The Pick Your Alphabet meeting

When we finish culture and language study (hopefully within the next 2-3 months!) the next work on the schedule is to prepare a literacy program. An alphabet is an essential part of that, and while we missionaries have some ideas it’s always good to check. It’s their language after all, what symbols would they like?

Talking about the afterlife

As I continued working through our culture study I came to “birth and dying”. I needed to dig into questions like “What happens when a person dies?”, “Is there a road to getting to heaven?”, “Are the dead conscious?” and “Does anyone ever return from the place of the dead?”.

Accusations of sorcery

In December an older Kovol man died. This man being a clan leader meant that it was a fairly big deal and people from all 7 Kovol villages came to mourn. There was tension at the time and fights almost started. In January a rumour was going around that the village the man came from was making accusations of sorcery. At a meeting in January, these were declared to just be rumours and everyone was “one stomach”.

Village Court

Lots of areas of Kovol culture can be investigated by asking questions. I ask questions with my voice recorder on and learn all kinds of cultural tidbits and vocabulary. The best way to learn though is to see cultural events happening as a fly on the wall, and I got a great opportunity to dive into the justice system this week when a village court was called.

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.