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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

All I Have to Do Is Take a Look at You

Fairwell Hawaii. Peter took this on his iphone as we borded the plane in Kona.
I am still jet lagged. I've never felt so tired. If I get up befor 8 am it is all I can do to remain awake all day. I am so dead tired by afternoon, I so want to nap. I have heard flying West to East is the hardest. I can't get over the 3 hour morning difference. Getting up at 6am is 3am in Hawaii.
I didn't expect it to take me a week and still feel tired. But truly, I think 12 hour days outside, in full sun were so good for my body that it is in sunshine withdrawl.
Pip is napping (her ears are stil not fully healed). Tabs is at dance and I just picked Mist up from volleyball. Mist has to be at a band concert in 1/2 h. When Peter gets home at 6ish (any time now) I may ask him to attend as I have to wait for Tabs to come home, make her supper and try and wake up Pip and feed her supper too. Because of the busy evening I got burrito take-out from Taco Del Mar. You know me and Mexican food--my favorite.
Starting yet another new workout routine. Having to rework everything as time permits. No longer do I have time for hour long classes in the mornings. MWF I will lift weights and do 20 min on the bike hard-core. T,TH I will run. Sat-am Bikram yoga. Wed night Zumba dance. And Sunday is family sport day.
I need more weight lifting as I find it is the easiest, least time-consuming way to have a cut, trim body.
And I am starting (or trying) Monday evening Buddhust meditation and readings at the Yoga House. I am looking forward to it as I need my Sanga! It has been so difficult to find a buddhist sanga (community) in Kelowna. There is no doubt that evening meditations give my mind peace and optimism.
I again must share how much joy my three daughters bring me. No matter what difficulties I am dealing with, when I see each one of them, I am filled with inner peace, relief and joy. They are all rays of sunshine and joy in my life. I am so blessed to have this wonderous human connection with my girls.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hawi, Hawaii

Just a few pics of my favorite little Hawaiian town: Hawi. This is one major reason why I love The Big Island so much: it is still old, rural Hawaii.
I forgot to mention that our plane flew right over Maui on the way home and I had an unbelievable bird's eye view of the volcanic craters glowing deep red--please check out this web site for further Maui volcanic activity: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanoes/haleakala/
Enjoying my boy Fernando a whole lot. All he needs is two hours a day playing with his cousin--The Fozz--and he is a wonderful pug.
The girls had a PJ party last night with their cousins and a neighbor--they ate cookies and chips and watched the latest mermaid movie.
Peter and I rented 2012--very Hollywood special effects burdened--but entertaining enough. I liked the Tibetan temple in the Himalayas.
We have been invited to join the cousins at the H2o Centre this morning. I am undecided but I must act quickly if we are to go. It is odd--I lived in my bikinis in Hawaii but back home it seems a litle foreign to pull one on at this hour.
Still in culture shock--missing my Hawaii much. Tomorrow though, I have vowed to get back into my strict Canadian routine.
--spell checker still out--forgive mistakes please!

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Hawaiian Botanical Garden

As promised, pics from the botanical garden. Flowers include orchids, a honey comb flower and cocoa pods. The garden is a tropical paradsie complete with warm rain, bird callings, waterfalls and a fierce ocean crashing on the rocky shores. The large lava rock in the ocean picture is said to be two young Hawaiian lovers, who sacrificed themselves to the ocean voluntarily to prevent an impending attack from a rival tribe approaching the shore. It is said that the next morning, the attackers had fled and the young lovers bodies had vanished and in their place was the pointed lava rock--gaurding the shore. Very sad, as so many ancient Hawaiians sacrificed their lives willingly (and often unwillingly) to the Hawiian Gods.
I am trying to back back into the swing on BC life. However, the time change is difficult. I m fortunate that my next class doesn't start for a few weeks so I am literally taking things easy--adjusting super slowly. Although, I do want to get things right this time around! I left for Hawaii after a VERY stressful winter: acute and chronic gastritis, my dad's emergency health crisis and relationship stress! So, now that I am back, I will continue to follow Buddhist philosophy to balance my life and improve it. One thing I must be vigilant about is karma. Good family karma. It is easy to think that one is coping as best they can but when family karma is negative, the coping mechanism isn't the right one. So, I shall follow the buddhist philosophy for good karma--slowly and thoughtfully this time around. Changes are certain. But they will prove to be postitive changes.
PS My mistaya is home finally and arrived lloking most elegant in a new (one of a kind) Hawiian dress and cropped cardigan she purchased for herself in Spokane on the way home. She thoroughly enjoyed travellling as one of Auntie T's family. 
Also, Fernando is a little powerhouse of love. I am really feeling good about his training. I make him sit before I answer the front door and insist he stay sitting and that way he is no longer agressive to our house guests. 2 weeks with Miranda, John and the Fozz seems to have been very good for my boy!

