Monday, June 16, 2014

Greetings from Wamena! #2

Dear friends,

Greetings from Wamena! We have entered our 5th month of living here. 
Many things have already become familiar, many things are still new. 

We just want to share some of the highlights of the last months. 
~ We love to hike in the weekends
~ JJ loves flying with the PAC airplane and went solo in May
~ 3 of our kids celebrated their birthdays
~ A new dog was given to us by our neighbours, and unfortunately was stolen out of our garden last night (so we think)
~ Another cat was given to us by departing missionaries
~ Jaap-Jan and Jonathan went to Jakarta where JJ had to renew his FAA medical papers. They combined this with doing some fun father/son things
~ Willeke rides all over Wamena with 3 and sometimes 4 kids on her scooter
~ JJ is busy helping Lentera in financial/administrative things
~ We visit collegues at home
~ Hang out with other expats
~ Cook and bake a lot as we still need to make many things by ourselves
~ Homeschool our kids a little here and there
~ Have almost finished painting our guestroom (the last room to be painted in the house)
~ Try to sleep at night despite the 20-or so neighbour dogs around us, roaring motor engines and prayers from the Mosque
~ Try to continue to learn the language
~ Hang out with our neighbours
~ Have our 3rd gardener, and he, Pak Martinus (wife and kids died, a lonely elderly man), was the first one to come back after his pay for the first month
~ Continue to be so thankful for our Ibu Mendia who is a great help in- and around the house and is our spontanious language tutor
~ We write blogs, do Facebook updates, send pictures to our family
~ We have kids that live in our neighbourhood come play in our garden and in the house
~ We go to the library at the international school
~ And do heeps of other things!
We sure keep busy!

Homemade yoghurt

 Homemade granola

Cleaning out 1 of the 4 1000 liter watertanks for our showering, washing and drinkwater filtering

JJ went solo!

Visiting collegues in the beautiful mountains of Papua


 On the scooter with three kids

Friday, February 21, 2014

Greetings from Wamena!

Dear all,

We now have been almost 2 months in Papua, Indonesia.
We had a safe and pleasant journey here and all our luggage, including bikes, arrived at the Sentani airport when we arrived. Hurrah!
We spent 3 days at the coast and got our visa papers sorted out in this short time, which is nothing short of a miracle.
On our 4th day in Papua, we flew to Wamena.
We are getting used to life here and JJ flies three mornings a week.

We have painted most rooms in our house and have bought beds for the kids, furniture for the living room, all with help of kind and caring people, local people and missionaries alike.
We are picking up Indonesian step by step, certainly not anywhere near being fluent, but definately able to pick up a few words in every sentence.

We are part of a great team, our Lentera collegues are wonderful people. JJ loves the flying and the kids and I are doing just fine as well.
Homeschooling is a bit of a challenge, but they have no problem occupying themselves, playing in and around the house. Jonathan and Naomi attend the international school, HIS, in the afternoons and Juda and Jerusha attend our organization's pre school twice a week, Sekolah Sinar Baliem.
Another Dutch mom who homeschools her kids, helps Jonathan and Naomi once a week with math.

Three times a week neighbour kids come into the garden to play soccer and Jonathan joined a soccer team from Papua United. We have a wonderful househelp, Ibu Mendia. She is a great help and blessing to our family. Below some pictures of our first weeks here:
 JJ with Timmy Gurik, the chairman of the board of Lentera.
 The girls in the plane our our flight down to Wamena
 Beautiful skies
 We have arrived in Wamena!
 Opening the door to our house
 Jonathan playing soccer with a Papua United team
 A Lentera fellowship in our garden
 Ibu Mendia
Playing soccer in our garden

 It is great we have our bikes, but also great to have a scooter to ride on
 Naomi and tiger
 Music boxes are flown in to celebrate the opening of a new airstrip

 The shop accross our street of Pak Heriman and Ibu Ria
 Pak Heriman
 Our living room, freshly painted

 Just after departure from Wamena

Approaching a landing strip
 Safely landed!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

On our way to Papua

Dear friends and colleagues!

Greetings from Groot-Ammers, the Netherlands. 
But not for long anymore, as most of you know we will leave our small country below the sea level on December 28th to go to the high lands of Papua, Indonesia.
What a change of scenery that will be!

 Flying over the Baliem Valley, Papua, Indonesia

After 2-3 months of language training JJ will start working as a pilot and instructor for the mission/developmental Indonesian/Dutch run Lentera Papua:
Again, what a change will that be from his current job as senior service engineer at NOV ELMAR:

The plane in which he will fly and instruct

A little history:
About 14 years ago JJ and I left the Netherlands and moved to Canada for 3 years where JJ studied Mission Aviation at Prairie Bible College,
Following his two years of study at Prairie in Three Hills, Alberta we moved to Calgary where he worked as an flight- and ground instructor at Red Aero Aviation at the Springbank Airport.

We then moved back to the Netherlands, where he started his career at then ASEP, now NOV ELMAR. 
Two more times we traded in the Netherlands: once for further study in Canada, followed by working at an orphanage in Mozambique (with 1 child) and a second time for developmental work in Ghana (then with 3 kids).

