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18th November 1986

Dear Wally,

I'm sorry I've taken so long to write but life has been really hectic since we arrived back. We moved house 2 days after we arrived home and our social life at present has been very busy to say the least.

We went to a local Rotary dinner one Sat night and were 2 white people out of 10 invited along. There were about 200 locals and it was an installation dinner and change over of committee members. We had a great time. All the speeches etc. were in English (Thank God!). The guest of honour was a local politician. The Rotary members all have good senses' of humour. At the end of the night after dancing our feet off we all joined hands and sang "We Are The World". It was great.

Andrew and I were given the opportunity of a day trip to Singapore on a RAAF 'Orion' which was very interesting. The crew were going on a day's shopping trip and there were 2 vacant seats which Andy's boss offered to us. I sat up in the cockpit with the pilot, co-pilot and load master for take-off and landings. I felt like I was flying the plane myself.

Singapore is completely different to Malaysia. It is really clean and very commercialized and westernized. The things aren't really any cheaper though here even though its a duty free port.

About 3 weekends ago we went to Hadyaii in Thailand for 3 days and 2 nights with a couple of mini bus loads of people. We took our 2 ankle biters and our amah to baby sit whilst we went out of an evening. The shopping for clothes is fantastic. I bought 3 prs of shorts for myself for $M10 (about $6.50 Aust). Thai people are very friendly and smile more than Malaysians. Thailand has the advantage of not being a Muslim country. Unfortunately there is a lot of prostitution there even with young girls. On the way back across the Malaysian border, one of the women (Aust RAAF wife) in the van in front of us had 4 Thai dolls (made of pottery and really lovely) and they confiscated them because they only had grass skirts on them and bare breasted. The muslims won't let such filfth into the country. Another woman had 2 of the same dolls but had gone out and bought silk scarves and made a sarong by tying them around them. Her dolls passed their inspection with a word of warning not to take the clothes off the doll.

We had some different meals up there, including wild boar and Roast Bird. The Thai drivers are suicidal to say the least. Our driver nearly killed us a few times.

We're off to Singapore for a week from Dec 21-27th. We're staying at the N.Z. airforce hotel which is a fair way out of town but all meals are included and we have a traditional Christmas dinner. It has a pool and playground too for a bit of relaxation. They say the zoo is fantastic and there's also an island called Sentosa which you can travel to either by cable car or ferry.

Andrew and I had our first ride in a trishaw the other week when we spent the day on Penang. Trishaw drivers have right of way over anyone else and it's rather scary driving in front of trucks and buses etc.

Andrew has been playing darts once a week and the season is over now. Andy's team were runners-up so they all received a trophy at the presentations on Friday night.

Sunday night we all went to a Seikh's house for a surprise birthday party. Baldave, (that's how you pronounce it I'm not sure how to spell it!) is his name and he is the assist. manager of our bank. His wife invited us along and we were the only white people there. We had a good time. All the women were rapt in Sam and Jenny and trying to get them to talk to them. The food was great too. Indian curries, rice etc.

This Sat we have the orphans day at the boatie (RAAF Yacht Club). The local Rotary provide buses from the orphanage to the Boatie and the Yacht Club provides food and entertainment, including games and a ride on a boat.

Andrew is the entertainment's member for the boatie so he's pretty busy with that.

I've been teaching water safety and water confidence to Sam's class 3 days/wk for the last 3 weeks. They've finished the lessons now. We had 4 students each and had to teach them up to the level of treading water and freestyle breathing. I also teach grade 5 Scripture once a week for half an hour. We have a play to prepare for Christmas at present.

Thursdays I go to a handicapped home on Penang and help out. Tomorrow I'm going to take my bathers and take a couple of them in the pool.

Some Mons. I go to the orphanage for a couple of hours and we change and play with the babies.

Sam and Andrew go on Hash runs Sun nights out through the rubber plantations etc. Sam gets his cup for attending 5 runs this week. The other week he won a hash bag for the best camouflaged kid. Andrew painted him with green brown and black paint all over his legs, arms and face.

Well so ends the news from Malaysia.

Love to all
Bye for now


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