Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cute kids

Just a few photos of some kids looking cute. Our village brother’s two little girls are in all of these photos, they are our nieces, and they can call me ‘Aunt Julie’, but in Teop it is ‘Yaa Julie’. It was so cute to hear the oldest on the mobile phone one night saying ‘Yaa Julie, tea bon’ (‘Aunt Julie, goodnight’).

The shorter two kids in this picture are our village nieces.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

What joy only $5 can bring

Our village mum and main translator, Joyce, has been walking everywhere recently with bare feet because she has no shoes. Even though her feet are tough and used to walking without shoes, there are times that she would like to wear shoes, like when walking for over an hour on a stony dirt road.

Today, Rebekah and I bought a pair of thongs and gave them to Joyce and she was so thrilled to receive them. Although we blessed her by giving her a pair of thongs, we were also blessed by just seeing her reaction and how grateful she was.

The thongs cost K12, which is about $5, and Rebekah and I split the cost, so it was really only $2.50 each – less than a cup of coffee in Australia! Thank you to all those who support me and make it possible for me to be here and be able to bless people like this too.

Now for a short update on my movements: We just had four great weeks in the village, and we are now back in Buka, with Joyce and her daughter Ailyne to attend a computer course which runs for three weeks. We will be going to Ukarumpa after that for a month, and then we will return to Buka on 12 April, and back to the village shortly after that.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Trip to the vegie garden

Going to the garden is a daily part of life for the local women, and it’s not just as easy as a half minute walk to the vegie patch your back yard like we do in Australia! For us, it’s a five minute walk along the road to the path that goes into the bush, and then it’s a further 25 minutes till we get to the garden.

We have only been to the garden twice, but hopefully we will go more often in the future.

Here’s Joyce and me walking along the road to get to the garden path:

We used the hoe to make many mounds of dirt to plant new sweet potato shoots into:

Here are some newly planted sweet potato shoots:

We also dug up some sweet potato and insisted on carrying them back to the village on my back, so here’s a photo of me carrying the sweet potato. The Bougainville tradition is to make a pack that you can carry like a backpack, over two shoulder, while in much of mainland PNG, they use ‘bilums’ (string bags) that they hang from their head down their back.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Special occasional food

“Menaga” is the Teop word for a local dish that they make for special meals, like Sunday lunch or other special occasions. It can be made with taro, cassava or cooking bananas. Rebekah and I bought some taro and made some menaga. It is basically mashed taro, rolled into balls and coated in coconut cream. Here is a photo-story of the process…

First, we have to grate the coconut to get its flesh:

Then we put the coconut flesh into a press and squeeze out the cream:

We also boil the taro:

When the taro is cooked, we mash it in a big mortar and pestle:

We take the mashed taro out on the end of the pestle…

…and give it to the man who rolls it into balls – that’s traditionally a man’s job.

While he’s doing that, we go back to the coconut cream and boil it until it thickens:

Then we put the mashed taro balls into the coconut cream and mix well:

Now we can eat and enjoy it!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Local netball

One day Rebekah and I were out visiting villages and we came across a large group of women who were sitting down. We chatted to them about our photos and found out that they were sitting having a break from playing netball. When it was time for them to play again, we sat and watched for a while and I took some photos. The ladies said that they were practicing for a competition in a few weeks’ time.

“Who will I throw it to?”

Shooting for goal