Sunday, April 26, 2009

Week # 9

Another week and only three more till we will be homebound.

The two pictures show some ladies doing pool exercises and a breakfast that Marlene prepared yesterday for some of our fellow volunteers.

I think she was showing off her B & B skills with the breakfast, she says she was advertising. Two of the couples are from Dallas, Oregon and the other from St Catherines, Ontario. All have been here before several times.

The ladies in the pool are all volunteers and it is the second left who you might recognize. I question how hard they are working during the day, if they have energy at quitting time to do exercises in the pool. The men are probably all in their rooms, exhausted!

Our speaker at Rotary on Wednesday told us about sea turtles! - two main kinds "hawksbill" and "green", they grow up to 250 pounds, up to three feet long (shell length), can hold their breath for up to three hours, and the hawksbill is an endangered species. That is why our speaker has a job, finding ways to promote population growth. Pretty interesting stuff, eh!

Other interesting news here is that mortgage foreclosures for March statewide are 523% ahead of a year ago. So if you were thinking of a real estate purchase in Hawiai, now might be the time.

No Rotary meeting next week, but on May 13th, a Group Study Exchange team from Argentina will be visiting, which I look forward to. Marlene and I are hosting a member of a GSE team from Brazil for two nights, at the end of May in Stratford.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Week # 8

And then there were four!

Last Sunday evening we had an Easter dinner on the lanai patio, and as you can see the ladies wore their Easter bonnets. The men also wore hats, but not quite as creative. It was a very nice evening!

We were also out last Thursday for a very nice evening upcountry to a rural town. We went with a couple from Grand Rapids, Michigan - he is a fulltime volunteer and they have been here two years now. She is a teacher on leave, and he is retired, but they have decided to return as her leave will not be extended. This is the third time we have volunteered here with him.

We were out again to our favourite breakfast place yesterday, but with different volunteers, than previously.

Hard to imagine we are in our final four weeks. We have been receiving participants this weekend for the session which begins on Tuesday. I picked the Resident Coordinator up from the airport today - he is from Singapore. The RC coordinates the students/participants for the next five weeks, looks after any problems, and it is a big job. These participants come from so many varied backgrounds and cultures.

Our volunteer numbers are down and if two brand new men volunteers are excluded, we will only have five maintenance cleaners tomorrow. But there are more recruits on the way!

At Rotary on Wednesday we had a speaker talking on sustainability - he told us that because there is so little food grown on the island, if boats and planes stopped, we would only have a four day supply of food. That is pretty sobering, but I think a little bit stretched as well. This week the speaker will talk about the mating practices of sea turtles?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Week # 7

The pictures are from our recent trip with the Thompsons from Stratford - to Maui's well known volcano crater - Haleackala, and which has a peak over 10,000' above sea level.
Yesterday, the volunteers were able to attend the communion service they hold here at Haggai for each participant's class before they head home. It is a Passover Meal communion, with the explanation of the 4 cups, and what each food represents in the Jewish tradition (about an hour) It was very moving!
Next week Marlene will be preparing breakfast for 3 people here from Head Office in Atlanta, all week. It is a bit intimidating, when everything is different from her own kitchen, even the altitude! Me thinks she fusses too much.
We went to a Good Friday church service last night at a local church - Hope Chapel. The music was more like a rock concert - not that I have a lot of rock concert experience! But the place was packed for two services by YOUNG people!
In fairness, they have a regular Friday night worship which I think they consider their weekly contemporary service for the younger population.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Week # 6

Yesterday was another breakfast out, and we went back to a golf course (Wailea Golf Club) we had visited previously. But the weather was much nicer as you can see from the pictures. The golf fees for an 18 hole round of golf are $225, but their breakfast price in the restaurant is quite reasonable. The name of the restaurant is “Seawatch” and the pictures show the reason for the name. The two volunteer couples with us are from Oregon and Alabama. The Oregon couple are doing their 9th term here at Haggai, the Alabama couple their 1st. It was a very nice morning.
I had three airport runs yesterday, one delivery and two pickups. I was able to combine the two pickups as there was only an hour between. Schedules can change with delays, etc, but fortunately both were on time. My pickups were from Kenya and Uganda, so they both were arriving from long trips with 2 and 3 connections.
We also had a new volunteer couple arrive last night, and Marlene has volunteered us to “buddy” with them - make sure they find the dining room, find a church to go to, etc - so we look forward to this role. They are from Oliver, BC, just south of Kelowna.
We are now in the second half of our work term, so time is flying by. The current class is in their final week, and it is always busy with plans and preparation for convocation. Following that there will be a week without participants, and the following group will finish the same day we leave for home.

Our visit last Sunday with Rheo & Sally Thompson and their daughter Heather from Stratford was wonderful. We drove up to the Haleackla crater, had a nice lunch upcountry, gave them the manatory tour of Haggai, and toured some other areas. They had visited here on a cruise previously, so were familar with some of the island.