There’s a common saying that goes something like, “You never know what you have until it’s gone.”
Yumi tingting long dispela liklik…
Papua New Guinea is a beautiful tropical rainforest, full of mountains and surrounded by the beautiful blue Pacific ocean. It has sparkling rivers and gorgeous plant life. I grew up with these things as normal. I didn’t realize I was growing up in beauty. I played in rushing wara, sliding down rocks and jumping off of cliffs. I hiked lek nating up and down mountains and explored the bus. I climbed trees and picked flowers – whenever I wanted. I lived in paradise without even knowing it.
When mi kisim balus back to Papua New Guinea after living in the US for a year and a half, I was shocked with how beautiful the country was. Everything was so green, so colorful, so bright! I loved being in nature again – going to sleep hearing crickets chirping and waking up to birds singing. I was able to hike down to the rivers and jump in. I never knew what I had until it was gone.
Not only did I take the land for granted, I also took ol man na meri and the way of life for granted. The people in Yemli live to build relationships and serve each other. There are no watches for people to “be late.” There’s no hurry to finish getting to know someone because you need to be somewhere else. There is always time to get to know a friend better.
I remember going over to haus bilong polo bilong mi, Diana, and having a sleepover. The next morning, we got up and began peeling kaukau and putting some saksak in bamboo and cooked it all over the fire. Mmmm, that was a delicious breakfast! After breakfast we went outside, talked to each other and looked for lice in each others’ hair (This is a typical past time for people, and they get a kick out of looking for lice in my hair because usually I never had any). Eventually, Diana said we should get back up to haus bilong mi so my parents wouldn’t worry, and we walked back up the mountain to our house. Once I got inside, I remember looking at the clock, seeing it was 12:30, and thinking it was so nice to have a morning where I didn’t have a clock telling me what time I had to be home or what time I had to get up – we just went with the day and how we were feeling.
On furloughs, I found myself in a vastly different world. Grass and trees were plowed over and covered with grey, hard cement. I realized if I ran barefoot on cement for too long, my feet would blister and would hurt for days. Rivers and waterfalls were “off limits” many times, and I couldn’t wander anywhere I wanted because I might accidentally wreck someone’s flowers. I couldn’t build fires, climb trees, jump off rocks – I couldn’t do anything!
The worst part of all was that I felt people didn’t care about relationships – they cared about time. This was the complete opposite of what I grew up with. If I had an appointment with someone, they might spend the entire time glancing at their watch as they didn’t want to miss their next meeting. People would not talk about who they truly are but kept their conversations on a shallow level. It was so hard to adjust in the beginning. At times, I felt I lived in a world where everyone was made of stone. Looking back on the poems I was writing at the time truly reflected my feelings.
In a poem entitled “Unforgettable”, I wrote
“How can I find home in this wasteland
Full of hardened hearts and lifeless bodies
How can I return to the place of warmth
When cold is all that surrounds
The life I once knew will always be a memory
Because this life will always haunt my mind
The time I felt left alone and abandoned
With no one to stay by my side.”
It goes on to be even more depressing, but at least that gives an idea of the state of my heart. I hated coming back to the US and immersing myself in what I called a “Stone Hearted World.” The only thing that gave me hope was the fact that no matter what, I would be back lo as ples bilong mi within a year.
When I first came back to the US after high school, I knew I would not be returning home, and if I did go back, it would only be for a short while. I was forced to learn to live in my “stone hearted world.” It was super difficult in the beginning, and I had to make many adjustments, but eventually, I found that there was a different beauty to my new world, and the people, even though they weren’t as open and deep as I was used to, were still loving and longed for deep relationships just like I did – it just took longer to get there.
The land that God brought me to was just as beautiful as the land I came from – it just took time for me to get out of my selfish self and see the beauty God made. If I had not come to the US, I would not have met the lovely people I have, and I wouldn’t have met my husband, gotten married on such a breathtaking hilltop, or been able to camp in some of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.
Because God is a God of creativity, and He created this world, His beauty is everywhere! It took me a long time to realize this, and even more so, that there is beauty in every human being. The beautiful landscapes are all icing on the cake. God really put his heart into this world!
Now, it is my prayer that as I look out my window, I see beauty in the simple things – the white snow on the ground, the spring buds popping out, the green coming back into the grass, the little birds that sit on our porch and the old couple that walks down the road, hand in hand. There is beauty everywhere, and I am so thankful God was gracious enough to open my eyes and show me.
