Saturday, February 28, 2009

Village house

/-/ Village Flashback /-/ It’s been a while since I did a village flashback, but there’s still some village living experiences that I haven’t shared yet. So, in keeping with the house theme, I thought I’d tell you about our house in the village and show you some pictures.

We had a nice BIG house in the village. There was four inside rooms, plus a big verandah and a small verandah. Sara and I shared one room as a bedroom and our village sisters shared another room for their bedroom. The third room was our kitchen. It had a table in it which was good for food preparation. The last room was supposedly a change room for after we bathed, but it was not really very private, so we changed in our bedroom.

I’ll tell the rest of the story in pictures now.

The house:

From another angle:

Our kitchen:

Some of our food storage in the kitchen:

Our inside fire which we didn’t actually use very often:

Our clean, boiled drinking water – looks great, doesn’t it?

Our bedroom. My bed is the one with the mosquito net over it.

The big verandah:

The small verandah – we used this one more often as the roof leaked over the big verandah and the floor got wet.

The view from our house – buai (betelnut) trees!

Our classy toilet. It was great – newly built just for us and no-one else to use, until after we left. It was just behind the buai trees, on a main path, but it was built so well that it was very private.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Moved house

I have moved house again. I am sharing with a single woman from Argentina. This is the fourth house I have lived in at Ukarumpa already! I will be able to stay in this house until some time in June. There is a microwave and an electric kettle at this house! The house I was just in didn't have either, so I'm happy to have them again as I like using them a lot.

Here’s a picture of the house:

And this is the view from one of our windows:

Saturday, February 14, 2009


There is a market at Ukarumpa three days a week selling fresh fruit and vegies. I usually go just once a week and buy enough to last the week. Compared to Australia, the price of fresh food is really cheap. I bought all the food in the picture below for about AUD$5.

During village living, there was a market just outside our village twice a week. I went to it on both days, mainly just for socialising and observing, but I usaully also bought a few things, like cherry tomatoes, spring onions or green beans, and maybe some cooked food to eat as a second breakfast.

Here are some market scenes from village living:

Monday, February 9, 2009

Victorian bushfires

I have been following the news online and I have been touched by the massive bushfire tragedy in Victoria, especially in the Kinglake and Marysville areas. These places are about 45 minutes to 1.5 hours drive from home respectively, they are like our backyard. Close enough for me to consider as a part of my extended local world.

It is hard to get my mind around the fact that these townships have been virtually wiped out. I feel the most for all those who have lost loved ones in the fires. It is awful when someone you know dies suddenly like that.

People have also lost their houses and everything they own in the fires and it is just amazing to read about the community spirit, how everyone comes together to support them, by giving money and material gifts to the victims.

Well, what else can I say? It is such a huge tragedy and I am lost for words. But I am really feeling for all those involved or affected in some way.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Free food

Many Papua New Guineans are proud of the fact that they don’t have to ‘waste’ money on buying food – they can get it for free from their gardens. I wonder how many Australians would consider buying food as a waste of money. We would maybe consider extravagance, such as travelling first class on an aeroplane, as a waste of money, but buying food? It’s an interesting difference in cultural perspective.

Today I got free food from the garden at the house I am staying in – a lot of cherry tomatoes! I’m quite happy to adopt the free food concept – why waste your money buying it, when it’s right there in your garden? It’s a pity that’s all I have, I can’t live off just cherry tomatoes, so I guess I’ll have to ‘waste’ more money and buy food.

Here are the tomatoes I picked today:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Kamano Grammar Sketch

17 NOV 2009 UPDATE: The Kamano Grammar Sketch is now online! Click the following link to get there.

Last week I was working on preparing the Kamano Grammar Sketch for web publication. It is a paper that describes the grammar of the Kamano language. It was type-written in 1970, so they only had a paper copy until recently when someone else typed it into the computer. My job has been to go through the electronic document editing the typing errors and other things that did not meet the standard forms for linguistic papers. Much of it involved adding or deleting punctuation marks; inserting arrows; correcting all the cross-references; and putting some words in italics and other words in capitals. It was a long and tedious job, but I didn’t mind it.

The old, tatty original grammar sketch:

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ada nambek visited us!

We had a visit from Ada nambek yesterday! He is one of our ‘relatives’ from village living. I was so excited about it and it really made my day! It was great to see him and hear his news. One of our relatives had her baby and it was a girl. That was good to hear as we knew she was expecting. Ada nambek rang my mobile (using his mobile - they don’t have much, but they have mobile phones!) and arranged to meet me. He was in the area dropping his son off at Aiyura National High School to study Year 11.

I showed Ada nambek some new photos that I had, plus pictures on my calendars. It was good being able to speak the few words I know of his language with him. I really loved doing that and it was amazing how the words just came back to me. I think he was happy that I still remembered the language too.

He called me Mogom when talking to me or referring to me. It was so good to hear my village name again. I really miss that. It is special.

It was really wonderful to have him visit. I can’t even express how good it was. I was thrilled and I was buzzing afterwards.

A photo of me with Ada nambek at Sara’s house: