Wind House

We’ve been building a Wind-House (just a roof) in the middle of our housing complex to provide a gathering place protected from whatever the sky is offering–be it soaking rain or blazing sun. Along the way I’ve been participating in the process as much as possible, but today I spectated almost exclusively. Our Menyan friends…

Wati’s Garden Revisited

Back in September, Wati* and I visited the garden he was clearing which, at the time, looked like this: Three months later, it looks like this: They are growing sweet potatoes, corn, beans, cucumbers, a smokable leaf, and lots of weeds. Today we did some weeding. How would you like to grow your veggies on…

Car Repair

Among the most popular toys in Menya are these remote control cars: The wheels are cut from worn out flip-flop soles. The chassis and axels are fashioned from sticks. The body is built with disks extracted from discarded D-Cell batteries. The remote is tethered, not wireless. Like all vehicles–or toys–these occasionally require maintenance or repair. Today’s task:…

Contagions

This is Edwin, Mari, their kids and their bush knives who live about fifty feet from us. Their oldest son got measles a couple weeks ago. The other three have had measles more recently. As Edwin and I discussed this today, he told me this illness is a new kind. In the olden days disease did…

Rain Flies

Here’s something you may not know about Menya–or about all of PNG and possibly all rain forrest areas around the world: when it rains, the rain flies hatch.* And even with our sort-of-well-sealled house, we get swarmed by them. (I think some queen rain flies must have laid eggs in our walls during construction while…

Family Fun Day

Today we set up the first Menya Water Park. Kiddie pool, water slide, water canon, elegant fountain and more.

 

After a while the kids realized soaking moms is the most fun.

Here’s Penny being double-teamed by her teen-age sons.

Eventually water park became mud park.

 

 

Menyan Nuance

This week I was sitting in my office with Wati trying to understand the difference between two separate tenses in the Menyan language. They aren’t actually tenses, but we don’t have a more accurate term with which to label them. If they were a tenses, they would both be future-ish, so that wouldn’t help. And when…