Friday, June 25, 2010

A PNG Picnic

The driving purpose behind our time  in Papua New Guinea is so Jacob can design and build a new water system for Ukarumpa.  As he works towards this goal, he spends much of his time working alongside nationals from the surrounding villages.  Jacob has spent the last month working with four men to install gabion baskets along the river bank by the new water intake site.  Over the last month, Jacob has worked very hard to build relationships with these men and learn their language (Tok Pisin).  The other day Jacob was able to see some fruit from his labors when the men asked him to join them for lunch at the project site.  The lunch consisted of chicken (a huge blessing as chickens are very expensive here, approximately 12 hours wages for 1 chicken) squash, sweet potato, and leafy greens.  One of the men, Gary had gotten up the previous morning at 3 am to kill the chicken and start preparing it!    Also served  was chicken soup, which consisted of ramen noodles, leafy greens, and all of the chicken entrails.  When the men were dishing the food out onto the banana leaves, Jacob watched as they pulled out the head and feet of the chicken and then the wings and legs, ect.  Jacob was relieved when they put a thigh on his banana leaf, but then the chicken soup came out and a large scoop was placed in the middle of Jacob's leaf.
Then all of the men sat down next to a leaf and began to dig in.  It was quite a feast, and the men really seemed to appreciate Jacob's willingness to sit on the ground and eat their food off of a big leaf while talking and joking with them in their own language.  What a blessing it was for Jacob to be given this honor and to spend time hanging out and talking as just one of the guys rather than the boss.  Pictured, from left to right is Steven, Gary, Gibson, Bakeid, and Jacob.  Take note of the size of the men compared to the size of Jacob.