(Thanks to my Readers who suggested this blog series about my life in Australia)
News reports of wildfires spreading unspeakable sorrow on the families, wildlife, and landscape of that unique continent revived my memories of the years I spent in Australia, a country informally called an island-continent. Barely past my nineteenth birthday, I dropped out of college, leaving family and friends in northern Mexico for the unknown life of a newlywed in the Outback of the Northern Territory.
No, I was not a mail order bride. Given the unchartered adventures I’d navigate the next four years, I might as well have been.
My former husband came from a ranching family in central Mexico. My former father-in-law anticipated the Mexican government’s nationalization of several large industries and redistribution of farm and ranch land. Also predicting that those actions would bring a devaluation of the peso and runaway inflation, he looked for overseas opportunities at a time Australia was in the hunt for investors willing to lease land and develop it in ventures, including trapping “wild” cattle running rampant in the Outback and supplying the export business of both beef and buffalo meat to the expanding Japanese market. (A future blog will carry more on domesticated cattle that became feral in the “bush”).
There is much to write about Australia. So I’ll fast forward here. I did a bit of research to see what’s become of St. Vigeon’s. I found a blog written in 2014 by a travel group who discovered the ruins of St. Vigeon’s. Archaeological ruins? I had no idea I’d lived in a place destined to become an archaeological site. Does that make me a relic? The travelers further concluded the homestead had served as a mission.
Photos: Panoramic of Australian Rocks, Cockatoo, and Map – Public domain
Stay tuned, more to come – future subjects in this series:
Mustering Season (trapping “wild” cattle, using an airplane to scare them out of the bush and into the open)
Learning from the Native Australians how to “Read the Ground”
Contest Question: Is Australia informally called an island or a continent?
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