April Update

Hello!  Hope everyone had a great Easter.  Though I bet you didn’t hear drums from a ceremonial dance (konggap) down the path all night…!!  Someday in the not too distant future, we hope to hear something different than a “konggap” (translated “devil’s dance”) on Easter.  It’s so hard to wait sharing the very real reason for rejoicing on Easter with them as we plug away at learning their heart language.

We have been down to our hut in the village, and have spent a good number of nights there.  Everyone has been thrilled that we are there with them.  What a blessing it’s been!  And I didn’t know I’d ever say that about a hut…  With somewhere to stay when it rains, even when it rains all night, we get to spend tons of time just hanging out with people (like days at a time).  People love to stop by and sit with us at our fire pit, and laugh at our fire making non-abilities.  It’s so damp, we can hardly light paper!  The key seems to be to use bamboo, it burns really hot, and if you break it so the ends splinter, it’s (somewhat) easy to light.  Joey’s goal is to be able to light a fire without matches, like they do when they run out.  (Using the basic boy scout technique of rubbing the right sticks together long enough and fast enough… the rest of us are content with matches!)

Though it’s still tough for our kids to break out of their comfort zones and hang out with the kids here, which is something we didn’t really anticipate,  being down in Mibu with kids playing everywhere all the time and no toys inside to distract them, they have been doing better.  Spending time playing on the tribal kids turf somehow makes the bridge easier.  Please continue to pray for them, as we would like them to catch onto the bigger reason we are here.  The reason that we spend time with people, learn their language, and get out of our own comfort zones.  We want the people here to know us, to trust us, to regard us as their friends, that the message of who God is and what He’s done for them may come from friends who love them and earnestly desire their best, besides speak their language well and understand where they are coming from culturally.  And if we only learned their language, but didn’t get to know them personally, how well would we REALLY learn their language or customs???

Continue also your prayers for us, that we would put first things first, and be willing to let less important things go.  Pray that we would make the most of our opportunities.  And Praise the Lord for our hut!!  🙂

Love in Christ,
Joey and Brooke Tartaglia

PS  Here’s a few more interesting facts about the Mibu people we are living amongst that you probably didn’t know…

1.  If I want to communicate “no” without saying anything, I can stick out my lower lip.

2.  If a Mibu person’s eyebrow itches, they believe it is a sign that a new person is about to show up in the next day or so.

3.  On the trail, I can tell someone there is a snake ahead without saying a word, simply by shaking my finger at them.

April in Mibu

We’re back from town, and Praise the Lord, we were able to find what we needed to build the Language Learning Center this summer!  Most of it is here in Mibu now and awaiting the team from Bethany to come build it!  We were also able to get a gas hot water heater in town, and now we can take hot showers right in our own house here.  No more boiling bath water on the stove!  Yippee!

Tomorrow we are having a “house opening” ceremony for our hut in the village.  The house we live in most of the time is a good hike away from the village, which is just like the people here.  They live scattered around the mountain in their pig houses or garden houses, not in the main village.  However, because the govt. requires it, everyone has a house in the village. The govt. wants to make sure that they can keep track of everybody!  People tend to spend just the weekends living in their village houses, which makes weekends a good time for us to be in the village, too.  Lots of exposure to language!  So we asked them to build us a hut in the village, which they just finished.  Our hut is just like their huts, and it will be a new experience for us!  Cooking in a pot over a fire, sleeping around a fire pit, and mostly, spending a lot of time with people.

Joey and our partner, Chris, just took language check 1… and passed!!  On to check 2 (of 4)!  Brooke and Angie are shooting  for check 1 in June.  Please pray for us… most days, the challenge of language learning seems never-ending… Pray also that we would keep in focus why we are here.

Thank you!!
Please keep in touch!
Joey and Brooke Tartaglia

P.S. Here’s a few interesting facts about the Mibu people we are living amongst that you probably didn’t know…

1.  About 40% of the people here know how to read and write the trade language called Melanesian Pidgin, but not a single one can read and write their own heart language.

2.  Mibu children’s parents do not have as much authority over them as does their “mamam”.  What is a “mamam”?  A mamam is one’s mother’s brother, or in English, we would say “uncle”.  Want to go hunting?  “Go ask your Mamam”!

3.  House For Sale.  1 room, 2 bath.  If their were newspapers here, a Mibu could advertise his house as such.  Most houses have only 1 or 2 rooms, and they all have 2 outhouses.  One little girls room, and one little boys room about a 50 ft. walk from their houses.