Sunday, June 9, 2013

Goodbye Kauai!

Our adventure in Hawaii has come to an end, I have already been back in Michigan for about a week!  The last few weeks were a whirlwind. The day before I left I went to Oahu for a Hawaiian focused school conference. Each school gave a presentation, during our presentation I introduced myself in Hawaiian!  I think a lot of people were surprised.  Next year my school is going to start offering Hawaiian language classes for adults after school, I wish they had that while I was there!

It is hard to believe that we were there for two years.  We were sad to leave but we are excited to start the next chapter in our lives and be closer to our friends and family.  We had such a great experience living in Hawaii. It was a scary decision to move to an island that we had never even visited, but we are so happy that we did.

This is our last post, we hope everyone enjoyed reading about our adventure!  A hui hou...

Cory and Emilie

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Kauai Red Dirt Road

Here is one of my most recent paintings.  Just like the last one I posted, I painted it using a palette knife only.  It was kind of tough because the lighting in my apartment is very dim.  I know I'm going to love paining even more when I have a nice space to work in.  

- Emilie

Last Week - Leis and Graduation

This is my last week  here in Hawaii, I leave on Friday night!  The kids last day of school was this past Thursday and graduation was on Friday.  Graduation was a lot of fun, Kaleo (the kindergarten/first grade teacher) and I danced hula with the kids during one of the songs.  I will try to find a video to post.  Below is a description of the story that goes with the dance (I know the words are small, you might need to zoom in).

The week leading up to graduation flew by!  We did some fun classroom games and activities.  We also cleaned the classroom and made leis.  They made leis out of a plant called "Job's Tears" which produces a seed that is the perfect size and shape of a bead and already has a hole in the center.  The colors of the seeds are blue, grey, black, and green.  One of the neat things about making a lei out of job's tears is that it won't wilt and die, you can keep it!

I made my leis out of stephanotis and pikake flowers.  Stephanotis flowers were in my wedding bouquet as well!
 These are pikake flowers.


I love these kids so much!

- Emilie

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Kauai Wave Painting

Here is my latest painting - created completely with the palette knife.  I really like this style because it gives the painting some texture.   Now that I am going to be living in Michigan I guess I will have to learn how to paint snow.

- Emilie

Saying Goodbye to my Keiki

Yesterday, I told my class that I was moving back to Michigan once the school year was over and that I wouldn't be their teacher next year.  I decided that I should tell them a little before the end of the school year so they could let it sink in.  Since next week is our last week, I thought that now would be a good time to do it.  I knew it was going to be difficult to tell them, but it was harder than I thought it would be.  

I told them at the end of day after science because I teach science to grades K-5 and that way I could tell all of the elementary children together.   At first there was just silence until one students said, "No, Kumu Emilie you can't go."  Then suddenly almost everyone was crying.  Many of the children were quite a bit more emotional than I expected.  It was very sad, but it also made me feel loved.  I'm going to miss them so much.  By the end of the day (which was only an hour later - they still had to go to Hawaiian language class) I already had dozens of cards and notes.  Today I even got some very thoughtful notes from parents.  

When we left Michigan to come to Hawaii we were sad to leave our friends and family. Now that we are leaving Hawaii, we have new friends and children that we will be sad to leave.  

Here is a  recent class photo from our field trip to the National Tropical Botanical Gardens.  The trip was an extension to a native plant writing project that my class has been working on this quarter.

A hui hou!

- Emilie

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Bittersweet Announcment

Our two year "honeymoon" has come to an end.  We decided that it is time to return to Michigan and live closer to family and friends.  Cory left this past Wednesday and I will join him on June 3rd, once my school year is over.  We both have mixed feelings because we love living in Hawaii, however we feel like it is time to be closer to home.  We definitely plan to visit Hawaii often in the future, but we will probably travel to some new places first.
This isn't the last blog post, I still have three weeks!  I'm going to try to enjoy the island as much as possible and write about my experiences until I leave at the end of the month.

- Emilie

Monday, May 6, 2013

Polihale Starry Night Painting

I finished another painting!  I'm really enjoying having a hobby other than studying for my masters classes.  The last class I just finished was the hardest class I have ever had in my life.  I will be graduating in December though, so not much longer!

So back to the painting...

Our friend (and artist), Giorgio gave me some pointers.  He has a special technique for the stars that I learned from him.  It was so fun!  I did the palm trees with a palette knife which made them more 3D-like (which you can't quite see from the picture).

This picture was taken at the Hanapepe Art Walk this past Friday.  In front of us is Giorgio and his wife, and    next to me is our friend who works on one of the tour boats.

- Emilie

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

SHARK! - Captain Andy's Boat Tour

Emilie and I went out on a Zodiac ride through Captain Andy's. We have been out to the Na Pali Coast many times but had never taken out a Zodiac. This type of boat only holds about 12-15 people and is very small. Due to its size it makes the trip a bumpy one, which we thought would make it fun... it didn't, but other parts of the trip made it worth it!

This is us just getting on our boat. Our group consisted of two Zodiacs but the only thing we did together was eat and snorkel...  I'll touch on the snorkeling at the end...

Because it was a smaller boat and the waves were big, we all got wet but it was worth it because we got to actually go into these sea caves!...

This cave was interesting because once you get inside, you can still see the sky. It was awesome!

Here is the view from inside the cave looking out!

One of many waterfalls flowing  into the ocean...

This is what they call the "Cathedrals" it was an incredible view.

In another cave you can see there was a waterfall coming down from the ceiling. Small but fun.

After lunch we went snorkeling off a beach that is only accessible by boat. The water was very nice and the amount of marine life was incredible! A little too incredible.  I swam through an opening in the reef that looked like a road for fish, it was about 40 ft from the surface of the water. The further I went out, the larger the fish got. They went from 6 inches to a foot. One foot to 3 feet, and 3 feet to 4 feet....then right to 6-7 feet!!!

It was my 1st shark sighting since I have been out in Hawaii. It was awesome.  Thankfully it did not pop up in front of my face. It was a good distance from me, but I was able to catch a glimpse and then head on back to ensure I kept all of my limbs. :-)