Where’ve I been? Out West
You’ve probably been wondering what’s happened to me as you know I love to blog. I apologise for not posting lately but it’s been difficult in a remote location. I was told there’d be not internet, no phone, no computer and no hot water. Actually I have all of those except the computer (the one thing I actually need to blog).
I’m back home and hugging my iMac because I missed it nearly as much as Boss (my dog). Though I am now sitting at my brand new laptop. It’s a Samsung RV520 and nice shiny silver and black with a LCD screen. I’ve loving the keyboard and am getting used to not having a mouse (difficult conversion for an ex-graphic artist).
Anyhow, back out west I had my iphone so surprisingly had up to 3 bars of coverage at times (even though I was told only Telstra would work and I have 3 Phone). This allowed me to keep in touch with family and friends and writing clients via email. I could tell them all about how hot it was (up to 36 degrees celsius) and the fact I’m well fed, my bed is comfortable and my room airconditioned. There’s running water and common rooms with flat screen TVs.
I know you’re thinking I’ve been on holiday and in a nice resort in Alice Springs or somewhere but NO.
Think ‘Wild Dog’ (not Red Dog but you’d be getting close).
Have you guessed yet? Okay, I’ve been in DINGO. Yes there is a place called Dingo, I’m not making it up. Just check the link. It’s about an hour and half west of Rockhampton on the Capricorn Hwy in Queensland.
Dingo is a town small enough that if you blink you’d miss it but you don’t blink in Dingo or your liable to be run over by a triple roadtrain. Then there’s the coal trains chugging through town, not to mention the livestock trucks that you can smell before you see them. Every second car is a mining 4WD, truck or a road train.
There’s about eight streets in Dingo plus the pub (with the apt slogan ‘a dingo stole my six pack’), general store/post office, two sawmills (yes they do still exist), a library (only open two days), a public school (don’t know where all the kids come from but I’d say it’s the remote cattle properties in the area), a run-down caravan park and the Roadhouse on the highway side of the railway line.
In the middle of town there is a bronze statue of a dingo. I haven’t seen a living breathing snarling dingo yet, but one of my co-workers saw dingo puppies (luckily whilst in a vehicle) as the mother was circling her litter. This was at another camp.
“Camp?” you question. Yes, camp explains where I am in Dingo. Not in a resort but in a remote camp that caters to the mining industry. Now I have your attention, don’t I? That’s because everyone I speak to wants to get into mining. I’ve suddenly become a careers counsellor to the industry. But I don’t know enough. I’ve been doing this for only two months. There are people who’ve spent years out there. They are the people who you should be speaking to.
I can’t even tell you what company I work for they’d be inundated with calls but I can tell you the best way to get your foot in the door is Seek.com.au.
As for me I took the leap for the experience (to write about and to live), the adventure, the challenge and of course the financial remuneration (which I won’t discuss). I’m a Camp Attendant (affectionately know as ‘Campie’). It’s really just a housekeeping role (though in a remote, hot area). We clean dongas (my friends are calling me ‘Donna Dingo Donga Queen’), change linen, do laundry, clean ablution blocks (yep, dunnies), sweep decks, help the chef (or cook) and generally maintain the cleanliness of the camp.
It may not be Versace but my camp is lovely (as far as remote camps go). It’s clean and tidy, the people are friendly (gosh there’s some characters), the work is physical but not difficult, the weather is hot and humid but not unbearable (midday can be scorching 35 degrees) and it’s fun.
I’ll tell you more next time I’m it town but for now I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thankfully I’m home spending it with my family. I hope that if you have no family you have friends around you. I don’t like the thought of people alone during the festive season even though it’s a reality.
I wish you peace and happiness and most of all I hope your dreams come true – whether they are to publish a novel (me) or to climb a mountain – just go for it. I didn’t believe that if I took a chance doors would open but they have. I wish that for you.