Thursday, January 31, 2008

Month # 2

Today is the start of month #2 of our three month term!

Of course the big topic of conversation has been weather. There was quite a snow cover on Mount Haleackala Tuesday, and in fact, the upper road to the peak was closed (I should have brought my skiis). I must apologize to our next door neighbour at home, Tom D. A little over a year ago he told me it had snowed in Maui and I didn't believe him). So I did get a picture Tom! Daily high temperatures have been 77/79 versus the normal 82/84. Our pool is down to 68/69, which seems quite cool. Thank goodness for the hottub. The HI development officer for Canada arrived from Toronto on Wednesday, and when he started talked about minus 29 in Ontario we stopped complaining about our cold weather for at least half an hour. I have been in the pool every day except one this past week, so it's not too bad.

Our first session of ladies classes for this year ended yesterday and we are saying goodbye to them today, to-morrow and Sunday. A new group of men start arriving next weekend. I was on duty tonight trying to get ten ladies on a shuttle to the airport at 7:00pm. When they are saying goodbye to 49 classmates, it is a real challenge to get them and their luggage on a shuttle. With men you put the luggage on, you count heads onto the bus and when you get your number, you tell the driver to leave. With the ladies, they get on, then they get off! Then one of their friends gets on for one last hug. The next group of seventeen ladies leave tomorrow morning at 4:30am - it should be a little more subdued at that hour then tonight. You must remember these ladies have been together for the past 25 days, and will probably never see each other again - so it is quite emotional. The picture only covers part of the class.

The other picture is the Vice-President - International Training and his wife (from India) and a participant from Sri Lanka.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

"Bubba Gump's"

We have a weekend off, and were able to sleep in yesterday morning, first time for 2 weeks, as we were on call last Saturday, and breakfast is served at 7am on Sundays, but I was awake early anyways. Did some errands, went for a quick swim, and a little sun. Then we drove over to Lahaina, with several other volunteers, for a lovely lunch at Bubba Gump's, while overlooking the water, and watching the boats come & go. Afterwards, we went to a nice shopping mall, I shopped, and Ralph explored the beach front. It was a great day.

This morning we went to King's Cathedral (penticostal) for worship, with another couple, and guess who was preaching today! None other than John Hagee, the TV evangelist! And was he fire & brimstone! We are to stop our pity parties, sucking our thumbs, now!

This afternoon was a quiet time for us, as Ralph spent the entire time doing the Stratford church's books (financial), and I am working on a bible study homework.

The weather continues to be very pleasant, cooling off each evening, it is "one blanket" temperatures, and great for working.

Hope all is well with you, and your loved ones. Blessings!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Rotational Duties

My job to date this term is called "rotational duties". This involves several different tasks on different days, but my constant is supplying 21 water stations throughout the building.

Haggai previously purchased it's water, but a purification system was acquired in 2006, so we now purify our own water.

Water is very important because of temperatures, but also because of people coming here from all over the world. With upwards of 200 people in the facility, we go through a substantial amount of water. In fact last week, I filled 36 - 5 gallon bottles of water.

A couple of my other tasks are outside, which is a nice break from indoor duties. One is cleaning the signs, one of which is a brass "address" on the front of the building - so "brite boy" is my friend.

Marlene and I did "on call" yesterday from 6:30 am until 10:00pm and with 120 female participants, we were busy. When on call you respond to room problems, etc, etc. So today, other than being out to church, it is a rest day.

Marlene can report on her duties in a future post.

We haven't been out to take many pictures, so that can also be for a future post.

All in all, things are going well!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Calvary Chapel

Today is Sunday and we went to church at "Calvary Chapel" which operates from a building formerly occupied by a nightclub/restaurant. Marlene has a "crush" on the young senior pastor (along with most of the other female volunteers here), so it is a favourite church to visit for us. The young pastor, who is also an excellent preacher, has been on the mainland writing a book for the last six weeks, and he was supposed to be back today. He was delayed so you can imagine Marlene's disappointment. Calvary is a non-denominational congregation and very casual. In fact it would be hard to find anyone on the island who wears a suit to church, including the pastors.

After church we went to a Christian bookstore to pick up a couple of items, but otherwise it is a football Sunday. The five hour time difference allows us to get the football out of the way well before dinner time which is 7:00pm. We are receiving participants again this weekend, so many volunteers are staying around the building.

The weather today is cooler, around 78/79 degrees, pleasant for many things, but few people around the pool. My daily trip to the hot tub was direct.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Rotary at Kihei-Wailea

I went to Rotary yesterday at the same club I have attended the last two years. Besides doing make-ups, it is a great place to learn what is happening on the island since they have some very interesting speakers.

The Rotary meetings are held at the Diamond Resort, which is a "5 Star" Japanese owned hotel/spa complex about 10 minutes down the road in an area known as Wailea. Wailea is the most expensive hotel area of Maui, in fact the average room rate in August/2006 was $430. We haven't heard any current rates. The lunches are very good and reasonably priced since the owner is a Rotarian in Japan.

Yesterday's speaker was the Mayor of Maui County and that is her in the picture (besides Maui, the county includes the neighbouring islands of Molakai & Lanai). It was a kind of "State of the Union" speech, but she dealt with a couple of controversies and ended with a spirited question and answer session. I had a chance to speak with her after, but she showed little interest in Canada, probably because Canadians are statistically low spending tourists compared to mainlanders and the Japanese.

The other lady in the picture with me is the current Rotary President. It was nice to renew some old friendships and it was nice to see the club is growing. In fact there was over 70 people there yesterday, few of whom were visiting Rotarians from the mainland.

Tomorrow is the end of work week two, so time is flying already.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Haggai Improvements

Each time we return to Maui, it is interesting to note the improvements that have been made around Haggai. Some are small, some more significant, some affect us, most don't.

I have mentioned in the past that the volunteers have the use of three vans which we can sign out, so long as we car pool, that is post a sheet where you are going, and take other volunteers who wish to join you. This is also a great way to get to know the other volunteers better. The vans in the past have all been Ford Winstars of varying ages. Well this year the oldest Winstar has been replaced by a spanking new Dodge Caravan. Now a move from Ford to Chrysler in my opinion is a significant improvement. The air conditioning on the replaced Winstar was referred to as 2-40 - that is put at least 2 windows down and drive at least 40 miles per hour.
The daily weather temperature highs here in January are in the 79/84 range and it is very pleasant for sleeping, walking, working, etc, but cool for swimming if it is cloudy. This is not whining - just letting you know that working in non air conditioned areas is much more pleasant at this time of year.
Marlene and I are on call today until 9:30pm and we are expecting new participant arrivals, so this will be short. As you can see we have not been out to take many pictures to date.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Term # 3 - Haggai Institute

We arrived on Tuesday after a horrible trip.

Flight # 1 from Toronto to Minniapolis on Northwest was cancelled, but they rebooked us on an Air Canada flight, but first we had to transfer to Terminal #1 from Terminal #3. Then the Air Canada flight was delayed for about 90 minutes with de-icing, etc and we missed our connecting flight in Minniapolis to Maui. There were no further Northwest Maui flights from Minniapolis, so they rebooked us to Los Angeles where we could catch an American Air flight to Maui. But then we needed to change Terminals in Los Angeles and when it is a first visit??. It was quite bumpy the last leg which isn't Marlene's type of flying.

The long and short is we arrived here about two hours late after a long, long day of flying, rushing, waiting, bumping around, etc.

However, we are happy to be back here and there are many familiar faces. Today was our first day of work. We start greeting participants tomorrow for the first session of traing for 2008.

This post is short and no pictures. More to follow.