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Big Island Love

On my last morning in Hawaii, Pip, Tabs and I went looking for shells. In one tide pool we found a baby eel. It was about 6 inches long, black with white polka dots on its body--blending perfectly with the lack lava rock and white coral. Mistaya had seen a large one of these very same eels while snorkeling at another beach. It was very shy and tried to hide under rocks to avoid my prying eyes.
The flight home was tiring and I am still on Hawiian time. Hawaii is 3 hours earlier so getting up at 7am is 4am Hawaii time. Peter left early this morning to pick up Mistaya from Nelson. He is meeting Auntie T in Castlegar and driving back with our Mist.
Pip was too tired to go to preschool so I've kept her at home today. I have to take the oldest girls to piano this afternoon. Back to the grind already.
I am planning to use my knowledge from Hawaii to better my life. Little things I've learned. Such as, I need more vitamin D all winter long! I'm going to start painting for $. I love donkey balls!--had to put that one in--donkey balls are made at only one shop on the Big Island, just outside of Kona. They are giant balls of chocolate with a macadamia nut in the middle. The size, shape and texture of the chocolate balls makes them irrisistable. I am incorporating things subtly, to enrich my life. The Hawaiian culture is unique and fascinating. I loved people watching as much as whale and turtle watching.
The Okanagan has provided me with a kind introduction back into Canadian culture--the weather is beautiful, much like a Waimea morning in temperature.
* My spell checker has decided to go on the ftitz again so please be patient with any mistakes you encounter!

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Big Island Boogie Boarding

Pics of the entire gang at the beach: Tabs body surfing, Theresa and Pip looking glam, Mistaya, Joop, Peter, Kyran and I at various stages of boarding. The South Pacific Ocean is asthetic in every way. It looks beautiful, feels silky and warm on the skin, sounds wonderous, smells fresh, and doesn't even taste too bad--just salty. Yet still...its power never leaves my pysche for a moment. Every moment of enjoyment coexists with a moment of great thankfulness for the great priviledge to be there, sharing the ocean with so many other wonderous creatures. As well as with a moment of alertness, always noticing any subtle change--have the waves/current changed in size? Direction? Force? Depth? Clarity? Temperature? Are  the seacreatures changing in size? Number? Speicies? Everytime I spotted a new amazing sea creature my excitement was tinged with slight fear--what if the next creature is something a little bit too big, with perhaps too many sharp teeth? It is like any sport worth persuing--always a little fear to add to the thrill of it.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Akaka Falls

Yesterday was a very busy day. I am still pooped from it.
We awoke, drove to Waimea to pick up Mistaya. Then we drove down the opposite coast toward the falls. Akaka Falls is more than a  400 ft drop. We walked on a trail through amazing, thick jungle--vines with tropical flowers wrapping around huge trees. The falls and the walk in to see them were fantastical in their beauty. It was surreal to be in places I've only ever dreamed of: thick tropical jungles, with paradise water falls.
Next, we drove further down the coast to the Hawaiian Botanical Gardens. I will highlight the gardens in a later post. It rained and rained on us but was is a very warm, humid rain.
Then we raced back to the other side of the island to Hapuna beach to meet T and family for boogie boarding. The waves were perfect, not too big and not too small.  It was very relaxing, floating in the warm, silky ocean water, waiting for the next wave.  T decided to snorkel and she must have been in the water at least an hour. Joop joined her and the two disappeared behind a lava shelf jutting into the ocean. The sun was starting to set. I wondered how close I'd let the sun get to the ocean before I called in the rescue team to look for the snorkelers. They eventually returned, to my relief. I asked T how she could stand being in deep water and waves for so long. She said it is like she gets hypnotized snorkeling in the ocean and looses track of time.
We headed back to our Waikola condo to freshen up and then drove back to Waimea to meet T and crew for supper at a Mexican restaurant (Big Island/ surf style). It was Theresa, Joop, Kyran and Mistaya's last night in Hawaii, as they fly back a day before us.
I was so pooped by the time we arrived home to the condo. I awoke at 3 am and felt sick. Perhaps food poisoning. I felt very fainty and ill. I turned on the light and my computer until it passed (about an hour).
I miss my Misty all ready!
Peter and I were both a titch off today in our tummies. This morning we snorkeled and looked for shells at The Fairmont beaches.
I know why there are no shells on the shore: local guys get up at dawn and cast nets to collect all the best shells.
We spent the afternoon tidying up then went for supper at Queen's shops. We went to "A Bay" to see the sun set. Afterward we walked to the Hilton grounds and took an evening boat cruise. The girls and Peter enjoyed that.
Now we are back at the condo. I am still pooped. I need a day or two just lounging at the condo and reading. But alas, we are homeward bound tomorrow. We have played hard in Hawaii.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau (City of Refuge)

