Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tucson, Arizona

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.


Blogger bulanjdjan said...

They are so lucky to have you baba, and you're so lucky to be a part of their meeting. You'll speak with great insight and compassion and wisdom and humility and strength. Wish I was there to share it!

10:23 pm  

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