Sunday, March 18, 2012

On Burke and Wills

Another thing you need to know in order to understand Australians.

They value the underdog the way Americans admire success.

And they really value giving it your best go.

To the point that Australian Rules Football has two goalposts to either side of the actual goalposts.

Now I'm not entirely up on the score keeping here but somehow you also get points for missing the actual goal but getting it close enough to be within that second set of posts.

As in, well, you missed mate, but you did give it a good go!

I got more praise this past week for the extra effort I put into researching chicken diseases on behalf of one of our school's chickens than for anything I'd done before.

The chicken died.

But they appreciated my effort.

Nothing an Aussie likes better than a lost cause.

This also explains the exhibit that was running in the Brisbane Museum when we first arrived here 16 months ago.  Something about a Burke and Wills and the first expedition from the south to the north of Australia, a really super huge deal at the time.

As you read the story, you read that one of them ran out of patience and left the other at camp, going out on their own without adequate supplies, coming within miles of the northern coast, not actually seeing it due to the mangroves, turning around and almost dying of starvation and dehydration on the way back.

Meanwhile the guys back at camp gave up and left the day before, but buried a note and supplies under a tree.

The first guys missed the note and left.  The others came back and missed them again.

And all but one died of starvation.

These guys are national heroes.

Once you understand that, you're allowed to call yourself Australian.

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