Sunday, July 28, 2013

Greetings to everyone -- we were busy this week, but we didn't have many photo ops.  We have been staying around the apartment more trying to wrap up projects and to get the apartment ready for the Allen's when they come in three weeks.  Last week when we looked out our window, we saw this beautiful eagle soaring on the wind stream:
Not a very good picture, but he was very large and so beautiful.  He wasn't as large as an American eagle, but he was right up there.  And since we are on the 14th floor, he was soaring past our window and gave us a real 'eagle's eye' view.  Sorry.

While we were driving to town one day, this motorcycle guy cut in front of us.  Motorcycles are always cutting in front and literally drive anywhere they want.  But we were intrigued by the basket load of rolls he was carrying on the back of his motorcycle.  They looked so good!  I wanted to follow him to see where he was going to take them, but Ben wouldn't do it.

  Right now in Sabah there is a very critical shortage of diesel fuel.  You read all kinds of explanations of why this is happening in the paper.  Apparently, the government contracts with the diesel fuel manufacturers to provide so much diesel fuel for sale each month.  The last few months, the government has guessed wrong on how much diesel will be needed and the diesel gets to be in very very low supply during the last few days of the month.  This month, the shortage started sooner than usual.  As a result
 there are these massive traffic jams of people trying to get into the gas stations to buy the diesel.  This line up was approximately a half a mile long.  And once you got into the station
you faced this chaos of trying to get to a pump to buy the diesel.  Once at the pump you were only allowed to buy Rm50 worth of gas.  That would be about 10 gallons.  We noticed that the only stations that seemed to have the huge back ups were the Shell stations.  A little further down the road, about 1/4 of a mile, is a Petronas station with no lines.  We know Petronas sells diesel because we buy our regular gasoline at a Petronas station and there is a diesel hose next to every regular hose.  We think the Petronas stations must have run out of diesel earlier and put up a 'No Diesel' sign.  The district president was telling us that he got in line early in the morning the other day and still had to wait for an hour in order to get diesel.  And there are still 3 more days to go in July.  It's crazy!

We took a drive to the town of Tuaran where we have a project in the works.  This project seems to be having more problems than Carter has pills.  It was supposed to be done and over with by May 31.  I may have mentioned it before, it is a project with the Blind Society.  We were invited to their fund raising dinner a couple of weeks ago. We are still struggling trying to get this project moving forward.  The only thing they have accomplished so far is to have new shelves built for the baskets they make there:
 The shelves are nice and sturdy and a whole lot bettr than what was there before.  They make beautiful baskets out of this rattan:
They are one of the few basket weavers who still use real rattan.  Rattan is getting harder and harder to find.  We are also working with them trying to help them refurbish an old mushroom house they have on their grounds.  When we submitted the project for approval, we had a bid to repair the mushroom house from a local contractor.  When it came time for him to refurbish the mushroom house he said "Sorry.  I can't do it for that amount of money" and left us stranded.  The blind society has been trying to find another contractor but with no luck.  Everyone wants more money that we had budgeted.  We took one of our members, Garry, to look at the project to see if he could do it.  This is the mushroom house that needs to be refurbished:
 Quite sad isn't it.  It keeps getting in worse and worse condition because it needs help!  This is what the newer mushroom house looks like:
This is what we want to other mushroom house to look like when it is finished.  This is the inside of the mushroom house:
The mushrooms grow out of the black "bottle" like things you can see on the shelves and the blind people can feel when they are big enough to pick.  Right now they aren't growing any mushrooms at all.  They say they are waiting for another shipment of growing bottles to come in.  This project is driving us bonkers.  They just can't seem to get the vision of it (Sorry again.  No pun intended, well maybe just a little intention  Sorry)
We have an appointment to meet with the Blind Society -- again -- and see what is going on.  They are also having trouble getting the braillers and embosser we were going to buy for them.

We will be wrapping up a project with the Deaf Society on Saturday.  The members are going to help paint the children's playground equipment, swings, see-saw, slide, etc.  I hope we get a good turnout.  Will report on the next blog.

Stay well and happy.  The gospel is true and can bring you much joy.  Please drop us a line if you can.  We really miss everyone so much.  Love to All  E/S Read

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