Amazed by His beauty every day,
Tok Pisin Dictionary
Yumi tingting long dispela liklik – Let’s think about this for a bit, or Hmmmm…. 🙂
Wara – Water
Lek nating – Barefoot, literally translates as “lets nothing.”
Bus – Bush, or forest, or woods – whatever you call being out in the wilderness with nothing but trees and grass and bugs around you
Mi kisim balus – I took a plane
Ol man na meri – the people, literally translates as “the men and women.”
Haus bilong polo bilong mi – My friends house
Kaukau – This is the name for Yemli’s main food. It’s much like a sweet potato, but it is white rather than orange on the inside
Saksak – This is a specialty item – only harvested once a year or so. It is scraped from the insides of a tree, dried, and it turns into a powder, then the powder can be boiled, baked, or fried. In our case, we used piece of bamboo to bake the sago.
Haus bilong mi – Can you guess? This means “my house.” 🙂
Lo as ples bilong mi – Remember what this is? It means back or in my home or where I am from.
I found this movie as I was preparing for my next blog and felt it went so nicely with yesterday’s thoughts about home.
It is an excellent documentary put together by Adrian Baustita about third culture kids or TCKs. It runs about 10 minutes long, but if you are interested in understanding TCKs a bit better, or as a TCK want to hear other people explaining exactly how you feel, give it a watch!
Taim bilong malolo na lukim TV!
Translation: It’s time to relax and watch the movie! 🙂
Well, just like I promised in another blog, I am going to explain why I signed my name as Avi Mu and why my username is AviMuMu.
Names are important. Sapos wanpela man points at me and yells, “Hey, you!” or “Yu kam,” I always feel a little disrespected. I mean, come on, couldn’t you ask me my name and then call me by that rather than lumping me in with everyone else and rudely yelling, “Hey you!” In addition to the fact we all have names and we like to be called by them, our names mean something, and usually we take pride in that meaning. For example, Sarah means “princess”, Michael means “who is like God”, and Rebecca means “captivating.”
I have always held a bit of contempt for dictionaries that define my name as “feminine form of John.” Ai, mi les olgeta long dispela buk! Is it really that hard to look up the meaning of John and write that down under my name? I know, I know – so what does John mean? John means “God is gracious” – so, my name does have a beautiful meaning, but why not put “God is gracious” by my name in the name dictionary? Urg, it will always bug me. If I ever write a name book, I won’t put feminine or masculine form of anything under anyone’s name!
See – already I am getting worked up about wanpela name. A silly little name – or is it? When I have worked with kids in the past, I usually mess up their names in the beginning as I am learning them. Whenever I do this, they waste no time in correcting me. If I got another child’s name wrong, they correct me too. Names are important! We want to be called by our name and have it pronounced the right way. It’s my name, it sets me apart from the billions of others around me, and its a part of who I am. Why do you think one of the first things you learn in another language is, “Nem bilong yu wanem?” My name is important. Your name is important.
It is no different in Papua New Guinea. In Yemli, however, the most important name comes from your birth order and gender. There is a name for the first born man and a different one for the first born meri. A different name for the second born boy and a different one for the second born girl, and so on. After about the sixth boy or girl the names become the same – probably because whoever made them up got sick of coming up with new names.
Anyways, the name for the first born girl is Mu. So growing up, people would always call me Mu, or Avi Mu. Avi means “woman” or “female.” (Yes, I know I’m letting you off the hook and not making you look to the bottom of the entry to get the meaning for Avi. I think this would be a little too complicated if I made you do that!) So as you can see, they were calling me Woman First Born Girl. That is what I grew up responding to as nem bilong mi in the village. Brata bilong mi, the first born son, grew up hearing his name as Bop or Anu Bop. Anu means “man” or “male.” My next brother, second born son, was named Anu Nuk, and my next brother, third born son, was named Anu Ngwa. Yu save nau!
My mom is also the first born daughter in her family, so she is Mu as well, and my dad is the first born son in his family, making him Bop. My husband is the first born son in his family making him Bop, and his sister is the first born girl, making her Mu. Every person has a birth order name, and in Yemli, every person and their uncle knew your birth order name.
So, that explains why I signed my name as Avi Mu last time, but the reason my username is AviMuMu has a story of its own. My husband often calls me Mu because it’s a name I grew up hearing, and he likes being able to incorporate what he can of my past into our marriage. He is an amazing man, and often speaks Tok Pisin with me! What a blessing! Anyways, as we continued dating, he developed a new name for me, and it is MuMu! It takes my village name and adds on his flare, and I love it! So, there you have it – the mystery is solved!
