Today’s Culture event was making ‘Mamuni’, which kept us occupied from 9:30 to 12:45 🙂 Having invested a bunch of time into eliciting and analysing verb endings in 4 different tenses for 6 different actors (I, we, you, yous, he, they) we’re starting to engage with what we can series activities using photo books. A series activity is what it sounds like, an activity that has steps that you get a photo of. Then you show the photos and ask “What are they doing?”, to get a (hopefully) simple clause that introduces you to being able to actually string vocabulary together in a grammatically correct and natural sentence.
Gardens are essential to their lives. There is all their food, there is their work, there it is were a lot of live happens. Everyone has several gardens, old and new ones. They have garden houses were they sleep, or there is a small shelter. Families work often together or help each other in the gardens. It is often a steep hike to get there. And if it rains, it is really muddy too.
Going into week 7 of straight language learning (since we had to spend 2 weeks in Goroka, we’ve been in language study maybe 10 weeks in total now) and this week is a little slower.
We’re running out of the really obvious nouns all around us all the time to study in a concentrated way. Thousands of nouns are there for us to find yet, but it’s getting hard to think up what they are!
I took the opportunity to sell bars of soap. On our last supply flight, we brought in 288 bars of soap. We buy them at 79 toya and we sell them at 50 toya. Add the transport costs and we end up paying about 8p per missionary couple for every bar of soap we sell.
It was our idea for a low key community project that we could start on immediately to help out in the Coronavirus crisis. We had no idea how it would go – our bright ideas might have gone down like a lead balloon, but it took less than a week to sell out of soap!
We’re happy to ‘shorten the road’ for these guys to get them access to soap. It’s our first ongoing community project and we’re going to not do anything else for a good number of months so we can measure how effective it is, what issues come up and generally observe the medium-term impact to the community and our relationship with them.
We’ve only just started and we’re already concerned we’ve embarked on an unsustainable venture… what happens when there are no missionaries to subsidize and transport the soap anymore? Should we raise the price so we make a profit so that later on it could potentially be managed by someone else?
What does the day to day task of learning an undocumented tribal language look like? Join Steve on an impromptu video diary of his Monday learning the Kovol language