Friday, June 22, 2007

Preparing a Mumu

So you want to see how to build the coolest "steem oven" ever? Check it out:
The ladies helped prepare the kau kau (cow cow = sweet potatoes).

The guys build the fire and cook the food. They start with a bed of rocks and build a fire to super-heat the rocks. They then take away the fire, build a base around the hot rocks, pad it with grass and banana leaves.

Then they dump all the food in: vegetables, greens, and bananas on the bottom and meat on top. They do this in layers. As it cooks, the juices from the meat drip down and flavor the vegies.

Here I'm using a bushknife to cut off the end of this length of bamboo, which will be used as a funnel and a vent.

But first you have to knock the joints out of the bamboo, so the water can flow through.

This tube is forced down to the base of the rocks at the bottom of the pile. As water is poored in, it hits the rocks and begins to steam.

The Mumu is covered over with banana leaves and then with dirt on top and on all sides, so that it is completely sealed and the steem doesn't escape. It cooks for about 2 hours and then is ready to uncover! This is my favorite part!

The food is separated out and divided up amongst everyone.
Men and women eat in separate groups. Everyone has plenty to eat. What's left is dispersed and shared between different family lines. You can learn a lot about how people think by the way they interact with each other...and even by the way they eat.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Interiors, Life in PNG

So you've seen the outsides of the buildings on the ITF campus. Here's an "insiders look" at life here in PNG.

This is a P.M.V. (Public Motor Vehicle). It's the preferred method of public transportation.

This is the inside of a one of their houses. The house is seen as a place for storage, sleeping, and cooking. Actually, they usually have a separate "cook house." But contrary to our culture, they don't see the house as an "escape." And as you can see, they have very little in the area of worldly possessions. We so often take for granted how much we have.

All the socializing goes on outside of the house. The front poarch is a good place to catch up with friends.

Starting a fire to cook kau-kau (cow-cow...or sweet potato).

Here's the inside of our sleeping cabins. Simple living, and yet, luxury compared to what these people live in.

Here's a look at our bucket showers. Lots of fun.
This is the classroom (Kristen is doing a Language Acquisition exercise with one of the language helpers)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A look at the INTERFACE campus.

I'm sharing this staff house with 2 other guys.

These are the cabins that the students live in.

Here's the main classroom.

A couple of staff homes (with grass roof).

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Ever been to a Mumu??

I just got back from a Mumu...this is a large gathering where several families/villages get together and cook a whole lot of food! They steam-cook meat and vegetables in the ground for a few hours and when all is said and done, a lot of people have plenty to eat. This particular Mumu involved 2 whole cows, 3 whole pigs, hundreds of large sweet potatos, greens, bananas, more. When it's all cooked, the food is layed out on large banana leaves and distributed between all the families. However, an event this large is never without significance.

The occasion for this Mumu was a "coming-of-age" ceremony for a teenage girl. Once it is her time to become a woman, they have a ceremony, and they decide on what her brideprice will be. Marriage has a much deeper impact on the whole extended family in PNG culture than it does in our Western culture.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Events from week three...

On Wednesday, we loaded up and drove down to NTM's main highlands support center (Lapilo).

At Lapilo, we learned about the various support role ministries that enable tribal missionaries to be in isolated locations. Like teachers, pilots, dorm parents, and the tribal supply department. Pictured here are supplies ready to be flown into one of the tribal teams (this is the tribe I visited 4 years ago when I cam to PNG). Many of these ministries are in desperate need of personnel. To get a good idea of the needs for support missionaries and opportunities for you to serve as an associate missionary, follow this link.

Here, Heti is showing me how they carve their bows from the hardwood of a dark palm tree. I bought this bow from him, and he was putting some finishing touches on it.

What fun is a bow that you can't shoot? We've been practicing.

Rarely did I hit the target that first day. I split this arrow with a wild shot. I'll keep working on it, so I can take it this fall when I go elk hunting.

The missionaries at INTERFACE have some big tough dogs for added security. Doesn't Misty just seem ferocious?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

This Week's pics.

So, you wanna see some pictures from this week? Follow me...
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Yesterday, we went for a "wokabaut" (walk about) through some of the villages.
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This is in the village called "Nu camp." I was amazed at how tall this bamboo is! It can grow 30 ft. in a year!! (like a giant beautiful weed)
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The kids are lots of fun. Their parents showed us around and they just hung on for the ride.
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MK Graduation

I was sad that I had to miss a number of graduations back in Boise. But on Wednesday, a handful of us staff drove out to Lapilo (NTM's support base) to support the graduating seniors at the school where the missionaries' kids attend. I got to ride on top! (j/k)
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"What are you guys doing?"

What exactly are we doing? Click on the picture to read a description of the INTERFACE course.
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