Thursday, August 13, 2009

Waghi Mud Men and Pidgin lessons

Today I joined a tour group to go to the Waghi Valley, home of the Waghi mud men. I think this might be where storm troopers are decended from. If I could show you a picture, I would, but perhaps google will suffice as an alternative. Picture practically naked men, brushed in white paint from head to toe, with gigantic, full-head clay masks on.
Most people around the cities here speak three languages. Their local language (of which, recall, there are about 800 in the country. Pidgin (trade language that is kind of like broken english/german/spanish). And English (which is the language of the public education system). Pidgin seems to be the most commonly used. Easy to understand and used among the literate and illiterate alike. It's the language used on billboards, store fronts and other media.
The other tourists in my group were french and the tour guide did not speak french. So, I had an ideal opportunity to test out mine, as he translated from pigin to english and I translated from english to french. I spent some time teaching the guide some basic french words and phrases. In exchange he taught me some pidgin. Fun language. Too bad that I can't use it for my INSEAD language qualification.
Sweet potatos are common here. The english white potatos are grown as well, but demand a premium price. I think I will refrain from telling them that it is the opposite in Canada, where we pay two or more times the price to get yam fries.
We visited a coffee plantation and processing plant. I had an opportunity to help dry the beans with my unwashed bare feet. Just think about that as you are drinking your next coffee.
Today I will spend my first night off the lutheran compound. I have moved to the highlander hotel, which is about 5 stars above where I have been sleeping the last couple of nights. A welcome change, though it lacks the feeling of being away that I was just beginning to enjoy. Funny, I didn't think that I was going to miss those creepy crawlies in my shower, but I sort of do.
Oh, and for those that have heard about the plane crash down here, I wasn't in it. Or, in pigin, amrite.

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Blogger Cindy said...

I think the creepy crawlies must miss you too. I was thinking about heading to the crit on Tuesday. You in????

Miss ya!

August 16, 2009 at 12:03:00 PM MDT  

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