TWO HAPPY LADIES
IT WAS THE SAME HUG COMING AND GOING
We have just put Anna on Dragonair to return to her family in Springville, Utah, after spending a week here in Sabah with us. She arrived last Monday evening and before we even took her home---and she was quite worn out after traveling for 42, yes that is forty-two, hours. (Long lay-overs in foreign airports are not fun.)---we took her to a branch member's home for Family Home Evening. She met about a dozen branch members and our 4 missionaries who serve here in Kota Kinabalu.
AT DON BOSCO ORPHANAGE AND THE MONKEY BARS LDSC PROVIDED
On Tuesday we took it easy so she could rest and recover and then on Wednesday we drove our new little rental car---a Myvi---up to Mt Kinabalu area to visit Bunda Tuhan or God's Valley to check on the Don Bosco Orphanage that LDS Charities has helped in the past and who need more help. Both the orphanage and the school are needy.
While we were up there in the cool climate we went into the Mt. Kinabalu National Park and walked through the botanical garden, admiring all the beautiful orchids and nepenthes or pitcher plants. So many photo opportunities. These beautiful mountains and valleys are where many of our fresh vegetables are grown. It is still tropical but the temperatures are cooler.
Thursday we were up early and flew to Lahad Datu arriving by 8 AM. We didn't know we were on the same flight as a VIP for Malaysia---we were told he was second in command---so we were surprised to see all the police cars with lights flashing as we landed. And then there were all the big cars to transport him and his entourage to wherever they were going. After they left and all the people who came to greet and welcome him things cleared out pretty fast. It is a small town, after all, and we quickly found our rental truck, our driver/translator, Nestor, and were on our way to Semporna which is a 2 hour drive to the south. It just happened to be Bill's 62nd birthday which was a coincidence because I spent my birthday in Lahad Datu this year, too. The school children sang 'Happy Birthday' to him at one of the schools we visited.
SHE LOVED HAVING HER PHOTO TAKEN
|HUMANA STUDENTS COMING TO SCHOOL ON BUM BUM ISLAND|
We arrived in Semporna in good time and found a boat to take us over to Bum Bum Island where we are starting a clean water project for a Humana school. That was the purpose of our trip---to check on the progress. Not much is happening yet but we did see some of the children, teachers, and Bill and Anna got some good photos. They took off towards a part of the island where they KNOW it isn't safe for white people to go. I was waiting with Nestor and he was getting very nervous and finally said,"I need to go get them" and took off for them. Just about then Bill and Anna turned around and came back.
|ANNA WALKING CAREFULLY ALONG THE DOCK|
|SEA KAMPUNG HOME ON BUM BUM|
It was so hot over on the island! The school has no electricity so no fans as some of the schools have. They also have no water. There is no fresh water on the island. Everyone has to buy water on the mainland or collect rain water. A rain water collection system is what LDS Charities is putting together for the school. Perhaps we can also do it on a larger scale for the many people who live on the island.
NOMADIC FISHING PEOPLE'S HOME
While we were in Semporna we took the opportunity to walk through their market. We were especially 'impressed' with the fish pasar ikan or fish market. There were so many different kinds of fish, and octopus. Of course, there is no FDA here but we were surprised to see them cutting up large fish on the floor, rinsing the pieces off in a bucket of water and proudly displaying the pieces for sale. No one seemed at all disturbed. And we also walked through the vegetable/fruit/sago market. Sago is used as a favorite staple in some areas. They sell it in what appeared to be about 5 pound bricks. It looked sort of like white cheese when they buy it and I don't know how they prepare it to eat. It is a starch and fills the bellies.
ELLEN AT THE PASAR IN SEMPORNA
We drove back to Lahad Datu before dark and checked into our usual hotel--DeLeon-- and took a walk along the waterfront. We were approached by some of the bajau laut or sea people. The same that I mentioned in the last blog. These were children and they were begging and not at all shy about it. That is one of only a very few times we have seen begging here.
Friday we caught the early flight back to KK and arrived at home before 9:30 AM. The whole day before us. Since we had been keeping our noses to the grindstone and working up till then we decided to drive south to Kota Klias to take a boat ride up the river and watch the proboscius monkeys feeding that afternoon. We got caught in a rain storm---did I mention that we are in a wet season with rain every afternoon?---and missed our turn-off but soon found our way with our friend, Kate, on the phone directing us. The rain stopped and we saw a bunch of the primates that are found only here on this island of Borneo. Pretty amazing.
|ANNA DOING GREAT AT THE STICK DANCE|
Saturday morning we went to a near-by cultural center. This is one we visited a few weeks ago with our friends, the Ericksons, the CES couple when they were here from Kuching. This time it was in the day light and we really enjoyed it. Bill wasn't feeling too good with a cough and sinus congestion. He was a good sport and kept up with us.
Our plan today was to hit the beach out on one of the little coral islands but Bill was really dragging and his throat was so sore he wouldn't even eat breakfast. So the first thing on our list was to get him to the clinic and on an antibiotic. We also got some nice lidocaine throat lozenges and a cough suppressant. So we didn't do anything else but rest. Anna got packed up to go home. She is taking one of our large suitcases full of stuff we have collected and our hiking boots. We thought we might need those boots but haven't yet. So they went back to America.
It was really great to have her with us. She got a little taste for what we do and a big taste of East Malaysia. I do believe she was a little homesick for her boys and Eric who was so good to let her come for a visit. It was so fun to see Malaysia again through here eyes.
Thanks for all the skype and phone calls on Mother's Day. I do feel loved. And I just want to say that I wish all my daughters and daughters-in-law a very happy Mother's Day. They are each very special women and such good moms. We love each of you very much.
It continues to amaze me how these good people are able to be so happy with so little. And I think by now you have some idea of how little is little. But seldom do we see or hear any one complaining or upset. Many of them have not left the life their ancestors lived hundreds of years ago. That is the life they are happy with and they choose it. It is not that they do not know better as many have some sort of access to media. Is there a lesson here for us?