Sunday, January 5, 2014

Christmas 2013-Week 71--December 23-29, 2013

Our last day in East Malaysia we spent at the Mari Mari Cultural Village to learn about the tribes that lived in the state of Sabah. One of the tribes would gather wild honey from the beehives that were fashioned form bamboo.

The tribe members would use friction on bamboo sticks with slits cut in it to start their fires. They have a pile of bamboo fibers under the bamboo stick to start the fire. The women would be the ones to start the fires because the men were off hunting.
 The fibers catch fire.

We participated in bamboo cooking. Garnalee is collecting chicken, potatoes, onions, and spices to be placed in bamboo and cooked over a fire. This would be served to us with our lunch.

 A bamboo tube over the fire where the food is  cooking.

Tom and Garnalee on the wedding bed in the weeding room.

 The Lundayen revered the alligator. The outline of the alligator would be made using skulls.
 Tom wearing the vest that would be made from tree bark. The bark would be pounded to break down the fibers. The vest was dart proof.
 Tom volunteered to be the leader of our family of 12 at the head hunters village, the Murut. As we approached the village the guard warriors came out shouting and screaming to frighten us away. Tom was holding up his hands in the peace sign so they went and got the chief. As the leader Tom had to answer a series of questions about why we were there. They would place their right hands on the left shoulder. Tom told the chief that we came in peace and he was responsible for our family. He was satisfied and allowed us to enter his village.

Tom trying his luck with the blow gun. He barely missed the coconut he was aiming for.

 Garnalee didn't even come close. Her dart landed in the grass in front of the target area.

Tom bouncing on the wicker trampoline. This was used by the natives for a jumping competition.

 The native in the jumping competition.

Garnalee participating in the stick dance.

Garnalee and Tom with the tribal warriors.
Christmas Eve was spent with the senior missionaries. We had games and appetizers. Tom playing a game of Rummikub with Elder Sullivan, Amanda and Danise. Tom came on second.
 Everyone trying to figure out the names of the Christmas carols from the pictures.
Playing the Candy Kiss game. Mittens were to be used but needless to say mittens could not be found in Hong Kong so tube socks had to be substituted. They worked even better. A fun game that got everyone laughing.
 Christmas Day was spent with the Branch. A series of fun games were played. Tom and Garnalee are playing the guessing game. Garnalee had the name of an item taped to her hat. She could ask Tom yes and no questions only. We lost horribly.

There was also a banana eating contest we participated in and a paper dance game.
Each of the classes was to perform a dance to music of their choice. This is the Gospel Principles class who won the competition.

Sister Christy is going home to get married and stay in the Philippines. We will miss her as the Activities Chair Person.
December 26 was a special day. We accompanied Sister Sol to the temple to receive her endowments. She asked Garnalee to be her escort. There has been a special bond between the two of them. After the session we took her lunch at Dan Ryans.

L to R: Elder Lasson, Sister Lasson, President Chia, Sister Chia, Sister Sol, Sister Juanita, Garnalee, and Tom

The Peninsula 2 Branch Presidency: Elder Lasson, President Chia, and Tom in front of the Hong Kong Temple.

On our return to the office on December 27, we had to get our trip expenses turned in as the cut-off is December 30.

We had the opportunity to visit with the Bertins who had returned to Hong Kong with their oldest daughter and her family who had booked travel plans when the Bertins received their call to be mission president. They let us know that they will be the mission president of the Philippines Quezon City North Mission. They have one of the couples there going home in October.

Tom has started knitting a sweater for himself.

On Saturday, we attended a Chinese acrobat show with many of the other senior couples. It was amazing to see the flexibility, athleticism, and balance of the acrobats. A very enjoyable evening.

 Sunday we had the opportunity to attend a concert of Christmas carols performed by Mariah and Abraham Wilson, the niece and nephew of Elder Wilson. Both are piano students at BYU and very talented. Abraham played the piano while Mariah sang and played the violin and harp. Their encore number was a piano duet of Sleigh Ride. 

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