The Chinese Game of Four Winds
Long ago, my step-mother gave me a set of Mah Jong tiles made of bamboo and bone. She had played the game regularly during her time living overseas with my father. With the set came her typed notes. I had no idea how to play, but enjoyed studying the beauty of the tiles. I never believed that, one day, I would be playing the game too.
In 1991, my husband, son, dog and I were posted to Dubai - at the beginning of the Gulf War. I took the set with me and it wasn't long before I met a group of expat ladies who played the game regularly.
I was full of excitement when I was invited to join the group and to bring along my set. We didn't play seriously. It was a social event ... and, periodically, it became a fundraiser for the local dog charity, known as K9.
Using Mah Jong as a fundraiser continued when we moved to Mombasa, Kenya ... and the game raised valuable funds for the protection of the green-backed turtles and their nesting sites (working together with the Kenyan Wildlife Service), an elephant sanctuary and orphanage, the SOS children's villages, the street children of Mombasa, the hospitals, KSPCA, the Baobab Trust ... and to build a retirement community, known as Kilulu in Mtwapa (now completed).
In order to learn the game, I studied my step-mother's notes, as well as taking my own crude notes and the scribbled upon pieces of paper from other members of the group. This site is an accumulation of those long pages of notes. However, I cannot confirm the origins of any of them, but my own. The only truly genuine part of this site will be its uniqueness and its presentation - both visually and simplistically.
These typed notes were circulated amongst the Mah Jong group and proved immensely useful to new group members and beginners.
I cannot really determine what is my work and what may belong to others. I am certain, though, that they will accept my thanks and acknowledgement for their contribution to the enjoyment of new players and to this site.
Many of us would make up our own Mah Jong Hands - sometimes to reflect an historic event but, in my case, I made one up for myself ... 'Pretty Polly' - see the hand here ... Others are the dates for the Moon Landing, Pearl Harbour and the Royal Wedding, for instance.
A quick photographic guide of organisations we raised money for ...