If you want to know your birth order names, let me know what order you are. I don’t care what number child you are overall, only what number you are in your gender. That is what’s important.
Long wanpela narapela taim, I will try to explain how family and extended family structure works – that will take a LOT of explaining!
Until next time…
Avi Mu 🙂
Tok Pisin/Male Dictionary
Sapos wanpela man – “Sapos” means if, and “wanpela man” means one man, or a man
Yu kam – literally translates as “You, come,” but often can just be shortened to “Come here!”
Ai, mi les olgeta long dispela buk! – “Ai” is similar to saying “Oh” or “My goodness.” The next phrase just means “I don’t like books like these” or “I don’t like this book.”
Wanpela – This means one, or a.
Nem bilong yu wanem? – Can you guess what this is asking?! It means, “What’s your name?” You you can feel confident to go to Papua New Guinea and ask anyone what their name is!
man- This is a tough one… it means “man!” But – you pronounce the “a” as the “o” in “bon fire.”
nem bilong mi – my name
Yu save nau! – “Now you get it” or “You’ve got it!”
Long wanpela narapela taim – next time
I am sure everyone has questions that they dread. Maybe yours is “How old are you?” or “When will you have kids?” or “Did you graduate from college?” For me, it’s “Where are you from?” and “Where is home?”
That probably seems like a super simple question. Well… for most people it probably is pretty easy. You answer where you grew up, or where you are living now or say “I grew up in so and so but now I live in so and so.” Doesn’t seem like a big deal, right? If I followed that format when someone asked me where I am from, I would say “I grew up in Papua New Guinea but now I live in Minnesota.” Usually, I get a “Oh, that’s cool.. wait, did you say Papua New Guinea?! Is that in Africa … But, wait, you don’t look African.” Sometimes, I just don’t want to have to answer all those questions about why I don’t look African, why I speak English with no accent, why I chose to come back to the US… blah blah blah. Sometimes, it’s just easier to say “I live in Minnesota,” and HOPE they don’t realize I said live instead of from.
Where am I from? I don’t know where I’m from. That’s the sad truth of the matter. I grew up in Papua New Guinea – lived there for as long as I can remember. I was just over a year when we moved, so I don’t remember life before PNG. Then, I stayed there until I graduated from high school in 2009 – that’s 18 years of my life in Papua New Guinea. So – I’m from Papua New Guinea, right? Well, yes, in my heart I relate to PNG better than anywhere else, but I really am not from PNG. I am a US citizen, I have US citizen parents, I don’t look like my friends from Papua New Guinea, and I don’t speak English with an accent because I grew up bilingual – speaking English with my family and English speaking friends, and Tok Pisin everywhere else. So, on my Home Possibilities List, I can strike Papua New Guinea off, especially in a literal sense.
My parents both grew up in the US – one in Ohio and one in Minnesota. After they were married, they lived in Minnesota. Because of that, we would return to Minnesota every time we would come back to the US for a furlough. Although I looked like I fit in and was “back home,” I was the farthest thing from fitting in and being home. Everything was different and uncomfortable. Strike Minnesota off my list…
Hold on, it gets more complicated. I graduated from high school and moved to North Carolina to go to school. I never really felt at home in the year and a half I attended college, so its not difficult for me to strike that off the list.
After a year and a half of North Carolina, I flew back to Papua New Guinea for Christmas and felt completely at home and comfortable. So, maybe, just maybe home is Papua New Guinea….
But I thought I already crossed it off the list…
After I left Papua New Guinea, I moved to Wisconsin – living with a family who generously opened their house since I had no place to live. I lived with them for about 6 months before moving to my own apartment and lived by myself for roughly another year. My apartment was the closest thing I ever had to feeling like I belonged somewhere (outside of PNG). Although I felt comfortable, I always felt out of place to a certain extent. So, I could say I am from Wisconsin, but that just sounds silly and I don’t think its really true because I didn’t grow up there nor do I live there now.
So then, I got married to my handsome husband, and we now are renting a house in Minnesota. Now that I am married to a man who’s from Minnesota and we live in a rented house in Minnesota, I feel like I can say with more clarity that I am from Minnesota, but deep down I still don’t feel like that’s really where I am from.
So – where am I from? Where is home?
At our wedding, my husband and I danced to “Your Arms Feel like Home” by 3 Doors Down. I specifically chose that song because I knew I didn’t necessarily feel at home at any given time or in any given place, but no matter what, I knew that I would always feel safe and at home in his arms.
