Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mama's Boy

So my husband was working with one of our Hewa guys to teach him how to operate a lawn mower that is on loan to us from another tribe. This is a HUGE help since everyone was just cutting 600 meters of thick grass with machetes. 

Anyway, John Michael is trying to push it or crank it or something I have no idea what because I wasn't really paying attention. I was sitting on my porch steps talking to my co-worker about our latest round of illnesses and injuries when JM looked over at me and said, "I think he just called me a Mama's boy?"

"What did he say to you?"

"Well..he said, 'You can do it. You are a mzfi yainoma'.

So my husband asked our friend Ken, "What did you just call me?"

Ken answered in Melanesian Pidgin thinking that maybe John Michael just didn't understand because he was speaking in Hewa, "You know…wanpela man bilong Mama."

"That's what I thought, " was John Michael's response to this petite tribal man. 

"Yep, he totally just called me a Mama's Boy", he said as he looked over at me with a confused smirk.

I feel the need to mention here that Ken is short and very slender with the voice of an 8 year girl…and he just called my burly husband who towers over him a mama's boy. 

I told him that it probably had the opposite meaning here. Like you are big and strong because you drank a lot of milk from your mom*, so you should be able to do this thing that is really difficult. 

"Gross" was my husband's answer to me, and then he turned to clarify this meaning with Ken, who said, "yeah, yeah. That's right."

We all had a big laugh and then told Ken that we have the same phrase in English, but it is not a compliment. John Michael proceeded to tell him that in America it means you're a grown man who is still drinking milk from your mama. Ken was a little embarrassed and wondered if he offended John Michael, but after a lot of laughing and joking about it he realized that this was something that we got a huge kick out of. 

Just another day in the life of our family plopped in the middle of a world and culture that is pretty much the opposite of our own! 

*Disclaimer: My husband felt it extremely necessary that I make it clear that he was exclusively bottle fed and never drank milk from his mom. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Three Things

1. I got my kindle to work again, but it is still glitchy.

2. My awesome co-workers are bringing me a new one in a few weeks. (thanks, Mom, for ordering it for me!)

3. All is right with the world* again.

That is all.

*The use of the word world here is not referring to the third planet from the sun that is currently inhabited by humans. I am well aware that all is not right in that world.  I am referring to the tiny imaginary one that revolves around me. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Two Things

I just have two things to share today...

1. My kindle broke.

2. Everything's the worst.

That is all.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Three Month Countdown

I haven't posted in a while because I had this really weird thing going on with my fingers that was causing me a lot of pain. It hurt to pretty much do anything- including type. We are now on the three month countdown until we leave for our furlough and I have made it my goal to not have anyone in our family have to fly out of the tribe for medical reasons, so I was trying to be really careful. (who wants to take bets that we actually meet that goal?)

My fingers are much better now, so I can type all I want. I don't know if you are excited or disappointed, but here goes...

While my fingers left me unable to write, we had some very sweet and amazing friends come in and help us do a bunch of projects around our house so that we can just focus on learning language these last few months. I am now the proud owner of some beautiful kitchen cabinets and drawers after 15 months of storing my kitchen utensils and tupperware in cardboard boxes. 

Raymond and Odessa Dunwoody are from Northern Ireland and they run the guesthouse for missionaries here in Goroka, PNG. They are an amazing couple who love and minister to everyone they come across, but they have been especially caring to us. As you know we have had a lot of medical issues since we've been here, so we have to go to Goroka a lot because that is where the missionary medical clinic is stationed. Odessa and Raymond are always there to welcome us with a hot comforting meal and place to stay. They treat our kids like they are their own and our kids love them dearly. Raymond also happens to be a very gifted carpenter, so they agreed to come in here and help us with our house. Raymond built my kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, and did a number of other projects around the house and Odessa helped me with all my sewing projects. On top of all that we had a great time just hanging out with them and listening to the stories of their amazing life in the beautiful Irish lilt that I now secretly try to imitate when no one is around. It was also nice to be able to just relax and use our own Southern accents without worry since all Americans sound alike  to them. 

When the day came for them to go back home we were all very sad as we realized that this would be the last time we would see them for a year. We leave for America in May and won't come back to PNG until January 2015, and as I said before we don't plan on going to Goroka again before that. There were lots of tears all around as we said goodbye and it brought me to the realization that we are getting ready to go through that rough phase of too many goodbyes all over again. While sometimes I physically ache to see my family and friends back home, I will also really miss the friends and new family that we have made here. Our co-workers and the Hewa people especially. In fact, we will only get a couple months with the Kopf family between the time they return from America and we head out. And when we come back, we will only have a couple of months with the Dunn family before they leave. It is the vicious circle. 

Sigh. This is the life we lead. It is all part of the strange package that is missionary life, and definitely something that every missionary goes through. But…that doesn't make it any easier. Our hearts are torn between two places and people living all over the globe. It makes us very much look forward to heaven when we can be with all the people we love- all our brothers and sisters in Christ at one time and one place. And we will never be separated again.