Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Malaysia Style

This is how we started the joyous celebration of the risen Christ in our house. The Easter Bunny came and he did not disappoint. There were baskets full of great goodies. James was so excited about his new dump truck and miniature mobile crane. Carley has lots of crafts to do and sprinkles for her apple sauce. There were eggs to find both plastic and dyed. An interesting note about dying eggs in this country it is not as easy as you might think. Most eggs here are brown so you have to purchase what is called a Kampung egg. This is a free range egg and they are much lighter and more expensive. So the Head house only dyed 10 eggs this year and the rest were plastic. James and Carley were very excited. Easter as you can imagine is not very celebrated in this country. There are very few decorations and candy is hard to find and expensive. I was surprised when Carley and James brought Eater crafts home on Friday. Church was still full as many came to worship.

We hurried off to church to praise the Lord. Brian enjoyed the service while Carley and I went off to Sunday school. The kids had an Easter egg hunt, but only got to collect one egg. I got to teach my 5-8 year olds today, 16 of them in total. But we had fun. After a call to Alaska and lunch we had a lazy afternoon since it was very rainy.
I hope that this Easter finds all of you filled with the joy that is the truth of Jesus' Resurrection so as Carley says we can all go live with Him in heaven now. Have a blessed day.

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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Back on the blog wagon

So I have been on a bit of a blogging hiatus, we have been super busy with the holiday season, having my mom and Heather here and the New Year starting. I would get to the end of the day and decide I would rather sleep than blog. But I am determined to start blogging again regularly. I am going to start with what is going on now and work my way back through January and December.
Today was a lazy Saturday. It was raining, Carley is moving slowly with an ear infection and pink eye. James is cutting teeth and he has pink eye too. Even Brian has succumb, he saw the doctor today he has a bad cough and ended up with gargle, antibiotics, decongestants, and yes eye drops for pink eye. We spent all day at the house watching a little TV, playing with trains and dolls and just being together.
We have a house guest for a month or so, another four footed friend. His name is Harry and he comes to us compliments of the Gaizutis Family. Our friends Dana and Rimas and their boys Walt and McGregor just moved to Oslo, on 30 days notice. Unfortunately for them Harry will not have all his papers to move until mid March. Harry spent a couple of days with us while the movers were in the Gaizutis house and he is a great dog. Harry is a big,90 lbs, yellow lab crossed with a german shepherd. But he is as sweet as can be, loves kids he lives with twin three year old boys, and really does not make any noise unless someone pulls into the driveway. When Dana and Rimas were almost ready to go we offered to keep Harry instead of seeing him go to a kennel for 6 weeks. He is settling in well. He has come upstairs to sleep and visit the last couple of days and lies down with out staring out the window. Carley and James are so excited to have a dog in the house.
We just came back from a weekend trip to Cambodia. We left on Friday morning really early and were in Siem Reap by 8 am. We went on this trip with the Vaughan family, Tim, Robin and Ruth. The Vaughans have become our family away from home. Robin and Tim have five children including Ruth and 8 grandchildren that they left in the US. But Carley and James feel like they are grandparents and Tim and Robin do their best to spoil them rotten. We checked into the same small hotel, I stayed in with my friend Melissa in May, Shinta Mani. I like Shinta Mani because it is small, but more importantly they do a lot for the local people of Cambodia. They run a hospitality school teaching villagers how to work in a booming job market. They also give 20 percent of their profits back to the community.
After settling in, we headed into town to see the market. As usual it was a bustling, crazy, smelly, mess. I was trying hard not to lose Carley or James as the ran through the little lanes of shops, usually in different directions. Carley was very freaked out by the live fish still flapping around in the fish area, but she was mortified, by the dead chickens. James at this point decided that it was nap time. We all headed back to the hotel and after lunch and a nap we were headed to Tonle Sap. Tonle Sap is a lake that rises 10 meters from dry season to rainy season. A whole group of people live and make a living of fishing on this lake. You take a long motor boat out and tour around. We saw many colorful houses and children playing. We passed a pig pen, a hardware store and stopped at a restaurant to watch the sunset. Carley found a pen full of puppies and of course wanted to take some home. James, however was more interested in the alligators. The raise alligators and fish for meat at the restaurant. We saw a beautiful sunset and then headed back to the hotel for dinner and bed.
The next day we went out to do some village visits with the Shinta Mani staff. Our ambassador from the hotel was Solomon a young man from Seattle who is now in charge of the village program. We arrived at a school to find all the children lined up to greet us and the whole village gathered for a meeting. We were so humbled by their excitement to see us. We had donated several things to give to the village as well as brought small toys and candy. The Vaughans had also donated things, bringing toys, candy and fresh oranges. Fresh fruit we learned is quite a treat. Solomon informed us that he had a large delivery to make on this day that included things donated by other people too. We spent hours at the school making peanut butter sandwiches and passing out toys. Carley was so sweet after being told only to give one thing to each child we caught her several times sneaking back to the can to get more candy and toys. She told me the children needed more. Carley was especially excited about picking a pair of pigs we donated to a young couple in the village. This couple has done several things to prove they can support the pigs, and when they have piglets they can choose to sell some to the hotel to be given away to other families. This is how the giving goes on. We also gave five school bags full of supplies and uniforms to five needing children as well as one bicycle. Solomon will deliver two more bikes in the future on behalf of our family. We had a wonderful time being with the people of this village. Brian played ball with many of the boys. James made friends with an old woman that did not want to let go of his hand. The children were amazed as I took their picture and then showed it to them. So of them have never seen themselves because they do not have a mirror. It is their smiles that makes we want to return to do more.