Wednesday, 13 October 2010

On speaking English

We at Kudjip have the pleasure of working with volunteers from all sorts of places.  Frequently visitors come from the US, though we do have some from other countries on occasion.  During the past several months, we have had a number of volunteers come from other parts of the English speaking world.

Charlotte and Nick are newlyweds who came to PNG directly after their honeymoon.  They are from Cornwall in the south of England.  Charlotte is in her 4th year of medical school, so she spent her time with us at the hospital.  She has such a sweet spirit and really ministered to our patients.  She was a special blessing to one of our D-ward mothers who named her new baby "Charlotte."  Nick comes from a farming family and is also a bread baker.  He mostly worked with maintenance and did all sorts of handy things around the station.  Did I mention that he bakes bread?

Francine is another UK medical student who recently came for elective rotation.  She is from Jersey... the country, NOT the state.  I never knew there was any such place as Jersey.  Although I suppose if there is a "New Jersey" there must be an original.  What do you know... there really is!  Jersey is a small island off the coast of France.  Since it doesn't appear on every map, Francine makes a habit of adding Jersey graffiti, as she did on our bathroom shower curtain (at my insistence).

Once upon a time Jersey belonged to France, but after WW2 it came under the British Crown.  The politics of it all are still a bit confusing to me... under the Crown but not part of the United Kingdom, or something like that.  Francine will be aghast that she spent seven weeks at Kudjip and I am still not completely clear.  But even she would admit that it is complicated.  

Francine is attending medical school in Wales, which IS in the UK.  She spent about seven weeks with us.  I loved hanging out with her, as she is so full of life and passion for Jesus!  I enjoyed hearing about her home and her culture.  Now that I have a friend from this recently discovered country called Jersey, I will definitely have to visit some day.

Graham and Elaine are on their second "tour" to Kudjip.  They are from our neighboring Australia.  They came last year to get a feel for the place, and are now back for a couple of months.  Dr. Graham is a general surgeon and is covering for Dr. Jim while he is on home assignment.  Graham and Elaine are amazing, really... jumping right in to things and becoming part of our mission family.  It has been such a blessing to have them here!

It has been really fun to learn about culture and language from these visitors.  Despite our common language, I have found that there are quite a few differences.  Sometimes we have to translate because words or phrases have different meanings.  And there have been a few laughs along the way!  For example, when in the UK you should probably not refer to the rubber thing on a baby bottle as a "nipple."  Apparently that word is a bit crass in British English.  See below for the more appropriate term.

Here is a bit of an "English" dictionary for you...

United States Cornwall/Jersey Australia
hello, etc. g'day
dude bloke mate
awesome brilliant
dishes crockery
silverware cutlery
dinner tea
not sweet, salty? savory
French fries chips chips
French press cafetiere coffee plunger
baby stroller pram
baby bottle nipple teat
14 pounds (weight) one stone
2 weeks fortnight fortnight
premature prem
GERD GORD (o=oesophagus)

"After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.  They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.  And they cried out in a loud voice, 'Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.'"
~ Revelation 7:9-10

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