It’s February 2017, Chop was on a high after his return from a New Orleans conference & some sweet Japanese pow-pow, whilst Gwen still needed some more holidays – the two gathered themselves and their testing arsenal for another research assault on Groote Eylandt.
First entrance to Angurugu, the air filters are out and keys were in our hot little hands for the old Linguistics building – our testing home for the next 6 weeks. This was a great little work space , and had air-con. Despite being an old building, Chop eventually navigated the weathered warped floor boards to level the force-plate needed for balance testing. After a practice run through the tests with our superstar local guide, Joselle, we were up and running for a record-breaking trip.
Participants were flocking in, smiles on faces – the word was getting around community that we were in town. Lots of interest and people banging down the door every morning – keen to get tested. The standard day was pretty fun and exciting, kids running around, bananas flying about and plenty of laughter whilst collecting great data.
Now, data collection of this type takes a lot of concentration so “monitoring” the fun and excitement whilst maintaining zen-like-focus was a good lesson in multi-tasking, but eventually took its toll on the research-duo. When, at the end of a long day, Chop looking for a rubber-band, asked Gwen “ have you seen the umbrello?” - then, a couple of days later , another one from Chop “If I ever was gonna get the snip – today was the day”.......... We knew from that day onwards, we were wearing thick socks on a slippery slope to brain-liquification.
To slow-down the impending Groote-testing-fever, relaxed team brekkies & pre-testing field Campos coffees were a must. To wind-down after days mayhem, golf & frosty beverages was a regular on the menu.
Other news-worthy items for the trip: Nat collected her first PhD data, Gwen found a purple rock, Chop perfected his one-armed golf swing & another cracking sunset….