There’s no town like Alice

I really don’t know where to start when I want to tell you of my impressions of Alice. First off there is the terrific entry into Alice by driving through The Gap which is literally a gap in the rocky MacDonnell Ranges to see Alice Springs spread out beyond this. Next I notice that there are so many Aboriginals walking around, one wonders what they are doing or going in the middle of the day. A lot of the aborigines are congregating in small groups all around town as though waiting for something. Another thing I noticed that many of the women esp the older ones around the shopping centres have bad scarring around their faces. It saddens and shocks me to learn later that aborigine women are 24 times more likely to be beaten up in Alice due to the combination of alcohol and violence. Alice also has the sad distinction of having the highest renal failure per population in the world. However we are informed that what we see is only about 20% of the Aboriginal population. The majority of the Aboriginals are working and have a worthwhile lifestyle, whether it be in their communities or in town as is their choice. Regardless, or maybe in spite of this, the people here are very friendly. The white people I met are sympathetic to the problems of the indigenous population, though may feel frustrated for various reasons in their limitations of what and how to approach and tackle the problems here. Most of the people we met here love Alice. It is quite common to here that someone came for a week’s visit and ended up living here. There seems to be something that draws people here, maybe it is the relaxed pace of life, maybe it is multitude days of sunshine, or the magnificence of the evening stars and the sunsets and sunrises over the ranges that surround Alice.

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