Last year a friend, a woman teacher*, reached a point in her life where it was time for a change. Her daughter was due to finish the HSC and, with that milestone behind her, she looked for new challenges. She got a job at an international school in the Sudan.
When we heard the news we were shocked, but kind of jealous-shocked in the way you are when you hear someone has got an unexpected promotion or a handsome PowerBall win. “The Sudan!” we said. “Phwoar!” There were a few questions about the civil war thing but, as it turned out, her classroom was not a bedouin tent in the middle of a sand storm with the sound of kalashnikovs in the background. In fact, she’s having a ball and working on her golf handicap at the local course, an idyllic 9-holer on the banks of the Nile.
So when I told the same group of friends that I was going to teach at Lightning Ridge I didn’t expect their reaction to out-Sudan the Sudan, but it did. “Lightning Ridge?!” they went, “WTF?! ZOMG! Etc!!” They were more shocked that someone would go to Lightning Ridge than that someone would go to the Sudan.
The Sudan? Oh yeah.
Lightning Ridge? Are you completely fucking insane?
It made me wonder about this place. How does some little mining town a bit north of Dubbo capture people’s imagination like that? It’s gotta be worth writing about.
And so this blog began.
- A teacher who is a woman, not a teacher (of indeterminate gender) who taught a woman. Thank you, Mary-Lou, for pointing out this anomaly.