SuperTiph and an Umbrella

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mr Tanner, it's your dry sense of humour I'll miss most...

Well, my final blog from the land of the lucky, and weren't they lucky to have me? :P

I'll keep this short, I am running on battery and sitting in an airport right now. I have been so blessed by all the people I have encountered on my journey and I'm looking forward to going home and telling everyone there about how cool my people are.

I'm looking forward to finding out what the next chapter of the adventure involves, and I'll be sure to keep all the updates right here, so my global network can check in on me and make sure I'm still causing trouble.

So I'll miss some of you and I look forward to seeing the rest of you.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Steph and Michelle are on the way to New Zealand (Hawai'i week 2)

Week 2 of the Hawaiian trip has come and gone. It was an interesting week. Last Wednesday evening we went to a luau that was exciting. The Island Breeze Keikei (children) had a Christmas performance for us, which was very cute.

Then we saw the pig being removed from the imu and watched a renactment of the landing of the royal family and learned about some Hawaiian history.

We ate an amazing amount of food and watched dances from several Polynesian islands.

The fire dancer was pretty exciting as well.

The following day we went to Hilo on the other side of the island. On the was we stopped at the Akaka falls, the tallest waterfall on the island. It was pretty sweet.

I took some pictures of the messages on the side of the highway. People write things with the white rocks to contrast with the dark rock. I found a place near the bay where I could write my own and take pictures.

Over the weekend I was sick with a virus that's been hanging around the island for weeks. I'm feeling much better now.

We spent Christmas Day at the beach and it was a pretty low key kind of day.

Yesterday we went to the Mauna Kea beach, which was a really nice beach. No rocks at this beach. I made a camel and a turtle out of sand, both of which disappeared pretty quickly after the photos were taken, thanks to a certain 4 year old's enthusiasm for destruction.

There's only another 5 days lefft before we're back in LA and only 18 days of work left.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I dreamt I was driving a porcelain bus (Hawai'i - week 1)

Hard to believe I've been here a whole week, but it's true! Last Wednesday morning we got up bright and early and made our way to the airport, ready to go on our trip to the middle of the Pacific. Unfortunately, our flight was delayed, which induced many, many rounds of "eye spy" along with sentiments like, "Tiiiiiiiiiiph, how long is this going to take? I'm bored. I'm hungry. I don't like this. I don't want to go on a big plane etc etc etc".
Thankfully I was seated away from the two four year olds. While there was room to join them in economy plus (which means a little more leg
room), I didn't. Not just because 6 hours with those two can be trying, but also because I had a window seat, and the occupant of the aisle seat was the "fall asleep during the safety demonstration video and wake up in time to hear them tell us to put our seatbelts on to land" variety.
But we made it, safe and sound. It's kind of what you expect of Hawai'i and kind of not. It's not Continental US, but it's commercialised enough that you don't quite feel like it's the islands. It is hot for winter though. These are the low temperatures of the year, and in my opinion,
should be the warmest it ever gets.
To your left is a shot of snow covered Mauna Kea, that I would desperately love to take a trip up, but it just isn't going to happen thanks to my work schedule, and the fact that my employers have zero desire to spend any of their winter in winter conditions.
There's also a shot of me lying at the A Bay. It's very, very windy some days, and often you can't stay at the beach too long, because the wind picks up the sand and it starts stinging.
We made a trip to the other side of the island, where the tropical rainforest conditions are. We experienced a nice cool change in temperature, and lots of spasmodic showers. Thsi created a nice rainbow that the kids really liked. The coastline was quite impressive, due to all the cliffs and there were a couple of nice waterfalls as well.
The Kona Christmas Parade was on the cards. It was a great afternoon turned evening out. The parade lasted almost 2 hours, but the kids were well behaved and at least half of the 60 entries in the parade handed out lollies. Thankfully we talked the kids into letting us hold them, making the ruthless culling a little easier.
While in Kona, I had about half an hour to explore on my own. Hawai'i has some similarities to Queensland, so I've taken to it a little. The locals are really friendly, and I'm making an effort with some simple Hawaiian just to be polite. This sign isn't one you'd be likely to see in many places on the mainland, but I was wondering if I should investigate in finding something similar to take home.

