Monday, February 11, 2008

shopping trip

Well I went shopping with Ashlyn this morning at the supermarkets in town. I was walking through one of the stores to buy meat (it has the cheapest meat by far) when suddenly I felt someone pulling on my bilum (my bag with my keys and purse in it). I immediately pulled my bilum close and began to turn away, when I heard my name. It was one of the ladies from Biwat. But in that moment, my heart raced a hundred mile an hour and it brought home to me that, although when I go out and about I am not fearful, I nevertheless am obviously somewhat tense and always “looking over my shoulder”.
And then after we both had a good laugh… I had to proceed through the rest of the store with this lady by me. Now, don’t think for a moment that her company bothered me as such – she is a lovely lady, and I love her company. But, already at this point my shopping trolley had about K60 (approx $28 AUD) worth of food in it, which included a bit of meat (I stock up for the week or so and put it in the freezer so I don’t need to go out to the stores too often). Then of course she wanted to be really helpful and even went through the check-out with me and helped me carry my few bags to the car before she went back into the store. To know that the lady walking next to you eats meat only once in a while, and to know that she would never consider buying as much as I bought in one go, and to realise that she rarely would even hold K60 in her hand…made me feel very self-conscious while I was shopping (and I didn’t even purchase any more after I met her). It also makes me so thankful over and over again for the many rich blessings God has given us. The constant tension between riches and poverty in this country is ever on our minds and in our thoughts!


drmomjoyce said...

Hi Nat and Andrew
I just noticed you had a blog and have happily tucked into my favourites. Its a nice way to keep up to date with your goings on and esp to see your experiences.

Lots of love to you

Anonymous said...

Hi Andrew and Natalie,

Andrew, this is your high school teacher (Mathematics, Bible Knowledge) from way back in Launceston ....

I got the link to your blog from your parents - I got in touch with them after a recent broadcast of a Launceston church service on Dutch TV.

I am adding your blog to my favourites, so I can check it regularly!

How people from Launceston have branched out across the world! Ex-students of mine now live in Holland, Canada, South Africa, Australia, PNG and Romania (Paul Jansen)!

God bless you,

Gerrit Kroeze

Anonymous said...

A great message for us all, Nat! We take so much for granted, some stocking their freezer of meat for 3-6 mths at a time. Sure gives a clear perspective of, "Lord give us this day our daily bread."
Love your blog and will keep checking in.

Stephanie said...

Hi Natalie (and family)

Thanks for your comment on our blog. It's always neat to know who's been following our story ... although it did become a bit overwhelming for a time. I had noticed the PNG on my counter a few times, but wasn't sure who was keeping tabs on us down there!! :)

Yes we still remember you. Marietta also still remembers Shiana and still talks about her at times ... especially when we talk about far away places like Australia and Indonesia ... or when they get to root through the box of winter coats, snowpants and boots that you passed along to us.

Welcome to the blog world, I hope you enjoy it and keep it up. It is so nice for your family and friends to be able to read about what's happening in your lives and it's such an easy way for them to keep up. And it's also nice for the rest of us just to get a reality of the world out there ... for most of us live in a very small world where we have no real idea of the different cultures and levels of poverty that are out there. We take so much for granted and it's good to sometimes have to think twice about all the Lord has blessed us with, and then to truly see what a blessing they are.

We wish you strength and the Lord's blessing in the work that you are doing.

Steph (and Rob and family)

Stephanie said...

Me again.

I will have to show Marietta your blog, she will like to see the pictures of Shiana. She enjoys reading and like me she likes to read about real things ... although I shouldn't get her hooked on blogs just yet, eh!! ;)

It must be difficult for your girls to have moved from one place to the next over the past years. It's probably nice that they're can see their new home as a more permament place. They've gotten to see lots and meet lots of people also ... pretty lucky girls!! :) I'm glad she was still able to see something happy at bedtime last night, missing someone can sure leave a sad feeling ... but when it comes to James we all know that he's so much happier where he is and so missing him can be just a little easier knowing he's in the best place he could be. Although young, the girls seem to understand this too ... or maybe just accept it easier then we do at times.

As for the tracker. If you look at the bottom of both of our blogs you will see a SiteMeter (one says Sitemeter, one just has a number). You can click on that and it will bring you to the details of the site. It only records the last 100 visits, so when the blog is well read you don't get the full idea and it's not always the most accurate as I believe it will count everytime the same person logs in in a day (so if someone checks often it adds them each time). Every now and then I pop on it just to see where people are coming from. I find James more interesting because if I look under Referrals it will tell me how they ended up on the site and a lot of people come through the Search Engines, most looking for some sort of medical information. Every now and then I check the Family Blog's meter just for interest sake, mostly it just gives me an idea of where the readers are coming from (you'd have to pay pretty close attention to actually figure out who each one is). If interested you go to ... it's free. Along the side of James blog you can also see a world map with red dots on it that gives a quick idea of where the readers are coming form. If well read then the map quickly becomes a red blurb, but you can set it up to clear off every so often (I just do once a year) so you get a better idea at a glance of where people are coming from. It's also free at

Well happy blogging, have fun getting the hang of it and figuring it all out ... don't waste too much of your precious time, eh!! ;)


Chandra said...

Hey, just found your blog (through your comment on Stephanie's blog). Glad we'll be able to keep up with you here!

Anonymous said...

Hello!! I just found your blog through the comments on Steph' blog. I just want to say a big HELLO to one of my dear students, Shiana. I have so often thought about her, wondering where she is now in this big wide world; Although I havent seen her in two years, I have not forgotten her. Please say hi to her from me and I look forward to reading all about what she is up to....and of course what all of you are doing in the work set before you by God. May He bless that work!

Michelle....or better known as "Mrs. Helder"

Anonymous said...

Hi sis

Just checking if it will accept my comments now. We look forward to reading your blog often, but don't forget to chat sometimes too :-)


Stephanie said...

I like your sitemeter!! ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Nat & Andrew,
Was lovely to come across your blog while checkin in on sis Helen's.
Really nice you share your time and experience sharing the Gospel etc with those who want to know God too.
Must be an awesome task to share as we have so much and they have so little and willing to share the little they have.
It truly humbles us to share your experiences.
May God continue to bless you in your beaustiful task.
Hope your children continue to stay settled in their schools!
Regards Hilbert & Jen Jongeling(Armadale)