Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Walking through the mangrove swamp

There are two ways that we can go to the garden when we’re in the village. The shorter way involves walking through the mangrove swamp, and it can only be done at low tide as we walk through the river, which rises with the tide.

Here’s me walking through the river between the mangrove trees on our way to the garden:

After a while we leave the river and walk over the mangrove roots, which can be a bit of a challenge when you’re a rebel like me and don’t wear your shoes!

Here we are walking through the water again on our way back to the village. This particular day, I had cut my leg with a bush knife/machete, so I was trying to make sure that I kept the cut above the water!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Happiest missionary ever!!

I am the happiest missionary ever! The students who I was teaching over the past six weeks declared me to be the happiest missionary ever. I gave a presentation to them about the work I do in Bougainville and from that, they could see how much I love what I am doing and they gave me this award for ‘Happiest missionary ever’ at their celebration at the end of the course.

The awards were all a bit of fun, nothing serious or official, but it was still really encouraging. It is true, I am really happy. I love living in the village, especially all the people, and I enjoy learning the language and getting involved in translation work. It is really fulfilling and I couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing or anywhere else I’d rather be.

I thank God for all that he has done in providing for me (especially by providing a family for me in the village) and leading me to the best place for me to be.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fun times visiting another village – Waropa

There’s a new Bible school that’s started up near us, which runs one month courses. Some of our friends from the village have attended these courses and while we were in the village, there was a graduation which we were invited to. So we travelled on the back of a tipper truck to Waropa and we stayed overnight there.

On our first night there was a huge feast. There was incredible amounts of food there. But then again, there was a lot of people too! I enjoyed spending the afternoon seeing some of the food being prepared, and helping out a little too.

Here is some pork which had been cooked inside bamboo, getting transferred to a pot.

The village where we stayed (Waropa) was looking immaculate. See all the grass in the photo below? That’s a lot of grass, so it would take a lot of work to keep that nice and neat and short. There’s no fancy ride-on mowers here!

The graduation service was the next morning. Everyone was encouraged to wear white, and it looked really nice seeing everyone wearing the same colour (Wouldn’t it be cool if they chose purple?). The service started with all the graduating students singing a song in Teop as they approached and entered the building. As you can see in the photos, they also wore some traditional grass skirts too.

Rebekah and I had been invited to share as guest speakers. I shared a bit of my testimony and encouraged people to share with other people how God has worked in their lives.

We had a nice time at Waropa. It was our first time to visit that area. The people there speak Teop, but a different dialect. Most of them hadn’t met us before, so it was quite a novelty for them to hear us speaking Teop and they all wanted us to show them our photos and describe them in Teop. It was quite funny, one time a bunch of young men set up and sat in front of two empty chairs which they wanted us to come and sit on to show them our photos. Thus the following photo was taken later…

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Marijuana awareness poster

Together with our friend Isaiah, we produced a poster in the Teop coastal and inland dialects about the effects of marijuana and how it can destroy lives. We put these posters up in prominent places where people can read about the dangers of marijuana in their own language. The picture below shows the inland dialect poster.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Trip to Teabes

We visited a village area called Teabes during our last village stay. This is our village grandpa’s home village, so it was nice to see where he used to live and meet some more Teop people.

We travelled by motor boat and on the way we passed these tiny, uninhabited, rocky islands, which we can always see from Hiovabon. They looked quite photogenic as we passed.

There was lovely white sand beaches at Teabes.

When you go to Teabes by motor boat, you travel through some mangroves to get there. They had some cool reflections in the still water.

Heading out of the mangroves as we leave Teabes:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012