Sunday, March 30, 2008

Mustang "Sally"

Time is winding down quickly - so this weekend we rented a car to do some sightseeing. Unfortunately, my reservation for a "Sebring" covertible fell through and it was replaced with a Mustang.

As fate would have it, when we reached the summit of Haleakala (the mountain on Maui), we had a dead battery (one of the pictures is of the summit, 10,023 feet above sea level). We were lucky enough to get a boost, and make our way down, but when we stopped for lunch , the battery was dead again. So we contacted the rental agency to replace it, but we lost a couple of hours of sightseeing time. We did make it to a "lavender farm" while on our tour yesterday.

Today we went to an old Hawaiin church (founded in 1832) and did a tour of the north shore which is well known for surfing, both "boards" and "wind". We stopped for lunch in a town called Paia, at a place well known for it's fish. Seating is communal, ie if there are two places at a table, you take them. So you do get to meet others, since it is usually packed and today was no exception. The fish was wonderful.

Tomorrow is our last day of work and our farewell at coffee break. There is quite a turnover of volunteers this week.

Tonight at dinner we sat with participants from four different countries, and I sat beside a young fellow from India. He lives in Bangalore, which is the IT capital, and he works in the software industry. It was interesting to get his perspective on where the world is going in technology and who will be leading and who will be following and why! He was very well spoken.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A New Experience

For this new experience, I can thank Bob Robinet from our church back home. He and Ruth Ann were here last year and he told me about the helicopter ride they took.

A fellow volunteer friend from Winnipeg who went para-sailing with us last year is here again and we decided to do the whole island tour. Another volunteer from Manitoba, Daphne, (and much younger) decided to join us, but of course Marlene wouldn't think of it.

So the three of us went ahead, picked a date, and bought our tickets for first thing today. Of course Marlene then decided to join us.

It was a beautiful morning weatherwise, although we did pass through some rain. The pilot took us out over the water to watch three whales frolicking, took us into areas to show us massive waterfalls, and gave an ongoing commentary as we flew along. Maui is a beautiful island, and seeing it by helicopter is much easier than hiking. We were given headphones and when he wasn't talking, there was background music so you couldn't hear the choppers. And it was all very smooth. I would recommend to everyone.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Mamma's Fish House

We came here for Ralph's birthday dinner on Tuesday. What a beautiful setting, out in the middle of nowhere, right on the ocean, amongst the palm trees you see here, watching the waves roll in as we ate. The food was excellent, as well.

Our time here is quickly coming to an end, so we will do a few tourist things this weekend, and next. Today, Good Friday, was a work day for us, & we got off l hour earlier than usual. It is not a stat holiday in the US.

We wish you a most Blessed Easter Season. Remember, HE IS RISEN!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

"Warren & Annabelle's"

We spent an evening last night at a nightclub in Lahaina, by the above name which is a "magic and humour" show. I am not much into magic, but I did enjoy the humour, particularly when it was without foul language, etc. The venue has been voted as Maui's top activity/show, for some time. In addition to the show there is food and drink beforehand, so it is a pleasant evening out. Two other couples went with us and getting to know other volunteers is always interesting.
Gas prices all over are rising, but I understand Maui is tops in the USA. The average national
price according to USA Today last weekend for regular was $3.27 per US gallon (which is 4/5 of a Canadian gallon, or 3.8 litres). As you can see by the attached picture, it is somewhat higher here. In fact Maui prices are $.20 higher than Honolulu, which I don't understand. The good news is that on a small island like Maui you can go quite a ways on $10 worth of gas.

We are welcoming approximately 50 new participants this weekend and saying goodbye to another group. Next weekend a second group arrives, so the building will be busy up until we leave on April 2nd.

We attended convocation on Thursday evening, a gala evening to windup a session.

Friday, March 07, 2008

And Then there Were Three

Another week gone by- three to go!

We were on call yesterday from 6:30am - 10:00pm, and because one of our groups was leaving, there was plenty of duties, stripping rooms, getting luggage onto the shuttle, etc. So it was a busy and tiring day. We were not scheduled to do duty until next week, but one of our volunteers had to return to Manitoba for a family funeral, and we were asked to switch spots. Watching particpants leave after four weeks here is always interesting. Most have experienced real change, met new brothers in the Lord, and some are going home with a new purpose in their lives. There are always some humourous moments, and always the unexpected. This weekend we almost lost one - we said goodbye Friday night to a participant from Nigeria, found out early Saturday that after sitting on the plane for 90 minutes his flight was cancelled (mechanical problem that couldn't be fixed), he slept on a bench at the airport and couldn't reclaim his baggage. So he came back here for the day, laundered his clothes and slept, and left again last night. Fortunately he is a very outgoing and extroverted fellow, but obviously travel can be unnerving.

Today, 21 volunteers plus about 15 volunteers from Haggai went "whale watching". It was the same excursion to Molikini that Mike & Steph did when they visited us in 2005. The weather was partially overcast, so it was not too hot. I have added a few photos but while we must have spotted two dozen different whales, we didn't get any magnificent pictures or views. However, with good company, nice weather and a barbecue lunch it was a great outing.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Tasty Crust

After an "upper end" breakfast last Saturday, we went to the locals favourite place for breakfast on the island, the "Tasty Crust" in Wailuku, today. I didn't get a picture from inside, just the outside one shown, but it is pretty ordinary. However, the locals flock there because of the food, especially their pancakes. Afterwards, we were dropped off at a Shopping Mall and took the bus back to Haggai. Marlene spent the most of the day in the volunteers kitchen, because she is doing coffee breaks next week.

We are now into March, our third and final month. In fact, we only have four more weeks plus a day of work, but who is counting. Our term so far has been somewhat uneventful - no earthquakes, serious sickness or other problems. We have guests arriving for Convocation next thursday, after which one group will leave. The following weekend will see a group leave and a new one arrive, which is a busy time.

I had another "small world" story unfold today. One of our participants here from Camaroon , does IT support for Wycliffe Bible Translators. Our church at home had a young missionary couple, Greg & Tracy McLean, home from Camaroon for the birth of their third child and wouldn't you know that the participant here and the McLeans know each other. Always amazes me how small the world really is. I kind of envy Greg because this young fellow was able to help me very quickly with a computer problem. I think everyone who owns a computer should have an IT support person. This young fellow left Camaroon with a three week old baby at home, another example of how much the participants value the Haggai training.

Napili Seahouse #2

Attached are the pictures from the previous post! The couples with us were from Manitoba, Saskatewan and BC, so a good representation from across Canada.