On Friday we went to eat at the Fisherman's Whorf, a place with a Chinese buffet near my dad's work. We met his co-workers there and ate with them. For the most part I didn't care for the food. It was edible but I still would not go there again. Ben was excited for the dessert, vanilla popsicles. When my dad brought them out he realized they were actually red bean popsicles and Ben wasn't thrilled about it. They were okay, once you bit the top off with the mashed up red beans and spit it out. After we ate, my dad's co-workers took us to a stand with fresh durian, the King Fruit of Malaysia. They cost about RM50 (nearly $17) for one and they are only in season 3 months out of the year. It was an experience we all wanted to have though and the co-workers picked two out for us to try. Whit took a bite first and nearly threw up. I took a bite and gagged, barely choking it down. The fruit feels and looks like raw chicken and tastes like onions and who knows what else. One of my dad's co-workers, KC, took a huge bite and said "Mmmm... finger lickin' good" (as he licked his fingers.) That made me about throw up just watching him. We all tried both kinds of durian and then were burping it up for hours afterward. My dad let out a big one in the car and we had to roll down the windows because it stunk so bad. I definitely won't be trying durian again! We left the fruit stand and went to a local orphanage. My parents had actually done some service there at Christmas time with the branch and the woman in-charge remembered my dad when we got there. The Indian children were so cute, they just melted our hearts. They sang and danced for us and asked me to take their pictures. Josh was passed around to a couple people and they ate him up. We had brought some rice, chocolate and a few other things for them and the woman who runs the orphange said they were running out of rice and how the rice we gave them was a gift from God. Ben, Emma, and my dad passed out chocolate to all the kids before we left. I think Ben and Emma really enjoyed doing that and spending time with the children. The whole experience was very sweet and humbling. That night we went to the World Music Festival at the Botanical Gardens. It started at 7:30pm but we got there around 6:30pm so we could find parking. It went until midnight but we only stayed until about 9:30pm. We heard Indian music, a group from Ireland, a Malay group, and 4 musicians from Mexico. Our favorite, by far, was the Irish group. Emma and Ben danced during almost every song they played. I loved it! There were even professional photographers taking pictures and taping the kids dancing. We assume it is probably for next year's brochure so be sure to watch out for it. Towards the end of the Malay group Josh was getting cranky though. He kept trying to fall asleep but couldn't because the music was so loud. It was nice to finally get the kids into bed, and we all crashed as well. It was my parents 28th anniversary on May 2nd and we thought it was so neat that Whit, the kids, and I were spending it with them in Malaysia. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad! We love you.
On Saturday we went swimming for about 2 hours with Heather and Abigail Nelson, a family in my parents' branch. They actually live in Oregon and work for Intel too and are here for 6 months. Abigail is a month younger than Emma and they had a blast together. Ben had fun swimming with Grandpa, trying to copy grandpa as he did new "tricks." My dad would jump in backwards, and then Ben would do it. Then my dad would dive in, and then Ben would do it. I caught a few cute pictures of him doing his "cool moves." After we finished swimming we went upstairs and dried off, packed up, and headed to the beach at Batu Ferrangi (about 40 minutes away.) It was very pretty, but after swimming all morning and being in the sun, the time at the beach added to our sunburns. We all got fried and are still feeling it. Emma and Ben seemed to enjoy running up to the waves and then running away from them. Emma hated having sand all over her and had my dad wipe her feet off a few times. There was a man giving people horseback rides on the beach and he let the kids sit on the horse for a minute. While we were there a Muslim family walked by and wanted to take pictures with the kids and us. They loved holding Josh and their 5-year old boy played in the sand with Ben for a few minutes. We all showered when we got home and then went out with the Nelson's to TGI Friday for dinner. It was a nice change from rice and chicken, but I felt a little sick afterward from the greasy hamburger and fries. We got home and put the kids to bed and then my dad, Whitney and I drove out to Batu Ferrangi again and went to the night market. I bought some more souveniers and Whitney brought a jacket to a tailor shop right near the market to get it altered. The woman there measured Whitney real fast, asked her what she wanted her to do and then said, "Okay, 30 ringgits and it will be done Monday." We weren't even in there 2 minutes and she was done. Amazing. I wish I could sew like that! (By the way, 30 ringgits is about $10.)
We woke up around 5:30am Sunday to get ready for the bus ride to Ipoh for the District Conference. It took us about 2 1/2 hours to get there. Josh was really tired and cried for a lot of the way there (thank goodness he slept the entire way back!) Ben and Emma loved it though and stared out the window most of the way. The inside of the bus reminded me of a bad day at Skate World. It had bright red carpet on the ceiling and seats. The meeting was held in a conference room at a hotel in Ipoh. Both branches don't have a big enough building to fit the whole district so they had to rent out this room. It was fun meeting members in a different branch and meeting the Missionary President and his wife (they were the main speakers.) After we got home from the conference we played Uno, ate spaghetti, and watched a couple movies. It was nice to relax and enjoy our Sabbath together. Tomorrow we will be going to a water park in Bukit Merah. The kids are really looking forward to it. We will just have to make sure we load on the sunscreen!