Had a good day, a group of local ladies from a woman's group came to our house to help in the garden. They are raising money to go to some conference up in the highlands in September. I didn't ask too many questions, something to do with their church. I try my hardest not get involved with any church activities anywhere in the world, but particularly here, everyone is so passionate about their religion. There are 17 churches just in this community. Plenty of passion, competition, and rivalry. In a country where there isn't a lot, church is everything, it gives these people some hope and something to look forward to every week. I am not meaning to get into a religious discussion here. Anyone who knows me, knows i am not in the slightest bit religious, but i don't have issues with people that are. :D Anyway, i digress.
For $25 kina about 15 ladies will come to your house and clean your garden, weed, sweep, whatever you like. It is the church my house meri Janet belongs to and i wanted to support her, so i got the ladies in. Although security would only allow 6, not the 15 they wanted to offer!
We 'lost' our gardener this week. Poor old Nicholas kept not turning up to work and causing dramas with the pay office and HR, so he got sacked. He has gone back to his home to be looked after by his 'wontoks' or family. I feel sad for him, but he is old and getting a bit senile and will probably benefit from being with his family. So the ladies came and raked the grass and pulled out the weeds nicholas missed because he is mostly blind!
I made them a huge pot of soup, fresh bread, pikelets with jam and some ice cold water for lunch. They insisted they had come to work and didn't want food, but i insisted more that i wanted to feed them! I don't back down easily, as you mostly know. So we all sat around under the house enjoying 'kai-kai' and 'talktalk'. I am surprised at how quickly i am picking up pidgin, i can't speak that well, but enough to get by and i can understand about 70% if people talk 'isi isi' (easy easy = slowly). Every day Rita and Janet teach and correct my pidgin.
The ladies were very wary of me to begin with. But after a few laughs and me getting my hooters out to feed LMS, we were all good friends. ;)
They told me no white meri had ever cooked for them like that before, which made me sad, but on the other hand happy to have made their day and filled their bellies. Like all developing nations there is a massive contrast between the rich and the poor here. The poor are often treated as second class, particularly by the wealthy nationals, but unfortunately by many expats as well. All of the ladies i have met here would happily feed and help people, but within the community it is not widely done. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of fundraising and donations and most people feed and cloth and help their house staff but not a lot of sitting down in a group with local people offering them food and having a chat iykwim. (for all you old people, and mum.....iykwim is an acronym for "if you know what i mean") I guess there are so many people to help?! I dunno, i figure helping some is better than helping none. Maybe i'll start a new trend........ The ladies picked up 3 more days work today, so that's something.
In other amazing news, Rita's boy had his first hearing on Monday and has been granted bail, set at $500kina, so, thanks to all you lovely people who have bought or ordered 'Bilums'(bags) from Rita, it certainly helped her and her husband raise enough money to post bail. Rita and her husband caught a bus to Madang tonight and they will return with their son tomorrow.
I think we are having 1m of our 3 year rainfall, and someone told me the dry season was starting?! I have bored you all to sleep by now, so............ going to climb up my vine to the treehouse. aaaaaaaaaaaaaarrgrgrgrgrgaaahhhhhhhhhh. *best Tarzan yodel i could muster*