Another point I often remind myself of is that I am not from this earth – I am only passing through on my way to my Heavenly eternal home. Christ promised before He left this earth that He was going up to the Father to prepare a place for those who love Him (John 14:3). I know Christ is preparing HOME for me, and I know I can rest in that and know one day, I will be home and I will fit in completely, no questions asked. Until that day, I will hold lightly to this earth and what people call “home” and when someone asks me the dreaded question, “Where are you from?” I’ll most likely answer whatever makes the most sense at the time and how much I want to answer a billion questions.
There you have it, a third culture kid’s ramblings on where she is from, where she’s not from, and where she’s going.
Where are you from? 🙂
One thing I am continually aware of is how different everyone’s childhood is and how thatforms what they consider normal. Take me for example…
Normal for me included
- Not really knowing who my tumbunas were – they had their pictures on the fridge and yanang Wakamik ma Wakatik always told us their names, but that was about as far as the relationship went. This is something I look back on now and am jealous of people who developed strong relationships with their grandparents. A grandma to me meant someone who lived far away and you hardly ever saw. The first time this definition of mine was challenged was one furlough when my friend told me her grandma lived down the road from her. What?! How does a grandma live down the road from you? That’s an oxymoron! I learned that there were many others…
- Cleaning the whole unyak and packing everything away every 4 months or so to travel to a our other house and live there for a while. Usually this included taking a yingaling into or out of the village – Yemli.
- Airports felt like a second home. That’s really sad now that I think about it, but walking into an airport always feels a little refreshing. I feel like I am supposed to be there, and I just know what to do, where to go, and it’s really not stressful at all.
- Taking airplanes to and from the United States every three years and also the fact that the flight was over 6 hours. I remember the first time I realized not everyone in the whole world flew on long flights, and I was even more shocked to find out that some people hadn’t even been on airplanes or out of their own state! What?! How is that possible?! And, to make it worse, some of my friends ideas of a long flight was 4 hours. Haha, yu giaman ya…. Try again.
- Dreading “furlough” – going back to the US or what everyone called “my home.” The US was the farthest thing from anything I would call my home. What were people thinking?! Longlong ya!
- Seeing pigs tied on a log, with the victorious hunters yelling Yabbi ya HOO HOO in victory of their catch, and of course pigs are brown, not pink. The first time I saw a live pink pig, I thought it was a joke! I thought pink pigs were only real in fairy tales! It was kind of scary seeing a pink pig, not gonna lie…
And of course, since it was normal to see pigs tied up, I played painim na kilim ol pik with my brother. 🙂
- Only speaking English in our home, speaking Tok Pisin and hearing Male everywhere else. It was almost like my brain switched off English when I stepped out the door, and switched back into English when I walked back. Sometimes, English wouldn’t always switch back and I still run into that problem sometimes…
- Putting RID on every day to make sure the mosquitoes didn’t bite me so I wouldn’t get malaria. This was something I DESPISED! Mi les olgeta! Maski ya! I hated the smell, I hated the feel of the lotion, I hated how it made my skin look white, I hated everything about it. But the choice was to wear RID or get bit by a mosquito and die from malaria – wasn’t a hard decision. Well, sometimes it was.
And the list goes on and on and on. I am sure I still have more discoveries to make about what I think is normal but in reality, it is only normal for me. This brings me back to last night and my newest “normal” discovery.
My husband and I were watching “Deadly Dozen, Asia Pacific” on National Geographic through Netflix – most amazing invention! Of course this got me all excited because Asia Pacific is Papua New Guinea! Sadly, only a few of the Deadly Dozen were located in Papua New Guinea (or is that really so sad…) but it was still exciting to see similar landscape and the little island of Papua New Guinea on the map. Mmmm, as ples bilong mi!
Anyways… as you would imagine, about half the Deadly Dozen were snakes, and after one of the actors carelessly walked on a snake and was bit, he went running off to find help. The narrator then went on to explain how the snakes venom affected the body by shutting down the muscular system and if the victim was not treated soon, he would die from asphyxiation or internal bleeding. But, he also mentioned that the best thing to do after a snake bite is to wrap something around the area above the bite wound because doing this slows the poison from traveling through the rest of the body.
When Michael heard that, he said something along the lines of, “Oh that’s interesting.”
I looked at him, surprised he didn’t know that obvious fact. Of course that’s what you do, didn’t your parents ever give you a tourniquet when you walked around the neighborhood? Well, of course not! He had no reason to know about what to do in case he was bitten by a snake.
