Hello, to everyone. Hoping this finds you in good spirits, and getting some rest between the holidays!

For Thanksgiving this year we Americans took the day off and went to kulen mountain for the day. Spending the day by the River. The day was lovely and very refreshing! I will try to get you more details as soon as I can find the time. But until then, here is a little video for you to enjoy of our day. It’s not the best, but it gives you an idea of where we were and what we did.

Thanksgiving 2021

Also, if you go to the channel. There is a video of camping in the first the year that I never got around to sharing. You can check that out here, Helmuth Family Channel

So until I find more time, Heather for the Helmuths

Out of quarantine and a Day Trip

Two weeks ago was like a breath of fresh air! I really needed a day off. I feel like I’ve had so much that could or should be done recently that I just haven’t had time to rest well. Between teaching the kids, doing computer work for Dad, and doing other jobs around the house, I feel like I just haven’t had time to rest well.

So when Dad suggested that the boys go to Phnom Penh, to pick up Friedreich’s and Lanita and renew their license. I jumped at the chance to take a day off of teaching and go road tripping!

After hours of driving, we finally made it to the mall. A couple days before, we saw on the news that in Phnom Penh now, you need to have proof of vaccination to be allowed into the malls. The mall is the only place that you can renew licenses. So we just hoped and prayed it would work out!

We walked into the mall entrance, and there was a checkpoint by the door. “Can I see you proof of vaccination?” the security asked. “Uhhh, we don’t have the vaccine.” Dallas replied. “You don’t have the vaccine?!?” He asked, astonished. “I’m sorry, you can’t come in then.” Dallas explained to him that all we needed to do is just renew they’re license, that was all. “Ok, Well, let me ask the boss first,” he relented. A couple minutes later he waved us through and told us only this once!

After renewing the license and picking up some goods for mom, we were famished! We decided just to get KFC. After looking over the menu, we decided on a box meal. The meal consisted of fried chicken, fries, sandwich and ice cream with caramel sauce. Our food came out, and we sat down to eat. We were so disappointed! Our “ice cream” was actually mashed potatoes and gravy! It looked exactly like a sundae with caramel sauce on the menu! After getting over the surprise, it tickled us, but was still very disappointing! Then I bit into my chicken, and I hit something very hard. Upon inspection, I realized it wasn’t a drumstick, but rather the chicken’s ribs. Dallas’ seemed to be mostly bone too. I guess they just chop the whole chicken into chunks Khmer style.

After finishing our lunch, we were on our way to do some quick fabric shopping, when Renita messaged and said they were finally released from quarantine. I quickly scanned over the rows and rows of fabric and bought what I wanted. Then we headed over to the hotel.

Once again, they made a big fuss about us not having the shot! I was worried that they actually weren’t going to let us in, reluctantly the guard let us through. Once inside, they got all our full names and our license plate number since we weren’t vaccinated. All that hassle just to drive in, load up everything and leave!

It was so good to have them back! We talked a good amount of the five hours home. I almost forget what it’s like to have people like that around.

That pretty much sums up our day off, it was a good break from the daily routine. It was a long, but quite interesting day!

Now Lanita is getting back into the daily grind of things and Friedrich’s are staying with a Khmer family in Prelingeang, they wanted to get a real Khmer experience and get to know people out there before doing much else. It sounds like they’re enjoying themselves, and learning Khmer really fast!

Heather for the Helmuths

COVID and visitors

Well, Covid has hit home! After a year of the government trying so hard to keep it out, it has finally found it’s way in. Now a year after the states has had it and is pretty much back to normal life, we are going through it all over again.

Just this past month it has went rampant in our city! Siem reap had avoided spreading it for a long time, but it is nigh impossible to keep it shut in forever!

A month or two ago, one of the staff men stayed home with his sick wife for a week. They went to the hospital then and had to get tested. He tested positive and she tested negative. So, Seyha had to stay in the hospital for two weeks, while his wife went home freely. She tested again later and it ended up she did have it after all! Poor Seyha! He had to quarantine two weeks in the hospital, get tested, go home and quarantine for another whole week!

Now almost all of Siem Reap is red zoned. Thankfully, it hasn’t affected us much at all! The closest town to us with a big market is closed, but there are other ones that we can shop at. Out here in the village it is pretty much normal still. We’re so glad we moved when we did!

