We have almost completed two weeks of our bush orientation and I am proud to say that we are all still alive. Barely. Just kidding, mom.
Our days are filled with learning all kinds of new things like how to deal with an electrical system when your batteries are going bad, and how to conserve water when you are going into the dry season and your water tank leaks. These are all very real and very important parts of the training for tribal church planters.
We are also trying to continue our Pidgin study, and learn more about village life and culture in general. Monday we went with some of the people to harvest “saksak”. The English word for it is “sago” but I am sure that doesn’t help you much either.
Basically it is a huge tree that grows in the swamp. The people cut it down open it up, scrape out the pulp to make a starchy substance that is the staple in their diet. Then they use every other part of the tree to build their houses. When we get back to town and internet, I will do a more detailed post with pictures. But what you need to know right now is that is a lot of hot, sweaty, hard work that you do in the middle of the swamp with mud up to your calves and bees and mosquitoes flying all around you. And these people do this about once a week…so they will have food…so they won’t die. After that experience I will not complain about my “scratch” cooking. I am ashamed of all the times I have opened a bag of flour, and thought, “Ugh this is so hard!” Now I know it could be worse…much worse. I could have to go out and cut an entire field of wheat with a machete. Then carry it home and grind it into wheat first. And that would still be easier than what these people do. These real tribal wives are doing real scratch cooking. Like, starting with cutting down a huge flippin tree. I bet if any of them heard me complain, they would laugh, and say, “Lady, you don’t know squat about scratch cooking.” And I would hang my head in shame because they are right.
Anyway, so that is just a little tid bit of what we are doing now. Learning a lot of new things and gaining a whole new perspective. And sweating. We are doing lots and lots of sweating.