The reason I was so quick before was that I had to go practice-driving in the Troopie and then to dinner with the Deputy Principal, his wife and another new teacher.
Here I am, in Central Australia. We're heading towards the end of week three now, and in fact, I have been here slightly over three weeks. The first week was... interesting. There are a lot of dogs wandering around in this community. You may not know this, but I'm kind of scared of dogs - big dogs at least, and this lot never shuts up. The first day, a Saturday, had me crawled into a foetal position on my bed (furniture is already supplied), none of my stuff here yet, just me in a brand new house with bars on the windows and, when I arrived, double padlocks on the doors.
The first thought was, of course, 'why did I decide to do this again?' And at that time, there was no answer. The answer was, "oh fuck, oh fuckity fuck, fuckity fuck of fuckington'. But the next day, my removals van arrived and I spent a happy day unpacking. And then watching DVDs on my computer. Never underestimate my ability to distract myself with a screen and some media. The guy doing my removals was lovely. I dubbed him 'happy chappy', not knowing his name until the very end (it was Brenton.) He said the Lands would open my eyes, and he wasn't wrong. This is an amazing place - beautiful and ugly all at once. Red dust and granite rocks, and burnt out rust-buckets at the side of the road - at least sixty on a forty-five minute drive between communities.
When school started, everything evened out and I became considerably happier with my choice. It's hard work, especially teaching in what is essentially an English as a Foreign Language setting, and I've been close to pulling my hair out a fair few times, but having a routine, having a purpose, detracts from the culture shock a lot. And no, I'm nowhere near settled in, I hardly know anyone but the teachers in the community, but I'm not doing too badly.
I had telephone connection from the first Tuesday here, so I spent a lot of time on the phone to my family. I found out today that I actually had the internet connected from Feb 6 - but had been waiting for the letter with my password, not realising they had also emailed it (why that was --- remarkably dumb), so I got Nick to tell it to me.
I have broadband access, so I won't be nearly as uncontactable as I had thought. It cuts out from time to time, and I can't run my computer 24/7 like I used to due to heat and dust, but I am here. I'll admit, it's damn good to be back. I missed everyone a lot. Many days I'd drift off for a few moments, wondering how things were going. And, of course, it's like putting your hand into a bucket of water - when you're in there, you take up space, and when you're not, the water's just the same as it always was. But it's great to be in that bucket. I feel like myself again - in a good way.