Thursday, January 21, 2010

Community Life at Ampo

Rod will work in the Finance offices as Assistant Internal Auditor. Mr. James Penna is the Department Director and has served ELC-PNG in different capacities, most recently as the Internal Auditor. He has a young staff of dedicated workers, several of whom have completed accounting degrees and several of whom are women. Lothar Stock, a German missionary, also works in the Finance Department. It will be some time before Rod goes out on audits but he's likely to travel to the hospitals and schools around the country, as well as work with the headquarters departments. The first order of business has been to learn Tok Pisin, the "everyday language". While English is the official language of PNG, Tok Pisin is the conversational and relational language and native dialects (some 800 of them) are still spoken in the villages. Pr. Kinim Siloi has been our main contact during Orientation. He set up a two-week orientation schedule for us and contracted with a young woman to give us Tok Pisin lessons. As the offices at Ampo closed for two weeks over the Christmas and New Year's holidays, Pr. Kinim suggested we go "out of town" to continue our language training.

Ampo is the name of the complex of the national church headquarters of ELC-PNG. It is located northeast of "Top Town", named such because it sits on a hill above the shoreline and shipping wharves. It consists of the Main Building where administrative offices are located and several smaller buildings that house departments such as Education, Finance, Land & Property, HIV/AIDS Project Office, Health Clinic, and Chapel. There are three longer streets and several short intersecting streets that make up the residential area. All missionaries and several Papuans who work for ELC-PNG live on Ampo, and houses are also rented out to non-ELC Papuans.

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