Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Camping at Lydgate

Last weekend we went on a two-day camping trip at Lydgate park.  If you look on the map, it is near Wailua.  We have discovered that Lydgate is very convenient for us because it is far enough from Hanapepe to feel like we are going on a trip but the park is close to the grocery store (which is actually quite helpful). 

After work on Friday we were able to leave right away and just pick up food on the way.  It was really nice being able to stay for two days, it felt a lot longer.  I love being able to wake up and already be at the beach with everything I need.  We spent the entire day on Saturday just relaxing.

 We enjoyed watching the sunrise!

 This was the view from our tent!  I love sleeping to the sound of the ocean.

 We recently got a new tent.  It is HUGE!  I think the dimensions are 16x11.  I don't think we would use it on a one night trip, but it is great for multiple nights.  We figured we could also use it when people come to visit us, if they want to go camping.
- Emilie

Fall Break

Believe it or not, today was the end of our first quarter of the school year!  It went by really fast.  I have the next two days to complete report cards and attend a professional development day, and then we have a week off for fall break.  The best part is that my friend Staci is coming to visit!  We are planning to go camping at Polihale and on the North Shore. 

I decided that I like the school year schedule here better than in Michigan.  We start at the very end of July but school is out in the middle of May.  It is so nice to have a break in the fall.  The stretch from September till the tiny Thanksgiving break always seemed too long.

The past two weeks have been pretty busy at school though.  We went on a field trip last week for a song contest between the four Hawaiian schools on the island.  Their was quite a bit of dialogue between each group's performance, and since it was all in Hawaiian I was not always exactly sure what was going on.  Luckily my friend/co-worker filled me in afterward.

The next day, my 4th and 5th graders went on a field trip to a science fair with the middle school students and  high school science teacher. 

Today, our whole school went bowling!  It was nice to do something extra fun the day before break.  It was my first time in a bowling alley since Cory and I bowled at Ypsi-Arbor bowl about two years ago!  I definitely did not impress my students with my bowling skills, haha. 

 - Emilie

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Learning Hawaiian

I have slowly but surely been learning little bits of the Hawaiian language.  I don't know very much (believe me), but I am proud to say that I can finally say the Lord's Prayer in Hawaiian (without too many mistakes).  It took me long enough, considering we say it three times each morning as a whole school.  If you have ever listened to someone speak a language that you don't know, you will understand how it sounds like they are talking really fast.  It can be hard to hear the separation of words.  I definitely still get mixed up at times during the prayer, but I can follow along if I listen closely and when I don't stumble over words. 

I also tell my students good morning in Hawaiian and a few other common phrases.  In order to get a drink of water or go to the bathroom they have to ask me in Hawaiian.  I'm becoming a little more comfortable trying out new words that I learn with my class.  It feels strange saying things in a different language, even though it is only a few words and phrases here and there.  I can't formulate sentences but I can recognize some words.  I'm writing checks in Hawaiian now, it is allowed here since Hawaiian is a legal language.  My friend taught me how to write the numbers.

Here are some words for you!

Aloha Kakahiaka - Good Morning
E kala mai - Excuse me

Mahalo - Thank you

Pehea 'oe? - How are you?

Maika'i - Good

'A'ole - No

'Ae - Yes
- Emilie

Monday, September 10, 2012

Exploring Hanapepe

We discovered that there is a levee along the Hanapepe River that people use as a walking path. It is just a little ways from our apartment and offers great views of the surrounding cliffs and of the river.  I think that it would be a good place to go running.  There is also a suspension bridge that goes across the river and straight into town.  You may notice that the land appears to be a little dry, that is because Hanapepe is on the west side of the island where it is not as tropical.

This is the first thing I saw when I turned the corner onto the path.

This is what the path looks like in the other direction facing towards where we live.

 The suspension bridge.

 Nice view of the cliff and the river.  Do you see the houses on top of the cliff?

- Emilie

Vertical Rainbow

Last week on the way to school I saw a really pretty rainbow.  It looked like it was vertical instead of arched.  I looked it up online and I found out that rainbows can appear to be vertical at sunrise and sunset because of the angle of the sun.  The pictures don't do it justice!  It was gorgeous!  Plus, the view of Niihau was unusually clear that morning as well.  Sometimes I can't even see it, but on that day it looked like it had moved closer to Kauai over night.

My friend from work told me that different kinds of rainbows have different names in Hawaiian.  This one is called kahili.  The general word for rainbow is anuenue.  Certain rainbows also have special meanings. 

- Emilie

Monday, September 3, 2012

Our New Place

We are all moved in to our new place, and we love it!  It was a lot of work because both of us have been sick, and moving all our stuff was exhausting. We are thankful that we had a three-day weekend to rest a little.  Our new place is very quiet and pleasant.  We can't hear the ocean, but we can feel the breeze. We can walk to a nice swimming beach, a gym get into shape, restaurants to get out of shape, and a wide variety of small art galleries.   We realized that we have accumulated quite a bit of stuff since moving to Kauai.  When we came here originally we only had two carry-on suitcases and two checked bags.  But how can you live by the ocean without beach chairs, snorkel equipment, a boogie board, etc?

 The view from our front porch.  

 I love the flowers!

 Our kitchen.

 Our folding camping table is currently our kitchen table as well.  

 Attention Visitors: You will be sleeping here.  It folds out.

 We haven't had one of these in a year!  It will be nice not having to watch movies on our computer.

We are thinking about getting a surf board.  Several of the people who are visiting this year want to go surfing.  Instead of them paying to rent a board we are thinking they could contribute that amount toward us buying one.  They only cost about $100 at Costco.  I don't have a huge desire to learn to surf, but it would be fun. I recently met someone at a garage sale who told Cory and I that, "You two must be surfers, I can just tell."  That made me laugh.  Usually when we meet people they ask us where we are visiting from.  It gets a little annoying after awhile, but we can't blame them because there are so many visitors that it is a fair question.

Today I found out that a local  artist is offering is offering five free painting classes in October.  I'm really excited!  I'm definitely going to go to them.  I love free things and I love art/crafty things. A little while back I bought a few art supplies and tried a few things, but I'm excited to go to a class.  There are plenty of beautiful things around me for inspiration.

- Emilie and Cory