Sunday, October 21, 2012


I was installed as a new teacher during the Sunday church service today, so I am an official part of the community here at Senior Flierl Seminary.

 I have been working on learning the language.  Most of the faculty have quite good English, but they hold the daily staff meetings in Pigin to help me to learn.  I also go to daily chapel, so have learned some of the religious terms.  The person I spend the most time with - Tanja - is a volunteer from Germany.  She used to have quite good English but it has gotten mixed up with Tok Pisin, so I get the experience of English words in Pigin word order.

I was supposed to go back to Lae for more orientation last Friday. However, the providers of the boat service - Lutheran Shipping - are out on strike.  I had hard the strike had been settled, but now the word is that the strike is continuing.  So, when I will get back to Lae is still up in the air.  I can take a smaller "banana boat" but then would have trouble bringing my luggage or "cargo" back with me.  I am trying not to be too attached to possessions, but am tired of having just 2 skirts and 3 blouses I can wear.  I am sure it will all work out, but it is a good reminder that I have been brought to a different place. Next Sunday through Saturday I plan to attend a synod conference.  It will be a less westernized experience - no electricity or running water. Yesterday one of the women took me to a stream and reviewed with me how to do a "washwash" in a river - maximum washing with minimum exposure.

My housing is nice. I am currently staying in the station master's house (position is vacant) which is a large 3 bedroom.  It seems strange to be in a "white skin" area but I do appreciate the extra convenience of a gas stove and refrigerator (which I don't think the local faculty have).  Fortunately everyone on campus has electricity and running water. 

The day to day life of the seminarians, and the seminary faculty is more complicated than mine  has been.  The students are expected to grow all their own food and even the faculty have large gardens.  Meanwhile I am getting canned goods from the little store in a near by town and fresh fruits and vegetables from a village market area.  Twice a day on week days the  seminary truck goes down into town (called Guagado) to take the children to the grade 3 - 8 school.  I can hitch a ride with them to do shopping. 

Time to go to bed.  Next time I plan to write more about the strict roles for men and women, that may be starting to stretch and change a bit.

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