Friday, March 9, 2012

More pics of the tribe - from the eyes of the evangelists

Tribal portraits 3 - lunch-time at the airstrip

Airstrip progress - March 2012

Above you can see just how hard it is to carve an airstrip out of thick jungle by hand.

This set of photographs does not even show the initial clearing, the cutting down the tree, the dividing the tree into pieces, the carrying off and/or burning of the large chunks.

This set of photographs starts with one lone tree stump and how it is cut down, the roots hacked, the stump literally ripped up with sheer human grit, carried to the edge of the airstrip and either heaved or rolled to the side.

...Repeat with the next tree stump.

You can see in the background the 700 meters of already-cleared strip.  ALMOST THERE!

An amazing feat of work.  The Dani tribe must be the HARDEST-WORKING group of people I have EVER met! And the local people are helping, too.

Unfortunately, some of these airstrip workers are also evangelists who are ministering and teaching at the posts scattered throughout the wider region. Due to tunnel-vision (seeing the end in sight and wanting to finish this airstrip this year) they have all gathered in Danowage, leaving many preaching posts empty, and are devoting almost all of their efforts towards moving dead dirt instead of educating and teaching live souls. So, this set of pictures is both a source of pride and amazement at their hard work, as well as a bitter reminder of how "the good is the enemy of the best" and how we must keep the main thing the main thing in the ministry.

Tribal portraits 3 - waiting for lunch

This lady is rolling vine-string on her thigh to make a new grass skirt. You can see the wooden spathe and sago to the left of her (like a dry pancake - the staple for the people here).

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tribal portraits 2 - Airus and his small child

Airus and his family waiting for lunch after working on the airstrip in Danowage.

The child has kaskado, "fish-scale sick" in the local language, a skin disease from being wet and dirty too much.

Tribal portraits 1 - mother and daughter