Friday, February 01, 2008

Next stop ~ V.I.T.A.L.

Life always continues to move and change.  This last week I left Ukarumpa, where I’ve been living since mid-November, to move to Alotau for six weeks.  Alotau is the capital city of Milne Bay Province, the province on the southeastern tip of mainland PNG (and it also includes oodles of islands off to the east).

For the month of February, and one week before and after, I will be helping out with a project called V.I.T.A.L.  VITAL stands for “Vernacular Initiative for Translation and Literacy.”  The VITAL project consists of 3 courses per year, each lasting one month (February, June & October), where 2 translators and 1 literacy worker from different Milne Bay and Oro Province language groups come together and, with the assitance of mentors, work on translating a section of scripture and some literacy materials into their own languages.

The course takes place at a camp ground – type place called Hagita, about 20 minutes outside of Alotau.  All the participants and staff live in cabins and are served meals in a mess/dining hall.  There is a schedule for the weekdays that includes devotions, a short grammar lesson, a drafting session, and an advisor check.

I seems like a really awesome program, and I am excited to be able to see how it works first-hand, while at the same time lending a hand.  I will be the desktop publisher and assist as a buyer for this February course.  That means that I’ll be responsible for making sure the final printing for all the materials happens at the end of the course.  At the beginning of the course I will help do as much of the food purchasing as possible, and then, throughout the course I’ll be running to town for supplies as needed.  When I’m not running back and forth to town, I will be able to sit in on the class sessions, learning and helping out as I am able.

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