Sunday, November 29, 2009

Homemade arrow

Our friend Kasona stopped by the other day and showed us an arrow head he
was working on. I asked him what the indented section was and he told me it
was so that when he shoots a pig the arrow will not fall out.

Apparently there are wild pigs in the area and he and the men in his village
hunt them. Sometimes they will light a field of grass on fire and then have
several men with bow and arrows and spears waiting on one end to shoot the
pigs as they come out to get away from the fire.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

1956

Friday a husband/wife translation team returned to the mission center from
their last visit to the village where they've been working. They came to
Ukarumpa in 1956 when there were only a few people here. The husband joked
that when they arrived in '56 1/2 the missionaries came to greet them and
the other guy was busy.

School and work came to a halt Friday morning as many men, women, and
children from the center gathered for a surprise ceremony to honor them.
This couple have dedicated 53 years of their lives to bring the Bible to
people who don't have it in their language.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Clinic van driver

The clinic here at the mission center has a nurse and doctor that are on
call during the off hours. Men volunteer to take the clinic van home and be
on call during the night. Paul volunteered to be the driver this week. If
there is an emergency the nurse will call him on the radio and he will pick
up the nurse and drive her to the clinic, stay there as a security guard and
drive her home.

This is day 3 and so far no emergency calls.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A visit with friends

This morning two PNG friends stopped by to visit. They brought us kau kau (sort of like potatoes), cabbage and passion fruit.  We offered hot tea and popcorn.  We sat on the back porch and admired the kittens.  (The grandma cat of the kittens that were born a couple of weeks ago had 4 kittens night before last!)

 

It’s interesting to compare notes on American life versus PNG life.  My Tok Pisin language skills are limited so every once in a while I act something out that I don’t know how to express – they get a good laugh out of that. 

 

Today we talked about childbirth.  I was explaining how the husband is typically in the room encouraging the mom.  They said they tell the men to get away.  I told them about pain medicine such as epidurals.  They said they just tell the woman to bite her teeth and deal with it.  God gave women pain and He’ll take it back.  In other words it won’t last forever.  One of the ladies said that sometimes the roof practically comes down with the yelling. 

 

Paul joined us after a while and we got to talking about how in America people often let their animals  stay in their houses, wash them, brush them… there’s even a special hospital for animals.  You should have seen the looks on their faces.  It really sounded silly telling these things to PNG ladies.   For us it’s normal but sitting here in this context it sounded ridiculous! 

 

We feel like we’re on a different planet sometimes.  At a glance life in the center can seem somewhat similar to America:  regular houses, a store, school, clinic, post office, etc. and yet there are unseen pressures and immense cultural differences.  Some of the Papua New Guineans in this area are followers of Jesus.  I’m really looking forward to getting to know these brothers and sisters in Christ  on a deeper level in heaven where the language and cultural differences won’t hinder deep fellowship.

 

One thing that will be different this year is Thanksgiving.  The kids have school and everyone works as usual.  For a second I wondered what was up with that but my brain adjusted to the fact that Thanksgiving is an American holiday.    We have a lot to be thankful for – most of all the gift of eternal life that Jesus has given us.  I took a nap this afternoon and dreamt that Jesus was washing my laundry.  That might sound a little sacrilegious or strange but in fact Jesus has washed my “dirty laundry”,  getting rid of every stain and washing me clean!

 

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lightning

It rains a lot here and when it rains, it pours.  Along with the rains is often a exciting display of thunder and lightning.  This afternoon it was raining hard, pounding on the tin roof but we didn’t hear it – we’re so used to it.  Suddenly there was a flash outside and then immediately after the biggest boom I’ve ever heard in my life.  Lightning had struck our friends’ tree about 100 yards away.  Their boys were playing in the back yard, under cover.  The husband felt the electricity go through his computer.  They put a note on the intranet board here at the center thanking God that their children were safe. 

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cultural Dancing

Today there was a cultural dancing show put on here at the mission center.
Paul, Daniel and Rachel went and saw some amazing singing from 4 different
provinces. The dancers were students that are here for training as literacy
workers. I knew most of them from the computer class I helped with back in
February http://boundforpng.blogspot.com/2009/02/computer-class.html and it
was fun to see them perform.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Strange discovery

A man from a nearby village brought this stone in the other day that his friend had found while digging for gold.  It is about the size of a basketball and solid stone.  There are carvings of bow and arrows, stone axes, drums and a snake in a tree.  It has words engraved on it that say “Tanbu lon I still”  meaning don’t steal. 

 

Nobody knows what it is for or who carved it since not many people have tools that could carve these things in such a dense stone.  Weird…..

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hal

Back in August we heard that a single retired man was coming to PNG to help in CTS (Communications and Technical Services), the department I work in.  We volunteered to meet him at the airport and show him all the things he needed to know about living in Ukarumpa. 

 

I was shocked when he told me he had just turned 80; he's very fit and walks everywhere he goes.  He came to fix radios which is great since there are not a lot of people with this skill anymore.  Many translators rely on their radio when they are out in a remote village as their only way to communicate with people on center; pilots, doctors, etc.  Two or three times a week the translators answer roll call on their radios so we can know they're alive and well.