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…

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from Menya!         We enjoyed our holiday celebration! It has become our tradition to make pumpkin pancakes for Halloween breakfast.   Then we had a Halloween-themed school day, which the kids were thrilled about. Another tradition for us is carving our pumpkins on Halloween day.   The kids were pretty…

Stalling Trimmer

I have Stihl trimmer that I can’t get running correctly. I bought in America in 2010 and used it for a summer. Then I shipped it to PNG and it was stored for nearly three years (without gas.) I can get it started, but I cannot run it at full throttle. It speeds up as…

Chicken-Chicken-Dog

This afternoon Penny taught some of the village kids to play “Chicken-Chicken-Dog.” It’s ok that she didn’t use the correct animals in her instruction because she didn’t use the correct rules either. How many chickens can fit in that pot at one time Penny? I have to admit, though, dog seems more appropriate than goose. After…

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…