Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Village living

After eight  weeks of training we will live in a remote village for five weeks.  The reason we do this is that it is the best way to get to know the language, culture and build  relationships with people.  We have been preparing for this by learning the language, getting into shape by taking hikes every few days and swimming, learning first aid, etc. 


There won’t be access to clean drinking water in the village but we bought a water filter at REI before we left so we should be set.  It takes a lot of water to keep a family of 6 hydrated in this heat!


 The past couple of days we built a small shelter where we will cook meals outside for the next 5 weekends so we will be ready when it’s time to live in the village.  Paul really enjoyed building our shelter or haus kuk and hacking bamboo and sticks with his bush knife.  He got to where he could cut down a 3” diameter bamboo tree with one swing.  Learning the language has been hard and tiring work.  Both of us are able to pick up some of the words when the locals speak to us.  Paul was trying to ask if the big frogs we see at night were poisonous and the local employee here told me they were bad.  It turned out that he was telling me that particular type isn’t good to eat J


Friday the employees here at POC (Pacific Orientation Course) were showing us how they make things out of leaves and trees.  The weave little baskets out of coco- nut tree leaves and stuff them full of rice and then lower them into boiling water to cook.  At lunch we had rice cooked in these baskets.  It is amazing what they can make out of leaves and branches.   Some of the things we watched our teachers make were bags for carrying vegetables from the garden, mats, roofing material, balls and star decorations.

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