Weekend Jollities

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!).

8 thoughts on “Weekend Jollities

  1. Sounds like you’re getting back in your groove, and that makes this momma happy:) -am jealous for your worship service; Dad and I are still in our Exodus, wondering the desert. Give the parents a break; by high school, those open house thingys get old. Love.

  2. It sounds like these students enjoy doing the kinds of things you enjoy – it’s great that you’re already having pancake and dinner get-togethers. I started cringing at the thought of all those dishes that you may take your time getting to… But then I remembered your house help! Yay! =)

  3. sounds like a wonderful weekend. i am a firm believer that you learn just as much (sometimes more) in the relaxation as you do in the structured. at least that’s what i tell myself to justify some of my more selfish ‘chill’ times.

    our weekend was eventful as well. we had one of our ‘friendfest’ events on saturday. we just get some friends, potluck style, and get more acquainted with them. usually just asking questions, kind of like the ungame, only we make up our own questions. i have to censor larrys questions some times. he is just ‘out there’ more than the normal person! HA! speaking of your uncle, he played drums for church worship yesterday. he only dropped one stick…which is better than the first time he played. that time he was really getting into it, and sent one of his sticks flying! it wizzed past the ear of the pianoist and then brushed the back of the flute players head to finally rest in the first pew (actually is a row of chairs, not an actual pew). why do they call them pews anyway? that really doesn’t encourage people to sit down, now does it? anyway. no one was injured, but the next time he was scheduled, the entire band came to practice with football helmets on. it was hilarious.

    so what is one food item that the locals consider a delicacy or a real treat to have?
    and then, what is one food that you really miss from Alabama?

    do you use any games as a learning tool in class? i bought my daughter the spanish version of bananagrams. she used it last year while covering a maternity leave, and she said the kids LOVE it. probably cause it’s playing a game instead of book work, but she does say that she can tell they learned from it.

    well, this is long enough. didn’t mean to write an epistle.
    we are praying for you.

  4. Sounds like so much fun!! I know you recently wrote an identity-questioning/ruminating post, but you sound like the same story-loving, adventure-seeking, party-throwing Alan to me! : ) (This is a good thing.)
    I can’t wait to see how PNG changes you as well! (This is also a good thing, haha!)

  5. Tubing, pancakes, canasta… what a great weekend! So glad to hear you’re doing well and making fast friends with your students. I’m catching up on all the blogs I missed while in Africa and I have to say that the mystery of the peanut butter paired with the games is still nagging me…. we all know how much you LOVE peanut butter! ;) Care to share the story??

  6. I really like that video game analogy. Also, the games of Catch Phrase sound very entertaining. I’ve never thought about how hard that would be for non-Americans.
    Glad to hear things are going so well! We miss you.

  7. Gummying in Ukarumpa, expert navigation of the Tube in London, posting vast quantities of Halbroox Brothers videos on YouTube, whitewater tubing in Rugby…..sounds like a theme in your life!

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