Kovol humour

Can you believe that near the end of my language learning journey, I had no idea what the Kovol word for “laugh” or “funny” was? It’s crazy the gaps there can be in vocabulary and it’s another reason our system of learning language by making sure we cover all aspects of the culture is really helpful.

Interviews about spirits

As I near the end of my culture and language study and my ability to use and understand the Kovol language keeps increasing I’m able to dive into some deeper areas of the Kovol culture. A big, important area for the work we do is that of gods and spirits.

Twixy cat

Our coworker’s cat cookie is a kitten-making machine. She’s been having 2 to 3 litters a year for as long as we’ve been here. At 4-6 per litter, it’s incredible the number of kittens she’s produced and young kittens tumbling around by our houses is the norm.

We’ve finally given in and we’ve taken one for ourselves. After many days of umming and aahing, we finally said why not?
The first step was to gather all 4 surviving kittens (2 went… on holiday with a village dog) and look up Google images of how to tell males and females apart. We were sure we wanted a male kitten so we don’t end up doubling the flow of kittens around here!

Part of a community

Wednesday and Thursday’s flights went without a hitch meaning we moved all the groceries both our family and the Stous family for the next months came in. A day later our family made it in. A crowd of Kovol friends of course greeted us and we were able to let them know how glad we were to be back.

Priority flight

Good news, we’ve been given flights for this week. The fuel crisis is still ongoing, and the aviation team isn’t flying at full capacity, but they are finding ways to prioritize essential flights.

No flights back (for now)

A break out in Goroka has been very refreshing for us. We came out of the bush and were in awe of how many people there were to talk to at our mission base, amazed by all the choice in the stores, revelling in the sunshine and generally feeling excited and energized by all the things we can enjoy out in town. After some good times out here we’re almost feeling ready to get back to work in Kovol. Almost! It feels much the same as when you’ve decided to go running, but it’s so hard to get yourself out the door and do it, knowing that once you get started you’ll get into it and you’ll find you quite enjoy it 🙂 Unfortunately with an ongoing fuel crisis in country it’s not looking like we’ll be able to fly in.

Out on break

We’re happy to report that the weather improved and we could fly out! The pilot was only an hour away from calling off the flight for the 2nd day in a row, and we heard that the following day was another terrible Kovol weather day, which left us very glad to be out!

Cloudy days

We made it, it’s break time! We’ve been limping along recently looking very much forward to a break. We’ve realised that we haven’t had a proper break for about a year because the last 2 times we were out of Kovol were “working breaks” where we mixed days off with conferences and workshops. The weather isn’t cooperating though and we’re unable to leave Kovol!

Christmas break

e took a week’s break for Christmas, and better late than never on Jan 16 it’s time to write about it! We spent Christmas in Kovol, attempting to hide in our house as much as possible to get away from “work” which is learning the Kovol language.

I say as much as possible because there is always a steady stream of opportunities for community engagement. For example, a friend came to us in the evening on the very first day of our break to report that a lady had given birth in the village, but that the baby wasn’t nursing and hadn’t been for a full day. This was concerning, but we didn’t think we could do anything for the little one and decided to wait till morning to check it out. We didn’t have formula we can give, and we couldn’t think of anything we could do, the only option was for the little one to work it out on their own.