Recent happenings

Changing the subject, we finally have other Americans around! The holderman missionaries from Phnom Penh brought down the new replacement family and their teacher. It was so refreshing to get together for supper with them! I was looking forward to getting to know the teacher better, but since they’re stuck in town, that hasn’t been able to happen.

James’ (on Alam Board) got out of quarantine three weeks ago. They’ll be here another couple weeks before heading back. Lanita and Friedrich’s just started their two weeks of quarantine on Friday. Friedrich’s committed to 2-3 years of work, so they will be around for a while!

It has been raining a lot the last couple weeks. It rained all night one Saturday, the next morning, the water in the rice field came up a lot! Right along the bank was crawling with worms heading for higher ground. It was amazing how many there were!

Then this last week it rained again, on and off for two days straight! The creek filled up fast! From 2 o’clock to 6ish the water came up close to a foot! The next morning the bridge had water flowing over it.

The bridge became the village hang out spot. I wanted so badly to go over and wade in the water but there was not a minute that there wasn’t people there! It is entertaining watching them though. Someone will drive down to the bridge and see that it has water over it. Then they stop , put their kickstand down and give the moto a good washing, right there in the middle of the bridge, before going on about there day.

Other’s come and park the moto on the side of the road, pull off their shirt and jump into the water, swim a couple minutes, and go on their way.

The water is pretty deep! I decided I was going to swim out to where Dallas and the children were. Half way there, I needed a little breather. Well, It was a lot deeper than what I thought! I could just barely feel the bottom with my tippy toes, and my head barely out of the water!

Other than that life has been pretty much normal. Right now I’m busy teaching the children’s school, Dallas is still going drilling, Austin has been getting Friedrich’s house ready for them, and Dad is busy with some of everything!

Till next time.

Heather for the Helmuths

Our life in pictures

So, since it’s been so long since y’all have had an update. I’ll share pictures from the highlights of the past couple months.

We went out to prelinging for a house raising party for Chuen and Sokna, a couple from our church. The one roundabout on the way out was full of flowers. It being in Asia, we had to stop to take pictures=) aren’t the children adorable though?!

He learned a little English while with us…❤️
A week or so after they were here, he started saying random sounds strung together. He acted like we should understand him. He said he was trying to talk like Forrest. He picked up really fast! I taught him to say “thank you ma’am” and the kids taught him “ariba”.
The old school building turned house. The top part is our living quarters and the bottom is a school room, SALT office and literature book room.
Also, one random picture of some beautifully wrapped, artisan chocolate. Only two ingredients, Cacao beans and cane sugar. I discovered a place here in town that makes their chocolate bean-to-bar. You can go and watch the whole process, and they even let you sample all their flavours at the end!

Hope y’all enjoyed the pictures.

~Heather for the Helmuth’s~

Yes, We’re Still Alive!

Well, things have definitely changed since my last blog post. I know, it’s been a really long time! We’ve moved to a house in the village. And Lanita and Lydia left last Tuesday. We have been working on getting settled in and getting everything into running order the last couple weeks. Moving tires you out!

The past couple months we’ve been working on getting the house ready on the side of everything else. After working on the house so long, I think all of us dreaded moving. However, now that we are finally moved, it’s not actually moving. I love the big yard with grass and lots of plants! I’ve been cleaning it up and planting other plants in my free time. I don’t know why, it just calms me down and makes me feel so happy.

I loved having Lydia and Lanita around often the last week before they left. We’d play spikeball, work, or just sit and talk together. We’d play games late into the evening. My favorite was when we convinced everyone to play hide-an-seek in the dark. It made some good memories!

Star watching

We were talking about it the other day and we all agreed that a day off was far past overdue. We’ve been so busy for such a long time, and we never had enough time to go do something fun. Even our Saturdays were too busy. Dad has to preach every single Sunday, so that fills up saturday, his only day “off”, with preparing the message for sunday.

So we took off. Kind of anyway! The guys ended up having to work until around lunch. We went to the temple restaurant and ate a delicious lunch then headed out to angkor putt putt. We were almost there when the truck went into neutral and wouldn’t go back into gear. We pulled over and the boys checked out what was wrong. We decided that dad would go back to the house and bring the truck back to pull the mini truck to the mechanic while went putting.

