To prove that Banner is still around having fun, here are a couple of Banner pics to kick things off. The first picture came with much excitement because Banner met one of our teachers for the day, Samuel, from the Numanggang language group. God speaks Numanggang is one of the books about Bible translation that we read the earliest and the most to our kids; and it single-handedly formed their perception that they would be climbing trees and eating fruit with their village friends everyday here in PNG.
Now I would have been fine burying these photos for all time, but it was surely a landmark event of the week. We learned how to "process" a chicken (there are live chickens behind Banner and we ended up eating them for dinner; I'll let you fill in the blanks...).
In the future, if given the option, I will choose to have vegetables only.
Wendi was way too kind to jump in and help me out at frequent gross intervals throughout the process.
Nori, on the other hand, had a delightful time plucking the chicken. She will be an all-star in biology class one day!
Preparing the mumu pit (think underground BBQ). The fire is built in layers over and with the rocks that become heated and provide all of the cooking power.
The raw ingredients are placed in layers between many banana leaves over the hot stones.
And it feeds a village! Our mumu included chicken, kumu (greens of many kinds), kaukau (sweet potatoes), cooking bananas (a banana that tastes more like a potato), taro (another potato-like root vegetable), African yams (the largest root vegetables you've ever seen; ours looked like a Yeti foot), and probably something else I am forgetting.
Wendi made Millie her own little bilum :)
Learning about traditional construction methods.
This is our Ukarumpa waspapa (watch father), Sam, talking about how to properly split bamboo for use in construction.
I find it incredible that this is all done with an ax and a bush knife. The roofing material, kunai grass, is tied to the "rafters" with a rope grass and the roofs will last 5-10 years (or longer if they build fires inside, because the smoke will further protect the roof from bugs and moisture). The center post is ultimately cut out and the roof supports itself.
Looking at our pictures from back home with our Ukarumpa wasfamli (watch family).
This is a great example of a bridge in our area, but I took this photo because it was built over (and probably with parts from) an old airplane from World War 2. Abandoned remnants from WW2 can be found in many places across the country.
You can kind of make out the nose of the airplane in this photo.
We went on a nearly 6 hour hike around area villages and rain forests on Saturday. Here are some of the highlights...
The above shot is looking down at the Aiyura Airport which serves Ukarumpa and surrounding areas.
I even took a video of this tree to try and capture how massive it was (maybe 80-90 meters) but it couldn't do it justice.
There were quite a few of these trees that looked upside-down. This is me and Nate with Yafuka. He and his mountain shared the same name, pretty cool.
We ended the bulk of our hike at Yafuka's home where we got to meet his family, eat, and pray with them.
Banner gleaning wisdom from Joy in the kitchen.
These piles of rocks appeared overnight at the river, much like a crop circle, and left Millie (like the rest of us) wondering what and why.