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North East Arnhem Land
by Margaret Miller
What brings 5 Yolŋu ladies, 1 BIG tent, 2 4WD Toyotas, 1 trailer with 2 'balanda' lady drivers altogether at the end of the dry season in 2013? ... A FRIENDSHIP TREK AROUND NORTH EAST ARNHEMLAND
With help from Marthakal barge staff, seven ladies; Guymun, Djändi, Banunu, Dhaykamalu, Wirritjwirritj, Kaye and Margaret and supplies were delivered to Buḻarriny, across the Cadell Strait to the mainland. Precious cargo also included Djambarrpuyŋu New Testaments, Christian resources in Yolŋu languages and English, along with 10 large stripey bags of good second-hand clothes to sell. The travellers covered 1293 kilometres of the BIG country of NE Arnhemland over two weeks, visiting folk living on eight homelands where a variety of Yolŋu languages are spoken.
There was PRAYER AND FELLOWSHIP AROUND GOD'S WORD as the opportunities arose with the travellers also encouraged each day by verses from Psalm 103. Of course there was the chance to relax and feast together on fresh food from the land and creeks. Such delicacies included; wild honey, mangrove worms, fish, turtle, damper and tea. Spare moments were filled with collecting natural fibres from the Kurrajong and pandanus plants for weaving and also root dyes for colour.
There were some SALES of second-hand clothes ($1703.50) for the raising of funds for Coordinate, as well as sales of a variety of Yolŋu Scripture products ($590) and other Christian resources ($1240.50).
The travellers were encouraged when their homeland hosts farewelled them by saying: "God has sent you to us."... "He has used you to reached out to us and to encourage us." ... "You must come again!"
HOMELAND FRIENDSHIP FELLOWSHIP SALES
Mäpuru Yes Yes Yes
Donydji Yes - -
Gapuwiyak Yes Yes Yes
Ramangirr Yes - -
Matamaṯa Yes Yes -
Nyinyikay Yes Yes Yes
Rorruwuy Yes - -
Bälma Yes Yes Yes
Buḻarriny - - -