Sunday night around 1 pm I was woken up by the sound of voices under our houses. The only people who usually wake me are my kids and my cat, we’ve never been woken by anyone from Kovol. I went to see what all the commotion was about. It was an emergency. A 4-month old baby had a terrible head wound and was in shock. 10 or so people were stood around looking sad and worried in the cold night.
A common thing in PNG culture is to be indirect. Imagine I want to tell my friend that I’d like them to give me their T-shirt; I would say “Hey, that’s a nice T-shirt!” The message comes loud and clear that I really would like to have her shirt. Imagine the potential for misunderstanding as, when we as westerners say “nice T-shirt” we intend to give a compliment and bond with our friend.
What do you want to be when you grow up? a young child was asked. “A missionary on Home assignment” he replied 🙂 I can’t remember where and when I heard that little anecdote, but it springs to mind often as we’ve now been back in the UK for 7 months.