Friday, April 22, 2011

Home Again

A relatively uneventful trip home - we actually arrived in Toronto about twenty minutes early and were whisked through customs. Because it was a small plane the last leg from JFK, New York, our baggage was off the plane quickly.
Our courier was on time and we were back in Stratford pronto. Our neighbours had the heat turned up, a few groceries in to tide us over until stores are open tomorrow, so things are good.

The only hitch in cominh home, was when I tried to confirm our return flight on Tuesday, the website showed our tickets as "Cancelled". Sure enough, American Airlines, in their wisdom cancelled our tickets back on Jan 22nd. When we were going to Maui we missed our connection in Chicago, and the agent there said we would probably miss our LA connection as well, and took it upon herself to book us a flight for LA to Maui, for the next day. When we in fact made the LA connection, and we didn't show up the next day to use the LA-Maui tickets, they cancelled our return tickets. They were able to straighten it out on Tuesday, but the seats were crappy, but at least we got home. And people say they "love to travel"?

The attached picture shows my last project - doing "bios" for all the volunteers for posting on a wall for the participants, etc to see and use. I must add I had lots of help on this. It was suggested by the COO from Atlanta, and it will be ongoing.

So ends another wonderful volunteer term in Maui.

Now to get some rest!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Last Saturday Breakfast for Term # 6

This being our final Saturday, it only made sense to head down to Gannons for breakfast. We took two new first time volunteer couples, one from North Carolina and the other from Kitchener, Ontario. The couple from NC we find out, have actually been reading this blog for a while, since they stumbled upon it while researching the Haggai ministry. The Kitchener couple (AJ & Jody) are unique by their age, as you might detect from the picture. They were introduced to Haggai by an aunt who resides in Cambridge, who is also here & in the picture and is currently serving as the volunteer ladies supervisor. AJ, is taking over my duties as the "rotational guy" so I have got to know him a bit. Both he and Jody grew up in Fergus. When I introduced him to Dion,our dining room caterer, and asked if he noticed anything different in this new volunteer, Dion said "besides the hair". Good job I have thick skin, eh! Once again at breakfast we had a georgeous Maui morning weatherwise.

We stopped by the Grand Wailea Hotel on our way home today, for the newcomers to check out the lobby, etc. This hotel rents rooms for up to $1,200 per night, and is considered the granddaddy & #1 destination in all of Maui. Surprisingly, it and the Ritz Carleton, located near Kapalua, which also rents rooms in the same price range, are both in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. There may be a message in all this!

We only have two days of work left next week, and leave for home Thursday around noon. Our trip home takes us through Los Angeles and JFK in New York, which should be interesting.

It is getting to feel like it is time to go home.

Saturday, April 09, 2011


Not sure how many are familiar with these little creatures, but I can assure you you get familiar with them around here.

Geckos are small to average sized lizards belonging to the family Gekkonidae, found in warm climates throughout the world. Geckos are unique among lizards in their vocalizations, making chirping sounds in social interactions with other geckos. Gekkonidae is the largest family of lizards, with an estimated 2,000 different species worldwide and many others likely yet to be discovered. The name stems from the Indonesian/Javanese word Tokek, inspired by the sound these animals make.

They are harmless, other than scaring you when they jump out of somewhere when you least expect them. This can be a railing you are holding as you go up or down outside stairs, or a pole you grab to clean the spa, etc. We are staying on the sixth floor of the building this term which means there is less human traffic, but it seems there is more gecko traffic. Two have found their way into our room, and while as I said, they are harmless, Marlene was not impressed. A couple of years ago we were going out to breakfast one morning with seven people in the van, and there was a gecko on the outside of the front windshield. It was hanging on for dear life as we started to move, and to get rid of it, I turned on the windshield wipers. Unfortunately, one of the windows was down and the gecko ended up in the car. You should have heard the screaming, and it wasn't coming from the gecko!

Our new session started this week, a ladies session, with 52 participants from about 19 countries. The Resident Coordinator is a lady from Indonesia, who with her husband, operates: 1)a home for unwed mothers; 2) an orphanage and; 3)a private school. When she talks it is always, "God does this and God did that". But a new line tthat I had never heard before was that she and her husband consider themselves spectators to all that God is doing in their lives. Amazing!

The other picture I have included is one of the employees here at Haggai with her pet parrot, "Iman". She had him here on the weekend - he doen't come to work with her.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Kula Lodge

Last Sunday we made our annual trip "upcountry" to go to church at Waipuna Chapel. This church used to be a favourite spot, but it is a 30/45 drive and with lunch after, it can squeeze the time limit we are allowed for use of a Haggai van. As you can see from the picture, they are building a new entrance to the church building. It was nice to visit again, and as usual an excellent service. This is in part due to the music, which is more traditional than many of the churches here.
After church we stopped at the Kula Lodge for lunch and sat in their outside patio where they cook pizzas in an outdoor oven. The pizza was excellent, the view was georgous since Kula is about 2,500 feet above sea level, but about halfway through lunch the temperature started to drop and it was chilly. They say the temperature drops about 8 degrees fahrenheit for every 2,500 ft you go up, so a nice 82 degree day here at Haggai becomes a 74 degree day at Kula. When you get to the top of Mt. Haleackala, it is down 32 degees!
We enjoyed another wonderful convocation program on Thursday evening and are saying goodbye to the participants during this weekend. There really are some special fellows in this group who will do some great things for the Lord. I drew the early 4:00am departures this morning, so it will be a long day. The lady volunteers are welcoming the new lady participants for the new session which starts Monday.
We had another enjoyable breakfast this morning and as usual the weather, the view and the company were all splendid.
Time marches on, we are now less than three weeks until returning home. It is time to get organized and complete some unfinished projects.