June 11, 2010

Friday Night Activities - Pastrol Care

(This is part of an ongoing series chronicling memories of my life growing up as a missionary kid in Vanuatu. For links to previous posts you can go here)

All the students and their families were divided into pastoral care groups depending on which Island they are from. There was the Santo Pastrol Care group, the Ambrym Pastrol Care group, the Southern Islands Pastrol Care group . . .

Every Friday the college had Friday night activities, and maybe two Fridays a term we had pastoral care night. Each group gathered for dinner in the house of the staff member assigned to care for the group.

All the students would bring something to eat. I liked it because it was one of the times we had local food in our home. Someone generally made lap lap with lots of yummy coconut cream. Once or twice a student had caught crabs and we got to eat it fresh crab. One of the Mama’s would sit and show me how to crack the claw with the back of a spoon so you can pick out the meat.

The way we would sit to eat was so instinctive to me. The men sat in the chairs around the living room. The women and children sit on mats on the floor along the side of the room.

The women would normally clean up while the men talked and the kids played, though sometimes Dad would upset the order by volunteering that the men to do the dishes.

After dinner we would do some kind of light hearted activity, like play games, or sing songs.
Once Dad showed a video of Pele and everyone was amazed by the soccer skills (soccer is something of a national sport).

Another time, when we were having a farewell, we ate outside and the students brought a string band. Josh stood on the tea chest and stomped to the music, singing out loud.

We danced a traditional dance the students had taught us; at night, with the hum of the generator in the background, the sound of other celebrations being had around the college, the sting of mosquitoes in the air, and smiling faces all around.

No comments: