The time had come to begin the construction of our Humpie (Gunyah).
Excitement filled the air in the Grasshopper room and the faces of our children were that of sheer enthusiasm, with huge smiles from one ear to the other as we each picked up a branch and began to place them together to create the structure of the Humpie. But before we could begin doing this, we sat around the campfire to recite our Acknowledgement to Country, to pay respects to the Aboriginal elders, past and present.
‘Explore and Develop Penrith South acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of this land, the Dharug people, and the land that we are on today’.
What is a custodian? I asked.
‘Someone that has something that is theirs’.
‘When you have a toy and you don’t want to share it’.
‘You have to take care of your toys because they will get broken or lost’.
Throughout our journey of learning about the Indigenous culture, Acknowledgement and Custodians were just a word we said in a sentence that had no real meaning to us, other than it being part of our morning routine. But now with a much clearer picture, we have been able to see that we too can be custodians of the land, by just taking care of it. So when we began our construction of our Humpie, we felt a connection between ourselves and the land, with the materials we collected, taking into consideration that we didn’t hurt natures feelings.
Branches ready? Check.
Sticks Ready? Check.
Leaves ready? Check.
Bark ready? Check.
With all the materials we needed, it finally became time to carefully construct our Humpie with caution and precision.
Carefully we each took turns placing our vital pieces of the puzzle together until we completed it. Wow. Wasn’t it just stunning. The children became so excited when it was done that they couldn’t wait to get inside and have a little look around and be able to really connect with what they had just created, to truly understand what it was like to build and live in.
Our Grasshopper children demonstrated just how wonderful they are at working together as a team to achieve such a masterpiece, that will be on display in our room, I’m sure, for quite a long time!