Friday, January 29, 2010

I'm in Alotau again!

I'm back in Alotau to help with the translation workshop again. I'm enjoying being in the warmer climate and also not having any hayfever. Although I like the heat, it really takes a lot out of you, especially at first when you are acclimatising and I have been finding the need for a short afternoon nap. Soon I will have adjusted and probably won't need a nap.

We arrived in Alotau on Monday and this week we have been preparing for the workshop. I had the job of preparing name tags and another job was collating a booklet with all the handouts of translation information in it for all the participants.

We are going to Hagita tomorrow, where the workshop is run, and I will be in charge of getting keys for the rooms to people, organising our store room and handing out name tags mattresses, welcome packs and mosquito nets. Tomorrow I'll be getting those things ready, but the participants don't arrive until Sunday morning, so I'll be handing them out when they arrive, except of course the staff will be getting their keys on Saturday!

The language group that I will be helping for this translation workshop is called Anuki.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Scripture Use Conference

The first ever Scripture Use Conference in PNG was held this week at Ukarumpa. Church leaders across all denominations and from all over PNG attended. The focus of the conference was using translated Scriptures in the community. The conference has also encouraged partnership and working together across denominations and organisations.

On Wednesday, conference participants ate dinner at houses in the community. I volunteered to have two men from Bougainville over for dinner. I had met them when I was in Bougainville last year. I had two friends, Rebekah and Daniel come for dinner too. Here's a photo of us after dinner:


I attended a 'networking' session on Thursday afternoon. The participants from the islands east of the mainland gathered together in a group and had discussions. I joined this group with the Bougainville men. Everyone had been thorough encouraged by the conference and pleased with all they had learnt and are would like to see more conferences like this happen in the future.

Here's a photo of the island group discussion:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A mile in my shoes...

If you were to literally walk a mile in my shoes, you would…
- not actually be wearing shoes, you'd be wearing sandals or thongs
- be walking up and down hills a lot
- learn that dirt doesn't just rinse off with water, you need to rub it off
- walk on uneven terrain
- possibly have sprained or twisted an ankle due to the uneven terrain and lack of ankle support that thongs and sandals provide, fortunately I have managed not to hurt my ankle
- learn that thongs flick mud onto the back of your legs and onto your clothes
- get used to your feet getting wet and your thongs being slippery because of this
- wonder why you wore your thongs on a rainy day when your sandals would have been a better choice (no flicking mud up with the sandals)
- have a faint tan line from the thongs
- occasionally have clay-mud an inch thick attached to your sandals
- get used to dirt rubbing against your skin, under the thong strap
- regularly walk in the middle of the road and move to the side when a car comes
- only ever travel in a car at night
- forget about how hot cars get when they've been sitting in the sun

An uneven and stony road is shown in the pictures below. We have an industrial department who works very hard to repair the roads, but there are always too many jobs to do and it is very hard for them to keep up with it all. If you're industrially skilled, I'm sure they'd appreciate you here!



Here's my feet after a short walk.


A close up showing the dirt that's between my toes too.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Earthquakes

We have had a couple of moderate size earthquakes recently. On Christmas Eve there was a 5.4 earthquake and yesterday we had a 5.9 magnitude earthquake. I know they sound big and scary, but really they are pretty gentle. I haven't felt a huge earthquake here. I just sit and enjoy them, they're nothing to worry about.

How can I describe what the earthquake feels like? It reminds me a bit of sitting in a rollercoaster trolley chugging along a straight flat section near the start or end of the ride. It is just a light shaking or rocking feeling.

These earthquakes haven't been strong enough to send things falling off shelves or anything like that. We get earthquakes fairly frequently here. The smaller ones (under 5 magnitude) are not usually recorded on the website where I find out the details.

It is funny when you go to a village after being in Ukarumpa for a while – for the first few nights lying in bed you think you're feeling an earthquake, but then you realise that it is just the house moving as someone rolled over in bed!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year!

On New Year's Eve, I went to a small party, starting at 9pm. We played a game and chatted until midnight. We had a fire going outside, and when midnight came, we made our own fireworks with steel wool. How you do it is: you attach a piece of steel wool to a coat hanger, light it in the fire, and then swing it around in circles. I chose to watch rather than do it myself. One of the girls got some metho and wrote 2010 on the grass (which was wet as it had been raining) and lit it, so we had 2010 in flames on the grass for a little while.

I'm glad to be in 2010 now, as I was feeling like 2009 was getting old. I wish you all the best for 2010 and hope you have a good year.

Here's my photos from our party…

The fire:


Steel wool fireworks:



2010 in flames: