Saturday, November 7, 2009

October Treats with few Tricks

The last two weeks of October were full of treats, but very few tricks. It is amazing how many activities they put into just a few days. Day and night, young and old and week and weekend ..... busy busy busy!

REGGAE FESTIVAL


This event was held at Emon Beach. Tents were set up over looking the lagoon and a bright sunny day was ordered. A DJ played a great selection of music while young and old danced the morning away. High school students created a great assembly line of tie dye t-shirt making with helpers along the way. (A great fund raiser- since many people wear tie-dye on Friday). Another group had a henna tattoo station set up with pillows and rugs and chairs to sit and relax while you were beginning painted, and watched others. There was food and relaxing with more music in the evening at the "Snake Pit".
(Can you guess where I got my inspiration for my henna tattoo?)

SHAVING CREAM SOCIAL


Each year kids from ages 2-teenagers are allowed in age specific groups to smear as much shaving cream as possible on each other. Two volunteers spray blasts of water that the kids can run through to rinse off and then start all over again. I read about this last year in the HourGlass, but it is really an interesting site. Good old-fashioned fun was had by all of the kids.

SWASHBUCKLER'S BALL

The group arrives!

The Teacher with one of her student's parent



Posing with my date for the evening! The skull not the prisoner.


One too many pints of grog!
The Kwajalein Yacht Club holds a ball each year to enable it's members and guests to release their inner pirates. A committee spent hours decorating. Homebrew was provided so that the pirates could get their "rrrrr" on. Everyone had a great time with gaming tables to entertain, good conversation and wonderful friends.

HALLOWEEN NIGHT
Halloween is a special night on Kwaj. Everyone trick-or-treats, even this year during the middle of a torrential downpour and streak lightning storm. Lightning is not a common event due to the weather patterns and the amount of land mass, so it was about the only trick we had that night. The rain subsided in time for the real ghouls to cme out to party and jump between the three "party places" on island. Community activities decorated, planned games and contests, booked a band at one of the bars, and arranged for a bus to transport the adults that might not be to steady on their bikes after the night of trick or drinking.
PICTURES NOT POSTED TO PROTECT THE INNOCENT AND NOT SO INNOCENT.... YOUR WELCOME MR PENGUIN, MR CHICKEN, AND THE WHOLE FLINTSTONE GANG.


GLASS BEACH




I spent several days searching for glass beach. Glass beach is a beach that is supposed to have a lot of beach glass. Generally this glass is left over pieces of Japanesse glass floats. I am not so sure that most of this glass is still from this source, but it is still beautiful. The ocean can do some beautiful work. After asking a number of people and getting a variety of directions I decided glass beach was either a old fashioned snipe hunt or an elusive location not to be found easily. After a few days of looking, I now realize that there are a number of locations that you can find beautiful shells and glass.


THE DAYS OF RAIN AND WIND

We have a few days of very strong wind and rain. Within a week we had 3 inches of rain but we are still 26 inches below our annual average. This past week we had one day with winds of over 40 knots. (Try riding a bike into that!) For those with little concept of the wind speed, that is almost tropical storm force winds. One night we had so much rain at once the first floor of my BQ had water running in to the end door. The last two rooms had water under their doors, which makes me glad that I did end up on the second floor.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dunk Tank Fun

The "powers that be" make an extra effort to ensure that there are activities planned for everyone of all ages. This past week we concluded Fire Prevention Week. As part of the festivities the fire department held an open house with lots of booths full of information, games, foods and prizes.
The highlight of the day, for me, was the dunk tank. I was fortunate enough to occupy the seat of honor for a half hour.

I tried my hardest to dress in my finest water attire.

As fast as I could get back up on the seat, I found myself going back into the water.


I tried to make it fun for all and have fun while I struggled to get in and out of the water tank. I got a little loud, some said they could hear me all over the fire station. I just wanted to be the center of attention...hehehehehe. The kids seemed to enjoy it. Every kid got to dunk me, even if they didn't hit the target with the ball. One of my students was even told by the fireman to tell me, "I can dunk you with my eyes closed." She then walked up to the target closed her eyes and dunked me. We both laughed loudly, when I came up spitting and sputtering water.



