Sunday, July 8, 2012

Water, Tawau and Cupcakes

It is another beautiful day here in KK.   We went for about three weeks with no rain, but now we are having rain again almost every night.  It seems to rain during the evening/night hours so that is good.  We don't have to travel in the rain. Things sure did dry up in a hurry when there was no rain.  All the grass turned brown around the roads and along our driveway.

The YSA came over to our apartment for a swim party.  About ten of them showed up.  Not everyone swam but they all seemed to have a good time.  We have an "Adopt-a-Highway" project coming up the first week of August for both branches and they always come over to our apartment for a swim and ice cream after.  They do like ice cream, although I just can't force myself to buy the corn or yam ice cream yet.

Here are some more pictures of our trip to Tawau and the clean water project there:

Ben enjoying the crystal clear clean water coming from the pipe right into the village.
Ben and the contractor on the project.  The contractor did a great job.  We will use him again.
The reservoir where the crystal clear clean water is collected.  Notice LDS Charities name is first on the sign.  One of the requirements of doing a clean water project is that the villagers must take an ownership in the project.  They were responsible for laying the pipes and doing most of the work from the reservoir/holding tanks to their homes.  They had to form a water committee to oversee the work and to oversee the maintenance of the project after it is finished.  It doesn't do any good to just go in and build something for them without teaching them how to take care of it.  After we leave, the whole project could fall apart if the villagers don't have something in place to maintain it.  We won't do a project unless they can prove they will be responsible for part of its construction and for its maintenance.  This village had a very active water committee and they had worked very hard to get the clean water to their homes.  I think they will be ok in the future.
We took a drive with the Atkinson's above Tawau.  This is the view -- spectacular.  The water in the back the Celebes Sea and the land across the sea is looking at Indonesia.  There are miles and miles of palm oil plantations.  They are everywhere.  They are good and bad, they bring jobs (low paying) to the people but they are also very very hard on the environment.
It's at times like this when we really miss Dawn Gatherum.  Isn't this flower gorgeous?  Too bad we don't know it's name.  I think it's called a "Pinkus tongue Stick It Outis".  Maybe Dawn can leave a comment and we can all know its real name.
Catching, or trying to catch a little cat nap.  That's Pres. Ling.  This is at the Tawau branch.  They meet in this quaint home which has been designed to accommodate the branch with a chapel, kitchen, meeting rooms, etc.  The building sits right down on the beach and they have an amazing view.  They have also bought some land nearby, without the view and away from the beach, to build a chapel on.  They just need to get their branch numbers up.

On Thursday, Pres. Ling's wife, Mary, came over to bake cupcakes for their son Gideon's first birthday.  She asked me about a month ago if I would make her about 100 cupcakes.  I don't want to get in the cupcake business so I told her to come to our apartment and I would teach her how to make them.  She thought that was a good idea.  One complication happened however.  On Wednesday night I was baking in the oven and could smell plastic burning.  I looked all around inside the oven but couldn't see anything.  After I was through baking I was wiping up the counters and noticed that where the oven plug goes into the outlet, it was all black and melted.  We couldn't even get the plug out.  I called Mary and told her the problem but she said they would still come and bring her niece's microwave/convection oven.  They brought it over Thursday morning and we made cupcakes.  I had them bring all the ingredients and then I showed them how to put the batter together.  It was tricky at first trying to get the convection oven set at the right temperature for the right amount of time.  The cupcakes weren't very light but they still tasted ok.  I also made Mary some white cream cheese frosting, some blue frosting and some chocolate frosting that she could take home and frost the cupcakes later with.  They had a party for Gideon's birthday on Saturday night and she had all the cupcakes frosted and decorated.  They looked great, she did a good job.  Like I said, the cupcakes were heavier than usual, but still tasted great.  I think she ended up making only about 60-65 cupcakes instead of the 100 she had originally planned.  I think this comes under the "teach a man to fish" category.
Oh, btw, the electrician came Friday and fixed the plug.  I'm back in the baking business.  Also, Natalie, Mary is David Liew's sister.  David is now home and he does remember you and your family.

On Wednesday we are going to Kuala Lumpur for three days.  We are meeting with other welfare missionaries in Malaysia and also with Elder Subandriyo of the 70.  We are looking forward to it.  I will return and report next blog.

LOVE YA ALL  -- Please write or leave comments.
E/S Read


  1. I think you deserve a little nap. Was that man trying to hit you to wake you up?

  2. I think everybody knows how talented you are at EVERYTHING, so if there is something that they need help with they know who to call. That view is wonderful!! I thought your name for the flower sounded very official, I say that is the new name. Love you

  3. What a small world! Tell Elder Liew we say hi. We love reading about all of your many projects and adventures. You guys are doing such a great job!