Sunday, November 25, 2012

Indonesia Part Satu (1) in Solo, Indonesia--November 12-25, 2012

The production of batik fabric is a labor intensive production that requires six to eighteen months to produce a single 1 1/2 by 2 1/2 meter piece of decorated fabric. The seven step process begins with the tracing of the pattern onto the fabric. The tracing was done by men.
 The fabric is waxed and dyed six different times for three colors.. Initially the fabric is white. The worker applies the hot wax with an ink pen type tool to the area of the fabric that they don't want dyed. The fabric is dyed with a single color in a huge vat. Next, the wax is removed and a new  layer of wax is applied to the previously dyed areas. The fabric is dyed again. This process is repeated until all the colors they want in the pattern have been applied.  The applying of the wax in this process is all done by women.
Another method for applying wax is to use a stamp. The stamp is placed in wax and transferred to the fabric. The worker carefully lines up the pattern using his long thumb nail to help guide the stamp. The stamping process is all done by men. The temperature is hot and humid in the building. Air conditioning would cause the wax to set up too quickly. Here the man is applying the line design. The scallop design is covered with a stencil to protect it while the lines are applied.
 Special orders can be placed, as you see here, by a Harley-Davidson fan.
Very intricate designs can be made with a combination of stamping and stencils. 
 Motorcycles are used for everything. Here we took a picture of a portable kitchen. The driver can stop and immediately be in business selling his wares. The rule in Indonesia for motorcycles is 5 : 1. That is, it is strictly prohibited to have more than 5 passengers on 1 motorcycle. We saw a young couple with helmets carrying a young child with no protection on their motorcycle.
 You can haul almost anything on your motorcycle. This man was carrying pipes that were about 10 feet long on his head. He would periodically switch the position of his hands.
 These ladies have gathered twigs to use in the wood burning stoves to cook their families meals. That looks like a heavy load to me!! We saw other people carrying feed for their animals. They looked like bushes walking down the road.
 The little girl and her mother posed for us. She was buying one of the brightly colored (dyed) chicks at the market. The chicken cage was on the back of a motorcycle.
 Most of the farm labor is done by hand. Here a man is using a short handled tool to turn over the soil. We saw some of the workers wearing boots like this man. Some of the workers were in flip flops and others wore no shoes.
The farmers clear and terrace the land  before planting. Terracing allows for more land to be farmed. This picture is of a crop other than rice which must be planted in water on flat paddies. The produce from the farms was transported to the market in small trucks. We were amazed at the load that the small trucks could haul. We passed many of them on our way to Mt. Merapi, an active volcano. On our way home we passed the same trucks heading back up the mountain loaded with purchases from the city.
 We saw many of the workers wearing the typical round woven reed hat in the fields.
 This picture shows a man walking through the rice paddy. The fields had various sections with the rice at different staged of development. Here at the equator crops can be planted any day of the year thus allowing for a continuous supply of food.
The farmer is planting rice on November 20.

In between the time of missionary and leader training  on "To Turn the Hearts" and Family Tree we got to do the sight seeing we have talked about. We hope the family history training will help them as they work with their new converts and for the reactivation of members.

It was very humbling to be in Indonesia. There is a large amount of poverty everywhere. The workers in Jakarta were given a raise while we were there that would bring their monthly salary to $228 US a month.

While in Solo we had the opportunity to speak in Sacrament meeting in two of the wards. Of course we spoke on family history and the importance of that work. Tom based his talk on the talk given by Elder Richard G. Scott from conference and Garnalee based her talk on a talk given by President Eyring in 2005 entitled "Hearts Bound Together."

We also met a member of the church who showed us a pedigree chart that went back to Adam. It was from one of the Sultans. If the Indonesian people can tie their ancestry into the royal lines then they can go back at least 700 years and sometimes further. They still have sultans in Indonesia today. Some are just a figure head while others are functioning sultans.

