The Little Porker
I just saw some photos of me from today and I really am getting fat. I have never really been fat before, its really weird to see. I have officially deliberately ‘let myself go’. I am a little porker, its quite funny. It wouldn’t be funny if my lady left me because of this. I am pretty safe though, she’s so amazing that last week she actually said she quite enjoyed cuddling a little bit of pudge just for something different. That little bit of pudge is fast morphing into something very different though. Again I need to reiterate No soft drink, No ice cream, No chocolate, No booze.
The pudge development scheme kicked of at 7am with a bowl of Sultana Bran and some vanilla Vaahlia yoghurt (a 9 spoon combo). We then hit the dusty roads and I was parched by 930 so I hurled a Just juice fruit box down my arid throat (6 teaspoons).
We visited the local indigenous store again and met the new store manager. He talked of his previous store job where they would literally have to restock the fridges with coke every half an hour due the demand. He was shocked to come to this store and find that the people here had chosen to have these kind of drinks removed. This is the most important point of my trip so far. The people here were EDUCATED, had meetings, then were EMPOWERED to make the decision themselves. There was no government intervention, this was put in place by the community themselves. A beautiful rare moment when a decision was not made for them. And guess what happened..the government removed their funding. They continue to fight on and I hope we can raise a level of awareness in the film that not only keeps the organization alive but also allows them to implement their model into other communities. They have 9 stores in the region at the moment. (They have a sign on their fridges that says “Don’t drink Coke, Passiona or Powerade, it will make your kids crazy!”)
That said, the tragedy is that instead of the crazy making beverages, the people and sadly the children are drinking juices or Lift and Sprite. They know Coke and Powerade is not good for them and so steer clear but the next level of education has yet to arrive, as it hasn’t in our own western world; all those other drinks have just as much sugar in them and as I am rapidly finding out, they make you fat and eventually very very sick.
I cant tell you how difficult it was to purchase a Nippy’s Iced Chocolate and a banana nut muffin in front of these people. I almost apologized for the transaction then went around the corner to eat it. How could I even begin to explain the experiment I was doing and why I had just casually added another 17 teaspoons to my already protruding skin verandah?
We then headed up to a mountain above the town to get some beautiful shots at sunset. Someone once said that the Australian outback is the last true cathedral on earth. It is true. What a magnificent place of contemplation and reflection. Even sugar couldnt dampen my spirit out there and it was the happiest I have felt in 25 days. I thought about the last time I had visited an aboriginal community back in 2001. I remember the people still hanging onto their land warrior physiques, almost carved from the ancient granite and many still living off ‘bush tucker’. A few women bristled with passion as they told me today of lost times, how they feared their children would never learn the old ways because the wise elders are dying young and the kids are too consumed in western culture. What a tragedy. ‘Please don’t copy us’ I said, “we are realizing we need to learn more from you”. One lady looked at me like she had summoned Mother Earth herself, “Sugar Out!” she said and the interview was done.
I have just got home, emotionally drained but satisfied with a remarkable day. Dinner was some sausages and left over steak (clearly 3 grown men staying together away from their women) that I lathered in sauce (3 teaspoons) and washed down with some coconut water in a can (3 teaspoons) and a cup of tea with 2 as I write.
If me getting fat means more people will listen and something can be done for these kind hearted people, then hand me the Sarah Lee and Kelloggs product list. I consider myself now officially eating sugar for (the real) Australia.
Day 25 and 40.
Interviewing John Tregenza, aka ‘The Crusader’
Today I was also the official ‘nature wrangler’