Some weeks ago I asked Birding Aus members if any had a secondhand iPad I
could purchase for my daughter-in-law.
Stephanie and her deceased husband, Reverend P. Nganjmirra, and other
relatives worked with me for several years, showing visitors the wildlife
of the Top End, among them Australian Museum Society members and several
international birders; Stephanie's sister, Una, took Jonathon Franzen and
his brother, Tom, to Spirit Dog Dreaming near Gunbalunya, when they were
here a couple of years ago.
Stephanie is now paralysed with a neurodegenerative disease, Machado-Joseph,
and can no longer talk. An iPad would allow her to communicate.
The only response came from an unexpected source - Jun a Japanese guide
working for Sue and Phil Gregory, at Cassowary House. Jun is also the author
of a Japanese guide to the birds of the Cairns area.
We met years ago when Jun was looking for someone to paint a didgeridoo for
him. I talked it over with Stephanie and Djedje (her husband), and we
decided to invite Jun to Stephanie¹s daughter¹s birthday party at East
Point one night, to see if he was "fair dinkum".
Jun was so shy at first we couldn¹t get a word out of him (even Djedje who
was originally very shy himself remarked on this). They decided he was
sincere, and invited him back to our place the next day.
Jun spent two days under our elevated house, with not only Djedje, but half
a dozen other men and boys while they painted his didgeridoo. They told him
about the designs and taught him how to make various bird calls.
Then Jun disappeared and we never saw nor heard from him again, until a few
But Jun never forgot Djedje¹s kindness and patience, and hearing of my
appeal he responded by posting Stephanie an iPad. Jun wouldn't accept any
payment; just asked me to show him Top End birds when he next visited.
Stephanie now has the iPad, and immediately started working on it with the
help of my partner Michael, and other relatives.
Obviously I can't post a photo on the chatline (I hope to have an article
on the Wildlife Tourism Australia website soon). And so I leave it to the
reader to imagine her grin.
What goes around comes around.
Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow
PO Box 71, Darwin River,
043 8650 835
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