So after mini golfing, we drove back to where we left the truck, hooked it to the other truck, and headed for the mechanic. We didn’t get very far before Austin was motioning for us to stop. “The wheel is coming off” he hollered up. The guys got off and pushed it back on. Then, we just barely started going again when it started falling off again! We laughed at our luck, and shoved it on again. Thankfully we didn’t have to stop again after that. When we finally got to the mechanic shop however, they said they couldn’t fix it there. So we turned around and finally found another one!

Pushing the wheel back on😅

After all that drama, we went to a small rollerskating park. We were the only ones there. So we could do pretty much much whatever we wanted. A couple of us fell more then a couple times, but it was fun! It was the first time I had done anything like that since we’ve come over! After we were all sweaty and tired out from that, we went and tried out a delicious falafel and kebab restaurant.

Veasna’s little sister wanted to travel up to phnom phen with the girls to be with her sister there. We waited for her at lucky mall for a long time, finally we called to see what was up. “Oh! We’re leaving now, we’re leaving now” they said. Veasna’s sister messaged a bit later saying that they were waiting on a tuk tuk! The girls needed to finish packing up and it was getting late. We called them back and asked if they could meet us at makro instead.

We were started for home when Lydia remembered that their clothes were still at the laundry mat! After discussing what to do, we asked one of the Khmer guys close to there to go pick up the white teachers’ clothes. We don’t know what the Lady thought, but she did give them to him!

Thankfully, after changes of plans to our day, we did get Veasna’s sister and the girls did get packed up in time! They have now safely made it back to their families. I hope they have fun, but I can’t wait to have them back! It’s looking like a long couple of months right now!
This last week we’ve been working on getting the last odds and ends in place. It is finally pretty much all put away. This Friday, Thain and Austin put up a fence around a little section of land and we moved banana and lemon trees over to it. We’ll see if it floods that high or not this year, hopefully not. We’re wanting to grow a variety of plants on the plot.

I apologize again for not keeping you updated for so long, just so much happened after we got back and I didn’t want to write. The precious little writing creativity in me vanished, to where, I have no idea. And there was so much to update on it felt like a huge task. I finally decided to just update on the past while for now, and if I ever get the urge to finish my unfinished the numerous others, I can. But I really will try to keep y’all updated more now!

Heather for the Helmuth’s

Home at Last!

Here is the last of furlough videos. This whole last part of furlough, as you know, was unexpected! We were going to leave on the 9th of September. But to get back home you have to have a negative Covid test within 72 hours of when you arrive! Our results came back positive! So we had a mandatory extra couple weeks of furlough! We quarantined with my uncles because we had been with them a lot beforehand and we didn’t have anywhere else that we could go…

Everything ended up working out! Our symptoms weren’t bad at all, so we tried to help Roger’s as much as we could! After quarantine we were there for a week. We did a decent amount then! Luke and steph came down for a couple days! Tony and Alex took us to do numerous things just for the fun of it! We watched home videos in the evening. And enjoyed the lovely fall weather! However I must say I was very ready to be home, to have a schedule everyday, and have a house to call our own! I’m glad to be back!

~Heather for the Helmuths~

The Wedding

Hello to all! Here is the next video. Sorry, I didn’t have many pics of when we were in SC, but it was definitely a highlight for me! I got to hang out with some friends from the area, and we did a lot with the family! It was relaxing for the most part!

Anyway, I think one more video should wrap up furlough! If you like the videos, with more pictures and videos let me know! I am thinking that I might keep putting videos together. It’s easier for me and I enjoy doing videos a lot more! Plus in my opinion, videos give you a lot better feel of what it’s like here! I don’t know for sure yet, we’ll see!

~Heather for the Helmuth’s~

It’s Been a While!

Hey everyone! I know its been a long time since I’ve written on here! The last time I did, we were getting ready to go to the states! We have been back for about a month, and out of quarantine for two weeks! Life has definitely been interesting since we’re back! But more about that later!

Writing about furlough and the wedding looked really big to me, so I kept putting it off! Finally I decided that instead of trying to catch up from all the way back in July, I’d just put together a lot of the pics and videos that I took and make a video with them. You’ll see more pics that way! And it’ll be easier and more enjoyable for me!

I’ve put together a few already, so I’ll link those for y’all now. And I’ll post the rest as I get the them done!

Until next time!

