Sunday, December 9, 2012

Mushrooms and Modesty

On Thursday we were finally able to meet with the director of the Sabah Blind Society.  We have been trying to get together for the past three months and one thing or another always happens that we or they can't make and keep appointments.  But on Thursday we were finally able to get together.  We went with the director, Angeline, to visit the Wallace Training Center for the Blind in a town which is about an hour drive from KK.  At this training center they are working with the blind to teach them some skills to help them become more self reliant and able to contribute to their own upkeep and make a livelihood for themselves.  Here at the Wallace Training Center some of the residents are learning basket weaving, which is becoming a lost art.  They are still weaving with reeds and rattan, but that is getting to be harder to find and very costly.  They do amazing work.  There were two gentlemen when we were there who were busy making some beautiful baskets.
They make baskets of all sizes and shapes.  I watched them for quite a while and was in awe at the work they do.  They are real craftsmen.  They sell the baskets at the Sabah Blind Society office or at various other outlets.  I think they are all very reasonably priced too.  I bought a medium sized basket that can be used to cover food on a table.  It was only Rm15 or in US $5.

They also grow mushrooms here.  Now I thought I would go into a dark and danky room and see mushrooms growing out of the floor.  This is the mushroom building:
The outside walls are made of a grass like material.  Here is the inside:
There are rows of shelves inside the building.  The shelves are about four rows high and there are about 10 sets of shelves in the building.  The mushrooms actually grow out of the round plastic tubes you can see sitting on the shelves.  There were about 6000 tubes in the room.  The tubes contain a special soil mixture.  One end of the tube has a nozzle-like device on it and the mushroom grows out of that end.  The floor of the hut  must be kept moist for the mushrooms to grow.  The blind people keep the floor wet and they pick the mushrooms as they ripen and poke out through the end of the tube.  It is a pretty simple operation.  The blind are able to sell the mushrooms to markets and restaurants.  They can't keep up with the demand.  They need another mushroom hut and some improvements to the existing mushroom hut.  Hopefully, that is where LDSC comes in.  We are going to write up a project that we hope will be accepted in Hong Kong to help them obtain the materials to build a new mushroom hut and also to improve the shelving in the basket room.  Keep your fingers crossed and say your prayers that it will be accepted.

Saturday night the new YW's presidency in the KK1 branch held their Young Women in Excellence Night.
Crystel received her YW medallion:
Pres. Fausto presenting Crystel with her medallion.  The blurred lady in the back is the new YW president, Sis. Annie.  I am so proud of Crystel.  She has been a member of the church for not quite a year and has already earned her medallion.  When we were teaching her the follow-up after baptism lessons, I challenged her to get her medallion, and she did.  She is also one of my piano students.  She is a great young lady.  She is so humble.
The room was decorated really nice with balloons and table decorations.  They had really gone to a lot of work to make it look festive for the girls and their parents.  Unfortunately, only three mothers came out to support their daughters.  One father came, and he isn't even a member.  Of course none of the girls have fathers who are members.  Thank goodness for wonderful mothers.
One of the purposes of the activity was to encourage "modest dress".  So the girls put on a fashion show where they wore clothing that would be appropriate for church and clothing that would be appropriate for a birthday party.  These are the girls wearing their party dresses.  L to R:  Sandra, Tiffiny, Ivory, Chelsea and Crystel.  They are all beautiful girls, inside and out.  I love them all.  Of course, I Love the YW program.
The YW presidency gave each girl a present, a small picture frame.  And they gave each girl's mother a picture frame too.  And they gave the outgoing former presidency a picture frame.
And then for some reason they gave me a frame too.  Thanks ladies for a wonderful night.  L to R:  Sis. Annie, current YW president, Sis. Lillian, former YW president, some old lady, and then Sis. Rose current counselor in YW's presidency.  Oh, by the way, Sis. Annie is the mother of the Eds:  Eder, Edre, Edde and Edni.  They are the greatest YM you could ever hope to meet, so handsome and smart.  Three have served missions and the 4th Ed will be leaving in another few months.

We are leaving on Thursday to go to Singapore for a week. We are having another senior conference and getting our VISA chopped.  Pres. and Sis. Mains also asked us, along with the other humanitarian couple in west Malaysia, to be in charge of a service project for the seniors to do while at the conference.  It is proving to be pretty hard to put together a service project for Singapore when you live in KK.  We will definitely need the Lord's help to pull this one off.  Wish us luck -- better yet pray for us.

Hope everything is going well for all of you and that you are in the holiday spirit.  I just can't seem to get there completely this year.  I think it is hard because it is always 88-90 degrees outside and not a snowflake in sight.  And we are really missing everyone so much more right now at this time of year.  It is a time for families, so enjoy yours.  Love Ya All   E/S Read

1 comment:

  1. With all the giving you're doing, Christmas spirit should be everyday for you. Love the modestly dressed girls they look great! Love you both.