Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dolphins and Whales

Andrew, Natalie, and Becky have been here all week visiting us!  On Monday, we went on a boat tour with Holo Holo Charters. We think that the boat tour is one of the best things to do out here.  You get to spend a half-day out on the ocean and see some amazing views of the coast and lots of sea life.  Plus, they  feed you breakfast and lunch.  We got especially lucky as  far as seeing sea life on this trip.  There were tons of spinner dolphins!  They are so much fun to watch.  They literally jump out of the air and spin.  They travel in groups so we got to see a lot of them.  We also saw several whales.  They were extremely  close to the boat.  It was incredible!  It is crazy to see an animal that big coming out of the water.  Unfortunately, none of us had our cameras on us at the moment, but pictures probably wouldn't have done it justice anyways.

We did get a good video of the dolphins.  Click on the link below! :)
 Spinner Dolphins

Do you see the dolphin that is in mid-air?!  It was so cool!

 The Na Pali Coast


- Emilie

KANAKA Christmas Program 2012

Last Friday was our school Christmas program!   It was held at the Kekaha Neighborhood Center which is just minutes away from the school.  The kids have spent time over the past month learning new hula dances and practicing singing Christmas carols in Hawaiian to get ready for the program.  We also spent two afternoons at the neighborhood center to practice what it would be like performing there instead of at school.  It was a treat for everybody to go there because it is right on the ocean which makes it so enjoyable.  Plus, they have a great playground which our students loved getting a chance to play on.

 This is the neighborhood center.

 This isn't the best picture, but we had a lot of great Christmas decorations and a stage set up.  Teachers stand behind the students as they perform as a sign of our support of them.

Every student received a Christmas gift at the end of the program.

 All of the girls wore white muumuu's to the program.  The students also had lei's that had been spray painted gold.  They were very pretty.

 The hula teacher made about a dozen of these beautiful wreaths to use as decorations.  We got to take this one home at the end of the night.  It is so pretty!  I always wanted a wreath for my door too!

The most special part of the night was receiving these beautiful earrings from the family of one of my students.  They are hand-made from the famous Niihau shells.  I am  so appreciative that I got such a special gift because I know how much work goes into making them.  First, they have to find each shell (which must be hard since the shells are so tiny).  Then they have to carefully clean out the sand and poke holes in them (I have been told that this is hard to do without breaking them).  Next of course they need to be strung and  made into the earrings.  It is hard to describe what a special gift this was.

If you are interested in a more detailed description of how the jewerly is made, or for more information about Niihau, the link below is to a great site.

- Emilie

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Kauai Coffee Open House

On Saturday, Kauai Coffee had a holiday open house.  We always love going there for the free coffee samples and the little self-guided walking tour through the coffee field.  This weekend they were offering free shipping to the mainland so they had a lot of customers!  They also had a visit from Santa, games, and a small petting zoo.  One of the games was to guess how many tablespoons of coffee would fit into a gigantic mug.  We won! They gave us a gift card and I picked out the hoodie that I'm wearing in the picture.

- Emilie

Sunday, December 2, 2012


It is hard to believe that it is already December.  In two weeks it will be Christmas break and Natalie, Andrew, and Becky will be here!  It has been a little colder here lately (low 70s and high 60s) in the morning.  The whales are starting to come back now too.  If we go on another boat tour over break I hope we see some!

At school the students are getting ready for the Christmas program and parade.  My class is going to make salt-dough ornaments for the kids to take home for their families.  The school garden has grown quite well and we are going to be eating some of the vegetables that we planted in the fall at some point this week.  One of my students asked me if I am Hawaiian because she said I have Hawaiian looking feet.  How funny :)

The hula teacher gave me this pretty basket as a Christmas gift.  He is very talented at making things from the plants and flowers here.  Next week we will start making leis for the Christmas program.

Over the weekend we went to an art fair in Kapa'a.  They have one on the first Saturday of every month.  There were lots of little crafty things for sale, artwork, jewelry, live music and food.  The atmosphere there is a lot like down town Ann Arbor.  We some some little girls doing fire spinning, they were really good!

- Emilie