Thursday, May 29, 2008

it's a...honu!

This afternoon, hubby and I went to Chun's Reef when he got home from work. It had been a little warm and there wasn't a lot of wind. At the last minute I grabbed my little Olympus 720 underwater camera. Boy, was I glad I did!

While hubby was out surfing, I decided to try and take some pictures of fish. These didn't turn out too well because it was late in the day. I was just getting out of the water and happened to look over and see a dark, moving shadow. I knew that since it was around 5, it must be the turtles starting to come in to feed.

I went back into the water and almost ran right into one! The first shot I took, if it had turned out, would have been of his nose, we were that close. I didn't realize that when they come in, they churn up the sand because they're so close to shore. So those crystal clear shots you see are probably taken in deeper water, high noon.

I swam with him for probably 10 minutes, just taking as many pictures that I could and hoping that something turned out. There were probably 5 of them along the shore all eating the green sea weed from the rocks.

This was problably one of the neatest things I've done in a very long time. Honu=turtle.

a hui hou,



A few months after moving here, I walked into the local elementary school and asked them if they had a volunteer program. They asked if I had any children/grandchildren attending the school and I said "No" and explained by background. They said that they had SpEd, but I asked to be put into a regular ed class.

So that was the start of one of the most full-filling journeys I've ever taken. Wailaua is a very "local" school. Most of the population being made up of families who grew up here and worked at the sugar mill. I think there's over 500+ students, a large caring staff, many who have been there 25+ years and a slew of volunteers. Every class has an aide for the language arts/reading part of the day. There is a full-time computer person and also a full-time librarian. All of the lunches are actually made in the school kitchen...none of that central kitchen, then frozen stuff here! It's like a"flash back", seeing the kids go down the line and get their scoop of this or that.

For all three years, I've been assigned to a 2nd grade class. I go three days a week for two hrs (sometimes more). On Friday, I go for an hour into another 2nd grade class to help during math. Heidi is very close to my age and looking at retiring next year. She's been at the school for over 25+ years! Her daughter is also a teacher there. She makes me laugh a lot.

This year the school started a new reading program, "AR or Accelerated Reading". There is a lot of computer work that goes into it, so this has become my job. I also work with small groups on various things.

Because I've become known around school, I was asked to serve on the "SCC" or School Community Council. This is very much like SIP, coming up with ways to allocate certain funds. This has also been a good way to get to meet other people in the community.

So as this school year is winding down (June 4th) they held a "volunteer thank you luncheon" and then we were recognized in front of the whole school. I was so touched by the lei,banner and card the class made.

So instead of them telling me "Mahalo", I think I should really be telling them Mahalo nui loa for all they've given to me.

a hui hou


Tuesday, May 20, 2008


This morning when I was hanging out clothes (another post), something caught my eye. The sun was just starting to get high enough in the sky to start casting shadows. I looked around and the one color that caught my eye was RED. I really hadn't realized that we had so many Red flowers, ti, plants, etc in our yard. I guess my guy, aka Japanese Gardner, likes the contrast.

So here are a few pics I took this morning at 7:00am of our yard with lots or RED. Please note the blue sky!

a hui hou


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Small sample

Traci showed me how to add a movie to my blog, so I thought I'd show just a small sample of what everyday is like here. This has already been going on an hour...need I say more? It's true what they say, " a picture is worth a 1000 words"!



Friday, May 16, 2008

Hidden Hawaii Tour, part 2

Well here goes part two of the Hidden Hawaii Tour. When left off, we had just gone to PCC for the great luau. The next day I thought that we could get up early and head to Pearl Harbor. This was the only thing that Brian really wanted to see while they were here. Everyone that I had talked to, said to be there early. So we left here and stopped at the bakery for malasadas and we were on our way. We ran into some morning traffic, but actually not too bad. We only had to wait maybe 15 minutes for the gate to open.

I'm so glad that we did this. I hadn't been there for probably at least 20 years. It's very nice now. They seem to have the whole thing organized to the point that everything runs smoothly. My sisters father served on the USS Oklahoma. He left Pearl Harbor a few days before December 7th. In the museum, they have a very nice display dedicated to just the Oklahoma. Penny was able to locate the names of two of her dad's good friends that were killed that day.

It's still amazing to me that even after all these years, there is still oil that bubbles up from the Arizona. Being on the actual memorial, is such a humbling experience, there just aren't the words to describe it. I know these pictures don't do it justice.

After spending the morning at the Memorial, we headed into town for some local food. We had to drive through China Town, so Brian could see it. He got to see the ducks hanging from the store fronts and just the hub of activity there.

The next day turned out to be overcast again. I did my usual volunteer work at the school and when I got home we headed east to Turtle Bay. It was just as bad there, but we did go in the water after a great lunch on the beach. This is the hotel that's featured in the movie "Forgetting Sarah Marshall". So that was fun. On the way back home, we had to see the turtles at Laniakea (that's a transmitter on it's back) and see the peacocks that roam all around Haleiwa (gotta love the country!).

