Sorry for the jolly delay on the ol’ blogging there… this past weekend has been non-stop tom-foolery. Here’s the rundown:
Now that school is well underway, a handful of students host Hamburger Night every Friday at the Teen Center (the local youth hangout, which is gargantuan). Folks from all over Ukarumpa come, chat it up while they stand in line, and make their orders at the window – like a walk-up diner. You can get anything from a chicken sandwich to a mocha milkshake – all hand made and delivered by the finest students in Papua New Guinea. This past week was the first of the season, and I (along with some four score other folks) decided it was high time to pay the place a visit. ‘Twas well worth it.
Saturday was equally grand, if not more so – one of my tenth graders arranged a gummie (read: tubing) trip down the river and invited me (much to my merriment) to be the “adult chaperone.” Ha! Only three students showed up, but that was probably for the best on my first run down the river, which was as cold and fun as any back home (not as many rapids, but lovely scenery). We did pass a Papua New Guinean family washing their three year-old son in the river, and another little boy who tried to sell me a fish off his line, but other than that, it was an unmomentous but greatly relaxing adventure.
I wish I had a better picture for you, but I was advised (by the advising sorts) to “bring nothing you don’t want stolen,” so I left my camera far behind.
Just before we called it a day on the gummie-ing, I suggested the possibility of a pancake party that very evening. With only two hours notice, a full dozen students showed up at my place and we had a grand old time. The pancakes and Catch Phrase both were well received, though the latter has some odd moments – especially for the folks who had always lived in PNG (“An 800 number? What’s that?” and, for Daytona, “It’s a race track in Germany somewhere…”).
Yesterday was the most beautiful worship service I’ve been to in years, followed by an afternoon of frisbee, cooking, and reading my students essays about Life as a Story. My favorite was one that compared our lives to video games: “When you buy a video game, everything in that game has already been designed. There is a purpose in every video game. There are certain objectives and missions you have to complete successfully…but the game doesn’t control you – you don’t always have to do what your supposed to do – you have a choice.”
Finally, today was Open House – where presumably all the parents come and you tell them what you’re teaching their children and why it matters and how their child can do better with class participation and all the other joy. I say presumably because I had less than ten parents show up between my three classes, and only a few of them had half the enthusiasm as their children. It was, I should grant them, the end of the day, but I did wish they had more questions for me.
Now I sit in the comfort of my own bed, though my kitchen is still in a state of chaos from the after-open-house dinner (and Canasta!) party here at the homestead.
A good night to you all (unless, of course, Monday has only just begun for you – in which case, a right proper morning to you!).