Like most of the rest of Mt Hagen (except for the Seven Day Adventists), on Sunday morning we head off to church. Michael and I went along with a couple from our compound.
The service was in Pidgin, which I guess helped Michael more than me, since it gave him some practise for his Pidgin listening. I caught about one word in four when I concentrated hard, which meant I could follow most of it (though it did take some whispered translation from Michael to tell me that `all man and meri' means `everybody').
I was amused at one point when the power went out during the singing, and all the instruments and microphones went off, and it was only the drums that could be heard, thinking that my son Rob would be proud of that (being a drummer and all). Who said that drummers were not the most important part of a band?
Afterwards, I got to practise my smile a lot, because that was the only way I could communicate
with most of the folk. One tiny ancient man came up to us, and we had a great time.
He couldn't speak
Pidgin, just his own `talk-place' (local language), so he had his granddaughter translate into Pidgin, which Michael (attempted :-) to translate. Talk about Chinese whispers! I wished at that
moment I could have be fluent in his tongue, just to hear the kinds of stories he could tell (he even had the pierced septum for the traditional bone through the nose). He was such a delightful chap, and to me represented the really gentle and unassuming side of the New Guinea people.
We walked home, enjoying the sights of lots of people out and about, with trucks full of
people (literally!) heading off to a big game of Rugby League out at the showground.
We spent some time watching a local game at some playing fields near our compound. As long as they dodged the big mudhole in the middle, it was great (old sump oil is used to mark the boundaries). A typical Sunday in Mt Hagen.