Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Read My Writing: Have a Banana

Last week I encouraged the use of dialogue in your blog post. Here are 3 who found the quotation mark key on their computer and put it to use to convey a bit of their musings. For those of you who would like to use dialogue but need a tutorial, these two past posts might be helpful in writing and punctuating dialogue correctly (thanks Robin for asking!).

A “Well-Done!” WOTH shout-out goes to:

The next featured blog post comes from Missy @ Till All Have Heard. She has just returned to Papua New Guinea from home assignment. I’m sure most of you can commiserate with her question: what's for dinner? And those of you who live in remote or underdeveloped regions of the world know the answer is more than just looking in the pantry for a few food items; it is an all-day affair.

Pay attention to how she uses detail to aid in telling her story of preparing meals in another culture: price of items, utensils used, time, distance, food items. It's what adds interest and draws in the reader. She had me at the $15 chicken.

I think this would be a great piece to add to your support newsletter or in a church/agency communication. All can relate because eating is universal; fixing dinner, a necessity.

What’s for Dinner?

By Missy @ Till All Have Heard

There is a bit of heaven here in this mission community—especially the way families eagerly sign up to cover the first three days worth of meals for new arrivals to Ukarumpa. With all the unpacking, settling in and finding your way around the center, it’s very nice not to have to concern yourself with cooking. But when you’ve arrived on a Friday and the store is closed till Monday, and McDonalds is just a mirage from another life, the “meal list” is pure necessity.

But now the honeymoon is over and I’m struggling to make three meals a day for this family. This ought to be old hat by now. I mean, I have lived in PNG for 5 years already. And I really didn’t even take advantage of all the convenient and microwaveable foods available when we were in the States. I guess I just wasn’t prepared for the changes that have taken place in the food department of PNG during the past three years.

Yes, I knew prices were high, but $15 for a chicken! I haven’t even seen the prices for beef yet, because the store hasn’t had any since we arrived. And what do we eat for breakfast when cereal is over $9 a box, eggs are $7/dozen and oatmeal can’t be found? The answer is bananas and toast (if I remembered to make bread the day before.)

My whole day seems consumed by planning and preparing the next meal. Jon tells me to keep it simple. But what does that mean? Carrot sticks aren’t even simple when you have to be at the market between 6:00 and 7:30 AM on Monday, Wednesday or Friday to buy them. Wash them in a water and bleach solution. Pare them without the aid of a decent vegetable peeler, and slice them with the equivalent of a butter knife. (I’m serious…the house we’re living in did not have a single sharp knife—not even a dull, sharp knife. I shudder to think what I’d be doing if I hadn’t brought my own from home!)

I wonder how long the kids will accept my suggestion of “have a banana” for a midday snack?

But I truly do thank God for the market where the local people sell their garden produce three mornings a week. I can find just about any type of vegetable there and many tropical fruits. Prices are pretty good—comparable to your home-town grocery store. So let us eat fresh veggies, and roasted veggies and minestrone soup, beans, and more beans, and for dessert…bananas.

The upside…maybe in three years I’ll be thinner and healthier. Or maybe I’ll just resemble that banana.


Thank you, Missy! How’s your Thanksgiving menu shaping up in Papua New Guinea?

And for the rest of the writers, perhaps writing about the nuances of your cross-cultural Thanksgiving dinner would be fun to blog about too. I’m always intrigued with who can scrounge up a turkey-like meat for the festivities and who brings out their long-concealed can of pumpkin for the pie.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear writers! You are expanding God’s Kingdom and for that, we at Women of the Harvest, are grateful.


OliveTree said...

Missy, what a creative, original post! Wow, I could certainly relate, but I think your situation is much more extreme than mine!

us5 said...

wow, Missy. your post is a needed reminder to me to be DEEPLY thankful for all options available to me in our location. i think there will be a special feast in heaven for the likes of you! with NO bananas. :)


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