Wednesday, January 26, 2011

End of year school graduation ceremony

At the end of the 2010 school year, the local schools have a special graduation ceremony where students are awarded academic achievement certificates, and the year 8 students graduate from the school and if they got high enough marks, they will be able to go on to high school (in PNG, Grade 8 is the last year of primary school).

We went to the ceremony at the school at Kekesu mission station, which is about a 40 minute walk from our village as most of the kids in our village go to that school. We had a long wait for the rain to stop before any proceedings could get started.

There was a bit of a parade where the younger students made two lines and the graduating year 8 students walked between them and continued on to their seats. You can see the grade 8 students who are wearing blue in this picture.

The children had to sit under these shelters for a few hours while all the certificates were given out and several speeches were made.

These are the parents and relatives of the students, watching the proceedings.

After all the certificates were given out, it was time for people to eat lunch with their families. Rebekah and I hadn’t brought anything, but our village aunts and our village Mum looked after us and we ended up with two plates of food each! (We are not going to lose weight in the village!)

After lunch, there was time for people to perform items. There was one drama performance, and several dances to Western music. Here’s a group of children performing a dance.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Women’s Christmas fellowship lunch

Before Christmas, we joined the local women’s fellowship for a lunch time gathering. In the picture below, you can see everyone sitting at the beach, and the table with

The ladies had organised a ‘Secret Santa’ or ‘Kris Kringle’ type thing a few weeks earlier, and today was the day that they gave their gift to the person whose name they had drawn previously. We hadn’t been involved in this (next time maybe!), but it was fun seeing the ladies’ joy as they gave and received gifts. The smiles in these pictures say it all:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

No metho in town! What will we do?

When you’re living in a village that doesn’t have electricity, you need some alternative lighting for the evenings, so Rebekah and I bought a Coleman lantern. The conventional way of lighting these lanterns is to fill the dish with methylated spirits and light it to heat up the metal rod before the whole lantern lights up.

When we were first going out to the village, we searched all over town for methylated spirits, going from one place to another following people’s suggestions, but to no avail – we couldn’t find any anywhere. So we went off to the village with our Coleman lantern and no way of lighting it – or so we thought. Local people also own Coleman lanterns and they have a way of lighting them, so they taught it to us (Rebekah really, it’s her job to look after the lantern).

What we have to do is: first remove the lid and glass part, then soak some cotton wool in kerosene (which is the fuel in the bottom of the lantern) and put it in the dish, light the cotton wool, replace the glass part and the lid and proceed as you usually would to light it.

Here are some pictures of the process…

Cotton wool burning and heating the rod:

Still heating the rod, with the glass part and lid replaced:

Finally, here is our evening hang-out spot all light up: