Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Busy Week

Hello to all you peanuts in the peanut gallery (that will surely date me and if you know to what I'm referring it will date you too).

We have spent a good part of this week in the car.  Our little coke can on wheels.  One thing I am definitely not going to miss is all the traffic congestion here in KK.  It is awful.  It makes you want to tear your hair out at times, whick could partially explain Elder Read's condition.  Some times it is worse than others.  But it seems to have been particularly bad all this week.  I get so frustrated trying to get anywhere and arrive on time.  You really have to plan well in advance to get anywhere you want to go.  If you think a trip should only take about 10 minutes, plan on it being at least a 30 minute trip.  And once you arrive at your destination, good luck on finding a parking spot.  They are few and far between so people just double park and block whole lanes of traffic.  They will park anywhere they can find an inch of free dirt.  We have had people who are driving in front of us just stop in the road, get out of their car and lock it and go to the shop or buiding they want to go to.  AAAGH.  It is so tense you come home literally exhausted from driving.

 We had to go to one of the better up-scale malls here in KK to look for sugar (yes, there is a sugar shortage and a cooking oil shortage and a diesel shortage, so the paper says).  One of the first shops we saw in the mall was this one.  We should have gone in, but a picture was all we got.

For July 4th we invited a family over for a good ole American picnic, indoors, at night.  They are about the only family in the branch that all speaks English and they would appreciate American food, or at least they could pretend they appreciated it.
 This is their little boy Jesus who they now call Rocky.  He is about 8 months old.  Big brown eyes to melt your heart.
Left to right:  Jeff ( a very good prize winning kick boxer) Tess holding Rocky, Jacky's mom and Jacky.  They were a little leery of the Orange Fluff salad at first, but after tasting it decided they really liked it.  When they left they asked for "to go" boxes of the food to take home
We are doing a project for the Sabah Blind Society right now.  We are getting them new braillers, an embosser and building them a new mushroom house.  They invited us to their annual fundraising gala as their guests.  It was held in the grand ballroom of the Shngri-La Hotel and Resort.  Quite plush.  This picture shows the ball room with our table.  We were in the very back corner of the ballroom.

The theme of the evening was "Dining in the Dark".  They wanted people to experience what it would be like to eat a meal if you were blind and completely in the dark.  First they brought out everyone's first course:
It is some kind of greens (tough, long, hard to chew), a bowl of some kind of soup (the broth was good -- didn't want to try the floaties), a kinda chip like wafer of some kind (actually the best part of the meal) and chicken chop (not bad but lots of bone).  Then they turned out all the lights for about 20 minutes and had you eat the meal in the dark.  It was an interesting concept and gave you a new appreciation for people who are blind and have to eat every meal in the dark.  Of course, there were those throughout the hall who couldn't resist or follow instructions and kept turning on their cell phone lites.  Too bad.  We did have more food served after the 20 minutes that we could eat with the lights on.
This was one of the entertainers.  He supposedly won the Malay version of Idol.  He did have a great voice. They also had some of the blind people sing and they had a very entertaining ventriloquist act too.  We had a wonderful time and actually were able to connect with some more people LDS Charities might be able to partner with and help.

On Saturday morning we were invited to the Sabah Society for the Deaf for a "Field Fun and Sports Day".  We are also doing a project with the deaf.  Many of the deaf students and their families were there.  The first game we saw them playing was bowling:

As you can see, the pins are actually water bottles partially filled with water and set up in pin formation
This is the "ball".  It is actually a coconut.  Coconuts do not roll like balls.  All the kids had a great time with the bowling activity.  They had really super prizes for all the winners and placers too.
 In this game there is a tray full of flour and in the flour are pieces of wrapped candy.  You have to blow the flour away to find the candy and then pick it up with your teeth and run and put it in a dish at the finish line.  The team who finishes first is the winner.
She found the candy but is having a hard time seeing where she needs to run because of all the flour in her eyes.
These are some boys of the deaf scout troop.  They saw us and came running over to get their picture taken with us.  We are known as 'orang putih' or people who are white.
 The lady on the right side of the pole in the white with black slacks is Regina.  She is the principal of the deaf school and the person we have been working with for our project.  She is a real cutie and so personable.
This is the president of the deaf society.  He is not deaf nor does he have any relatives who are deaf.  He has just donated a lot of time to help the deaf people in Sabah.  He spent the whole time with us talking with us and thanking us for helping the deaf people.  He mentioned LDS Charities a couple of times in his talk too.

On Saturday night we were invited to Gideon's 2nd birthday party.  Gideon is the son of Jared Ling, the district president, and Mary Liew.  They invited a lot of people to his party.
 This is Gideon with his dad and mom.  He had one of the famous 30 egg chocolate cakes decorated with legos on it.  There was also the famous fruit cocktail cake (on the left).  Gideon was more interested in eating all the grapes off the fruit cocktail cake than anything else.
 Gideon the birthday boy.  His mother made all the decorations and all the party hats.
Some of the birthday party crowd.  In the middle is Elder Rodriguez.  He has only been here for about two weeks.  He is from Denver.  Such a wonderful young man.

We had many late nights this week and went to bed tired and happy.  There is a lot going on right now and a lot we hope to get done before we leave.  But we love being busy and going to bed tired but happy and satisfied.

Our thoughts and prayers are always with everyone back home and if you ever have a thought about us, please drop us a line.  We appreciate all your prayers too.  Love to All E/S Read

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