I have had a few full and challenging months of looking at language areas to discern where to work long term. When I returned to PNG, I started meeting with some of the other linguists in a similar situation.
I have had a few full and challenging months of looking at language areas to discern where to work long term.
When I returned to PNG, I started meeting with some of the other linguists in a similar situation. Together we looked at various language areas (allocations) and invited our various regional directors to come and share with us about the possibilities and priorities in their area. As we heard about all the work needing to be done, different projects came to the fore. We followed up on these by hearing from others working in that area, reading reports and finding out whatever information we could. This information gathering included a trip to Lae to meet with church leaders. Sometimes this led to the area becoming more interesting, sometimes to it becoming less so. The unofficial list of interesting places has been very fluid, gaining and losing project ideas several times over the last few months.
At the moment, we have two areas we are looking at more seriously. The first of these is in Gulf Province, where the Pettersons (NZ) work with several languages. They have established a good foundation and are hoping for people to join them to expand and continue that work. This area includes the Koriki people, where I worked over Christmas. We will be going down for a three week ‘pre-allocation trip’ to test if that is the area for us to work long term. While there we will be assisting with literacy and translation work.
The second area we are looking at is in north New Ireland, primarily with the Tigak and the Tiang. These are people I worked with briefly in June last year. We hope to organise a trip to that area in October and will probably be involved in a Sunday School materials production workshop.
Along the way the ‘we’ has expanded. Our meetings to investigate language projects gained the name TEA: Translators Exploring Allocations. As we met, shared, prayed and drank a lot of tea, we found that we formed a team and are now looking at the option of allocating together in one multi-language project. We do not yet know how this would work, but are excited about the possibility.
Thank you for joining me on this journey. Although the road to settling into a project long term has been windy, often foggy and of unknown length, it has also had its blessings. Growing into a larger team has opened up possibilities for where and how we could work. The friendships among us are also a blessing. I’m sure there are many more unexpected turns on this road before decisions are made and plans settled, but I will keep you posted!