A “Town Like Alice” half day tour sounded like a good idea. Our first stop on the tour was the School of the Air, which runs the largest classroom in the world. First established in 1951, the service provides education to primary aged school children in remote locations originally using radio equipment. These days the equipment is much more high-tech and utilises satellite internet services. A team of 10 teachers prepare and send out the lessons from this building.
There were quilts displayed, with the blocks made and decorated by the school children in these far flung places. The first large quilt I saw was made way back in 1988, and shows life on the stations and farms where the children lived.
A lot of work has gone into making these individual blocks
And tucked away around a corner I spotted a second quilt, made of hand prints to celebrate the 60 year celebration of School of the Air. Both teachers and pupils contributed their hand prints to this quilt.
Celebrating 60 years of distance learning
While there I purchased a tea towel from their gift shop, very bright and showing scenes from the remote places where the School of the Air is broadcast.
Sadly, while exiting the bus at our next stop, I twisted my knee and could hardly walk. After hobbling around for a while, things were not easing and we decided to forgo the remainder of the tour. Our driver took the others to the next stop, the Reptile Centre, and kindly drove us to the Alice Springs Hospital.
Hobbling up the hospital steps, we were processed quite quickly, forms were filled in, and I was given a card with my hospital number. Also in the Emergency waiting room were two armed policemen, a necessary presence at the hospital it seems. One of the staff found me a wheelchair, and before too long I was wheeled in to see a doctor. So what had I done to my knee? Not a torn ligament or tendon as I had thought. I had ruptured a Baker’s Cyst behind my knee when I was twisting my legs to get out of my seat on the bus. No, we had never heard of that either.
Waiting to see the doctor
Treatment is rest, elevation, painkillers, an elastic bandage, and gentle exercise, and my knee should slowly improve. And luckily for us, Kiwis get reciprocal hospital care with Australia so no charge was made. We are boarding the Ghan to continue our journey up to Darwin this afternoon, so I will be able to hobble up for meals on the train, and relax the rest of the time. Let’s hope it heals up quickly so we can continue with our exploring.
If readers would like to keep up with our travels in more detail, do pop over to our other blog, which gives a much fuller account of our Aussie Adventures.
You can find it on www.romanyrambler.blogspot.com