So, quite a bit’s happened since my last post. For one thing, as of yesterday I’m no longer the only hired help. We’ve gained the addition of an Australian couple, Stacey and Mitch, who are travelling around Australia chasing work. They started somewhere down South, and eventually came up North after failing to find any fruit picking work in Bundaburg and Bowen.
I found this rather ironic. Turns out that the job centres in those towns don’t deal with the fruit farms at all, it’s done almost completely through working hostels or private ads. And the famers? Don’t WANT Australians. For all the complaints I’ve heard about Australians not being willing to do the work, turns out the farmers don’t want to give it to them anyway. Probably because they know full well the Australians don’t have to do it, and will complain about the illegal workings of such places.
Anyway, Stacey’s taking a lot of my cleaning jobs, and Mitch works outside as a landscaper for a few hours. Does mean I’m struggling to find things to do in the early afternoon when Stacey comes and starts cleaning, but when it’s busy means I can do the more fun things like cook and stock shelves.
I’ve been here almost a month and think I’m getting the hang of how things go. The Oasis is very much a lifeline for a lot of the cattle farmers nearby. Every second Tuesday they get in a rural nurse to give anyone who requires it professional aid (which has been a lifesaver since my employer’s grandchildren sadly came down with a case of suspected chicken pox recently) rather than having to make the 3 hour drive into Townsville.
Another ‘second Tuesday’ visitor is Fari. Also known as ‘Fari Day’ – a gentleman who pulls up with his truck and sells fresh fruit, bread and milk. An utter lifesaver when you’re craving fresh passion fruit or the kind of baked good you’d have to head for the city for. The Oasis gets a good chunk of their produce from him, as do most of the farmers.
We also get in a hairdresser ever 6-8 weeks – again so people don’t have to make that trip. Skipped it last week, but will probably get a trimming when she comes again next month.
Sadly, although we’ve had new arrivals, we’ve also said goodbye to all the puppies. They’ve gone on to new homes and left us with a very mournful momma dog and a very smug jack Russell (who did not like the attention they go one little bit).
The only other event of note was me inevitably taking a tumble. In order to get to the dam, which I walk/run around at least twice a day, I have to step over some fallen rope fence and over a large area of dirt and concrete. I also have to cross to get to the laundry. Last week, remembered to step over it, but forgot I had 2 feet…
Not the first time I’ve tripped over this fence, but it was the first time I’d tripped onto the concrete instead of the grass. As a result I’ve chewed up my left palm heel, the right’s got a minor stab wound and my right leg/knee is a collection of scabs. The left hand’s proving to be the biggest pain as you cannot get a plaster to stick to that area, and trying to do my job without agitating the palm is a lesson in futility. Gonna be so happy when it heels and I don’t have to perform fancy acrobatics with my limbs just to close the freezer door…