From January 26
This morning, after Aaron whacked the bell, I waited about 45 minutes and then went look for the ladies from the creation story group. Everybody here knows that when the bell rings, you can finish whatever it is you are doing before you mosey on over to wherever it is you are supposed to be. Good ol' Solomon Time! I went to find some of my cultural friends to help me know whether I should just sit in the church and wait or whether I should go look for the ladies. My friends said that I should go get the ladies and drag them to the church, or I could just leave disgusted since they didn't bother showing up. I finally found three of the original five ladies (one of them from Karumulun had taken her child to Honiara for school), and they all said they would be at the church shortly.
Soon after I came back to the church, two of the ladies arrived. I showed them the Saber, and they were delighted. We chatted for a little bit before they finally divulged that the lady who had been upset with me last time for changing some of her work had decided not to help anymore. Unfortunately, she is also the leader of the group. She had also just told me that she was coming. I told the other two women that I was willing to put the whole project on hold just to make sure that all relationships were good. They told me they would rather print a story that was wrong than go against this other woman who had a reputation for always getting her own way and being angry at anyone who tried to correct her. I was silently praying for wisdom the whole time, and the three of us began to edit the story of creation without the other woman. After a while, she showed up. Her four year old was happy to help us eat the popcorn while we worked! Thankfully, her heart seemed to be a little bit softer. I apologized for making changes without consulting the original group (even though we had discussed from the beginning that a totally different group of people would be making the back translation and also making some changes). She seemed pleased with some of the changes made in Honiara by a man from another village, and we all continued to tweak until we were satisfied that the story was accurate and natural. Whew! This group decided that they didn't want to be involved any more in the Bible story project so other women could have a chance to learn and help out. So, it looks like I'll be making an all-call for another group of women to help craft another Bible story sometime in February.
Tomorrow is a big celebration and blessing of the cement on a grave. After a person has been dead for a year, the priest comes and blesses the cement and the family holds a big feast. This family bought a pig last year and has been fattening it in preparation for tomorrow's festivities. I went to the garden about 2:30 (as soon as I finished checking the last math problem) with Eta to see if I had any umalau/sweet potatoes left. I wanted to make kora, which is like scalloped potatoes – umalau sliced thinly and layered with thick coconut cream, all cooked in banana leaves on hot stones. Yum! On the way to the garden, I noticed that the thick stems of the hefty coconut branches were placed along the path at regular intervals. I asked Eta about it, and she said that somebody had recently made a new canoe out in the bush. To make the path into the village smoother, they place the ends of the branches along the path. I wish I'd brought the camera. Eta and I searched the mounds, and found enough for a small tray of Kora. When we came back to the house, we planted the seedlings I bought in Honiara and built a new fence around the yard to keep feet from trampling my faluk/slippery cabbage and newly transplanted flowers.
After Eta left, I got busy finishing up the kora. The kids had finished peeling the potatoes I had started, and Sarah had left a little bit of peel on to spell “I heart U”. I love my kids! I was still working after supper when the bell for church rang, so the others went without me. I finally got the kora on the fire in time to kiss the kids good night, take a much needed shower and glance at the thermometer. Eighty five degrees in the house at 8:30 p.m. I'm so thankful for a full day of sun to charge the batteries that run those delightful twelve volt fans at night! The stars were so bright, and the thin crescent moon was just sinking behind the trees when I collapsed into bed.