Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Each year my school has a pumpkin-carving contest on Halloween.  The kids had so much fun! My class found some ideas online earlier in the week and decided on a hamburger pumpkin.  It turned out really good.  I brought in some real lettuce and the McDonalds fries holder to go with it.  One of my students brought in an onion from home to put on the "burger".  As you can imagine, there was a lot of excitement in the room with the pumpkin carving happening.  Cory and I combined classes for the day and rotated the kids through learning stations, each of us having a station for pumpkin carving.  It was a good way to give everyone a turn carving the pumpkin and continue to have  productive learning activities going on. 

This is our finished pumpkin.  We won first place!

This is the pumpkin that Cory's class carved.  Not bad for kindergarten and first grade!

- Emilie



Monday, October 29, 2012

Tsunami Warning

On Saturday night Cory and I were going to a Halloween party in Lihue.  First, we stopped at a store and while we were there, something about a Tsunami came on the TV.  Cory thought it was old, so we ignored it (they often play old footage of a major hurricane that hit Kauai 20 years ago).  We got in the car and an alert came on the radio, so we changed the station.  The alert came on the new radio station that we turned to, so we finally decided to listen to it.  We discovered that there was an earthquake near Canada and "a tsunami has been generated and the first wave is predicted to hit Hawaii at 10:28 p.m."

Before long, sirens were going off, evacuation centers were opening, and roads were closed to everyone except those evacuating.  We were at our friend's house that is quite a ways inland and blocked by mountains, so we didn't have to evacuate.  We kept checking the news for more information, but I guess tsunami's are unpredictable and we were supposed to prepare for the worst.  Apparently, in Honolulu so many people were evacuating and the traffic was so bad that some people left their cars to start walking toward the mountains.  Turns out, it was a false alarm.  The earthquake only generated a 6 inch wave! Yes, six inches, not six foot (not that a 6 foot wave would have been a big deal either)!  I think Maui got a 5 foot wave.  The regular waves out here are bigger than the "tsunami waves" were.  Hopefully we will never experience a dangerous tsunami though!

- Emilie

Monday, October 22, 2012

Painting Class

I've been going to an oil-painting class every Sunday for the past few weeks.  I have always enjoyed making artwork and going to these classes has really helped me understand how to get started.  Here is my first painting!  I am excited to do more :)


- Emilie

Princess Ka'iulani Festival

It has been awhile since I have had time to write!  We have been extra busy these past few weeks.  This past weekend we went to the Princess Ka'iulani Festival in Hanapepe. One of the high school students at my school was portraying the princess for the day.


Princess Ka'iulani was the last princess of Hawaii.  The festival was obviously about remembering her, but there was also an emphasis on Niihau.  My school set up a "Niihau Village".  In the center was a stage where our school performed the hula.  Several other groups performed as well.  In another section there was Niihau style pancakes which are only made with flour and water.  Instead of syrup they put sweetened condensed milk on top.  There was also someone there telling stories about the boat ride from Niihau to Kauai.  My favorite area was where they were demonstrating how the famous Niihau shell jewelry is made.  It is very delicate work!

 This is what a Niihau Shell Necklace looks like.  In the center of this necklace  is a sunrise shell, one of my favorite kind of shells!  They are really popular here. 

During the festival there was a children's talent show.  One of the kids that Cory coaches was there and convinced him to spot her on a back-tuck during her performance.  One of my students told the story of the three little pigs for her talent, it was pretty cute.

There was also a "parade" - but really it was only the kids at the festival getting dressed up in costumes and walking down the street.  The people who organized the festival provided costumes for the kids which was pretty nice. I still can't get over how funny it is to see kids in Halloween costumes in 80 degree weather :)



- Emilie

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cory's New Job

Cory starts a new part-time job tomorrow!  He was hired as an "emergency" teacher at the school that I work at.  In a sense, it is kind of like a long-term sub job. He will be teaching Kindergarten and 1st grade two days a week.  We are pretty excited because Cory has been thinking about returning to school to become a teacher.  This will be a great opportunity for him to see how he likes it.  Luckily, he has substitute teaching and coaching experience -- not to mention I will be next door!  I think he is going to be a great teacher.  

- Emilie

Na Pali and Niihau Boat Tour

Over fall break we went on Holo Holo Charters "Na Pali and Niihau" tour!  First we went up the Na Pali coast, and then across to Niihau.  Since Niihau is privately owned, we were not able to set foot on the island.  It was nice to see it up close though, especially after only seeing it as a hazy blur for the past year!  We stopped at a crater called Lehua to go snorkeling.  Lehua is basically an uninhabited huge rock and a bird sanctuary.  We saw a monk seal sleeping on the rocky shore.  The snorkeling was definitely the best I have every done!  The water was incredibly blue and clear.  There were really cool rock formations under the surface which was fun to look at.  The water was pretty deep, which is actually how I prefer to snorkel.  Of courses, there were plenty of interesting colorful fish to look at too.  After snorkeling we had some delicious sandwiches on the boat and headed back.  We had a great time!

 Lehua Keyhole

 Lehua

 Niihau




For more information about Lehua:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lehua

- Emilie