Sunday, April 26, 2009

Our first mumu

Delma is a Papuan New Guinean woman that has become a friend and  Jessica especially likes her.  She invited us to her village for a traditional mumu.  A mumu is where food is cooked underground.  First stones are heated  up over a fire then the stones are placed in a hole.  A variety of meats and vegetables are wrapped in lots of banana leaves and put on top of the stones.  This is covered with  plastic and it is all covered with a mound of dirt.  After several hours it is all cooked and ready to eat.   

 

Today we caravanned with three other families to Delma’s village.  Each family  4 kids so there was a total of 16 kids!  The ride to her place was muddy and the road had big ruts in it. 

 

We met Delma’s family and talked for and ate for a few hours.  The kids had fun chasing the sheep in the sheep pen. 

Friday, April 17, 2009

Languages

There are about 6900 languages in the world and are over 800 are in Papua New Guinea, an island the size of California and a population of 6 million.  These are distinct languages and not just dialogs.  PNG has been called the most linguistically diverse county in the world.  Some of the reasons there are so many languages is that the terrain in the country hindered people from moving around a lot and also tribal warfare kept language groups isolated. 

 

 

 We live in Ukarumpa, the largest missionary support center in the world.  We are here to support Bible translation; Paul  does this by using his skills as a computer programmer and Laura works part-time to coordinate typesetting of translated scriptures.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Differences

We have been in PNG for 8 months now and hardly know where to start as far as describing the differences between here and America.  I will start with a few that come to mind and write about more later. 

 

Season – There are 2 seasons here.  Rainy and dry season.  We are definitely in the rainy season now.  It is from about December to May but can vary quite a bit.  There are very few days when we don’t have some parts of the day where the sun shines.  The last few months it has rained every day but the difference is that it almost never rains in the morning.  It will be sunny and in will be 70-80 degrees and then in the afternoon it will cloud up and sometime just pour buckets of rain.  You’d think we’d remember to always bring an umbrella but will still forget often.  Today marks the 4th day we have had no rain!

 

Power – The power here is 220 volts instead of 110.  The power goes out almost every day but the backup generators kick in real quickly.  When it is on it fluctuates quite a bit so we have to constantly adjust our LED alarm clock.  Some days it will gain a few minutes and some days lose a few.  Electricity is expensive here so almost all lights are fluorescent tubes which take a few seconds to turn on.  Also one thing that is hard to get used to is the light switches are small toggles that your switch down for on and up for off.  All outlets also have switches next to them.

 

TV and radio - We brought a small TV and DVD player with us and watch movies sometimes.  People loan each other DVDs that they brought or that people send them.  There is one radio and one TV station but we can’t get either.  We have all really been getting into reading since we have been here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ukarumpa

Ukarumpa, the mission center where we live, is the largest one in the world.  It is located in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea and gets its name from a neighboring village.  Its purpose is to provide support for Bible translation teams that go out to all parts of Papua New Guinea to translate the Bible into some of the 800 languages in the country. 

 

We are renting the red house in the picture and it is noted in the aerial view of the whole center.