~Heather for the Helmuth’s~

Here’s a little update on our furlough…
Because of Covid, it’s harder than normal to get home. You need proof of health insurance, and a signed copy of a negative Covid test, no older than 72 hours, and you need to put a two thousand dollar down payment to get in. If at the end of the 2 week quarantine, you are still negative, you get most of it back.

Our original tickets were for Friday,the 11th, but our flight from Hong Kong to Siem Reap got cancelled. We rescheduled for Tuesday, but there was almost no way we could get the tests back in time since it was over the weekend.
So then we rescheduled for Thursday, and early Tuesday morning, we went to get get tested. It was not the most enjoyable experience! I dread having to do it three more times! We spent the next day not having any idea what was going to happen! The suspense was horrible! We didn’t even know if we’d get the results back in time! Thankfully we did! However it’s not the results I was hoping for! Dad and Dallas were positive, thankfully they didn’t get very sick at all!
So now we don’t know when we’re going back! Right now all of us have to quarantine. And since we don’t have a place of our own, we are staying at an uncles house. We’ve been here for a week already and we hate to be imposing so long but there’s nothing we can do! We all wish we would have our own house! But it is what it is! I am very ready to be home, to not live out of a suitcase, to have a schedule, and live in a house of our own again!
So this last week we have been living with uncertainty of what tomorrow holds. The doctor told dad that some people test positive months after they are over it. We are just praying that that doesn’t happen! Your prayers would be very appreciated and are definitely needed as we go through this whole process!

Heather for the Helmuth’s

A trip “home”

Furlough is over half way finished now! It went by so fast! But it’s been good!

It was quite surprising and a little bit depressing coming back! I knew COVID was pretty bad, but I had no idea how much affect it was still having on day-to-day life! I came back totally unprepared! Once we get here, I walk into a store and am blown away by the mandatory masks, directional isle markers and social distancing signs! It gives such a different feeling! People seem so much less friendly! You can’t see when they smile, and they seem scared to even come close to you! It seemed like for the first few days, that was all I heard! I have gotten more used to it now, but I still can’t wait to go home where everything is still pretty much normal!

The week after mom and dad came, they came up to Felix’s over the time of our cousin reunion! COVID, of course, changed how that worked out, it was a lot smaller, but we still had so much fun! Us cousin’s played ultimate frisbee, ate lunch and hiked up to a mountain!

After the reunion was over we headed up to Ohio to visit grandads! We were half way up there already when they decided he should probably go to the hospital to get checked out. Well, the results came back and he had double pneumonia AND coronavirus! That changed our plans! We stuck around for the week, hoping he would be released from the hospital soon. I really enjoyed getting to see friends from Cambodia there! It feels so good to see someone who knows where you come from, and knows the people you know!

Granddad is on the mend now, but we didn’t get to see him while we were up there!

Sunday after church, we headed down to Cincinnati area and met uncle Vernon’s, Luke and Ryan, at an Airbnb. We snacked and caught up late into the night. Early the next morning, we ate breakfast and headed out for the ark encounter. It was fascinating! Seeing the immense size of the ark! Seeing how they fed the animals, and all the displays! I learned so much just walking through! Vernon was more than happy to be our tour guide, explaining and pointing out interesting things, and leading us to the right place, well, most of the time! We got home mid afternoon and grilled steak for supper! We talked, and played games and laughed a lot! Luke and Ryan left later that evening…

The next day, those of us that were left went and toured the creation museum, once again with Vernon for our guide! We met some mennonites while we were there, so dad and Vernon made sure to introduce themselves and see if they had any mutual acquaintances! We used our last day with them and went hiking, it was very warm and muggy, but we enjoyed the beautiful scenery and the chance to be with them! It was sad to say goodbye!

At the moment we are in South Carolina, Cordell’s got here Saturday evening and Luke got here this morning! We have been so blessed by the generosity of the people here! We came to a supply of cookies, eggs, pancake mix, and much more! People have opened their homes for supper! And we have come home multiple times, and had baked goods, flowers, or notes on the porch! If you are one of those people thank you so much! I have loved being back here and reconnecting with old friends and making new ones!

So that gives you a brief summary of what we’ve been doing and where we’ve been! Sometime this week we are heading up to Tennessee to spend time with Luke and the Forry’s before the wedding. It is just around the corner! It’s next week already! And the week after that, we head home to Cambodia!

Until the next update, Heather for the Helmuth’s