Our welcome was grand! By dingy we came up the creek among the mangroves, landed and walked among banana palms and gardens to the village. As we approached the village, we were met by a welcoming party. Dressed traditionally, playing drums and singing they welcomed us to the village by replaying how they welcomed the first missionaries and pretending to spear us. It was a little intimidating, to be honest.
|Dimdima man singing a welcome song|
Church the next morning was distinctly Anglican, but with Dimadima songs, including in the liturgy. The drums, guitars and voices were beautiful. Less beautiful but more amusing was the choir that accompanied the church bell; all the dogs in the village gathered and howled every time the bell was rang, with the roosters providing some punctuation to their chorus.
Being part of a community process like this was good. We came by invitation, shared our expertise and then let the local community decide what next. The ball is in their court to make the next moves; forming a committee, nominating local people to be the translation team and organising for them to come to a training course later in the year. The community welcomed us and looked after us exceptionally well.
|Ladies preparing bananas for dinner|
|Farwell to Dimdima. Note the cross they have on the hill above their village.|