Through ‘The Pilbara Project’ I was offorded the opportunity to tour the Port earlier this year. It was amazing to see the massive ships up close. The whole area was buzzing with activity the entire time I was there. I was able to view the activity up close on the warf as well as from the tower and a ship loader. A fantastic experience
At Yandi we live in dongas like most remote camps , but out here they are a little behind the times. The rooms are old, tiny and there is no t.v. I have heard even in jail they get a t.v.
Thats why I called this one jail cell, it has that feeling about it.
I first arrived in the Pilbara after already spending most of the year traipsing the globe, my most recent sojourn being a leisurely three weeks sunning myself on the Greek Islands. Returning to winter in Perth left me restless. Seeking instant change and Vitamin D I migrated North to Port Hedland in search of warmer weather and a career in journalism.
I touched down on the late afternoon flight, met by my manager and an exquisite sunset - those in the know will tell you this is prime landing time in Hedland. What we see at ground level translates to ethereal in-flight views as twisted creeks snake through mangroves and the stillness of salt lakes meet with rough red earth.
Following a brief stop at my new office I found myself largely outnumbered by men – all orange and steel capped - at the local pub, perched on the waterfront and catching the cool sea breeze perfectly. With drink in hand (the house white in a plastic cup) I was introduced to ”the cricket boys” and had my vital statistics assessed: How long have you been here? How long are you staying? Got a boyfriend?
I was feeling a little out of my depth in my new surrounds, and when somebody handed me a grubby looking stubby holder to cool my drink the look on my face must have said it all. ”Ah she’ll never make it through the summer” said one particularly loud orange man. A challenge, “Oh I’m pretty sure I can handle a couple of hot days thank you.” Politely accepting, I slipped my plastic cup o’ wine into the stubby holder.
It was right then, with a determination to prove to myself I could “make it through the summer” in this dusty red town, my Pilbara adventure began.