I, on the other hand, was always given a tourniquet when we would go hiking. Dad would always bring one in his backpack just in case. We only had one dangerous snake where we grew up, but people were bitten, and often would die, so you could never be too prepared.
So once again, I learned that one of my norms – carrying around a tourniquet with you whenever you go hiking – was not a norm for my husband. I was flabbergasted! Wow!
I am excited to find out more “norms” that aren’t “norms!”
I would love to hear what yours are – maybe I will make some new discoveries today!
Tok Pisin and Male Dictionary
Tumbunas – Do you remember the meaning from my past entry? 🙂 This means grandparents or any older relative
Yanang Wakamik ma Wakatik – This is in Male not Tok Pisin. This means my mom and dad. 🙂 Long words for mom and dad huh?
Unyak – Male for house
Yingaling – Male for helicopter
Yemli – I believe I have mentioned what Yemli is, but if not… Yemli was the name of the village where my parents mainly worked as Bible Translators. They were translating the Bible into the Yemli dialect of Male. Because there are so many different dialects and languages (over 900 distinct languages alone, not including dialects) there needed to be a common language that everyone could understand. That’s where Tok Pisin comes in. Because the kids often go to school with other kids who might not speak their same dialect or language, they usually speak Tok Pisin to each other. This is why I grew up fluent in Tok Pisin but also in Male.
Yu giaman ya – You’re kidding in Tok Pisin. Remember what the ya means? It just adds on an extra umph, like in English saying, “You’ve GOT to be kidding!”
Longlong ya – Crazy in Tok Pisin, and again the ya adds on emphasis.
Painim na kilim ol pik – Find and kill the pigs – of course! Didn’t you guess that?! 🙂
Mi les olgeta! Maski ya! – two phrases in Tok Pisin with similar meanings. The first means I don’t want to at all. The second phrase means “Forget it!” You know what the ya means – forget it with passion! 🙂
Mmmm, as ples bilong mi – well, the mmm is similar to English as just saying Mmmm 🙂 and the next bit means my home!
Lukim yu – I bet you can guess this one… It means “See you later!”
Avi Mu – This is my village name – I will explain how I got this name, and why my blog address is avimumu in a future blog. 🙂
I was born in Minnesota at the Hennepin County Medical Center, where my husband now works as an opthalmic medical technician (I spelled that wrong, by the way). At one year and two weeks old, my family and I flew to Papua New Guinea to start a new life! This new life became my life, my home, and my love!
Here is me in front of a nativity scene in our village house in Papua New Guinea.
As I grew up, I learned that my heart was one with those around me, but had skin like an American girl.
Here I am reading to my wase. We are sitting in our house – the mansion of Yemli village – wood floors, tin roof, gas run refrigerator, running water and toilet – we were kings!
PICTURE REMOVED FOR PRIVACY REASONS
COMMON past time was giman haus and I would always drag my brothers along!
And of course, I hung out with polo bilong mi na mipela stori!
Even though my bel was black like my friends, my hair was one place that I would always be different. My friends always loved touching and playing with my hair. Often, we joked that we wanted to switch hair – I take their beautiful curls, and they take my annoying-to-care-for hair!
And every so often, I would get to danis with my friends. Here we are pulim ol deleget.
So, growing up was fabulous! But, as you can imagine, when I graduated high school and decided to go to college in the US, was I in for a surprise!
Temperature shock was bad enough…
Cold on the Island was 60 degrees, but man, I have never felt cold like it is here! I can’t believe it when I leave the house in long underwear, ear muffs, three jackets, and winter boots and I see others in shorts, flip flops, maybe even a T-Shirt! Oh my goodness – talk about CRAZY! There’s still snow on the ground! Are you blind?!
As my husband put it as he took the trash out BAREFOOT IN THE SNOW, its transition time. I might still wear a jacket, or I might wear flip flops or even go barefoot. Brrr! Give me my slippers, jacket, gloves and scarf! I want 40 more degrees and then I’ll start transitioning. Geez…
Ah yes, my husband – the one and only Michael Richard Olson. I love him so much, and he has been so patient with me as I learn about this new culture. That brings up another point – culture shock.
When we were dating and I was just meeting some of his friends, we went out to a Green Mill. Up on the wall was a huge sign that said Super Bowl. The TVs were on and a football game was on. Now, am I not the only one who would assume the SuperBowl was playing? Come on now, be honest…
So, trying to sound cool and be a part of the “in crowd” I asked if the game they were watching was the Super Bowl. I assumed after a drink of beer, someone would say yeah, and then I could say something else about a score or try or whatever its called when someone makes a point. But whatever happened, at least I would sound like I was an American girl, I knew about the Super Bowl after all!
