The house is quiet now. After weeks of pleasantly boisterous company (if that’s a thing), our two adventurous friends have returned homeward. One with a broken ankle, yes, but both (we hope) with fond memories of our beautiful country.
In their last days here, we tried to give them a final taste of what life is really like in this small town. It would, of course, be better to hear it from their perspective (and if you know them, do ask), but in their absence our own account of things will have to do.
We started the week with a mumu – the traditional PNG feast. This doesn’t actually happen too often here in Ukarumpa, but our haus meri and yard meri were kind enough to hold one in our own backyard, and they even let us take part in the day-long preparations:
Amanda, sacrificially, let me have the honors of handling the raw meat:
And they gave our guests each a handwoven bilum – a token of friendship:
Melanesian culture is, at its core, relational. I still find it remarkable how quickly our PNG friends embraced Michael and Amelia despite boundaries of language and time.
As for the rest of the week… we’ll save that for tomorrow.