Sunday, November 30, 2008

More pics from the village

Katherine playing peek-a-boo in tok ples

Benjamin teaching the kids to play Uno in Tok Pisin

Aaron working on a mat for the funeral

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Alois and Olivia - two peas in a pod!

Sarah learning how to make a bilum (a string bag) from Wasmama

Katherine and Waspapa - look, no tan lines!

We made it! Thanks to your prayers and God’s grace we survived five weeks of village living. A sweet community nurtured us with their food and their teaching as we learned more about the culture and language of Papua New Guinea.

Mornings began early with the roosters crowing around 4:30. Then we were up to start a fire and boil water (a task which continued throughout the day). If the kids were still asleep when I got up, I snuck over to the "hauswin" on the beach to read my Bible and enjoy the pounding of the surf while the sun rose. Psalm 93 was one of my favorites to read. After breakfast, the kids and I went down to the mouth of the river to wash our clothes and ourselves. This usually took about two hours, so Aaron used the time to learn skills like weaving mats and carving a bow and arrow while we were gone. When we returned, I doctored the bites and scrapes on the kids legs that so easily became infected, then we started school. Some mornings, we walked a few feet to the little market on the road to buy some fresh fruits and vegetables. Katherine even sat with a favorite auntie several times to help her sell some produce.
When school was finished, I started lunch, and after we cleaned up, the kids were free to play while Aaron and I continued with our homework, or tried to learn some new skills. Several afternoons, Aaron taught music theory lessons in Tok Pisin. Some days I went to visit with neighbors (and take cookies - my mom’s cookie recipes are now famous all over Sarang) to improve my listening and speaking skills. Around dusk, we went to bathe again, then we fixed a quick supper and shut the house down for the night. Sounds like we didn’t do much, but we discovered that life takes a lot longer when you’re cooking over an open fire and learning to live without electricity.

Some quick highlights:
-Showing the Jesus film to several hundred people and popping popcorn to eat while we watched
-Catching six rats during our five week stay
-Having a family build us our own personal washing spot so we didn’t have to walk very far
-Attending a different church service each Sunday and singing songs in English while they sang in Tok Pisin (worship has no language barrier!)
-Receiving care packages half way through our village stay and weeping with gratitude at all of the family, friends, and churches who cared enough about us to actually mail something to Papua New Guinea