In response, I got a few laughs, and my kind husband kindly said – no, why would you think its the super bowl?
Of course, I wanted to climb into a corner and hide my red face, sadly, corners were in short supply! So, I pointed out the sign, and he went on to explain that the sign is up all year round, but there is only one super bowl and the game being played was not the super bowl. So much for being a part of the in crowd…
His friends still tease me about that…
So, despite my misunderstanding of HARD American culture, my husband still asked me to marry him.
And.. I said yes!! DUH… I love this guy!
Yaay! 🙂 We were both SUPER excited and happy!
So then we actually planned a wedding, and had all our fabulous wonderful friends come and mipela marit!
Can’t you tell how much we’re in love 🙂
I married the best man in the world! He loves God with all his heart, and then he loves me! He goes to work every day without complaining and provides for me! I could ask for nothing more! Bel bilong mi stap wantaim em olgeta taim!
So,then he planned our full honeymoon and we went and hung out in Belize!
If a picture is worth a thousand words, this one will do it. We had a fantastic wonderful amazing time in Belize!
And now, we are learning how to be married, how to live together, and how to glorify God in our marriage and through our marriage.
So, that gives a quick summary of my life – turbo speed.
Until next time….
Tok Pisin and Male Dictionary
Wase – Name sake, this is a Male word (another language I grew up around)
Giman Haus – play house
polo bilong mi – my friends na mipela stori – and we told stories/hung out
bel – literally stomach, but translates into English as heart
danis – dance
pulim ol deleget – pull the delegates, but means bring the important people to their homes. On the Island, we do this by dancing ahead of them in traditional wear (almost traditional.. traditionally the women did not wear shirts)
mipela marit – We got married!
Bel bilong mi stap wantaim el olgeta taim – eh.. do I really need to tell you what this means? No, maybe you can figure it out, or maybe you’ll just have to come to Papua New Guinea, learn the language and find out yourself so you can tell your husband the same! 🙂
The answer is simply… YES!
Why would I start off my blog with a picture of flies sitting in a bowl, getting their nasty poopy feet all over my delicious yummy food?! Hopefully you weren’t eating, because you probably are not anymore.
There really is no reason I put that picture up, except that its pretty gross, but at the same time, pretty darn cool because those are flies that I took a picture of! And, this picture was taken on our honeymoon in Belize at a very nice resort. Great how those flies can get in anywhere, no matter how many stars a resort has. These little flies sitting on bowl brought back beautiful memories of Papua New Guinea and the flies that sit on everything and anything they can get their feet on. Hopefully flies can evoke a better feeling out of you now that you know they brought smiles to my face…
Since it seems like everyone and their tumbuna are writing blogs these days, I thought Mi wantaim ya! So, here we go! There are many things I find fascinating, interesting, silly, and downright hilarious about this new culture I find myself immersed in. In this blog, I simply will write about them, about my life, about my fabulous husband, and our adventures, and you are MORE than welcome to join along on my ramblings and exciting discoveries!
One of the most difficult things I have had to learn while being in the US is American’s constant use of idioms. Now, an idiom is when you say one thing that sound slike it means one thing, but in reality means something totally different! Complicated huh? For example, if I were to say “Look! Its raining cats and dogs!” one would stare out the window and expect to see cats and dogs falling out of the sky and onto the ground. But, NO! When one says its raining cats and dogs, it really means its raining very hard. Go figure.
Another example that affected me recently..
The other day my husband and I had my nanny family over for dinner. It was about time for them to meet my dashing husband. My nanny kids had heard all kinds of wonderful stories and they were dying to meet him. In preparation for their coming, the mom and I were joking about all the things that could go wrong. The mom said, “Probably as soon as we walk in the door, my husband will stick his foot in his mouth!”
What?! How can a grown man stick his foot in his mouth?! That is preposterous! It almost sounds as silly as Jesus telling Nicodemus he had to be born again.. except this wasn’t Jesus telling me, it was my nanny mom. What the heck does it mean? I went on to learn that it doesn’t literally mean stick your foot in your mouth, but rather say something stupid! What the heck?!
I still giggle every time I think about a grown man sticking his foot in his mouth.
Until next time…..
Tok Pisin Words and Phrases of the Day
Tumbuna – grandparent or relative older than your mom
Mi wantaim ya – Me too! Adding ya helps add more umph to the me too – meaning REALLY me too!