5 March 2016

Berry's Abroad no-longer

After 4 big years, smothered with countless memories, we have decided to return to Adelaide! We’ve a plan to arrive late June, when our school year ends, & we’re already dreading the chill of its’ winter. Four years of 32 degrees each day, means that we’ll be reaching back for our jackets, cracking out the crockpot, and readying ourselves for Adelaide traffic - all 30 minutes of it ;)

We’ve worked out that we do have what it takes to cut the mustard overseas; and we’ve certainly triumphed past the growing pains of culture shock. We’ve learnt to embrace this differing way of life, and learnt that different is O.K! 

So why are we returning?! Simply put, we need to return to “recalibrate”. This will look like a little bit of study, a little bit of work, and a little bit of time, before packing our bags to do it all again somewhere else in the world. Nath plans to be chasing full time teaching work, & I plan to be chasing Nahla full time ;) with the slight possibility of part-time teaching.

So we go on from Jak-City - having moved 8th times in our married life - & look forward to bringing the Indonesian pieces of life (& furniture) back with us. We are excited to move in to our house in Glandore, & Nahla looks forward to discovering her Australian roots.

I want to end and state this : We’ve loved our time here in Jakarta! We are not leaving here because we haven't. We love living overseas enough that we hope to do it again in the future. We are sad to leave what we’ve built here but know that the difference its made will move on with us. You may have not noticed but I’ve deliberately steered away from writing the statement that we are returning home. Because we believe we are home …. we've always been home ... because home is where ever we are!

Here's a glimpse of it ...

Thanks for listening. Thanks for caring.

Nomes x

23 October 2015

A new friend

Meet Kat.

Kathlyn Dunn Jansen.

We came to know of Kat through my sisters’ friends’ housemate who had asked that we connect with her due to geographical closeness. Kat presently lives in Indonesia, but unfortunately, not in Jakarta. Instead, Kat resides amongst the turquoise bays and luscious trees of Lombok. To those of you who know this place, will certainly agree that visually, its land is beautiful. But if you ask Kat – ‘beautiful’ is not what she knows of the place, and those turquoise bays are certainly not what she sees.
Kat lives in ‘Lapas Mataram’ which in an easier language means ‘Lombok Prison’. She has done so for the past 3 years, and has been living out her “life” sentence surrounded by secure walls and tight boundaries. Her real home is in South Africa in which she was born, and where she had her beautiful young daughter who still lives there today. And it is with desperate hope and humble prayers that one day, she will be returned to these roots.
What Kat did to get there is not the point of this blog. The point of this blog is to share a small part of her story. A story that is certainly not defined by what she did or did not do. But a story that says we all stuff up; we’re all forgiven sinners; and we are certainly not meant to be reminded of our wrong-doing day in and day out.
What life in prison looks like for Kat is a testimony to how strong she is, and how far she’s come. What a life sentence appears to mean is beyond my ability to accurately explain. What I do know, is she is hoping for some proper legal support in order to reclaim her initial prosecution of 20 years. This would see her one day leave Indonesia, and provide a glimmer of hope as she rides out her days.
On Monday the October 12th, Nath left us holidaying in Bali to go meet with her during visitation hours. He was able to sit with her; laugh with her; hear her story; and gift her with practical necessities from people she knows, and ones she doesn’t.
During this time, Kat shared her struggles & her hopes. Her life journey and her spiritual faith. Her joys, her sorrows and her ways of life and living. They were then inadvertently joined by three radical Jesus-loving, supporters-of-Kat, who surprised her with healthy hearty food, and a bad rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’. For little did we know, that it was on this day, three years prior (thus her third birthday) - Kat was arrested. We were silently shocked with this timing and the prisoners were silently shocked with the songs ;)
I share this story for two reasons. One to bring awareness about our far-away friend who would love nothing more than for you to remember her in your prayers. Praying prayers for strength. Prayers for hope.  Prayers for perseverance. Prayers for joy. Prayers that can keep her spirits high; and prayers than firmly squash down the opposition.
The second reason I write this is to acknowledge you Kat, who I know is reading this. And to remind you that you are worth my time writing and others reading. What is so beautiful about Jesus is He loved you before the world began. He loves you despite knowing where you’d end up. You are his precious child - and despite what you’ve done - He is so pleased with you!
Lastly, I leave you with a verse that brings this whole blog into perspective. In Matthew 25:40 Jesus commands us to care for the ‘…the least of these” – for the hungry, the thirsty, the homeless, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned – He says what you do for them, you do for me. We never went looking for Kathlyn but we sure are glad that we found her.
So if you are ever visiting Lombok for a holiday please let us know and you can drop in on our friend Kathlyn. It might just be the highlight of your trip.