There was lots of fun had by all as it about whipped this old lady. A lose bolt on the seat made nice work of my bathing shorts. I wouldn't have missed this for the world.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Snorkeling on Bijej



Ok... Pretty pictures!!!

I have been lucky enough to go to Bijej twice to go snorkeling. Bijej is one of the small atolls that make up the Marshall Islands. It takes about 15-20 minutes to get there by boat. Our principal has rented the boat both times and taken a small group of new teachers and friends so that we can have this experience. There are a large number of coral heads there and the lagoon area is usually very protected from the winds and tideal action so it makes for a very pleasant snorkeling adventure. The only rough part is going through Bijej pass which is a break in the coral that allows boats to pass from the ocean to the lagoon, kind of like an inlet for my east coast friends. During my second experience we encountered some weather issues so it wasn't as pleasant of a day, enough said. My first experience was an experience that goes down in memory books as "Number One Reason to Stay on Kwajalein". I have told some about the blueness and clarity of the water. Until you have experienced it yourself it is impossible to even begin to understand it. We were in water 20-30 feet deep and we could easily see shells on the bottom of the ocean floor. The principals wife free dove to the bottom to pick up one empty shell as a momento for my trip. I used a cheap disposable camera to take pictures and even that shows the coral, fish and water as crystal clear. Even looking at them it is hard for me to believe that they are actually taken in the ocean and not in a swimming pool or aquarium (and I took them!). Also the salinity makes swimming and floating feel like you are playing in a ball pit. The water simply holds you on top. These pictures were taken on my first but hopefully not my last snorkeling trip.




Side note: The shape of our atoll prevents any major wave action. We were safe from the tsunami.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Men are doing great without me!

My Men are doing great without me. I was sent photos this week of BW and Michael. It was an especially great treat since it is BW's 7th birthday this weekend. His new family says that he is being a very good big brother. When the new baby cries he runs to tell the mom that she needs help. He also runs in to check on her and makes sure she is o.k. I am glad that he is enjoying them. I don't know if it is just the angle of the camera but it looks like he has put on a pound or two. Happy weight, I am sure.

Michael has made a professional move to Keller Williams in Myrtle Beach.
He believes this is going to be a great move for his business and his clients. Since I am one of them I am very excited for him. He has been eating right and taking care of himself. It even looks like he has lost some weight. We talk at least once a day and most days twice a day.

I sure could use a big hug from either one of my men right about now!

Monday, September 21, 2009

My First Sailing Trip




The Sunfish Regatta was held this past weekend. I had a great time. A very brave man took me out for a nice long sail. Everyone on the beach had a great time, especially watching me try to get on the sailboat. I will let the pictures speak louder than words!


Doesn't look too bad so far!! Just wait..... It gets worse.




I can not be responsible for the fits of hysterical laughter that may result from the following picture!

SUCCESS!! It was smooth sailing after that!

Fishing Trip Looking for Bird Piles

I had a wonderful fishing trip with 3 men that work here on the island. They were kind enough to let a "rooky" along for the ride. The island is beautiful to look at from the perspective of the beach, but from the ocean it can be incredible.


We left the dock and went through the reef and within minutes we encountered a pod of whales. They surfaced several times before heading off south. We continued around the outer edge of the island and headed south.

The golf course is nice and the country club has a great view of the ocean. It is amazing from the other perspective.

We looked for bird piles (areas where birds congregated to show that there were fish that they were eating), but all we saw were dolphins.

After about 30 minutes of trolling we finally caught 2 fish. I was happy that we did not get skunked. The guys would not have ever let me go again if we had.


A lot of my friends were very jealous that I was able to see all of that wild life in one trip on a boat. Just lucky to be here on Kwaj!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I Do Miss Michael




I do miss Michael. I get to talk to him each morning when he calls to wake me up. The time difference makes it just right so he has his phone set to alarm in the middle of the day so he can call to say "Good Morning". I stay up at night until at least 10:00 to call him and say, "Good Morning". Most days I am at school too late to call him in the afternoon. Each day I do have a permanent reminder that he is thinking of me. Like he said on his post "For Infinity!"

We got these the week before I left Wilmington. I have the heart. Michael has the turtle. The infinity symbol in both......How sweet :)