Archive for March 2006
We are leaving in the morning, headed out to visit the Usarufa people. I don’t know exactly what to expect, but we should make it back the same day.
Please pray for safe travels and God’s blessing on the day.
And I’ll come back with a story to tell.
Just one short year ago, I was managing editor of LeTourneau University’s YellowJacket. As such, I spent many long nights in the office: replacing inane or libelous headlines, captioning enigmatic photographs that never should have existed, excising grossly misplaced apostrophes, and scribbling caustic demands that entire pages be redesigned.
I thought of the glory days as I walked tonight.
I returned to the office after supper. We have a draft of the insert, and it’s got to be dealt with soon. Carle is running around like wild, attending to a crew from EM TV on top of everything else. The paper’s deadline is this week though, EM TV or no.
So I had the PDFs — all but page four, which was missing — and I knew what I had to do. I’d done it many times before.
But unlike the days of The YellowJacket (well, most of them), I couldn’t change anything myself. I pored over the files, making detailed notes in a Word document, which poor Michael will have to decipher tomorrow. Capitalize that t. Stick a comma there. Those four faces give me vertigo.
There are plenty of questions for Carle too, so I hope he’ll have time to hear them.
I’m more excited now than I have been so far. The project is coming together, and it really looks good. I think it’s going to be OK.
I finished my commentary and locked the door. It was just 10:30, not 6:00 a.m., as sometimes happened yesteryear.
And then, due to a set of circumstances too ridiculous to explain, I stumbled home across the center, using my arms to shield my laptop from the rain.
Good night, reader. Good night, insert. Good night, rain.
Whoops, OK, or maybe not. Page four just arrived!
I’d written most of the aviation article before it hit me: “That’s ‘aeroplane,’ not ‘airplane,’ you dufus!”
“Or … is that only British, not Australian?”
I walked around the corner to ask Martha; then I changed all occurrences to “aeroplane.” “Programme” was another close call in that story, but I did get “tonnes” right the first time. I took out “licences” because I didn’t really need it, and I wasn’t even tempted by “manoeuvre” or “inflexion.” (Want to see more Aussie spellings?)
For the duration of this Post-Courier project, I’ve kept my spellcheck on Australian English. But for some reason, it doesn’t catch things like “realize” or “program” — spellings about which some people have strong feelings. I took to searching my documents for any occurences of the letter “z” and troublesome combinations like “er.”
But now the last bit of copy is emailed off to Carle, and we have only to wait for the draft from the layout man, who happens to be in school in Australia. Thank the Lord for email, but physical proximity would be nice sometimes.
We should get the project finished up in the next day or two, and then the designer will mail a disc from Australia to Port Moresby so the Post-Courier can drop in ads and make any adjustments needed for printing. They say they aren’t sure if they can work with InDesign, but that’s the format they are getting. A point for prayer, if you think of it.
The insert is designed to help Papua New Guineans understand what we do in this country. The stories we’ve written emphasize Bible translation, education, partnerships, friendships, and our vision for the future. Some of the stories explain how we get our work done, like the one on aeroplanes. (Er, airplanes.)
Writing the copy was a challenge. Aussie spelling was the least of my worries in some ways. I needed to write in a way that would make sense to people who speak English as a second or third (or fourth…) language. Some Papua New Guineans are fluent; others might be stymied by overly complex sentence structures, unusual words, or conflicts between English and Tok Pisin syntax and vocabulary.
I don’t know whether I was successful.
But, it’s coming out whether I did my job well or not. Even now, I’ve scribbled a few panicked questions that must be addressed before it’s sent away. I think I’ll be glad when it’s out of my hands.
I talked with UK-June on the phone today. Her voice sounded better, and she says she’s slowly getting over jet lag. By the time she’s up and going, the Post-Courier project will be out the door, and I’ll be ready to turn my energies fully to external publicity projects.
And believe me, I’m writing that stuff in American English!
UK-June arrived safely last night after a very long trip across the Pacific. I joined Carle and the Hodgkins to meet her at the airstrip, and she seemed happy to see us but very tired.
I don’t know whether I’ll see her this weekend or not; jet lag may keep her down for a few days.
Mick (US-June’s husband) and his team also arrived home yesterday. They left shortly before I arrived in the country and have spent the last couple of weeks on Bougainville Island teaching a SALT (Scripture Application and Leadership Training) Course.
One of the course teachers was Pastor Fred, who helped translate the Bible into his Inoke language here in the Eastern Highlands. We talked some last night, and he very kindly listened to my bad Tok Pisin, even though he spoke English quite well. He stayed the night with us and now is headed back to his home, which is not too far west of here but will take much of the day to reach.
Mick brought back some enormous pomelos from Bougainville. Pomelos are citrus fruits with a texture that’s difficult to describe. The flesh, unlike oranges or grapefruits, is composed of small segments, something like a bunch of irregularly shaped beans all stuck together. Hmm. That doesn’t make as much sense as I hoped it would. Maybe I’ll take a picture when we cut one open.
As many of you know, my hands aren’t small. This pomelo is at least the size of a volleyball and weighs several pounds. Huge!