Donna Smith At school
this year I taught Spanish, Health, Drama, Middle School Orientation, and Western Civ—this kind of variety is the norm at a small school like ours with 110 students from 13 countries. Last year Western Civ covered Medieval and Reformation Europe, including a big dose of church history and theology, which middle schoolers seem to love. This year it's back to the Ancient Near East. I shared my ancient history knowledge guestlecturing at a course for Papua New Guineans preparing to translate the Old Testament. Teaching adults is scarier than teaching teenagers! As usual, I spent heaps of time on stage and backstage with two more school theatre productions and I made my debut as a costume designer. Something new was being a teacher rep on our School Board.
After school I hosted student coffee shops at my house, ran a dip-your-own candles booth at the Christmas craft fair becuase I loved that when I was a kid, embroidered quirky slogans on thrift-store t-shirts, and helped to organize Christmas Eve and Good Friday services. I slowly continued my Fuller Seminary coursework with an online course for which I researched fascinating connections between theological development and a multicultural child-hood. Due to popular local demand, I cut hair as an improbable but ongoing fund-raiser for seminary; every hour spent cutting buys about an hour in class!
Please pray for me I've had many terrific housemates over the years. While I'm happy for them to have moved on to Belgrade or Christchurch or wherever, I'd sure like for another terrific one to come along. ● The cost of living in PNG has dramatically increased over the past two years. With the US dollar weak against regional curriencies I have about 20% less buying power than my first eight years in PNG. Would you care to support my ministry with a financial donation? ● Other than a spectacular tropical boil as soon as I returned to the tropics, my health has been very good...for which I'm more thankful every time another friend is med-evaced to Australia! ●
August 2012 Papua New Guinea Hello, friends far and near! I returned to Papua New Guinea in July 2011 after a one year furlough to my job teaching at Ukarumpa International School. Here I am at school on PNG Independence Day. Check out our patriotic PNG style! I am the same age as the country I live in: PNG got its independence in 1975, only 8½ months after I was born.
For fun I guest-taught poetry for grade 9 English, above. Below, the 7th graders visited the beautiful primary campus to read books and eat lunch with the 1st Grade and watch their skit about conflict resolution—a very useful lesson for that class!
Contact Donna Smith [email protected]
SIL PO Box 1 (293), Ukarumpa EHP 444 PAPUA NEW GUINEA (Country Code 675) 537-4438 Skype ID: donnagrayce
Give online at www.wycliffe.org/give Donna's account is 284448, and her location is PNG.
Gibaio, Gulf Province In January I attended the premiere of the Jesus film dubbed into the Gibaio language. Friends of mine, Robbie and Debbie Petterson, work with mother tongue translators in Gibaio and other Gulf languages. From the bush airstrip we travelled up river on a long aluminum river boat, racing the tide to make it through a shallow passage to our destination. We visitors were welcomed with singing and dancing, honored with flower necklaces and coconut-leaf hats, given gifts of baskets and live chickens, and fed with snacks of pineapple, watermelon, coconut, sago, and river crab to strengthen us for the speeches, cultural demonstrations, and presentations that afternoon.
The main event was the showing of the Jesus film, screened under a house as soon as it was dark. With the generator roaring away in the background, the audience crowded in to escape torrential rain. I sat with the local pastor's wife who filled me in about each of the voice actors. This film of the life of Jesus is a powerful story, especially if you are hearing it for the first time in your own mother tongue! In a language where only 15% of people can read and history is passed on orally, audio and video are powerful communicators. This is the one and only film in Gibaio, which has only 700 speakers, and the soundtrack is the only audio recording. Do you suppose it will be a popular release? I'm proud to be part of an organization that advocates for minority language communities like the Gibaio!