February 23, 2011
A “biawak” is the Malaysian name for a monitor lizard. We’re trying to catch one today. It’ll be sweet if we can! The trap was built in four steps:
- The preparation: we bought three over-sized fishing hooks, three meters of 100-kilo tensile strength rope, and one live chicken we named “Larry”. Everything totaled 20 ringgit.
- The meal: we beheaded Larry, took him to an Iban’s house to be cooked and proceeded to eat said chicken.
- The bait: we put two of the large fish hooks into the chicken head, threaded the rope through the hooks, and let it rot for 48 hours.
- The trap: we went into the jungle and hung the trap about six inches off the ground. The idea is that when the biawak comes to eat the chicken head, it’s jaw catches the hooks, and it will be far enough off the ground that his front legs won’t touch so he can’t get away. Then we take to him to an Iban’s house to be cooked and eaten. We will keep his claws and stuff. Lizard anyone?
The work this week has been good. We have two on date that are pretty solid. We should have a baptism this Sunday and another the next as well.
This week I crashed on my bike for the first time on my mission. I was only a day away from going 90 days without an accident. I blame it on the restless soul of the chicken we ate. After all, I did bring him home then assist in his demise. It’s all good now. I think once he was entirely eaten, he was at rest. Poor Larry.
As I look back though, the whole day just didn’t go too well. First, I forgot my passport when I went to get my visa extended. I just don’t do stuff like that! So two of the Malay elders met us halfway with my passport. Second, as we were riding the rest of the way there, I went to hop a curb I’ve made 100 times and missed! My bike slammed back into me and I fell into a big pillar, but didn’t actually fall over. Third, after we left immigration for the second time, I was on a tile sidewalk and it was raining. As I turned, my bike kept going straight and I fell onto a wooden gutter cover with metal screws sticking out all over the place. It ripped my shirt and my garments but left me without even a scratch. What’s better, we went to an Iban’s birthday party right after, so I sewed my shirt while I was still wearing it at Helen’s house. I looked like Frankenstein – well my shirt did anyway.
Back to the visa situation and my fourth mishap. When I flew into Sarawak from Singapore, my stamp was good for 90 days. I came in on November 23rd, so I assumed that 90 days is three months and guessed that it would expire on February 23rd. I went in on the 21st at four o’clock. Office hours were 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Turns out the cashier was tired and went home early. Seriously. So they told me to come back the next morning. As I was leaving I did the math. My visa expired on the 21st since both December and January had 31 days. Bad idea. But because it was their fault I couldn’t extend on time there were no consequences. In fact, they didn’t even mention it. Chances are they did the same thing I did and assumed I still had a day left. So it’s all good! I was illegal for about five hours but now I’m good.
This e-mail isn’t as long as most, but since a picture is worth a thousand words, the photos will make up for it.
The Church is true! I love being a missionary for the most real thing on the earth. I love you all!