Saturday, February 27, 2010


The anticipated tsunami in the Hawaiian islands never materialized - but we did go through an emergency preparation early today, which is strongly encouraged by local governments. Four hours before the scheduled arrival, the tsunami was projected at 6-8 feet, but that was on the other side of the island to where we are staying. We have six floors, plus a walkout basment, plus as you can see in the picture some mountains, so there was little human danger, just the risk of a huge clean-up. The highest the tsunami reached here was about 3.5 feet, from what I heard. I did get some excitment as I had an airport pick-up at 10:17am, 90 minutes before the projected tsunami arrival and the airport is on the other side of the island. My arrival was coming from Malaysia, through Honolulu, and rather than leave him at the airport, we decided to go ahead with the pick-up. The highways were virtually bare, except for gas stations and McDonalds which were lined up. There were some problems with the pick-up, but we eventually got back to Haggai, and sitting at the airport with a tsunami warning out was an interesting experience.

We are heading into the final week of a session which means a Praise & Worship night on Tuesday and a Convocation on Thursday, both highlights of a volunteer experience. I pick up the last of this sessions faculty (there are 14 total for each session including the Resident Coordinator)to-morrow night at the airport. Our participants start to get a bit anxious to get home at this time in the program. Another picture shows a followup activity to a soccer game in which all 29 participated.

Also this week, our volunteer supervisors are going to Haggai meetings in Pheonix, and will be gone for two weeks. So it will be an interesting time.

Our volunteer numbers are around 24, which is a good number, as it gives all of us plenty to do.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Seahouse - Napili

I was assigned a new job this week - the Rotational guy - ie I do a bunch of rotating duties, the primary one being distilling the drinking water and making sure all water stations in the building are functioning. It's not completely new, since I did the same job two years ago. It is a good fit, as I can work my courier driving around the duties, if necesary.

We went for breakfast this morning to a restaurant on the west end of the island called The Seahouse. It was a georgous Maui morning, bright sunshine and while a bit of a drive, my passengers were entertained some of the way by whale activity. Whale sightings have been very common this year. In fact it is unusual in the mornings to not see sightings, or at least "spoutings". The restaurant looks out over a beautiful bay and you could see whale activity from the restaurant. We went with two couples, one from Manitoba, first time volunteers and one from Saskatchewan, here for the fifth time, like ourselves.

Our class of participants are quite entertaining - we have a Russian who is a Christian radio talk show host (he has done his show from here in his room twice) - three Catholic priests - an Indian who owns two pizza shops - and an assortment of others. The faculty all comment that this group is very responsive to their teaching.

Our speaker at Rotary this week talked on the education problem in Hawaii - 163 teaching days (compared to 200 in Canada, which some think is short) - no local schools boards, it all operates out of Honolulu, even though the cultures of the islands are quite dfferent - students falling behind graduates on the mainland in basic learning. The speaker believes the situation is getting to a discouraging level, with no solution in sight due to labour unions and turf wars.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gannon's - Wailea

Week # 2 is complete and some interesting experiences.

Today we went to a favourite hangout for breakfast, a restaurant now named Gannon's. For you dedicated followers, it used to be called the Seawatch. The views from this place are unbelievable. The weather was georgous, and it was very enjoyable. We went with two other Canadian volunteer couples, one from Saskatchewan and the other from British Columbia.

Thursday, I took two faculty members shopping, part of my courier duties. One of the faculty was from India, the other from Zimbabwe, and they were serious shoppers.

For those of you who think we are missing, the Olympics, worry not! The NBC network is carrying the Olympics and their coverage totals 835 hours, compared to their 2006 Olympics coverage of 419 hours. Needless to say, they are playing down the Canadian "Own the Podium" theme, or coversely using it to inspire their athletes.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Term # 5

We have completed week # 1 and as usual, it has gone quickly.

Our trip here was relatively smooth, a small delay in Toronto for de-icing, but no problem in making connections in Minniapolis and Los Angeles. Our arrival in Maui was a few minutes late, but all baggage got here with us, and that is always a blessing, not that it doesn't show up eventually, just the inconvenience. Our room again looks out over the pool and on the fifth floor.

Then we received word last Saturday of Marlene's brother Karl's passing. This was not unexpected, but he is the first in both our families of losing a sibling. Marlene is thankful, that through a boating friend Pastor, Karl was at peace with the Lord when he died.

I have made three courier trips to the airport this week, but it gets busier next week as we have a new session starting on Tuesday, so the faculty will start arriving then. They stay around one week, then it is time to take them back to the airport. A drop off is much quicker than a pickup, since there is no waiting for delayed flights. Yesterday I had a first, a flight I was meeting from Dallas was 23 minutes late on the flight status report, but when I arrived at the airport, I found out they had picked up 15 minutes in flight and my passenger was waiting for me. He said the pilot told them it took a pile of fuel, but he did it for customer service??

We have been "out of session" this past week so no dining room meals. They start again this evening, so that is a plus.

We did some maintenance projects this week that can't be completed while participants are here. One of mine was to paint the workshop floor. If you can imagine a workshop that has about 100 different people using it each year. Can I throw out this - no - well maybe - check with ... - it is a nightmare. I thought the end result looked pretty good.

Marlene and I are "on duty" tomorrow from 6:30am until 10:00pm. We don't have work all day although there are some duties, but we must stay on premises. It is a long day, but this only happens once a month, and it is Super Bowl Sunday. So we are off to a 5:00pm mass at the local Catholic church this afternoon.

I made it out to Rotary on Wednesday and it was nice to see many old friends. I now have Kohola Mai status (returning whale) with the Kihei-Wailea Rotary Club!