Sunday, October 13, 2013

The End, at least for now.

I have a lot of guilt over this blog.  Just too much.  Our involvement in our ministries leaves no time for writing here.  I feel guilty that people visit this blog, and there is just nothing "new".  For now, I would like to put this blog on hold, and give in to pressure from my husband, and some of my family.  We had so far an interesting, very blessed life, and I would like to go back in time and write about the things I have learned and experienced.  I will soon post the website to my new blog.  Thank you,  Haniki

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Local Meat Market

I had to be a little creative getting this picture.  The ladies at the market are not happy when you take pictures of them.  Some renovation was done while we were away, and it looks much better now - tiles on the floor, a kind of a metal on the counters.  Before, they had to cut on cardboard.  And the same cardboards were used for not just one day, but for several days.  Now, you have to admire these ladies. Cutting, chopping, it all gets done with knives.  No electrical saws, only a small handsaw once in a while.  Forget about buying meat already in "cuts".  If you don't understand meat, you might have a problem finding what you are looking for.  The meat also comes with big chunks of fat, you might be able to convince them to cut that part off, they know they'll be able to sell it to someone who is interested in only the fat.  During this time, the price of meat comes down a little.  This is because farmers need to sell some of their animals in order to pay for school fees.  This is also a good time to buy and stock up for the winter.  Finding fresh meat during winter, from November to March can be a problem.  Even when the animals are slaughtered on the morning, by the time it reaches the market, it is all frozen.  This week, the big hunt for meat will start.  It will be good, I really don't want to have to go and buy meat when the temperature goes down to -25C.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Nomad living

When driving in the mongolian countryside, the beauty and tranquility overwhelms you.  Especially during the summer.  The fact that you are driving on something that can not be called a "road", and you, very often bump your head if you are not buckled down, doesn't matter.  But then, when you arrive at a ger, in the middle of nowhere, you realize that the beauty of the countryside has a tough side to it.  Carrying water from a well several kilometers away, a small solar panel to provide electricity, and only a few cows and horses for milk is part of the everyday life.  

We visited this family about an hour's  drive outside Darhan.  Two elderly sisters, with many grandchildren sent by their parents from the city to spend summer in the countryside.  The one-room building is the kitchen.  We found lots of huge containers with sour milk, ready to be made into hard, dried yogurt for the winter.  And a ger for the children and the two grandmothers to sleep in.  

Until next time ..... from Mongolia.

A Basic Diet

It is something you have to get used to, and it is also something that will bring out the creativity in you. The selection is limited, especially when it comes to vegetables and fruit.  Summertime brings some relief to the limited choices, but it means a lot more trips to the market to grab those opportunities.  It is already July, and vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower are nowhere to be seen.  Lettuce (only one kind), spring onions and radish are available.  At least you can have a salad, just add the tomatoes and you're there.  My first trip to the market delivered all of these (in the picture), well, there were also potatoes, but that would have been just a little bit too adventurous.  So, for now, we will be content, and wait for the month or so when we will have more choices and get those much needed nutrients before winter is bringing us back to only the basics.  

Until another time .... from Mongolia. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012


One of my new year's resolutions is kicking in.  While on Home Assignment, I've been reading so many blogs and realized it is something I want to do again.  

Pieter and I have an interesting, wonderful blessed life we share.  We've been to 25 countries now, America the last of this list.  Growing up on a farm in South Africa, I would never have thought this is going to be my future.  We meet people, we make friends, very good friends.  We have to say good bye way too many times, but then we move on and make new friends.  How fortunate we are.  Redding was the perfect place for us to rest after 22 years of cross-cultural experiences.  Well, America was also a cultural experience, but it was easy.  People at Simpson University were good to us, we had a wonderful comfortable home, and working with young students brought many memories back from our days in the Philippines.  

We came home to Darhan last week.  This morning while praying, I've just realized again how blessed we are.  Always food on the table and a roof over our heads.  Even when it is just the floor of another apartment above us, it is still there.  The differences we have experienced this year while living life are huge,  but home is where your heart is, isn't it.  One of the first things that went back into our living room was a picture of Anri and Sonja.  That is the best I can do to have them with us.  

Here's two pictures, one of the house in Redding where we lived for one year, and our apartment building in Darhan.  Two worlds apart!  Our apartment, 4th floor in the corner could fit in more than three times in the house. 

Until next time .... from Mongolia.  Haniki

Thursday, August 25, 2011


What a surprise.  I haven't added anything to this blog for the last eighteen months or so.  Well, things have changed, and with the extra time I'm going to have for the next ten months or so, I hope to blog more. 

We finally! are on home assignment for a year after 22 years on the field.  We've spend the first four months of it in South Africa where we mostly spend time with Anri and Sonja.  We had a Theron family reunion, and it was good to also see some of my family again.  We drove on the left side of the road, we ate boerewors and pap, droee wors and biltong.   Pieter and Sonja went for a walk with lions (pictures will follow), and we applied for visas for America.  Those two went together in one sentence on purpose,  Pieter will tell you that walking with the lions was not half as much stress as applying for the visas.  We're just not made for "embassy stuff", and I don't like talking and explaining through a thick glass. 

After a 34 hour trip from Johannesburg through Dubai, flying over the North Pole and then back down over the west coast of America, we are now in Redding, Calfornia.  This is where we'll be until next year May.  It is a new culture for us, our first time in the US.  So far it goes really well, everything is quite easy, Redding is not too big, and we have a wonderful and comfortable home to live in.  I'm just waiting for the winter to arrive. 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Camels and yaks

Have you ever seen such a handsome camel. And he enjoyed the attention thoroughly, waiting for us to get as many pictures as we wanted. The yaks were not very far from the camels.