The Auto Shop now has a new addition to the crew, known as “Taco”. She was originally purchased so that they could get rid of their grass problem in the back of the Auto Shop known as the “junk yard” where there is lots of equipment and its hard to get a mower back there. But next Christmas she will also be the Christmas “Tacos” as well, hence the name. Now before you judge us, we didn’t want the kids to get too attached! We’ve had fun with Taco as we played a prank on our friends who came back from a trip to the U.S. for Christmas. Instead of their loyal dog, Ranger, in their yard, they came home to Taco on their dog line. Harmless fun, until their littlest starts to cry But all is well now and Taco is back at the Auto Shop chomping on weeds. She really enjoys her best friends the dogs of the Auto Shop, as she is now their “pack leader” and they all run around together. Its a pretty funny sight.
Last weekend I had the chance to go to my first Bible Dedication. What an amazing experience! But more on that later…one thing that I had never seen before (only heard) was a traditional drum made out of a tree log called a “Garamut” (Ga-ra-moot). Each village will carve their favorite symbols or pictures onto them and play them loudly by banging a large stick onto the side of the hollowed out log. Thus making a loud noise that can be used to warn other villages of fighting, or in celebration. It was definitely very cool being surrounded by them at the dedication! Here is a video for you to understand how LOUD these drums are…
Well we are back in Ukarumpa, PNG and settling into our routines again. Thanks to everyone for their prayers, my knee is feeling a lot better and getting much stronger. Even though it was unexpected time away because of my knee, we really enjoyed learning Australian culture. We learned all of their sayings like:
Boot = trunk of the car
Toilet = Bathroom, I had the hardest time saying this without feeling rude
Fringe = Bangs (hair), I went to get my hair cut and had the hardest time explaining that I wanted my bangs cut!
Mate = Friend, or someone you just met but want to be friends with…like “bro”
How’re you going? = How are you? We kept thinking why are they asking how we are getting there?
Uni = University
Cheers = typically Americans would say this when you are toasting with a beverage, in Australia they say it anytime things are going their way, they are happy, or saying goodbye
Brekky = Breakfast
Bogan = Redneck Australian…ha!
Mucking Around = Fooling around
Rellies = Relatives..they like to shorten everything. Which frankly I think we should all adopt, because who can be bothered to say the whole word?
Brissy = Short for the city, Brisbane
On one of Evan’s recent trips he ran in to a crazy sight! The local market on the side of the road also featured a “butcher shop” (which was actually just tarps with fresh meat laid on top). Since they don’t have electricity in most villages, that means no refrigeration for the meat. How do they keep the flies away you ask? Just make a handy fan out of palm leaves and you’re good to go!
Well today marks our 6 month anniversary in Papua New Guinea! We have at a great 6 months…in fact it doesn’t even seem like its been that long! The time has definitely flown by. We are absolutely loving it here, loving our jobs and settling into our new life and new culture. Of course everything hasn’t been easy. Theres been lots of sickness and just plain culture shock….but God has been here through it all and we can really see his will for us to be here. Just an update on us, we are both currently in 3 Bible Studies each. Ha-you laugh and might think wow, they are sure learning about the Bible a lot, and we are! But honestly we are really enjoying connecting with people while also learning more about God. Evan is getting to lead a 10th grade guys group on Wednesday nights that he is super pumped about. I am getting to attend a women’s bible study Wednesday mornings that I really enjoy. And we both attend 2 more groups as a couple. We are starting to get super busy with both of our jobs and we LOVE it. God really molded us to be able to fit into these jobs perfectly. It’s definitely amazing! We are awaiting our new puppies that will join us in March, as well as we have adopted a chicken (and are still watching our foster dog Buddy)…so we’re starting our farm AND we get to drive around a Tuk Tuk! Evan has had lots of fun fixing up the Tuk Tuk so that we can drive it around Center.
But more on that later
I haven’t posted a Wacky Wednesday in a while so here ya go. A typical household pet here in PNG, a Kapul. I guess you could call them tree kangaroos? They are furry and soft with a possum like tail to grip the trees.
Have you ever been TPed? I know anyone whose been in a youth group knows what I’m talking about. Well kids in Ukarumpa have their own way of “TP”ing a house. Unfortunately Toilet Paper is so expensive here that they have found their own way of playing pranks. Everyone is Ukarumpa has old video tapes, and no one has VCRs anymore. So what do they do? Its called “Taping”. Last night we got “Taped”. I guess as a sort of introduction to working with the youth in Ukarumpa. Don’t worry, we’ll get them back!
A Singsing is a traditional Papua New Guinean celebration. They are done when there is an event to celebrate, like Independence Day or Christmas. While we were in village living we were blessed to be apart of three different Singsings. Everyone who participates gets all dressed up in bright colors, that include different types of leaves, grass skirts, all different kinds of shells and face paint. Each community has their own unique way of doing it. It almost always involves the beating of a “kundu” or a drum made from a lizard skin, as well as singing and dancing. We had a blast getting to participate in them! They dressed us all up and painted our skin. The picture above is of the Singsing that the local elementary school performed for us. It was so beautiful because the school was right next to the beach and the kids really did sing their hearts out. The other two Singsings were done by our village family for us as we left. We got to participate in these, and then at the end we fed all of the participants tea and popcorn (they loved this!) Here are some photos from our Singsings during village living.
Bathtime in the river! This is the river that Evan and I are washing in everyday in the village that we are staying in, Lalok 5. In a Papua New Guinean village showers or bathtubs are unheard of. How do they wash everyday? The local watering hole. This river is a nice deep river, but most rivers that they have to wash in are not. Consider yourself lucky as you take that hot shower everyday!
Gardening in Papua New Guinea is a way of life. Without it you don’t have food or a way to get money in most cases. Evan went to visit our wasfamili’s garden and found it to be on the side of a mountain! Most of the ladies love for their gardens to be on the side of a mountain because that way they don’t have to bend over so far to plant things. They plant things like bananas, yams, sweet potatoes, taro, and coconut. They go to the garden most days and some days they will bring their extra produce to the market to sell and make money.
Our wasmama Judy, in her garden.
Another garden that they are preparing. First they burn the ground and the trees to fertilize the dirt and clear the land.
Our wasbrother Clive in the garden taking a bath