Alice Springs | NTAustralia

11:35 PM JustJaslin 0 Comments

IN TRANSIT  During my trip to Northern Territory Australia, we explored and traveled further down south to the Red Center via a couple of domestic flights and that's where Alice Springs and Ayers Rock are. We had a chance for a quick visit by Alice Springs while transiting to Ayers Rock in between flight hours. It was my first time on a domestic flight and what happened next was all so peculiar - I can just alight a plane and walk out of the airport. Without the need for queues, passport stamps, nor baggage checks. Ah it feels just like taking a public transport! Except that this mode of transport travels by air. (I'm such a country pumpkin)

In Alice Springs, the landscape is a little different to the outback landscape we caught in Darwin's Kakadu National Park. Mountains are aplenty in this area, as though they are surrounding the perimeters of the town. The skies was in a most beautiful shade of clear blue which made this place looks all the more serene and peaceful. While only a few hours and some free-and-easy time in Alice Springs, I took on to explore the streets by myself. Just walking about, taking in the sights and listening to this unfamiliar place.

A road junction which I felt it looked incredibly pretty and soft. I came across local aboriginal people on the streets, popped into interesting souvenir shops, boutique shops by the corners where I also chanced upon a Red Cross thrift shop with some luck!

I have always been intrigued with thrift shops - read it on books, watched it on television just except for stepping foot into one. In Singapore you don't get to find such thrift shops and I was so thrilled about it. In thrifts shops that's where you will be able to find brand new or used apparels that are individually specified at ridiculously cheap prices, say three dollars for a top! And the money goes for a good cause. It was just a little unfortunately I couldn't find anything I fancied which came along with my size (what a bummer).

The main highlight for our dropping by into Alice Springs in between transits was to visit the Alice Springs School of Air. While we were in Darwin when we first arrived in NT Australia, I did saw a school up by a hill during one of the drives around town. But you know I didn't really gave much thought to education issues, not until I was in School of Air. 

NTAustralia is all about outback, nature, where even neighbors might be hundred of miles apart. It didn't hit me to consider about how education is being carried out because this was never a issue that we need to think about in Singapore. Say, there could be two or three schools all in vicinity of most neighborhoods. But locals living in NTAustralia didn't have the luxury nor access to a school facility. And that's where School of Air comes in, where they deliver classes through radios (but that's in the past) and now with computers (that's kindly provided to the students by School of Air) to all students living in any location in NTAustralia. 

I think that's really something else, because School of Air receive the same amount of funding any other school received from their government. Just operational costs (to provide each student computers and any other necessary equipment for children to attend virtual classes online) has to be really expensive. We got a chance to understand how a virtual class is conducted live, where students only get to meet their classmates one or two times a year through gatherings.

It's somewhat disheartening when you compare to the education in Singapore that we so often take for granted (including myself, yes). Whereas in NTAustralia you could literally feel how students crave for knowledge and having a chance to enroll into a school is more than often a luxury to them. School of Air has to be one of the most meaningful school/organisation (kinda reminds of me Doctors without Borders that sort of thing) and if you happen to be in Alice Spring, do drop by their visitor center! If you would like, you could also choose to purchase books that will be sponsored to the children or pick up some souvenirs where the proceeds will all go back into funding the school's operations.

Dropping by the school widened my vision, and it made me realise how education issues around the world are real. There are children in other parts of the world who are craving for knowledge, yet in Singapore we are all full of dreads and complains. Guilty as charged.


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