Easter Sunday

Our Easter was quiet and peaceful which was just right for us after the mounting culture fatigue we’d been feeling (On a sidenote: we are doing much better in this regard!  Thank you for your prayers!)

We had a quiet morning at home as a family where we read the Easter story together and Elias opened his Easter basket.  And then, we met the Marx Family outside for a yummy breakfast of cinnamon rolls, eggs and breakfast sausage, plus an Easter egg hunt for the kiddos.

Easter breakfast Undiscovered So proud of his basket of eggs Success! Egg Hunter

Elias especially loved the egg hunt.  He’s been asking to do it again every since!  Love my little monkey.

Culture Fatigue

It came out of no where and hit me like a ton of bricks.

I was putting Elias to bed a couple of week ago, watching him slowly breath in and out as I sang “Soft Kitty” for the 32nd time, and suddenly I felt sad for him.  Sad that it is Spring and we’re not going to the zoo; we’re not running out for ice cream; we’re not enjoying spring flowers after a long Winter; and we’re not spending Easter with our family.  Instead, we’re here, in the tropics, doing the same things we did the day before.  There are no shopping trips to Target, or playdates to the park.

Yes, life overseas has a beauty and simplicity of it’s own.  But in that moment, I was sad for my son.  For everything that’s he’s missing…for everything that I’m missing.

One evening rolled into another, and I couldn’t shake this sadness, this fatigue of the life we live.  I dragged myself to the store because it was necessary, but also knowing that I would once again be deflecting hands away from Elias’ sweet face that people can’t seem to stop pinching despite his cries of “NO!”

Sigh, culture fatigue.  It’s one of the side effects of moving an ocean away from all that is familiar.  The shock has worn off now, but fatigue is it’s nasty replacement.

I am grateful though.  I am grateful for the reminder that this place, the planet earth, is not our home.  We were made for a place greater than this. We were made to serve the One who is the greatest of all.  So while my culture fatigue will wax and wane, My God remains ever the same.  He gives me strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.  And so we press on…

A Feast

I don’t really have words for this yet.  It’s been ruminating in my head for over a week, and still, no words….

Just over a week ago, we were invited to go to Turumo where there was a huge feast to celebrate the coming of the missionaries (not us…the missionaries that actually live there.  We were mostly just observers.)

Nearly 30 years ago, this tribe of people started asking for missionaries to come live with them.  30 years!

And it’s finally happened.  A team of three families (who you’ve heard about on this blog before) has built homes, and moved to live in the HOT, sticky, bug-infested jungle.

What better reason than that to party??

This is where I lose my words.  How do I describe this party that is so far from anything that I know to be familiar?  How do I describe to you the chanting, and the smoke, and the mud smeared on faces, and slaughtering of pigs?  I don’t have enough words to convey what all happened.  Nor do I have the cultural understanding to see the significance of it.

What I do have is pictures…so I will leave you with these:

Prepping the pigs On the Runway Lights John Carrying Beck Dragging pigs Carrying April Moving Rocks Prepping the pigs Smoke Moving the Rocks Prepping the pigs


Quotable Elias

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Elias is talking a mile a minute now-a-days and I love hearing how his little brain operates by the things that come out of his mouth.

After vomiting:
“I spilled my tummy!”

Looking at the vacuum cleaner:
“Who dat robot?”

His first joke:
E: Knock, knock
Mommy: Who’s there?
E: Bathroom!
Mommy: Bathroom who?
E: uhhh, pooping!

After learning to tun on the shower:
“I turn rain on!”

A conversation in the kitchen:
Mommy: What are you doing, Elias?
E: Cooking!
Mommy: What are you making?
E: A mess!

Wamena Outdoors

We are not hikers by any means, but we did take a short little family jaunt down by the river while we were in Wamena last weekend.

Wamena River

Nabire has beaches and sunshine, Wamena has cool air and mountain views.  Both gorgeous in their own way.

