Saturday, October 4, 2008

Kuala Lumpur

Max went to the quadrennial meetings of the International Council on Archives (ICA) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in July. Yes, we know, a blog is supposed to be a daily web log, not a retrospective. But that's what Max does for a living. In his words:

I flew to Los Angeles on a Saturday night and went to the International Terminal to catch the 1:15 AM, twelve and a half hour China Airlines flight to Taipei, Taiwan, followed by a four and a half hour flight to KL. The Church policy for long flights is to put us in business class, which is pretty nice. Good food, attentive service, and comfortable seats. Haven't enjoyed that much lately on a U.S. domestic flight.

Crossing the International Dateline put my arrive early Monday morning. There is a 14 hour time difference between SLC and KL, so I missed Sunday altogether.

The Malay peninsula is, as expected, a very beautiful, tropical place, green and lush. It's humid, but not extremely hot, even for its location almost on the equator and at summertime. It seems more like Hawaii to me. Malaysia is located on the Malay peninsula south of Thailand and north of the city-state of Singapore, and on the northern side of the island of Borneo. KL is located a bit inland in a valley surrounded by low mountains. It is a very modern city, as you will see from the photos. It is offically a Muslim nation, but they have a large Chinese and Indian population, so they are tolerant of other religions, including Hinduism. I learned that there is a small but growing LDS presence there. There is a Malaysian Mission (or maybe its the Singapore Mission, I'm not sure) and a branch in KL.

The ICA conference was a good one. There were 1,400 delegates from 120 countries. Many were from southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, but from every other continent as well. The Israeli delegation, however, could not get visas. They don't require visas for Americans.

Almost everyone spoke English and all the sessions I attended were in English, but they had translation into the Malay language and French, the three official languages of the meeting.

Here are some of the two hundred photos I took there:
The Prince Hotel and Towers, where I stayed. One tower is the hotel, the other has condos owned, it seemed to me, by wealthy Arab families who vacation in the more temperate climate.

The modern bathroom in my modern hotel room.

The KL cityscape from my hotel room.

The 88 story Petronas Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in the world until Taipei 101 took over the record. However, the towers are still the tallest twin buildings and office building in the world. The 42nd story sky bridge between the two buildings adds structural stability, circulation between the buildings, and a observation deck for tourists. Petronas is the state-own oil company.
A tourist on the skybridge.
A view from the skybridge. A large park and high-rise buildings.
Looking down at the roof of the large mall at the base of the towers. The mall is six stories and contains some of the world's most upscale stores. The lower level of the towers also has a symphony hall, the home of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, sponsored by the Petronas company.

One day I took a tour to the outskirts of KL to see the famous Hindu Shrine at Batu Caves. I ran across a program about the shrine on National Geographic TV the week before I left.
This is a view of the caves from the bottom of the staircase. The gold-colored idol at the right is about 100 feet high.
These two statues guard a temple at the bottom of the hill.
The last of the 272 steps to the cave.
Wild monkeys live inside and around the cave.
One of a half dozen shrines inside the cave.

It was an interesting trip. I left there the following Sunday afternoon for Taipei and left Taipei before I arrived in Los Angeles Sunday night. I stayed the night at a hotel near LAX, then flew to SLC early Monday morning. I was glad to be home. It only took be about five days to get back into Mountain Time.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What we did on our summer vacation

We went with Katie's family to Bethany Beach, Delaware before school started. We flew to BWI near Katie's house and left the next day for the four-hour drive across the Chesapeake Bay bridge and DelMarVa to the ocean. We stopped at the outlet mall in Rehobeth, Delaware, then on to Bethany. Katie rented a house at Bear Trap Dunes about four miles from the beach. Sorry, I have no photos of the house, just the kids at the playground across the street.
Matthew and Joshua at the playground.
Joshua, Carolyn, and Matthew at the clubhouse activity center.
There is sand under all these umbrellas, and ocean beyond.
Waiting for the surf.
On the fishing boat. (And then the camera battery went dead).

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Before (middle) and after

We are not yet done with our home improvements, but its getting close. We will show you photos of some of the changes made.

March. Here is Samuel standing on the ties we had then in the back yard to create raised beds.

April. Max and neighbor, Ted, loading the trailer with ties after digging them out and hauling them to the front.May. Ties out and new curbing in and square foot gardens in place, ready to plant.

June. Square foot garden planted.September. Overrun with zucchini, tomatoes, cabbages, carrots, beans, and who knows what else?
The rest of the back garden:
The last shot is the detail of our outdoor chairs with the new covers.

The front garden, now. No before shots:

This last one is our new front door.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fish Lake

Okay, here are some photos from our recent trip to Fish Lake:

This is from August 4, 2008.
Mary bought a fishing license one day, so we had to go out and buy a pole and tackle. She went
with David's family, fishing off the shore at a place where the little yellow perch were biting. This is Mary's first fish. Lincoln caught about 10, and Julia and Mary a few more each the first day, and they all caught more the next day. The daily limit on perch is 50 per person per day, so they are very plentiful. We cleaned and cooked and ate them one night. They are tasty, but bony.

David helping Mary net another one.

Here is the family at the motel. From the left, Annette's daughter, Amy; then Julia, Becky, Samuel, David, Isaac, Max, Lincoln, and Mary.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More fish stories

Yesterday we went fishing again. This time Max and Mary took Carolyn and Matthew on a 110 foot boat from Lewes, Delaware, into the Ocean. The fishing boat provided rods and reels and bait. We were gone for four and a half hours. Max caught three fish, two sharks and one other. Mary didn't catch anything, but we still had fun! All Max's fish were too small to keep, however. They were about a foot long each.

Don't believe us? Sorry, we don't have pictures; the camera battery went dead just as we left shore. We'll send pictures of us on the boat, though.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

First Blog Entry

Okay, this is our toe in the water. Hmmm, not too bad.

I'm writing from the beach house in Ocean View, Delaware. We are here with Katie's family enjoying time at near-by Bethany Beach. We flew in to BWI Thursday afternoon, spent the night at Katie's house, then drove here Friday and went to the beach that evening. The water was cold and the tide low, but we enjoyed it.

We went again Saturday. The water is still cold and the waves even higher and the sun hot and there were a lot of people. It was wonderful. Pictures to follow.

We started the week on Monday driving to Fish Lake, Utah for a family reunion. Three of Max's sisters and several of their children, grandchildren, and great-grand-children were there. Mary bought a fishing license and rod, reel, and tackle and went fishing for the first time every. Mary, Lincoln, Samuel, Julia, and David all caught about two dozen yellow perch in two days. Becky, Max and Isaac were the cheerleaders. We came home Wednesday in time to get ready for our 6:00AM flight the next day.

Max will tell you about his trip to Kuala Lumpur in a later post.