Tuesday, July 31, 2012

First Day at School

Today was the kid's first day of school!  I have 16 students in my class this year, grades 2, 3, 4, and 5.  A few of them are new, but most of my class is the same as last year.  It is really great having the same students for a second year in a row.  We had a really good first day together.

I was also able to switch into a bigger classroom this year.  Last year my classroom was also the walkway to get to the bathroom and the copy room.  As you can imagine, I had quite a bit of traffic going through my room every day.  Now, my room is at the back of the school and no one has to walk through it to get to another part of the school.  I'm looking forward to having less interruptions. 

- Emilie

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hiking the Pihea Trail

Emilie and I went on an amazing hike earlier this week. One of the best either of us have ever been on. It was not the distance or the difficulty that made it the best trail we have ever been on. It was the incredible and continuous views!

This hike stats with a wide and downhill path with instant views of the Kalalau Valley! We have tried many times to get a good view of this valley, but the clouds and fog have always been too thick.

Mud was not the only difficult part of this trail. The terrain proved to be a challenge as well. many parts of this trail become very steep and slippery, however it was a welcome challenge for us. It was a unique experience that I would recommend for anyone willing and able to take the trip. If your not up for the mud or the challenging terrain, I much recommend walking the trail the 1st half mile or so. The views are well worth it and make it far more real compared to the look out points that have railings and beams between you and the cliffs. 

We continued on this trail for about 45 minutes when we came to a fork in the road. we opted to continue towards what we thought was a trail to view a water fall. As we walked, the trail became more and more narrow until it eventually came to a point where it dropped 50 feet, forcing us to turn back and re-evaluate our plan.

As we made it back to the fork, I ran into a girl I coach at the Kauai Gymnastics Academy. It was such a surprise to see someone that I knew on this trail. After talking with her we found that we had a few more miles to go to reach the end of the Alakai Swamp Trail. At that point it started to rain slightly and we could tell more would be coming soon. We decided to head back at that point and end this wonderful hike on a high note.

Although the walk back was on the same trail we hiked in on, the views and senery looked completly different. We ran into rock formations that we had missed on the way and also found a great spot to have a picnic!

This is definitely a hike that we will invite all visitors to experience as family and friends come to visit. Depending on the day and the desire of the group we may try the full trail, or just take in some of the most beautiful views on this island.

- Cory

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Our New Place

Right before we left for our trip to Michigan we moved to a new place in Kalaheo.  We will only be there temporarily, but it is great for right now.  We are much closer to the ocean, which is pretty exciting. We were also excited to discover that we have an avocado tree!

I would argue that there could be a hundred avocados on the tree.  We also have a grapefruit tree and several papaya trees.

On a different topic, school starts tomorrow!  This week is only for teachers and the students begin next Tuesday.  I'm excited to get into my classroom and get everything organized and ready for the upcoming year. 

- Emilie

Back to Kauai

After 3 weeks in Michigan, we are back to Kauai.  I thought I would start this post by answering a few questions that I was asked multiple times while in Michigan.

- Hawaii is 6 hours behind Michigan, after day-lights savings time it will be 5 hours behind.
- It was about a 10 hour flight from Hawaii to Michigan.
- The weather in Hawaii is always awesome!  We don't normally check the temperature because it doesn't change much, but we think it is normally between 75 and 85 degrees.  Mostly 85 in the summer months.  It cools down a little in the evening.
- Mail is not delivered to most areas of Kauai.  Everyone has a P.O. Box -- which can get annoying because some stores don't ship to P.O. Boxes.
- Not very many people speak Hawaiian.  You probably won't here anyone speaking in Hawaiian if you come here on vacation.  You will here a few words such as aloha (hello), mahalo (thank you), and ono (delicious).
- Most of the street names are in Hawaiian.

Feel free to ask me any other questions and I will try my best to answer them for you.
- Emilie