Mashed Banana

Yesterday while walking around our village I came upon these two teenagers making a batch of mashed-banana-roll-ups. That’s not the Menyan name, but it’s accurately descriptive. (Side note: this is the closest thing to a date I’ve seen since moving to PNG.) The pair had mashed the bananas before my arrival so they were already in…

Menyan Diet

In studying the Menyan language I’ve learned to recognize co-opted words. It’s not hard. When the Menyans wish to add a new noun to their vocabulary, they typically add “-əgə” (pronounced like UGA’s bulldog mascot) to the end of a word. Thus a shovel (or spade) is “spadəgə.” A cell phone is “fonəgə.” This comes in…

Mountain Power

We are out at our base (Sobega) in town (Goroka) this week for our annual regional conference. More on that later. The break gives me some time to catch up on a story from a couple of weeks ago about this guy: Wes and I were walking with Reuben who, you may remember, escorted us…

Wati’s Garden

This is Wati, one of my favorite Menyans–certainly my favorite seven-fingered Menyan. I’ve been meeting with him twice a week to learn language. He’s patient and he doesn’t call me stupid. He satisfies all my language-tutor-criteria. Last week we walked about half an hour to one of his gardens where he’s been staying with his family…