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! 🙂