Technology in an oral society

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Recently I heard that people are going to vendors in Kiunga and buying movies that they receive via bluetooth! Unfortunately many of these are bringing pretty bad influences into the North Fly. But this news gave us a new sense of urgency to offer media that brings good influences into the area! Today we made a trip from Ukarumpa to Goroka, where we made some progress towards this goal. First we visited Christian Radio Missionary Fellowship, who loaned us two different models of solar-powered audio players, with recorded English and Pidgin Bible translations and stories preloaded on them. One of them also has Pidgin songs on it. We will take them to the village, when we go next week, and test them. Then at the end of each workshop for the pastors, we hope to record some of the pastors telling Bible stories in the local languages. Later we hope to record locally produced music and actual translations in the local languages.

We also bought a small boombox that includes radio, as well as slots for SD cards and USB flash drives. This will finally enable us to fit in with the society here, which has mostly leap-froged the personal computer era and gone straight to the MP3 and cellphone era.

The prepaid phone credit vendor (picture) with his wireless top-up machine, on a rickety wooden stand under an umbrella was the perfect image to end the day’s experiences. Orality in PNG!

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