Wednesday, June 29, 2011

We have TV in our village!

One of the recent changes to our village was the arrival of a satellite dish. It was put up next to a very basic bush material house.

There’s also a TV that connects to the satellite dish and I enjoyed watching one of the ‘Millionaire’ spin-off game shows and ACA one night, but I haven’t really looked at the TV very often.

NRL games are what really draw the crowds. In the next few photos, the people are watching an NRL game:

People were allowed to come and watch the regular NRL games for free, but when the State of Origin came around, the men built a fenced in area and charged for admission to watch the game.

Part of the fence:

This is the fenced in area. After I took this photo, they put curtains up at the front, to completely block the view and prevent anyone from trying to watch it for free.

The satellite dish receives PNG’s free-to-air TV channel, EmTV, which has a partnership with Channel 9, so it airs some Channel 9 programs including the NRL games. NRL is really popular in PNG, but I’m not interested in it. I wish that AFL was popular and that I could see some AFL games in the village. We don’t even get the Grand Final on EmTV!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

First visit to a distant village!

The Teop language is spoken by many villages on mainland Bougainville, not just Teop Island. The village we live in, Hiovabon, is one of those villages and we are able to walk to and visit many of the other villages, but some are too far away and we haven’t been able to visit them and develop many relationships in those places.

Irue beach:

We wanted to personally meet pastors to invite them to the church leaders meeting that we had in May, so we arranged a trip to Irue, where we had never been before, to see some people there. We travelled there by boat from our village.

Irue beach:

One of the local traditional customs is when a person goes to a village for the first time, the local people pour water over their feet and this happened to us at Irue. It wasn’t as soon as we got off the boat; we had been there for several hours before they did it. I don’t know what the meaning behind the foot washing is however.

Irue village:

Shortly after we arrived, we went for a walk along the beach to the ‘point’ (the end of the peninsula) and we saw the lighthouse. I will post about the lighthouse later, but here’s a picture of us walking along the beach.

Monday, June 20, 2011

ABG day cultural items – Part Two

Some more photos of cultural performances from ABG day 2011.

Modern-day bamboo band, PVC pipes instead of bamboo. It still sounds good!

Performance by Carterets Islanders:

The men from the Mortlock Atoll do a performance that is quite different from all the rest, and because of that it is very popular with the crowds (which you can see have come closer in the background of these photos). It’s hard to describe what it’s like, but when the beat gets quicker, they move faster. Maybe you can get the idea from these two photos.

Finally, a photo of the faithful late-afternoon crowd after many people had gone home.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

ABG day cultural items – Part One

Groups of performers from all over Bougainville performed various cultural items for the entertainment on ABG day. I have so many good photos to share with you that it will take two blog posts! I don’t remember where all the groups came from, but I will mention the area for those that I do remember.

A couple of performers walking past:

Men performing:


Ladies with bows and arrows as well as a bamboo tube:

Men from Nissan Island:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Governor General's visit

The Governor General (GG) of PNG came to Buka and attended the ABG Day celebrations yesterday, Wednesday 15 June. (ABG day is a day which celebrates Bougainville’s autonomy and the formation of the Autonomous Bougainville Government – ABG).

The GG is the Queen’s representative and the highest position in a Commonwealth country. I’ve never been near a GG before, so I’ve never seen before all the protocol that has to be followed just like with real royalty. Part of that protocol includes having a guard of honour, which you can see being formed by the Bougainville police in this photo:

Local school children also forming their guard of honour:

According to protocol, the President of the ABG has to arrive at the celebrations 10 minutes before the GG. He came in his own car, with police cars escorting him and sounding their sirens. The President’s car has a special number plate:

Here is the President, Chief John Momis, standing on the podium:

The GG arrived in similar fashion to the President, with sirens wailing and several cars before and after the one he was in. He even waved at people like the Queen from inside the car! He also stood on the podium before sitting under the grandstand (not sure that’s quite the right word for the structure!). Presenting the GG of PNG, Sir Michael Ogio:

He gave a speech from the grandstand, which you can see him doing in the photo below.

Another part of the protocol is that whenever the GG is present, a special flag has to be flown, maybe it is the Royal Standard of PNG. It is the flag on the right in the picture below. The other two flags are: left – PNG flag; middle – Bougainville flag.

(Remember, you can click on photos to see a larger version).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

North Bougainville by-election

The former MP for North Bougainville, Sir Michael Ogio, recently became the new Governor General of PNG, so a by-election was called to fill his seat. The voting happened when we were in the village, so we were able to see how it works. It’s similar to the way we do in in Australia, but only one person could vote at a time as there was only one booth. And it was all outdoors, not inside a hall like it usually is in Australia.

The overall scene, complete with village dogs.

The registration desk with the polling officials wearing green t-shirts, and a policeman wearing blue, sitting on the bench.

People checking out the candidates whose names and faces are on this poster stuck on the tree.

Another overall scene (from the other side).


Putting the slip of voting paper in the secure metal box.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Advisor checking

Rebekah’s and my role in our translation work is that of an advisor. Our Teop translators make a draft translation and Rebekah and I check it. We have some software on our computer with lots of in-depth resources about Biblical books, which we can look up for advice.

During March and April, Rebekah and I prepared for doing an ‘advisor check’ of Mark 1-6 in May. We had questions, suggestions and items for clarification in the draft translation of Mark 1-6. We worked together with Joyce and Ailyne at the Training Centre in Buka and managed to get all six chapters checked.

Some verses were very frustrating, but other verses were fairly straightforward. We had a good time, including some great laughs…

In the photo below, Joyce is explaining to me how corn grows for the parable of the growing seed in Mark 4:26-29.

We had a look at a packet of mustard seeds when checking the parable of the mustard seed in Mark 4:30-32.

‘O vaaviararaa no vua mastat’ – ‘The parable of the mustard seed’ with the packet of mustard seeds next to it.

Ailyne looking at the packet of mustard seeds:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Church leaders meeting

During our last village stay, we held a meeting with the church leaders from the Teop area. Fifteen people came from all three denominations, and seven villages were represented. We were very pleased with the turn-out.

We spoke about the translation work and about the need for a translation committee and what its role is. We asked the church leaders to give us names of people who they think would be good to be on the committee and we got a list of 13 names (covering 10 villages), and so far ten of those people have accepted to join the committee.

Here is the meeting in progress, while I am speaking:

We also said that we would like more people to join the translation team as translators, and we have three people who will possibly join the work.

After such a meeting, we need to provide a meal, so our wonderful aunts in the village did a great job of preparing lots of food to feed all our guests. Rebekah and I baked banana muffins to contribute.

The spread of food:

People sitting around on the beach eating. Teop Island is in the background.