Pictures top to bottom:
 -girls running through the Royal Grounds (ancient site of Royal City).
-me as Queen Ka'ahumanu, wife of King Kamehameha I--she swam a long distance to the City of Refuge after a fight with her husband and hid under this rock. Her barking dog gave her away though.
-the lush beauty of this royal/sacred site: coconut trees and noni trees.
-two ki'i guards--protecting the City of Refuge.
-a temple at the City of Refuge entrance. The area of refuge is surrounded by a lava stone wall built in 1500. It was a place for those who had broken the laws of kapu. If they managed to escape and swim to these shores, they were granted asylum and could return to their former lives unharmed. Penalty for breaking kapu was always death. The ancient Hawaiians were really  into human sacrifice and cannibalism (pre 1870). Kapu laws were easy to break--if a woman ate with men, if a commoner's shadow fell upon royal grounds , etc.
-playing an ancient Hawaiian board game with m'girls.
-me, trying to guide us safely to the City of Refuge over royal grounds (without breaking any kapu).
-Peter on Gilligan's Island (I felt like we were on Gilligan's Island--the royal grounds were so picturesque and beautiful).
-our hut.
-me looking for shells in the tidal pools of the City of Refuge. The atmosphere was calm and serene
inside the tall lava walls.

After a tour of the City of Refuge, we stopped at a fabric shop that has been in business over 70 years. Theresa suggested it. It is filled with gorgeous Hawaiian printed fabrics. I bought enough fabric to make 2 roman blinds for the girls' rooms.
Then we met T and crew at a beach known for great snorkeling: Kalu'u (? will check this later).
It was incredible snorkeling. The minute I put my face in the water (even right at the shore line in 2' of water) the ocean was teaming with mutlicoloured, striped and polka-dotted fish in all sizes and shapes. It was like swimming in a well-stocked salt water aquarium.
All was well except the ocean currents were very strong that day and further out the surfers were lined up, surfing the big waves.
I used to think I was a surfer girl, because I've always loved the water--but no--not so much anymore. To go to where you catch the big waves, you must be way, way out, in the deep, deep, open ocean in crazy currents and shark filled waters. It is a death wish. No, boogie boarding closer to shore is all I want to do.
The day turned into one of my most frightening to date. I decided to go out for a second snorkel by myself, despite harsh current--I was going to stay fairly shallow--the fish were just too plentiful to not hang out with them again!
Eventually I felt  someone grab my arm, I popped up to find a woman holding onto me, I said, "Sorry?" Using sorry in the British way as a way of saying, "How can I help you?" It was Theresa! I didn't recognize her in her mask. Anyway, she said, "Follow me, there is more coral over there and lots of turtles." I followed and sure enough there were giant bouquets of cauliflower coral in bright, phosphorus yellow and green. We were no longer in shallow water. When I peeked my head up and saw the line up of surfers, I realized we were heading for open ocean. The current and taken us way off course very quickly and into deep open water. Theresa yelled something muffled. I took off my mask and shouted "What?" She took off her mouth piece and said, "Let's go back." The sound of her voice raised alarm in me--I thought she'd seen a shark but didn't want me to all out panic. I headed for shore as fast as I could. But I realized shore was very far away and we were in deep ocean. The current was insanely strong. I could barely make it through. At one point I was spent--I was too tired and the ocean too deep to rest. I couldn't get enough oxygen. I took off my mask and swallowed a few mouth fulls of sea water as the waves were rough. I looked around for Theresa, she was far behind me. I started to panic, I felt I couldn't make it to shore, I was getting too tired fighting the current. I put my mask back on and scoured the bottom of the ocean for a large rock that perhaps I could stand on to rest and reach the surface. I finally found one but the current was too strong and the water splashing over my head so I had to move on. I spotted a man in the distance holding a child. The ocean was up to his neck. I figured if I could make it to him, he was probably standing, as he was holding a child. I focused on just getting to him. I made it. But even standing where he was proved difficult as the current wanted to suck me back out and my strength was spent. I finally pushed onward to shore and turned around to see Theresa fighting with her mask in water shallow enough to stand in. But I could tell she was spent too.

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