House Helpers and Cannibal's On The Hunt

Wow…… has been a very full and exhausting 3 1/2 weeks since we arrived back in Papua.  First off it was just adjusting to jet lag and the time warp.  Then my house helper needed to have a second surgery on her eye.  A cataract that was “taken care of” at the beginning of July, had the “lens move”.  So after the first week back, it was life with no helper.  Add to that, needing to sell my friend Wendy’s stuff due to them not returning here.  Fortunately, Joy helped me and we had a great time working together, but between the two of us we put in over 60 hours.  Needless to say, I was not prepared to start home school this week, when the International school started.  I decided to grant myself the grace of an extra week to “get ready”.


This Monday, as I was drowning in laundry, cooking, running kids to school, trying to get ready to school, cleaning, having 3 lot’s of guests come to eat……..a lady comes to the gate.  Asking to look at some of Wendy’s clothes that we had for sale.  I went with her over to the storage room, where the last of the sale items were.  But then the REAL request comes.  Shirley wants to work for me.  TAH DAH!!!!!  Brilliant, I think!  I talk with her about learning to cook for me, and that for now she can work full time.  However, when my other helper feels better, that she will only be able to work 2 or 3 days for me.  She agrees and the next morning, Shirley is ready to begin.  Never before has she worked for an x-pat.  All I can say is that we are very different in our expectations and how we do things.  So all week long I am teaching and explaining and showing the way we do things.  Simple things like putting food away, either in bags or covered containers.  Washing dishes with hot water.  Sorting laundry in white, light, dark stacks.  Checking pockets.  Looking for stains.  How to work the washing machine.  I’m not getting much time to “get ready” for home school…..but I think this TEACHING will pay off.  Right away, I had Shirley make home made tortilla’s, the next day was home made bread.  I plan to teach her how to make granola, wash the market vegetables and make gluten too.  Always so much to do in the kitchen.  Never mind the rest of the house.


Thursday Shirley sent me a text to say that she was sick and would not be coming to work.  I went to the market, with “the girls” and heard a text come in while picking through the large pile of tomatoes.   It was Darron, saying that our full time house helper was back.  Hmmmmmm…….time to do some fast homework on how to culturally tell my full time house helper that I am going to cut back her hours some so that this new helper can work with me in the kitchen.  Could be sensitive!!!!   Willingly, my market girlfriends offer me advice.  About body language.  About words.  About sitting my house helper down and looking her in the eye and offering her a drink and putting it all in the light that I am concerned for her health and don’t want her to have to work so hard.  About how much I do like her work, etc. etc.  VERY, VERY helpful to have good friends who can CLUE me in. : )  I think the conversation went well…..but I don’t think this story is over yet!  haha……


Mixed in with all of my business…..was a night when we decided to save the 10 packets of Jell-O from the stuff to sale (all the food was pretty nasty after sitting a year, even in an air conditioned room).  The younger boys and I mixed all that Jell-O up in a huge tub and sunk marbles into it and Indonesian coins.  Then that evening when our friends came over, we had all the kids put their feet in and scoop out the marbles and money.  Age 13 and up were not too impressed with the activity.  10 and under, loved it.  13 and older enjoyed picking up the Jell-O and having a Jell-O fight.  Just for the record, we were outside.  It makes for the crazy things you do, BECAUSE your in the mission field.  I am sure we would NEVER do that if we lived in America.



A motorcycle has joined our family.  It was just “such a good deal”.  Let’s just say that on the very first day, my fears were confirmed as a son came walking into the house saying, “We just wrecked”.  I thought he was joking.  He wasn’t.  With much relief, no one was really hurt.  Just a grass burn.  Hoping we got that over and done with for our future with the said motorbike.



Puppy left and went to his new owner.  Several days later, it was confirmed that our female golden retriever is pregnant.  In case I was getting bored, or feeling like there was nothing to do.  We are expecting the puppies this next week.

Meanwhile as life spins crazily along here:  on the other side of the world Darron’s Dad has been very ill in the hospital for the past 2 weeks.  It is quite difficult to be on this side and feel helpless to give to the situation.  All we could do was pray and call and email, to check in.  Victoriously, Dad went home today to the farm.  I know Mom and Mike must be rejoicing to all be under the same roof again.  Also our friend Mike Mesaric  was diagnosed with cancer in his spine and other organs too, this past week.  He has taken in teens that had no hope,  and is known for his huge giving heart.  Mike picks up hitch hikers and would do ANYTHING to help anyone.  So just really believing that God will honor him now in his time of need, because Mike was always doing “unto the least of these”.


This blog was started over 48 hours ago……………

all of a sudden I felt nauseated and within 30 minutes, I couldn’t leave the bathroom.  Ohhh the vengeance of tropical living.  Everyone went to bed and we closed the master bathroom door.  About 11ish I felt that things had slowed down enough that I could crawl into bed so I went to open the bathroom door and it jammed shut on me.  I couldn’t get out.  Indonesian door nobs are not known for their high quality.  Even though Bob bought these in Jakarta and paid more money for them then local ones.  So here I am weak and exhausted, stuck in our very solid well constructed bathroom.  I awoke Darron with my knocking and hollering.  For the next hour and a half he pries, pounds and finally beats the door handle out.  Meanwhile, I am asleep on the bathroom rug with a wet towel as my pillow.  Completely unaware that it took Darron 1 1 /2 hours to “rescue me”.  Friday and Saturday I took 2 hour naps.  It’s now Saturday night and I’m as good as new.  Grateful!



I will close with one last picture.





That is a trail of blood above the curtains in our dining room.  We have concluded that cannibals live in our home.  They are little gecko’s called “cecuk’s”.  They are territorial.  They are always on the hunt.


Well from this side of the ocean…..thanks for reading and praying as always!


  1. Wow Ruth.... that is all I can say... wow. I truly love reading your updates about your life and all the craziness that you enjoy and endure! ;-) Love you my friend! Hope the cannibals and the tropical sicknesses leave you alone for a good long while! :-)

  2. Goodness, Ruth! Your life is never dull! Miss you!


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