Hanna’s Newsletter March 2015

By Hanna Schulz

Last newsletter I had just decided which language and area to work in long term. This newsletter brings you news and photos of my first official trip to that area.

Last newsletter I had just decided which language and area to work in long term. This newsletter brings you news and photos of my first official trip to that area.

From Feb 18 to Mar 4 I visited Gulf Province to start connecting and building relationships. I started this time with four days at Kapuna Hospital. This is a mission hospital run by Gulf Christian Services. It is where my co-workers Robbie and Debbie are based and it will also be a base for me. The hospital staff gave me a warm welcome back and a very encouraging and prayerful sending the day I went to the village.

We (Robbie, Debbie and myself) spent a week in Ubuo village, connecting with the community. I was adopted into the Aumarie family, giving me an identity and place to belong in the village. We also spent time visiting some of the other Kope villages, so that they too would know who I was and know that although I was basing myself in one village, I intended to work alongside the whole Kope community.

My intent in this week was to build good foundations for relationships. Although I learnt some phrases and greetings in Kope and made some recordings to listen to away from the village, I did not focus on language learning. The language skill I was working on was hearing tone. I have had some training in tonal languages, but know that it will take me awhile to tune my ear to hear the tone well and even longer to be able to consistently remember and replicate it. Judging by the loving hugs on the day I left, relationships are off to a good start, even though the language will take time.

From Ubuo I went on to Kikori, where the other mission hospital run by Gulf Christian Services is based and my friend Beth is the doctor. We had a weekend of reconnecting and sharing stories about our very different areas of ministry. Kikori is the town which Kope people are most likely to go to for market etc. This is an enormous blessing to me as it means I can fairly easily get out of the village and to the company of a friend when I need a break.

From Kikori it was back to Kapuna to sort through my things and pack them securely against rats for when I next return and to discuss important things like purchasing rainwater tanks and supplies for a composting toilet for the village. After a quick two weeks, I was back on a plane to the Highlands.

Here in Ukarumpa, March is a month of meetings. This week (Mar 9-13) has been Interact, our linguistics conference. It was a week of sharing ideas about translation, literacy, language use and all sorts of matters that impact on our work. It was encouraging to hear from a variety of people about what they have found does and does not work in their area. I have plenty of things to think about for how they can be practically applied in my own situation.

If you are interested in reading more, click here to download Hanna’s latest newsletter!

 

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