Look for more Indonesian experiences next week.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Another week in Hong Kong--November 5-11, 2012

As we attended the Hong Kong Temple Thursday evening the light was perfect for a picture. There was a group from Mongolia attending the temple. We saw the Richardsons who we meet when we traveled to Mongolia a few weeks ago. We had pizza at Piasano's Pizza where they make 24 inch pizzas but they sell it by the slice for $40 HK which is a little more than $5 US. tom complained that he could get a whole pizza in Blackfoot for $5.  I have to remind him that we aren't in Oz (Blackfoot) any more.

We called all the kids on Monday morning. It is good to visit with them and to see how they are doing. We didn't get to talk to Wendy but left a message for her.  We finalized our plans to go to Indonesia on Tuesday, November 13. We were asked to stay a couple of extra days and speak at the Indonesia Senior Couple Conference. We are having lots of opportunities to speak.

We received training on the Family Tree which is replacing New Family Search. There are many features that will make it a better program for storing family history. As with all new programs, there are still some glitches to be worked out.

We watched the presidential election closely and were not surprised that Obama won re-election. Our house was divided as to the vote.

We have new Family History couples arriving in India and Singapore in the next few months so it appears that we may traveling to those countries.

We went to see the James Bond movie Skyfall. A pretty good movie. We had a lunch of Indian food which was very tasty.

We had District Conference this weekend. The Saturday evening talks focused on discipleship of the Savior. One of the speakers shared a story that Tom is going to use in his Grandpa's Pearls that he is writing. The Sunday morning talks focused on following the promptings of the Holy Ghost and acting on those promptings. After the session there was training for the Young Men, Young Women, Primary, and Relief Society. There was also a session for family history in which Tom and Garnalee had been asked to do the presentation.

With Thanksgiving coming, we would like to encourage each of you to take 10 or 15 minutes to reflect on all of the things you are grateful for. As you reflect make a list on the computer or paper to keep and look at often so as trials and challenges come you will be reminded of all that you have been given.

We have checked on the Blackfoot Bronco football team periodically and have found out that they are playing for the State 4A Championship on Friday. Go Broncos!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

October 29-November 4, 2012

This a picture from our Mongolian trip of a ger (pronounced gear). There are ger communities on the outlying areas of Ulaabaatar. This is where the nomadic people live. In 2007-08 there was a very hard winter and many of the animals died. The people moved from the countryside closer to the city to take low paying jobs. There are no amenities in the ger. An interesting note about Mongolia is that they heat water in large coal fired plants and pipe the water above ground to each of the buildings to supply heat and hot water.
 Shopping day at Stanley Market, a tourist shopping area where you can find good buys and you can bargain some. If you look at the island of Hong Kong, Stanley is the southern tip.
View from the window of the restaurant where we had lunch at the Pickled Pelican. We had English style fish and chips. 
Another view from the restaurant.

We purchased candy in Mongolia that was probably from Russia. It was all chocolate and very good. Garnalee bought Halloween bags and made a bag for each of the Senior Missionaries as a treat.

Following the re-emphasis by the First Presidency of supplying our own family names for the temple, we viewed a new Power Point presentation that was prepared by the Family History Department in Salt Lake City to go along with the First Presidency letter that was read in Sacrament meetings. The presentation is for leaders to help them teach the members.

Thursday was our monthly temple session and testimony meeting with the Area Presidency. It is a great blessing to be instructed by the Area Presidency.

We attended the ballet on Friday evening. We had the best Chinese food ever. It was at a restaurant called Din Tai Fung. It was a very different experience. The highlight of the performance was a spoof on ballet.  Tom decided he would stick with the Nutcracker.

 We had agreed to give a Family History mini class to one of the branches. We showed them a fan chart that is created from the information in New Family Search that will show each of our families for nine generations. Garnalee's family has very few open spots but Tom's family has a lot so we know where we need to work. The sisters were very excited to see it and to do one for their family.  We  also discussed doing a Book of Remembrance and a 4 generation pedigree chart. We learned that only 2.5% of the membership of the church has their four generations in New Family Search.