Fagerlie Family Bridge

The engineering on this bridge is a little iffy, but it’s been getting people across the river for years!

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Relaxing by the river. (Uncle Doug and Aunt Karin accompanied us on our walk.  Elias loves them.)

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Our little monkey on a wire.

Happy Birthday, Elias!

I can hardly believe Elias is two!  He seemingly turned into this little person overnight, but oh-so-slowly.

His second birthday didn’t exactly turn out as planned.  We were supposed to return home from Wamena last Friday, but due to unexpected delays in the inspection, we didn’t fly home until yesterday, Elias’ birthday.  What two-year-old wouldn’t love an airplane on his birthday?  I know one that was super excited about it!

Airplane Ride

Once home, after nap time, we made some cookies together “for my birfday two!” (or maybe “too”…who knows!)

Cookie making

And then we went out for dinner where he had his very own “special juice” (pineapple juice)

Pineapple Juice

He also got to open a gift from his Grandpa and Grandma in Illinois.

Book from Grandma and Grandpa

It was not the day we expected, but we had a fun day anyway celebrating two years of our sweet boy’s life!


Happy Birthday, Elias Tate!

Inspection in Wamena

Truth be told, I wrote this blog post last week while we were still in Wamena, but due to poor internet connection, I have not been able to upload it until today :)  …

We have left the beachy, tropical Indonesia that I know this week to head up into the mountains of Wamena while Nathan does an airplane inspection.  All of this cool air and panoramic mountain views could almost have me believing we’ve left Indonesia all together, but alas the stores full of rice, green bean cookies and Indomie (fancy Ramen noodles) have assured me that I don’t need to pull out my Passport just yet.

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Beachy Nabire

On our way here, we stopped in the swampy village of Doufu.  I always wonder when we’re there, why people would ever choose to settle in this hot swampy land, but there they are, living in their houses on stilts above the marsh.  The people there are said to be “keras” or hard.  Friendly yelling is their main form of communication as far as I can tell.  It is literally like stepping into another world.

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Doufu from the air

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Perks of being a PK (Pilot’s Kid)

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Some of the people in Doufu

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The studly pilot

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On the flight line in Wamena.




Everyday Views

We have now lived in Nabire for two years (with a little 18 month interlude in the U.S.).  I have lived in this home longer than any other home during my married life.  So, it’s home.  Our little home sits on a little base near a little runway by the sea in Nabire, Papua, Indonesia.

These are things that we see everyday that perhaps I have never showed you before…

Nabire Coast

Ok, I admit, this is not really a “fair” picture to star out with because Elias and I do not see this everyday, but Nathan sure does!  That’s the ocean ya’ll!  The ocean.  I never in a million years would have imagined that I would grow up to live so close to the ocean.


This is our water tower.  Yep.

But you know what’s awesome about our water tower?  It pumps water up from a deep, deep well.  The water is clean and drinkable, right from our tap.  Most people in Indonesia cannot boast the same thing.  Clean water is a blessing.

Basketball Hoope

An old basketball hoop.


The pondok.  Elias and I sit under this pondok everyday.  We have snacks, we do crafts, we swing on swings.

Basketball Court

This is the basketball court and my laundry line in the background.  The court gets really slippery when it’s wet and overgrown with moss and algae.  My bruised tail bone has warned me to walk around it from now on when it’s wet.  Elias sure does like to play in the giant puddle that forms on it after a good rain shower though.

Fuel Gudang

The fuel gudang (gudang is the Indonesian word for warehouse, garage or storage place.  Once upon a time, when only Cessna 206s were flown from Nabire, av gas was bought in drums and stored here.  Now we store some random gas, diesel, left over av gas and who knows what else.


If you were a passenger on MAF, this is where you would come to check in.  The old Quonset hut on the left is a WW2 remnant where all the cargo is stored.  The other part of the building is where ticket sales happen, there’s a passenger waiting area and a bathroom.

So, there ya go!  A little sneak peek into our everyday.