And now, after being back 'home' for over 4 years, we are on the move again! This time with 4 amazing kids and this time flying is back in our lives again.
Something we have prepared ourselves for many years ago, now comes to fruition.

In August JJ did an intensive 3 week flying course in Florida, USA at, to get his US Instrument Rating and his Commercial Licence (until then he had his Canadian licenses). He now is ready to start his conversion to Indonesian licenses once we have settled in Papua. 

We have packed some 36 boxes to be send for us to Papua: some things are to make living there a little easier, but most things packed are to help our kids ease into their new living surroundings a little easier.
We are doing online Indonesian language training, our kids have had quite a few innoculations, international insurances are arranged, all the paperwork for our visa application has been done, 'see you'-parties have mostly been held for both the kids and ourselves, so we can say we have not been bored the last few months!

JJ has had an amazing career at NOV ELMAR so far, which we are very grateful for. And who knows, he might be back in the future again (it has happened before!). And of course, while we are in Indonesia, if a job needs to be done, JJ can be called upon!

The kids and I have had a wonderful 4 years in our hometown Groot-Ammers. Old friendships have been strenghtened, new friends have been made. We are leaving with many happy memories and precious friendships. We are looking forward to new friendships, but again, what a change this will be, especially for our kids!

Jonathan, Juda, Jaap-Jan, Willeke, Jerusha and Naomi

See you soon !

Sampai Nanti!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May 2009

Hello dear friends,

How are you? We hope this message finds each on of you well. Warm greetings from a still warm but not só hot anymore Accra.
We are happy to feel the temperatures have dropped somewhat which makes moving around and doing things a little more comfortableJ.
Since we last wrote you we are happy to tell you Jonathan and Naomi are now attending a small international school named Owl’s Nest.
We were aiming fort hem to go to Ghana International School but they still did not have an opening fort hem. We now are very pleased that things did not go that way. Owl’s Nest is a small, caring school where the kids see each other quite a bit in between the times they spend in their individual classrooms. They are starting to pick up English which is just wonderful to see. They also continue to each attend Dutch school once a week. Another plus is that this school also is in our Cantonments area which means traffic jam free driving. Hurrah!
So my homeschooling days are over for now. I did it for two months and were it not for the fact that the kids really missed being around other children and that it is good for them to learn English, I would have happily continued.
Today we hope to get internet at our house and the car that has been purchased for me. The first two months here I spent without a car and the last month I have been dropping of JJ at work in the morning and in the afternoons he comes home with a taxi. It will be convenient once we both have wheels again as it is about time he visits projects outside the city again such as Kadé and Assin.
I promised you last time he would write more about his work but things have been somewhat rollercoaster like and it is not easy to give a quick impression on what he is doing here.
From my point of view he seems to be involved with many areas within the company of which many are not necessarily technical areas. Hats of to him as he seriously pursues each one of these areas with the same zeal as he would do with any technical issue.
Currently it involves further developing a Shea butter cream for sport’s people, together with colleagues looking after the follow up of a Shea nuts contract, and it seems the delivery will now take place over four months in stead of one. There also is a cashew nut contract that needs following up and understanding of how bank loan’s work here.
Then there are the palm oil factories that have just started to deliver oil to a purchaser…this process also involves the (un) necessary hick-ups but one truckload now has been delivered. Besides this there are the on-going communications between the office in Holland and in Ghana as these two companies are still in the process of getting to now each other.
I think I only have mentioned half or less of what he has been doing.
We have to honestly say, however fun and important many of these things are, however seriously he pursues them, this has not been the job he came for.
In any case, this is an amazing time for our family, all five of us are doing well. Jonathan and Naomi at home and in school, Jerusha at home growing like a weed and loving the company of Belinda, our wonderful house help.
We enjoy exploring Ghana and meeting it’s people, yet we have to conclude we will make use of our six month probation period that we have mentioned in our first Jongkind Adventures Blog. We will leave Ghana at the end of the summer but not with burdened hearts but with gratitude for this experience.
Soon JJ’s mum will come for a visit and in July Willeke’s parents with two nieces and a friend. We are happy we can share with them the Ghana we have discovered and then it is on to a new adventure. For now, have a great time! Love, The Jongkinds

Friday, March 20, 2009

Dear friends!

