Friday, May 29, 2009

Learning to wait

We hurried to get ready to go to church Sunday morning not knowing what to expect.  The night before, we were told we were going to another village to celebrate Martin Luther’s first communion.  We walked about a half a mile to the main road to wait for a PMV (Public Motor Vehicle).  We got to the main road about 9:00 and waited.  We played lots of games of Uno and the kids climbed the Cocoa trees.  One hour passed and no PMV.  More time passed and finally about noon the PMV came.   There were probably 300 people there and kids were singing and dancing.  A man saw us sit on the ground and brought us chairs.  We felt conspicuous as we were the only non-PNG people there and the only ones sitting in chairs.  We sat under an enormous mango tree to shade us from the hot midday sun.  There were lots of ripe mangoes and every once in a while one would fall on someone’s head.

 

Daniel and Michael sat with me (Paul) and the girls sat together.  Women and men don’t usually sit together in public.  We went through our drinking  water quickly as it was very hot and we’d been out for hours.   At about 1:30 they had a break where they passed out green coconuts to drink and bunches of buai.  Between dodging mangoes, being hungry and thirsty, not being able to fully understand what was being said and being constantly stared at our kids were very patient and did well.  After a few more hours they served chicken and fish and boiled sweet potatoes.  They served us first which we were thankful because we were so hungry.  There were several speakers and lots of kids dancing in traditional dress.  At about 4:30 the PMV came and picked us up.  I counted 85 people getting onto this vehicle that was probably designed to seat about 30 people for the 2 mile ride back to our village house.

 

All in all it was a great cultural experience for the whole family.

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