Saturday, February 23, 2008

Napili Seahouse

We (four couples) went for breakfast today to the "Seahouse" which is in the Kapalua area, the west end of the island and about a one hour drive from where we stay. Kapalua is known for the golf course where they play the "Mercedes Benz Open", one of the first major golf tournaments of the year. The restaurant gets it's name as it sits right on the sea, and it was a beautiful morning with a couple of whales even putting on a show for us. This is the area where the Ritz Carlton hotel is located, one of the more exclusive on the island and we did a walk through after breakfast.

Hawaii held their Presidential caucus' last Tuesday and Barrack Obama out polled Hilary Clinton by 4/1! Hilary had sent Chelsea her daughter to campaign last weekend, but it didn't seem to have much impact. Obama sent a sister. One of the two State Senators had also endorsed Hilary. Obama was born here but hasn't lived in Hawaii for many years.

The couple who organize the volunteers are in Atlanta this week at the Haggai annual meeting and Marlene and I were asked to meet a new volunteer couple at the airport on Wednesday evening. Their flight was due in at 10:35, but was 45 minutes late so we had a wait at a very quiet airport. There was a young lady waiting with us and she was wearing an old Toronto Maple Leaf sweater. I told her it must be a hard year to be a "leaf" fan (another one) and we struck up a conversation. She was waiting for a friend on the same flight. She grew up in Woodstock, but now works in Alberta as an RCMP officer. She and her friend were just starting a two week vacation. So by the time we got our couple and their luggage and got back to Haggai, it was a late evening.

(Can't upload pictures so they will have to be shown later!)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Whale Day

The "Pacific Whale Foundation" hosts an annual event each year and yesterday was the day. There was lots of advertising and we along with many others went to see what it was all about. There was educational displays, but most were targeted to school children. There was plenty of flea market displays with crafts to purchase, etc but the main reason for the event was to raise money for the foundation to carry out their normal activities. The appeal for the large turnout - the entertainment. Maui boasts the third place finisher in the most recent American Idol competition and she performed.
This is whale season here and there are many watching opportunities. We went on a boat excursion two years ago in December, but sightings are much more numerous at this time of year.

We were on duty today and we are welcoming a new session this weekend, so it was steady as arrivals don't always happen as planned. If you imagine 50/60 people travelling from various parts of the world heading to Maui, you know there are going to be missed flights, etc. So it is amazing that they all arrive, but they usually do. The five participants who I helped to their romms were from India, Malaysia, Papa New Guinea, Brazil and Kenya. I even found a fellow Rotarian, a veterinarian from Malaysia.

We have passed the halfway point of our stay, so once again time is going quickly. It is time to get plans made to make sure they happen before we leave. I received an email today saying that our church back home had to cancel services today because of an ice storm, so weatherwise it is too early to think about returning home.

Saturday, February 09, 2008


We attended our first convocation on Thursday night and it was a gala affair. The valedictorian for one of the sessions (in picture with me) is a pediatrician from Tobago, and actually a former CIBC employee. She worked at the Bank in both Tobago and Toronto (while studying at the U of T). Another of our volunteers from Winnipeg (pictured with her husband), still works for the Bank as a part-time CSR, when she is not volunteering here. The husband is a retired teacher. So we had a CIBC reunion. The group picture is of some of the female volunteers. Our dining room food caterers really outdo themselves for the convocation nights. In fact I enjoy their offerings every night.

One of the sessions (29 participants) was sponsored by a Canadian couple who also happen to be former volunteers. This was the first time Canadians have sponsored a whole session, so that also was quite a celebration. The Canadian development officer was here for the event and he is from Stouffville, Ontario so Marlene and I had some help representing Ontario. His boss was also here from Atlanta, GA (a former NHL hockey player, who grew up in Leamington but married a USA lady while playing for the Los Angeles Kings).

Our weather has improved dramatically over the past two days and it is very nice around the pool and at the beach. We will soon be complaining about the heat. The foliage, etc is quite green because of the recent rainfall.

This weekend is changeover in that we are departing the ladies session that just ended and greeting a men's session which starts tomorrow. In addition there is a special "leadership session" for future faculty members. Another men's session will arrive next weekend. So it is a busy time for the housekeeping volunteers.