Showing posts from April, 2013

$35 for a Weekend in Paradise

Behind every good camping trip is a woman, was my face book status this past week.  It is true.  At least in this family.  All the lists.  Purchasing of goods.  Food prep.  Packing.  Three partial days of preparations.  Hundreds of details.  Washing gear that was musty from storage.  Meeting with friends to discuss who should bring what.  Borrowing, various items….because you can’t run to Walmart and buy them.  Yet, I was full of anticipation because I was looking forward to the paradise that I knew awaited us and being with friends. Everything was so in order on Thursday evening that I was able to drive to the airport at 5:40 a.m. on Friday to pick up Darron and Andrew who had flown all night from Jakarta.  I knew that they were tired and so the weight of this trip was on me.  We had eaten breakfast and taken care of the last minute details by 8:00 a.m……here were our friends.  We were off. Dodging pot holes, or going through them.  Trying to keep the tires on the boards when going ac

Finishing Well

The Sunday before last, I returned from the market with my two friends (who don’t have cars) tagging along, to find myself at a scary place.  I was suddenly completely overwhelmed.  I crawled into bed and asked one of the younger boys to go and get Daddy.  The thought of having to fix another meal from scratch was just beyond me.  All the veggies needed to be bleaches before put away.  There was laundry to get in.  Our guest needed malaria medicine, because he was not tolerating the first type of medicine that we had tried on him.  Darron had already tried two pharmacies and could not obtain it.  Darron was leaving the next day for a week.  I was spent.  There was nothing left……….   Darron quickly appeared on the scene, because I never summon for him like this.  He very wisely told me that he would go and buy Indonesian food for lunch.  And that I could just rest.  So for two hours I fell into a restless slumber.  Upon waking, I at least felt that I could wash the veggies, get the la

Angels in our Midst

I had my list of needed items.  I was ready to conquer the shopping in one stop.  My hopes were set on the store that we have labeled the “Smiley Store”.  That is not it’s name.  But that is what we call it.  Often you can find all kinds of miscellaneous goods in there.  I scanned the aisles and walked out with not one thing on my list.  I was discouraged.  I had 4 days to prepare the crafts and props needed to teach 15 kindergarten and younger pastor kids at their retreat.  Would I find what I thought were very simple items anywhere in Papua???!!  I went home.  I prayed.  I gave it to God.  I mourned Home Depot, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Wal-Mart and the Dollar Store.  I longed for a nice budget like I always had in our churches in America.  I was guaranteed NOTHING.  I talked with Jan.  Tuesday, I discovered that all those peanut butter jars that I have been saving would make perfect jars for the sand that Jacob, Nathaniel and I were coloring.  My friend Mandy gave me happy fabric for

What Was Once Strange, Is Now Normal

I am so taken back this year about how “normal” everything seems.  Last year, every day was just an overload to my senses…..even just simple trips to town.  I was always stimulated at the odd colored buildings, the tacky signs and garbage everywhere, the painted curbs, the chains blocking off turning on roads, the families piled on motor cycles with no helmets, the little carts selling all types of food, military guys with machine guns, women with their head coverings, men in their skirted robes, clothes that clashed, white powder on faces, the heat, the whooping and wailing, the Muslim call to prayer, the limited ingredients for sale at the grocery store, the blaring music in the stores, the heat in some stores, the big yellow work trucks loaded full of people….standing in the back…… There was more that seemed strange:  the traffic rules or lack thereof, the not looking when merging, the ants, the roaches, the cicak’s, the bathrooms, the blackouts, the no internet days, the demonstra

I Have a Cicak, You Have None, I’ll Share a Cicak with You….

Cicak’s are amazing.  I share my home with approximately 15 or 20 of them.  Maybe more, it’s hard to tell.  They seem territorial.  I see the same one in my bathroom, he is little. Kind of cute.  Along with the little guy by my bedroom lamp who likes to dart under my clock when he seems me coming.  Then there is Mr. Fatso in the kitchen.  Actually, I think there are two or three big cicak’s that hang out there.  Then there is the big guy who likes the lamp in the living room.  And a little guy over by the piano.  We have seen them fight with each other.  Loosing a tail.  Every now and then, they get squished in the doorway.  Jan found one dead in her fridge.  In language school one of the students found one in her blender.  Yes, we share our home with these little fellows, and yet they are vicious hunters.  Eating hundreds, maybe thousands of unwanted insects.  Unlike cockroaches, we do not actively try to kill them.  They do leave little droppings behind, that for the first few months

Two Women, One House

Predictably, women in America almost swoon over the thought of having a full time house helper.  Hiring someone to do all the laundry, clean the kitchen, take care of all the floors and other menial tasks is a coveted thought amongst most people I talk too.  While many of us x-patriot women could barely survive without the help of national women, it is not without issues for the majority of us.  If you are ever ‘privy’ enough to be in a group of x-patriot women to hear them talk about their house helpers, you will begin to wonder when the next TV show will begin.  We sound like the most spoiled, arrogant women on the planet.  The reality is: it’s two women and one house.  Two cultures and one will rule.  I am going to try and paint some of the joys and sorrows of help in the home.  Not that I am an authority on this subject, having only had a year and a half of this luxury.  Yet having a frank chat about it with you will be reflective on my part and hopefully satisfy your inquisitive d