Monday, October 20, 2008

Off to Santo island

Tomorrow morning I fly to Santo island north of here. Santo is where our team spent the bulk of our time on our survey trip last year. I was invited to attend a translation workshop up at what we've heard is the one, accredited Bible school in Vanuatu, called Talua College. Ross and Lyndal Webb, directors for Wycliffe/SIL here in Vanuatu are heading the workshop (but typically are my upstairs neighbors). Mainly they invited me to kindly not leave me alone in the building for the week, but also as an opportunity to practice Bislama and get more of a taste of translation work. The full workshop will be Bislama and I will be staying in the girls' dorm with all the Ni-Vanuatu girls. I'm excited but nervous for the opportunity. I'm excited for the time to meet and have quality time with Ni-Van girls, to help with anything I'm able in the workshop, and to be able to sit in on the teaching, not to mention all the Bislama learning time! I'm nervous about unknowns and about being "on" all day and night with Bislama. Please pray that my brain is able to process everything, that I am a help rather than in the way, and that I am an encouragement and godly friend to new people I meet! I'll post pictures and updates when I return, Lord-willing.

For the workshop, I'm to bring my own sleeping mat and mosquito net. Bathrooms are separate but I'm expecting pretty rustic accommodations in general. Lyndal and Ross stay in a guest house and she said they've had to shut their bedroom door there at night so they can sleep over the noise of the rats in the kitchen! Students meals include bread and tea for breakfast and rice, papaya, and canned meat for lunch and supper every day. That makes life predictable doesn't it? Lyndal said I was probably welcome to eat with staff so hopefully their fare includes vegetables. :)

Speaking of vegetables, just for fun I took some shots of what are called long beans here. Gretchen told me today that she saw a woman at the market with one as long as her BODY! Wow, now that's a long bean. Inside it's like if you let all the slimy stuff in a pumpkin dry a bit and get spongy. You peel them (this one is peeled already), cut them open, scrape out the insides, then cut them up and put them in whatever dish you are cooking. I added it to spaghetti sauce. They are a bit tart but pretty good.
I tried to add some pics from weaving mats with Magreth and Jen but internet is funny tonight so I'll post that later. I think I did finally fix the smilebox in my post earlier this month so try it again. It at least played every picture for me this time, if slow. If it's still not working, let me know and I'll use something other than Smilebox. Finally, be praying for guys on my team - Houghton, Jim and Brad. They left on a boat tonight for Ambrym island (up north too) for a week to do some survey). Ambrym is always referred to here as the island with the strongest kastom (custom) magic.

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