Sunday, June 20, 2010

Story time

Today I read the story of Noah to some local kids. The girl in the
middle is baby Laura's (Rola) big sister. As you can see from the look
on their faces they loved it. I read it from our English Bible and had
to translate it into Tok Pisin.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hauling Coffee

A friend of ours, Dariaso, grows coffee in her village and had no way to
get it to market to sell. She lives in a remote village and no PMV
(Public Motor Vehicle) will come get it because the road is so steep and
bad.

Dariaso spent hours picking the ripe coffee and dried it in the sun.
She waited until the road had dried out enough for a truck to make it
through and asked me if I would pick up the coffee and take it to the
buyer. Last week I took off early from lunch and went to her village.
As I went down an incredibly steep and narrow road I realized there were
no tire tracks; it was more like a walking trail. I picked up Dariaso's
husband along the way and he showed me the road to their place. We
would drive to where the road seemed to end and he told me to drive
between some village houses, which seemed odd to me. We finally showed
up and were greeted by about 20 kids that came running up when I got out
of the truck. Everybody wanted to shake my hand and several older
ladies were rubbing my arms. I don't think they had seen too many
"white skins" before and certainly most of them had never seen a car in
their village.

We loaded up the truck with about 7 - 60 kg bags of dried coffee beans
and were off. I had to put the truck in low 4 wheel drive and about
half way up the hill I got stuck. The front axle was completely stuck
in mud so there was no way we could move. We prayed that we could be
able to get out and after unloading the coffee bags and digging for
about 30 minutes we were able to. When we finally got to where they
wanted to sell the coffee the buyers had left for the day. We decide to
drive to Kainantu where there were other buyers. I hadn't brought my
license or any money with me since we hadn't planned to be going on any
main roads. Half way there a police officer stopped us at a road block
and asked me for my license. After a short lecture and a K45 (about
$17) ticket which had to be paid on the spot, (Dariaso had kina with
her) we were on our way. We backed up to a warehouse and unloaded the
bags where they gave our friends K1900 (about $700) for the coffee.
They were very happy to get this money because it is one of the few
sources of income they have.

I am really bummed because when I was loading the pictures onto my
computer I accidentally deleted them :(

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Yard Sale

We have been saving up clothes that either no longer fit any of us or we
no longer wear. Our friends Andrew is trying to earn money to go to
college so we decided to have a yard sale at his village to help him out.

Never having had a yard sale in PNG before we weren't quite sure how to
do it. We spread them out on a large bamboo mat and let the people sort
through them. We told them 2 Kina for the adult clothes and 1 Kina for
the kids clothes. 1 Kina is worth about $.36.

We sold a pair of cleats and socks to this boy in the picture and he was
so excited to get them. Just seeing the look his face made it worth it.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wedding crashers

Paul and I were invited to a mumu; a ceremony/celebration to name our
friend's baby after me. Someone was going to come to our house to show
us the way to the village. They were to come around 10 am but we're
operating on PNG time here so we didn't hold our breath. After waiting
about 1 1/2 hours we decided to hop on the motorcycle and try to find
the village since we had a general idea where it was.

Paul drove along a dirt road through the coffee plantation - so
beautiful. We saw some women sitting by the road and told them we were
looking for a mumu. They pointed out the way and sure enough in a
couple of minutes we saw a lot of people sitting in little groups and
the smoke of a mumu rising in the air. There were even streamers and
balloons which was quite a surprise; these aren't too common in PNG.
The motorcycle was very loud and as they directed us to drive right up
through the people and park I felt a little awkward about our dramatic
entrance. Once we'd gotten off and taken a look around I realized "I
don't know a single person here!" Turns out we were not only not at the
right mumu, we were at a bride price ceremony which is the equivalent of
a wedding. At this point we saw 11 pigs penned up and two huge piles of
food - all part of the bride price or payment the man's family gives to
the bride's family. After an attempt at an explanation in Tok Pisin and
several "sori trus" we roared out of there feeling pretty embarrassed.

Before long we found the right village (banana block). Our friend
showed us around while her family prepared food for the mumu. There was
a chicken running around and next thing we knew it was headless and
getting plucked! While we waited for the food we decided to walk down to
the river. This was no easy feat; I lost my flip flops in mud halfway
up to my knees and our friend, Lewi, had to hold me up at times along
the way.

Later back at the village the family started talking very excitedly,
almost shouting. I thought something was wrong and asked Lewi what was
going on. She said they'd decided that her brother's newborn boy should
be named "Pole" after Paul. The mom and dad didn't really have a say in
the matter but that's typical here; decisions are made corporately. A
relative arrived and sat down next to me. She told me her name and
waited for me to say mine. If I said Laura it might confuse everyone.
No one can really say Laura so the baby named after me is Rola. I
decided it would be simpler if I just told her my name is Rola (nem
bilong mi em i Rola).

Papua New Guinea is called the land of the unexpected - I believe it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Church dedication

Some of you may remember the church Daniel and Paul worked on several
months ago. Last weekend was the dedication for it.