An Odyssey Down Under: Australia and New Zealand Day 24

Saturday, February 29

This morning we left for the Melbourne Airport for our flight to Alice Springs via Adelaide! Alice Springs is located in the center of Australia. Alice Springs is considered to be the gateway to the Red Centre. The Red Centre is considered the interior desert region. As we flew from Adelaide to Alice Springs we noticed a big shift in the land composition.

After arriving at our hotel and checking in and having some lunch we departed for the School of the Air. It was a fascinating to see how the children are educated in the Outback. The School of the Air was founded in 1951 as a radio network for two-way teaching and learning broadcasts. Today the learning is taught using the internet. When we visited we watched part of a math lesson being taught.

The students live in remote areas of the Outback. They have their course materials mailed to them and most of the students return their work using the postal service. Some work gets a quicker response due to the internet. Their e learning is very similar to what most of the world used when Covid-19 closed schools and resorted to online learning.

On our way back from the School of the Air, we drove through the town of Alice Springs.

Later we had a lecture by our Alice Springs site coordinator on the Aboriginal Culture and Heritage.

After our lecture we left for dinner where an Aboriginal caterer and businesswoman introduced us to native Aboriginal bush foods. She told us about their traditional use and explained how she uses them in contemporary cuisine. After her demonstration, she let us sample the various aboriginal dips and sauces she made. Then dinner was served family style using the traditional Aboriginal flavors. Everything was delicious!

After dinner we walked away from the building and its lights for a southern hemisphere sky astronomy lesson. Our astronomer, Andrew Fitzgerald, presented information on the night sky and pointed out some constellations and planets that were visible.

The moon!

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