By Anika Pilnei
23 Mar 2012
W. is a remote bush community, 520 kms west of Alice Springs. It is home to the Pintupi tribe, former hunter-gatherers, who were amongst the last black mobs to come into contact with the white mob. 40,000 years of bush living versus a few decades of modern Australian lifestyle is not just a serious culture clash. It is different universes. The bumblebees, as I have named the kids, occupy their own universe out here. They come to school or they don't. They go to bed or they don't. They roam freely and untamed; wild, loud and cheerful. Time doesn't exist for them unless it is lesson time in school. Rules are there only to be broken. Their indifference to numeracy and literacy is mind-boggling. Their raw and wild spirits are inspiring. They excel in sports and stumble over reading exercises. As kids in a classroom they are nothing short of a royal pain in the neck. As neglected kids on the endless red sand roads they are heartbreakers. They buzz around with an energy that is indeed much like the energy of bumblebees - determined, noisy, unimpressed by borders or laws. W. is the bumblebees' universe.