Living in the village was one of the best times and hardest times in our lives. We loved getting to know our village family, and the hospitality that they offered us was amazing. They let us stay in their brother’s home for 5 weeks, took us places, taught us the language and how they lived and basically looked after us for all of that time. We became very close with the village of Lalok 5. One of my greatest memories was when I got to take pictures of each of the families that made up the one big family line of Lalok 5. They had never gotten their picture taken before, but just like American families (who usually have their picture taken annually) they were nervous about what to wear, where to stand and getting all of the family together in one place at the allotted time. I loved being able to give this gift to them, because as you all know family pictures can be the most precious item that we can own. Can you imagine not having these precious items, ever taken, in your entire life?
Malfun and his family. Malfun (pronounced “Malpone”, shown here in the Papua New Guinean flag shirt) was the uncle of the family in Lalok 5. He had a hat for every day we were there and was one of the nicest dressers around Him and his wife were the most resourceful people of Lalok 5 and sold produce from their garden at the market everyday. Many days Malfun’s wife would leave in the dark and come home in the dark to go sell things at market. Malfun was a fisherman and was out on the water most days looking for fish to feed his family. They had five kids, and we got to be great friends with their oldest two kids, Lesli and Moses (in the back). Moses at age 13 was in first grade and Lesli at age 11 was in kindergarden. Malfun and our waspapa made and taught Evan how to make a traditional drum, the kundu.
The next house over was Lacie’s house. She lived there with her 90 year old mother, and 3 children. Her oldest son, Nathan lived in the “House Boy” where many of the young single men lived. Lacie was one of my best friends in the village. She is always known to have a story to tell you about what is going on in the villages around her. She is also the women’s ministry leader at the church. Her 90 year old mother, Mata, was the first of the line of Lalok 5, and lived through WW2. Stennis, her youngest (in the PNG flag clothes) was one of my favorite little boys. He had bright blonde hair (that unfortunately he shaved off for this picture) and a real gift for art. Eddie, the older boy in the back was always playing jokes on Evan. We definitely had a special place in our hearts for this family.
The “big man” or the leader of the village lived in the house on the corner with most of his older kids and grandchildren. We all called him “Booboo” which means grandfather in Tok Pisin. He was the Father of our waspapa and had 7 children. Most of the children were still in the village. Our favorite little girl, Diane (seen on the bottom right) lived here with her mom, Angela. We had a special place in our hearts for this sassy little girl and wish we could’ve taken her home! Because both of these young moms had children without fathers our was papa, Pedro has adopted these girls. So when Angela and Wali get married they will have to leave their children with our host family because it is not culturally appropriate to have “stepchildren”.
Borat and his family kindly gave us their house while we stayed in the village, and they stayed with Booboo, or the grandpa of the village. Borat was called “man bilong hookim pis” or the man who hooks all of the fish. He loved to go fishing. And on many occasions he took Evan along with him. We knew when Borat came over, we would always have a yummy meal of fish. Borat had 5 children and 1 adopted boy.