Story by Verna Stutzman

 Mexican food at Swedish party in PNG

 Jan 20, 2001
Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea (PNG)

 “Now I’m putting on my housewife hat and I’m going home to make chicken enchiladas”, my friend Helena said, as she put on her straw hat and picked up her computer.

“Can I come?” I asked.

“Sure. But there will only be Swedish people there.”

“That’s okay. Is it offensive in your culture for people to invite themselves to your house?” I asked, realizing that I might have made a huge cultural blunder. “I probably wouldn’t do it in Texas where I live now, but it was acceptable in the community I grew up in.”

“We’re not easily offended in our culture. Come at 6”, she invited.

“I’ll be there.”

It was Friday afternoon and we were finished with one week of the workshop and I wanted something interesting to do Friday night. Sitting in my room by myself at the Guest House didn’t seem very appealing, even with a good book.

I went to the party and had a great time. The food was delicious, although the Swedish interpretation of Mexican food was interesting. The Princess cake was probably the most delicious cake I’ve ever eaten. I thanked my friend many times for allowing me to come to her party.

At night when I was preparing for bed, I realized that I enjoyed myself so much that I had become willing to return to PNG next year for another workshop if the Lords wills.

PS The workshop is going well. There are five participants who are battling illnesses of varying types. One hasn’t been able to attend any of the sessions. The others come when they feel up to it. Please pray for Lois, Nicki, Karla, Beverly and Eileen.