Thanks for reading.


18 July 2015

Welcoming summer holidays, friends and family!

Due to it being freeeeeeezing cold back home, we happily opted to spend our 7 week long summer holiday in the Indonesian warmth .... and welcomed good friends and family to join us.

Our friends – Ben, Megan and little-Timmy – were here first.

We braved Jakarta’s infamous traffic, and “drifted” patiently through this city, showcasing some of what this place has to offer.

It was also a high point witnessing our tiny additions build their young friendship. Whilst Tim was on foot and Nahla still on knee, her admiration for his good looks and maturity was clearly seen over the dinner table. She continues to enjoy a green pea and chunk of mango in remembrance of him ;)

We then flew to Bali with the Cheney-fam, soaked in the sunshine-filled holiday-vibe; before waving them goodbye and welcoming the next set of guests. The Meinels, Naths big-sis and her family-team, ventured across the ocean to meet us in Bali.


A large holiday-in-the-making saw them visit Bali, Jakarta and Singapore with A WHOLE LOT in between. It was a non-stop / fun-filled / trip-of-a-lifetime for that tribe. I thought I’d let little Kiana Meinels’ fancy photography tell just SOME of their story.


Whilst we still have some holiday weeks in front of us, we have genuinely enjoyed having these homeland visitors come and strangely connect our two worlds. We so appreciated you coming, and embracing this life, and our living.

Until next time, stay warm (those of you who live down under)!



23 April 2015

Special occasions!

I realise it is completely selfish of me to force this display of my world onto you – so if you have very little time in your life, go wash the dishes now!

But if you’re still with me (or wish to procrastinate) - I will add, this is not really about me. Instead, it’s about my big-sis & her hunky hubby, who recently said ‘I do’. And about a little 8 month old third culture child, who unbeknown to her, received an early first birthday (a consequence of being a third culture child).

So special-sexy-Sare, & grand-gorgeous-George – my sincere congratulations! This was your moment, and we loved witnessing you declaring that it’s actually not about the day, but about your love in marriage. What a gift it is to you and to us. Let us reminisce ...

And for my preciously innocent Mae-Mae, who is not yet one. Your far-away family wanted to celebrate their love and your life.  So this ... was your moment!  May you enjoy these pictures in years to come.

For George, Sarah & Nahla - may social media forever publish my thoughts for you on these special occasions.  

Much love to all you three, from me.


18 February 2015


Sorry but its been awhile since I was here. The truth is, I haven’t known what to write about that could possible be worthy of your time reading my blog. The thought of Nahlas 6 month milestones, & our new & cute residence did cross my mind once or twice. I then thought about joining the cooking bloggers in showing you some of my latest and greatest kitchen-wins. But I started to ponder about what I really wanted to share - & I came up with this.

Meet NaMissy ... a forging young friendship that I watch over, ponder on and laugh at, throughout the course of my day. Firstly, let me comment on this image, one that received quite a lot of interest. If you think that this was carefully sculpted & timely captured, think again. Watch on ... (scuse the blur factor)

So calm. So chilled.

These two furry tops do not exactly ooze intellectual stimulation or conversation during this at-home stage of mine. But what they do bring, is a pure innocence & stress-less vibe to my surrounding, that says “Let’s focus on right now - & for this present tired body & brain of mine - it’s been a beautiful thing!

I thought at first, the older furry one would be a nuisance & simply put, an extra chore. But her new day-time-security-job means she spends her days "busy" laying, sitting and being walked all over by a little 8kg helmet-head who loves nothing more than to suck fervently on the TV remote control.

