Christmas in Papua is a very noisy affair.  Well before the actual date, people have constructed little Christmas shelters and installed large sound systems in them from which they blare music at all hours of the day and night.  Then there are the carbite bombs.  They use pipes and heat up carbite and plug the pipe up and eventually it explodes making a sound like a bomb.  The first time one went off well into the night, I nearly had a heart attack!  And then there are the fire works.  While this year hasn’t been as bad as last year, they are still lighting them off.  There isn’t really anywhere to escape all the noise.  Even in our air conditioned rooms, it is still very audible.  This wears on one after a while…

On Christmas day it is a tradition that people will open their homes and accept visitors from about lunch time until 9:00-10:00 at night.  So today we went out around 12:30 and visited a number of different homes.  At each home there is food, and drinks and you are encouraged to eat as much as you want.  Aidan loved it…  Today we went to five different homes.  Unfortunately, when we returned home, we discovered that while we were gone, my motorbike had been stolen.  Someone had obviously used a key to enter the gate and simply walked off with the motorbike.  My former helper had yet to return her set of keys to me.  We had changed our house lock but not the gate lock.  Good gate locks are super hard to find and I had no reason to believe she would do anything with her keys.  She had simply stopped showing up to work and I had heard through the grape vine that her husband had told her not to work any more.  He’s usually not in town and he told her this when he came to town for Christmas.  Interesting…  She has worked for Westerners for many years and I believe is entirely trust-worthy.  However, it is possible someone got their hands on her keys…  We should have changed the lock…  This has left us feeling very unsettled and violated.  I’m sure we will never see the motorcycle again and there is no such thing as insurance here…

In a couple days we will, as a family, fly to Holland to be with Hugo’s family.  His father has been fighting lung cancer for nearly a year now and it has worsened.  We just heard the news a week ago and felt that we should go and be with them now.  The kids have 3.5 weeks of Christmas holidays so it is possible to go without disrupting the kids schooling.  We are very thankful for the provision of funds allowing us to go, that we can be with our family at this time and we are thankful for your prayers.

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About Erica Feunekes

Myself, my husband Hugo and our five kids live and work in Sentani, Papua, with Mission Aviation Fellowship.
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One Response to More…

  1. audrey says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family! All the best with your visit to Holland.

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