How are you? We are well. Warm greetings from a warm Accra.
Last summer we went on a biking/camping holiday with the kids in Holland during two very hot weeks.
I think this was an excellent preparation for the weather we are in right now. At that time I looked at it as not only a nice holiday but also a good teambuilding experience for our family.
Now I realize it was not just a good teambuilding time but also good in building stamina to do things in hot weather.
The first week here in Accra the kids were covered in a heat rash but from this they have now well recovered.
They have learned to drink sufficiently and we always have their bottles filled. A new challenge still is to get them to bed on time! Where between 7 and 8 used to be fine for them to go to sleep, now this should be at least an hour earlier.
And this I need to start anticipating.
Since we last wrote we have now a furnished house with furniture we bought along Spintex Road in Accra, a busy road (and this is an understatement as most traffic in Accra is already busy… wow, in Holland we live in a town where there is not even one! Traffic light…) but we found a nice carpenter there named Eprhaim and it has been fun to work with him.
I think we are a bit too critical for him here and there but other than that we get along great.
By chance during our first week JJ’s collegue Yayra and myself came across a sewing place owned by a nice Lebanese interior decorator and this lady has organized our nice curtains throughout the house and the cushions for our wicker couch which size turned out a little different than we thought but oh well, we are used to it now. Looking back I can not believe the amount of things we got accomplished just in one month in this busy busy city where everything takes longer than you first anticipate!
God’s hand was and is on us and with us.
In the meantime we have also found a nice church in the Elim International Family Church and we go there with much pleasure. It first was quite daunting for the kids to go because of the English but they are progressing and it sure helps we have become friends with one of the families there who also have kids.
Jonathan has become good friends with a Dutch boy named Iven and we also have had some nice family times together with his family.
Both Jonathan and Naomi much enjoy their times at the Dutch school and last week we had an appointment with the Ghana International School located close to where we live where we were introduced to the classes and teachers. Jonathan and possibly Naomi will start school there most likely. This school is only a five to ten minute drive from our house which in this widespread city is wonderful. The Dutch school is only a little bit further and it makes that the area we live in, Cantonments feels to us like a smaller community within the city.

We have shopped till we dropped and also furnished our house helps’ living quarter behind our house, where Belinda moved in last week. We are still getting used to each other but paired with lot’s of laughs so I think it will work out well between her and us.
And there still is more shopping to do but we will try to wait with that until some international families are moving on to a new place so we can visit some garage sales. This experience we gained in Canada some years ago so it is fun to once more have this. We have everything now that is necessary to live from and over time the other things will come.

This has become quite the story and it still is only a broad description of the last few weeks but we are well!
Jaap-Jan will later give an update on what he is doing.Until next time! We do not have internet connection yet at home so it might take some time before we can write you back.

Warm greetings, Jaap-Jan, Willeke, Jonathan, Naomi and Jerusha

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dear all!

Warm greetings from a warm Ghana! After a very uneventful trip we safely arrived in Ghana last Monday.
We first resided in a hotel for two nights and then proceeded to move into our new home
It is a lovely house on a nice little compound with plenty of space for the kids to play. There even is a pool but the water pump needs to get fixed.
I don’t mind that at all because this way the kids learn to stay away from the pool. Jonathan can swim but Naomi not yet.
We had a busy, busy week of getting things sorted out for the house, and we have just got started really. We are kind of camping in the house but since we like camping it is not that big of a deal.
And who could refuse camping in an air conditioned home with tile floors, three bed-bathrooms? We feel blessed and privileged indeed.
Each time we drive home after yet another shopping/spending spree we see people who are asking for money when we are standing still at the stoplights in the city. As I see them I realize how fortunate we are and how difficult is it then to share with others in the blessed life we are allowed to lead?
We had a nice dinner with JJ’s new colleagues and I felt fortunate to meet them before his job starts tomorrow (Monday). I always think along with him in his jobs (at times appreciated and at times unappreciated :-)) and it is nice to have met the people he will start working with tomorrow.
His work graciously allowed him to be with us the last week as we were setting up house. This way I could leave the kids with him as I went about with his colleague Yayra who has been a tremendous help to us last week.
Now the coming week is a new start again, as it is his first week at work and my first week home alone with the kids!
We will keep you posted on how things are developing. We are comfortable and well at ease with the friendly Ghanaian people.
Although we must admit that without air conditioning in the house things would be quite a bit tougher!Stay tuned! Willeke for the family Jongkind

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Just a few days in Holland remain. Final good bye's, final packing, final inocculations, final... you name it. And oh yes, this is the first time we do a weblog... what an immense amount of settings one can choose from. Anyway, Monday we fly to Accra, Ghana for at least 6 months, we have a two year contract with a six month mutual try out period. But as with any new job we trust this try out will be a great new start and we expect to be in Ghana for the next few years. How many years? We don't know. All we know is that we have a heart to serve and see where we can build up and encourage people in their development and to hand this over in due time. This can be months or years.

I, Jaap-Jan, have a contract with a Ghanaian company for the next two years as a Technical Director overseeing the overall technical and quality standard of the nuts and edible oils that are either traded or processed.

Willeke and our children will first be adjusting to their new surroundings, while Jonathan, our oldest, will soon start to be homeschooled as well.

As I write this, we just learned that a house has been selected for us (just five days till we travel) and that it is empty except for a stove. So we know what we need to do first when we arrive: make home.

While we are away a friend of us will rent our house in Holland which is very nice.

The children are taking all the changes with ups and downs. Especially Jonathan is quite aware of what is happening and this causes some stress and interesting converations and tears at a time.

All in all we can call it a very dynamic time in our lives. Having done this before as a couple and later only with Jonathan, we must say that preparing and going with three children is an excellent challenge and we look forward to writing to you about our arrival experiences in Ghana!

Greetings and much blessings for now!

Willeke, Jaap-Jan, Jonathan, Naomi and Jerusha