Although the days are numbered where the IQ level of these two remains somewhat similar, the pleasure of these two companions continues to calm and medicate my soul; & teaches me that love is a universal language for all creatures great and small.

Lastly, a shout out goes to another hairy head who is mostly responsible for this relaxed and doll-like version of Missy in which allows her to do her job. This one I speak of wakes up with the alarm of seagulls every morning at 5am (literally the alarm type is named ‘seaside’) to walk, tire out & ultimately love on our four-legged family member. If it weren’t for him, this friendship might not be as well formed. Thanks husband & pack-leader Nath ;)

Nomes xo 

P.s. I do apologise if reading this was not worthy of your time.  

11 November 2014

Its the small things

Last time I was here - this blog space printed words of anixety and despair ... whilst waiting for the news regarding my dear Mum. But I'm now here to turn those words upside down with a prognosis that says heres the best case scenario - my mummas cancer has not spread!

Although still a journey of successful surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and, at times, emotional agitation - her scenario is as bright as can be. Still, we continue to grip onto Jesus whilst in humility we say thanks.

I am still yet to hug my Mum who presently still waits and resides in Adelaide. Tomorrow we will hear the doctors orders of therapy and we hope this will suggest that she starts in a few weeks which can see her return to Jakarta to tie up a few loose ends.

But as I look back over these days that have shaken up my world & twisted my perspective - I am left with a few sharing thoughts.

During the week in which I was waiting to hear of what was to be of my Mum - a simple sentence was playing in my head. It's the small things that will fill your heart with joy. The little pleasures. The simple miracles. The silent whisper of God that says "I'm here. Cling onto me". But I didn't find this joy whilst trying on the latest, branded pair of jeans; or in that oversized metalic lantern that I so desperately wanted to sit in my house.

But instead, I heard His silent and calming whisper through the feel of Nahlas chest raise for breath, whilst sleeping deep on my chest.

Through the freshness and smell of some newly bunched flowers.

And in the smile of these precious little people, that presently live in Jakartas largest dump site (thats a blog for another time)

It was small ways like these that I felt God hug me; and illustrate that He loves, He's there and He cares what I'm going through.

Despite getting good news from the doctors relating to my Mums prognosis, I have been trying to hold onto these humble and personal thoughts that reminds me that God often shows up in the small things - in the "small" King David; & in the "small" food trough that little Jesus once lay. It's these small things that reminds me how big He is.

In conclusion - I want to thank you for your prayers, thoughts, messages and emails. We are genuinely grateful & appreciate that you care.

See you on here again soon,

Nomes x

21 October 2014

Fighting a battle we did not choose

It is with a desperately heavy heart, I write these words – My precious Mum has cancer. Her 16 year ago breast cancer has reared its ugly head again, & on finding out last Friday evening - we are now all fighting a battle that we did not choose.   

I’ve been anxiously grappling with the idea to write this blog – knowing that by writing these words, my grief in this moment will accelerate by somehow making this reality real. But I choose to share this news in order to gather my thoughts, inform those I know and love, & encourage friends near and far to collaborate & pray for my dearest mum.

My Dad has left today to go be with her in Adelaide where she will undergo various tests and scans this week to determine a prognosis. My sisters remain there presently & are looking after her so beautifully. And although my heart is sick with longing to be with them and with her - it is calming knowing she is so well loved and gently cared for.

At this point, in my thought process I am struggling to mentally manage anything that goes beyond an ‘over 1cm’ localised lump in her breast. We are desperately hoping for only this and talking to Jesus about a full and complete healing through surgery and treatment. But also the battle exists in enabling my thought-box to engage in a conversation with the Holy Spirit that is much louder than the conversation with the opposition (a word from Nath). Please pray this for us all.

We will know all detail this Friday after scans ... So the test comes as we humbly wait and try to work on our trust muscle whilst petitioning to our all-encompassing, all-powerful God who created all things & loves us more than the mind can fathom.

I wanna end by sharing with you a song that has continued to speak volumes to me. The title and lyrics reminds me that in allowing these battles to occur .... He still remains ever present .... And not only that - He takes the ruins of our lives, and makes them beautiful!
Love Naomi

Please note: If the above link did not work - see it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkUuA0IBE3k