Monday, March 26, 2007


I am spending the night in Singapore Changi Airport waiting for a flight to London in the morning. There are certainly worse airports to spend the night, although I must admit I have spent a lot of time in Changi over the last couple of years and it is starting to get a little dull.

Yesterday was my last day in Wioi, which also coincided with the villages 155th birthday, so there was quite a knees-up. I was called up on stage to say some incoherent words, and then Om Bert got up and gave a stirring speech in Toratán about how important the language is, and if I could go to all that effort of coming from England to learn about it, then young people in Wioi could too. It was a nice speech and the old people nodded in agreement. The young people didn't understand a word, of course. Oh well.

Anyway, it was a productive fieldtrip, I think. I got several good long conversations and stories recorded and got some way to transcribing them before leaving, and managed to follow up some things I thought might be interesting.

I also had plans to do a few other non-work things - climb one of the volcanoes, go to the beach, do a dive course. I didn't do any of those. I did (today, just before it was too late) manage to catch up with our old neighbours in Woloan and see how our anak baptisan is going (fine). He is 17 months old now. He liked the toffees I gave him and smeared sticky handprints on everything, then threw a ball at my head several times.


alif sikkiin said...

"quite a knees-up"?

And does "Om Bert" mean "Bert's mother"?

Nakku said...

A knees-up is a party.
Om is from Dutch oom 'uncle', so Uncle Bert. Standard title for older men in more Dutchified bits of Indonesia, of which Minahasa is Most-Dutchified.

alif sikkiin said...

I'm most flattered to be included on your very selective blogroll, btw.