About two months ago we were sent off station to Timil Waghi, a nearby Bible College, to learn the basics of Tok Pisin. Tok Pisin (literally ‘language Pidgin’) shares many characteristics with English, but it is a much smaller language. There are far fewer words, making it easier for new learners. However, while some ideas can be explained in a few words in English, they might take a few sentences to explain in Pidgin.
We were blessed to have Saimon, the headmaster of the College, as our tutor for our time there. He would spend a couple hours every day helping us read through primers, answer questions, and help us practice by taking us on walks around the College. We also had learning material along to work on by ourselves while Saimon was busy doing his work as the headmaster.
Below is a picture of Benjamin and I with Saimon (Daniella is the photographer) near the College’s “haus pik” (pig stable).
Since our time at Timil Waghi we have been finding times to practice our Pidgin. I get to practice regularly at work, and Daniella and I have been getting together with other newer missionaries to practice. This has not happened in a while though with the 50th Celebration, but we are hoping to make it a regular event now that things have calmed down. At first, communicating took a lot of effort on our part, and a lot of patience on the part of our PNG brothers and sisters. We’re starting to see the fruits of our studies as speaking and understanding Pidgin becomes easier.