. I am still not sure what I really came to say yet. I think I won't know until i am there standing in front of all the people and trying to think about what they already know and what I could say that would be interesting and informative.
I have put together some slides, with beautiful photos of people I love and work with in Ngukurr
, of big fish, deserts and floods, colourful maps of the languages of Australia, facts about Arnhem Land and Australian languages. But I know really I am here to talk about my own story really, of what I do, and what I am interested in - because I think when it comes to it- you can't honestly say much more than that.
I have hired a car, and I feel so adult (!) moving from one air-conditioned space to the next, navigating university halls, watching the university life unfolding around me. I drove around in circles a bit getting my bearings, the flat grid of Tucson, the adobe mud square
houses with cactus gardens, and endless sky, screeching crickets and dust. I like it here.