Thursday, May 14, 2009

May 9 – Saturday

About 3 am I awoke to the lights of the hall beaming into my eyes. There would be breakfast in the morning.

Today was the dreaded “workshop” day. I say dreaded because neither Todd nor Rhett knew what to expect. The students would be working with two groups of seminary students: the speech class and the drama class. Each class would be divided up to and one or two of our team would work out a story with either a group from the drama or speech class.

As I mentioned, it was uncertain as to whether this would work or not. The team seemed a little apprehensive.

We all began to rouse about 6:30 am. Everyone had eaten breakfast by devotions at 8:15 am. The team headed off to the workshop at 8:40 am. I remained behind to clean up the kitchen and take a nice cold, but quick shower. I had the whole morning to myself which was really nice. I organized my luggage and did a small load of laundry.

At 11 am I made a water run to the team. It was a good thing too as to temperature had already reached 90 degrees and I am sure the humidity was equally as high. We have all been pretty wet….all day….all the time.

As I walked across the grass I remembered that early in the day I had thought about asking one of the ladies in the community if I could purchase some bananas and papaya, kau kau and kumu. I overpaid for what I purchased but I felt pretty good about the conversation with the lady, all in Tok Pisin.

Anyway, I digress. After the workshop, which went very well, the students came back to lunch that I had prepared. It was actually a snack. Later in the day we would be attending a baby naming ceremony. In Papua New Guinea where there is a ceremony, there is the promise of food.

We were to head over to the cafeteria at the seminary when we heard the sound of the bell.

We waited quite a while for that bell to ring. When it seemed that someone had forgotten to ring us over to the party, the bell rang.

What awaited us was something quite exciting. Tables of food and one large roasted pig as the center piece.

Our hosts asked us to sit in small groups at different tables so that more of the community would have a chance to interact with us. I sat with Whitney.
The hour long ceremony was brief. Several pastors spoke, both of the grandfathers spoke and we were introduced to the baby: Mosepundajudy. A few prayers later we were invited to go through the food line first. Two types of rice, kau kau, taro, kumu, carrots, cabbage slaw, fruit, BBQ’d lamb ribs, chicken of various types…just to name a few.

We stayed for an hour more before it seemed appropriate to go. However, on the way out the worship band was playing and the students had another impromptu practice time.
Soon the singing spilled out onto the grass and I watched as the team played with all the little children of the community. This experience would prove to be one of the most impactful experiences for several students. (I’ll revisit this later.)
I had come back to boil the sweet potatoes that I had planned to put into the frittata. I had a nice time alone doing my nails and drinking a cup of Milo.
I called home this afternoon on the satellite phone but only reached Kalie for a brief moment. Several students called home as well. Many of them hadn’t communicated with family since we left. I am sure family members will sleep good tonight.

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