Friday, March 02, 2007

A Note from Tɛnɛ

This week our class has begun a seven week course of Dobu culture study. The Dobu people live in Papua New Guinea, but their culture has been used here at the Language School for decades. There are teachers that dress as tribal people, and we go into a small attic area each day for our lesson. We plan each day to learn certain words and the processes to elicit them. Though we are learning Dobu culture, our language helper, "Britney" (derived from Britney Spears--Britney likes to listen to American radio) was a missionary to the Palaka people in western Africa, so we are learning to speak various phrases in Palaka.
This picture is of me learning the types of people in pictures. To be culturally sensitive, I asked permission to come sit on her mat and asked how I should sit in the Dobu culture. She told me that "Carrie" (as she pronounces it) means "go" in her language. I told her I didn't want to go, that I wanted to stay a long time, so she gave me the name "Tɛnɛ" which means "sit down." This was exciting to me, because she was accepting my presence with the Dobu.

Please pray for our class as we learn to work together as a group, much like we will in the future on a tribal church planting team. Pray also that we will be culturally sensitive to "Britney."