Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Special guest at Kekesu school graduation

I had just sat down and was ready to watch the procession of students and special guests at the start of the Kekesu Primary School end-of-year celebrations (in December) when a Teop chief came over and asked me to be a special guest. I felt a bit uncomfortable with the idea, but I agreed, because I also felt uncomfortable with declining.

So I walked over to the other special guests and took all my cues from them. The students formed a guard of honour for the graduating Grade 8 students and special guests to walk through before going up on the stage.

Walking behind the Grade 8 students:

There were lots of speeches and also some songs that the students presented:

Academic awards were presented to students from each year level, with students receiving a gift presented by one of the special guests. I was surprised when with no prior warning, it was announced that I would be presenting the gifts to the E-Prep students! It was rather funny and a bit embarrassing, because I don’t see myself as being important enough to qualify for presenting awards!

I didn’t get any photos of myself handing out awards, but here’s a photo of one of the presentations. Just imagine me there instead!

After all the formal presentations were over, everyone had lunch, and again I had it up on the stage with the special guests and enjoyed nice food. After that I was able to return to my ‘comfort zone’ of my village aunties, sisters and nieces and watch some of the dances that various groups of people performed. It was a long day, and we got back to the village just before dark.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

“My” vegie garden

I sort of have my own little vegie garden next to our village, which I am really enjoying. Most gardens are about a half hour walk away from the village, but this is just right where we are, so I am able to go to it at any time and do a bit of weeding or clear away more grass, or plant more vegies.

Here is a photo of the whole garden. (The tall plants with long, pointy leaves to the right are pandanus and aren’t a part of ‘my’ garden).

These are my tomato plants in the centre of this photo, and the ones Joyce planted are on the right, at the top right are the beans.

These are the leafy greens known as ‘aibika’ in Tok Pisin. Similar idea to spinach.

There’s a banana tree in the centre of this photo, which was already there when we started the garden, but surrounding the banana tree, you can see more of our beans.

I’m hoping to plant some eggplant, basil and more tomatoes here in the future. I’ll do my best to keep you posted on the progress.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I’ve been wanting to go looking for my favourite type of shellfish since I arrived back in Bougainville (it’s called ‘bohara’ in Teop, and I’ll write a blog post about it in a few weeks). One day two ladies from the next village were passing through on their way to collect shellfish, and I was able to tag along with them .

We wandered in the shallows looking for shellfish in the water. I wasn’t very good at finding them – I only found one, and a big one at that, so probably the easiest kind to find. Here’s a picture of the kind of shell I found:

Fortunately my friends were generous and shared their shells with me (including some bohara!), so I returned to the village with this basket of shells:

We cooked them up and had them for dinner. These two photos show the cooked shellfish, removed from their shells, before we mixed them with vegies and noodles.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sharing a testimony or an item at church

“What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.” 1 Corinthians 14:26 (NIV)

At many churches here in Bougainville, there is an open time during the service where anyone can go to the front of the church and share a testimony (perhaps of what God has taught or done for them during the week) or present an item (usually a song). If someone has something to share, they don’t have to arrange with the service co-ordinator to have it put on the programme, as there is this time set aside for it.

I really like this aspect of church in Bougainville and I think that the verse quoted above encourages us that these sorts of things should be done in church.

Well that’s just my thoughts, but I don’t want to stir up any controversy, and in humility let me give a disclaimer regarding the interpretation of the verse above – I haven’t done a thorough exegesis (study) of this verse and I could be wrong in my understanding of it, plus I’m sure that there are various ways of interpreting and applying it.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Weeding: Before and after

I took these two photos at the same spot before and after weeding in the sweet potato garden. If you click on the photos to see them bigger, you might be able to compare them and see the differences.