This summer our family made a once in a lifetime decision to move 7,693 miles away from home; we will be moving to Tembagapura, Indonesia. Tembagapura is an isolated jungle town nestled in the Papua Jayawijaya Mountains above Timika (click on the map below). It is a self-sufficient community structured to support Freeport McMoRan’s Grasberg Mine and its national and expat communities.  Tembagapura is just like any typical small town; it is made up of neighborhoods and has a hospital, a bank, a school, a church, a mosque, a coffee shop, and a library. It also has two restaurants, a Hero grocery store (a well-known Asian chain store), and a recreation center with a swimming pool, gymnasium, tennis courts, and a football field.

In addition to learning how to live, work, and go to school in an Indonesian society, we will also have opportunities to travel to different parts of Asia and Australia.  Some of the places that we hope to visit include Bali, Thailand, Vietnam, Beijing, Cairns, Sydney and New Zealand.

The purpose of this blog is to document our adventures and to keep our family and friends informed of our activities and experiences.  We are looking forward to this adventure and sharing it with you.

11 Responses to About

  1. Lynette Parker says:

    Hey there cousin!!! Just found your blog! What a crazy exciting Adventure for your family! Hope it is okay to follow you, has been fascinating to read some back posts!!! Wow!!!


  2. Dale Gossett says:

    Great to hear that everyone is doing well and the adventure is on. You guys are always in my thoughts and prayers and may everyday be even more blessed than the one before it. A friend of the Roses always.

  3. Rachael Shelley says:

    My name is Rachael and I discovered your blog while doing some research on this mine and town. My husband and I are considering moving from the states to live and work. Much like it appears you have. I, of course, have so much concern with taking me family there. I would love if we could chat and asks some questions. It is such a huge decision. I would appreciate any help and information you can provide me with. I have 2 young daughters and think you would be a great contact and book of knowledge. Thank you so much for considering.

  4. Chester (Chet) Harbut says:


    I spent about 4 months in Tembagapura during the summer of 1975. I had just finished my doctoral thesis/dissertation at Tulane U. in Infectious and Tropical Diseases. The staff physician at the town site, Dr. Cyril Swain, had contacted our department (really my major professor) to inquire whether he could get someone to come to Tembagapura to evaluate the prevalence of intestinal and blood diseases in the Indonesian population working in the kitchens, store, as house maids, etc.. I also helped to upgrade the diagnostic techniques of the laboratory staff at the hospital. Dr. Swain also allowed me to travel to other villages on the island (Waa, Kokonao, Senggo, and another whose name escapes just now) to do blood surveys, specifically looking for levels of infection with malaria and filariasis. Anyway, I have a ton of ‘slides’ (how I wish digital photography had been around at the time) of my trip, some of which I’ve digitized. I’ve thought of setting up a web site called Tembagapura but have never gotten around to it. Maybe not techie enough. Anyway, just thought I’d touch base with you. I imagine town site has changed quite a bit since I was there.

    • Kriste Rose says:

      Hi Chester!

      I always find it fascinating to hear from people like you! People who spent time in Tembagapura, many years ago, who still have a connection to it and enjoy looking it up and reading about it on the internet. You would be surprised by the number of people who lived here 10, 15, 25 (and now 40 years ago) who have contacted me about Tembgapura. It’s so interesting to hear their stories! It sounds like your four-months at jobsite was busy! If you’re interested in setting up a website, I would highly recommend it! I think people would be interested in seeing your photographs. Most of the people who read my blog are family and friends back home, but I, also, receive a lot of views from people who are interested in the possibility of working/living here, or have lived here in the past. I’m not technologically savvy, but blogging sites make it fast and easy to create and manage blogs. Let me know if you set up a site, I’d be interested in viewing your pictures. Good luck! Kriste

  5. Connie Hubbard says:

    Hello! I, too, am coming from South Dakota for a visit next week to the job site with my husband to explore the possibility of living and working there. Your writing is descriptive and eloquent, and really gives one a feel for the environment. I am so excited for our visit and hope to meet you some day.

    • Kriste Rose says:

      Hi Connie! It’s nice to hear from you. During your site visit, you will have many opportunities to meet the ladies in the community. When you’re here, I’ll make sure to find you and introduce myself to you. Safe travels!

  6. Fi says:

    Are you able to bring your pets with you?

  7. Amber Ashford says:

    Hi Kriste, I lived in Tembagapura from 1990-95. We moved there when I was 9 until I was 14. It was an amazing adventure. I came across your amazing blog while googling Mt Zaagkam school. I was curious to see how much it has changed.

    Even though I lived there for a small amount of time it will always be my home. I loved everything about my experience while there. There have been so many changes since I lived there but so much has stayed the same. It was very hard transitioning back to the US. Attending public school was a culture shock. It was overwhelming and took about a year before things got better.

    We recently just had a Tembagapura reunion in Arkansas. It was amazing to get to see old friends that were like family to me when we lived there. There were a few people I didn’t know but just living there bonds you together. Also the Broadbents, who currently live in Hidden Valley, were able to make it. Chandra showed us several drone videos that were amazing. I wonder if it was your husband that filmed them. I was so enthralled with the videos I can’t remember who she said filmed it. Lol.

    I read that your family just moved back to Phoenix. My dad Tim Joyner still works for Freeport and he and my mom live in Phoenix too. My sisters husband also works for Freeport and they live in Baghdad Az. I spent most of July visiting them in Phoenix. It was so great to read your stories and see your pictures.

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