The Dobu are a real people group off the coast of Papua New Guinea. They have origin stories, spirits they worship and are in fear of and a deep rooted worldview. Our teachers are well versed in the Dobu culture and have used the Dobu culture as a starting point for giving us hands on training.
Dobu class has been one of our favorite courses of training so far! A classroom of ours was transformed to resemble a tribal setting with huts, smells of smoke, jungle noises and of course our soon to be tribal friends. We were broken into small groups and each day as a team we would go and visit the Dobu people in their “tribe”. This class was great at learning how to apply all that we have learned here at training concerning culture, language, genealogy and relationship building in order to share the gospel.
Each day that we would go into the "tribe" we would have certian objectives in order to hit many points of training in just six short weeks. Some days we would go in and practice TPR ( a method we were taught on how to learn language) We would lay out pictures of certian objects and then point to each one and have our language helper say what it was we were pointing to. The whole point of TPR is solely to be excellent in comprehension of the language. The first step is just being able to hear a word and know what it is or see a picture and know in your mind what it is. Being able to verbally say the word correct is not the goal in this step of language learning. That will come next. Although we had a ton of practice in this specific area last semester it was great to practice in the Dobu setting. Another large part of our time in the Dobu tribe was spent learning about their geneology. I never knew how important geneology was until our classes here at trainging. Taking a house census and learning who calls who what and what relationships are the strongest is huge in understanding their culture. I really enjoyed this aspect of Dobu! Once I understood their geneology I felt like I was better able to understand conversations and stories that our language helper would tell us!
God was so kind to use this class to reveal areas of insecurity in myself. I constantly struggled with feelings that I’m not good enough, smart enough, quick enough and wondered how the heck I was going to be able to be used someday in the tribe. God graciously revealed to me that all those insecurities were lies and that the truth of it is that He is all I need to boast in, He is all I need to find confidence in, He will be my source of wisdom, and that when I am weak I am strong because He is where I find my strength! (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) The class was 6 weeks long and by the end of it David and I felt even more excited to get to the tribe we will someday call home.
Doing our language session with our Dobu helper, Yogalo.
Working on the geneology chart
Dave doing TPR with Yogalo
Dave impersonating Yogalo. Dave thrived in this class!