We decided to BBQ that night, so Terry and Brian played a little BB before dinner. Terry just might be the reining "HORSE" champion on the street. It started to rain before dinner, so we ended up eating "local" style, under the tarp in our driveway.

Penny wanted to go to the Swap Meet... I lasted through the whole thing, but really don't need to go back for a very long time. They were able to get their gifts to take home all at once, so that was a good thing. This was the day that they were to go to Waikiki. I got them checked into their hotel, very nice, Resort Quest on the Beach.

On their last day, I went back into Waikiki. We had lunch at Dukes, then went on the catamaran ride. I love doing this with people because it give such a different view of Waikiki but also the whole island. It was such a nice day, the sun was out. Just the perfect way to end their stay.

After another great dinner, it was time to take them to the airport for their very long trip home. I hope they enjoyed visiting "my Hawaii" on their Hidden Hawaii Tour.

Aloha a hui hou


VOG, VOG go away, don't come back ...

As many of you may of heard, if you don't live here, we have been under the worst VOG that anyone can remember. What exactly is VOG? It's like smog, but only it's caused by volcanic particles in the air. What is making this so bad now is that there aren't any TRADE WINDS to blow it away from us. What winds there are happen to be KONA, or south winds. This means that the winds are coming up from the Big Island. Also a factor is that the volcano has developed a new vent, so it's spewing even more into the air.

These pictures were taken at basically the same spot, one a few months ago and the other one just today, at noon. We can't see the moutains or even the ocean that's how bad it is. They are advising anyone with respiratory problems to stay inside. I've been putting Visine in my eyes because they just feel like they're full of grit.

Todays' forcast said the TRADES probably won't return until Sunday. I'm praying for sooner, along with everyone else.

aloha from "Voggy Waialua"

holo holo in Waikiki

Since things in the hood have been "heavy" (along with the air~more on that later), I decided it might be good to go "holo holo". Neighbor Karen was willing to go I started thinking about things that she hadn't done since moving here.

We headed to the south shore. Can't say the sky was looking promising, but we all know that Waikiki does it's own weather thing, so I had hope. Since there was an accident on the freeway, we missed my NY friend, but got to sit with her hubby and talk for awhile. Must admit, the weather was nice, but still had the haze.

Since Karen had never walked around Waikiki, I thought this might be a good opportunity. We walked around the grounds of the "Royal" for one last look. They will be closing for 7 months June 1. Hope they don't change too much! I had read in the newspaper that they had a room open for viewing, sort of a preview of sorts. We asked at the front desk if we could see the room, but were told it was only open for hotel guest.

Karen had never been in the Royal's upstairs floors, so I figured now was a good time. Well, as we were getting onto the elevator, she put her hand out to keep the door open and something fell. She said "my watch" as it was falling down the elevator shaft!

The hotel manager was called. They took down my phone number and said they'd let us know what was going on since the elevator company was working on something else there. Karen was a very good sport, not spending too much time worrying about the watch...figured it was gone.

We continued our walk along the ocean front. I told her the story of the naupaka plant (the two lovers, separated forever, the beach naupaka is missing petals on one side, the mountain naupaka is missing the other side...lovers never to be together again). We were walking up the new Lewers Street and my phone rang. They had her watch!!! I spotted a Honolulu Cookie Company store, we got a tin and got back to the Royal as fast as we could.

The manager came out with the watch, still ticking,
but with a broken band. We couldn't beleive it! You have to remember that we weren't even hotel guest! Amazing! Both of us said that this was one of those times when we realized just how much great service meant. Guess you get what you pay for. A side note, the desk clerk was telling us about what he was going to be doing during his time off. He mentioned that part of the plan for the remodeling of the hotel was taking away some of the pink! He said that people have been complaining about the thought of that. He said they weren't going to take all the pink away, just not so much. Hope they don't take away the charm.

So after the watch adventure, we continued our walk down Kalakaua, going upstairs in the Outrigger and walking through the Moana. I was explaining everything about the hotels that I had learned over the years.

We ended up at the Merriott. I was anxious to see how the music was and who was playing since the passing of Auntie Genoa Keawe. I was so happy to see her son, granddaughter and neice along with Alan Apaka still playing. The usual group of regular locals were there. We had a great dinner, beautiful sunset (that heavy air thing again), and loved listening to the music. Ran into a friend of mine and we signed a petition to rename the Moana Terrace to "Auntie Genoa's Terrace", seems fitting. Of course there was hula, this is one place where people will get up and dance if they know the song.

So all-in-all, even with the watch adventure, it was a good day to go holo holo in Waikiki.

a hui hou