Today we went to the Seahorse farm, which was quite fascinating. Since seahorses are now endangered, a couple here in Hawai'i decided to try and breed them in captivity, so they could be sold, rather than being taken from the ocean. They've been in operation for 9 years, so they've been successful. I also got to hold a seahorse, which is pretty exciting, I have to say.
So that's what I've been up to in the last week. I still have 2 more weeks here. There's plenty of interesting things on the agenda: a luau, a trip to Hilo on the east side of the island, not to mention Christmas and New Year's Eve. I've taken plenty of other photos as well, so there will be no shortage of those upon my return.
Comment away!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

You told me, eye crispies, gross!

Much has been happening since I last checked in and blogged for the 3 people who read it.

I have surived the major holidays that don't get celebrated in Australia: Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Halloween was so much fun, with everyone dressing up and all the sugary delights you can (or in most cases can't) handle.

We had a good litle party for ourselves, and the festivities wouldn't have been complete without carving pumpkins. I have to say, for my first go, it wasn't too bad an effort.

Thanksgiving was quite enjoyable, but I didn't get too many photos. I did get a few and I will post those in the not too distant future.
In other news, I went to the SoCal Deathfest last weekend. Unfortunately the mosh pits were only happening for the worst of bands. Sad. It's okay, death metal won't be in forever, and we'll get back to metalcore and power metal and the rest of the real stuff.
Tomorrow I will be headed to Magic Mountain to test my ability to withstand all those rollercoasters on Rollercoaster Tycoon.
There will be more again in the not too distant future. Comment away, readers (all 3 of you)!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Well pin a rose on your nose!

I've been quite busy in the past few weeks and consequently that has meant no blog updates. Not that anyone really reads them I guess. Do they? If you read my blog please comment (even anonymously) to let me know you read it.

The pictures are from my recent visit to Venice Beach. It's a bit touristy (and decidedly dirty), but it's worth going at least once. The first picture is of some very expensive handmade star wars figures. They're pretty cool, the photo does them no justice.

I've met a new Au Pair from Norway, Mona who is very friendly and we spend a bit of time together. There's been a decent arrival of new Au Pairs to the South Bay in the last month, but they're all European and want to spend time with each other and tend to ignore my invitations to spend time. That's okay with me, I'm not lacking friends, just trying to be hospitable. Mona's lots of fun though, she's the blonde girl in the photo below.

Halloween is on our doorstep and it's quite an ordeal in this part of the world. I understand why this time of year is referred to as the "Holiday Season." While back home we use this term to describe the shemozzle that surrounds Christmas. I'm sure there's tinsel and advent calendars everywhere back home. The thing is, Christmas is well and truly at the back of our minds right now. We have to get through Halloween and then we have Thanksgiving to deal with. No one is worried about Christmas at all. It's all a bit mad if you ask me. Regardless, I'm going pumpkin carving this Sunday for my Au Pair meeting, which I'm excited about. I'm also going to see Steven Curtis Chapman, Sanctus Real and Bethany Dillon this weekend.

Thank you to those who have been a little concerned about the fires in Socal. I'm at no risk. There's no trees here and most of the fires are being pretty contained right now.

And that would be the latest, so please, comment away!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

We always go to Chinatown, lets go to China

For those of you who missed the news, I went to San Francisco again a few weeks ago and spent a few days in the city, but what I liked best was going to Alcatraz. It was very interesting and should you ever get the chance, I recommend you go.
More recently, a week ago, I went to Disneyland again. It was lots of fun, because this time I got to go for me. We managed to go on about as many rides as you can cram into a day, saw some of the parade, the fireworks and ended the day with big thunder mountain railroad (apparently the deadliest ride at Disneyland).
Here are some shots from Alcatraz and Disneyland:

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Maybe you don't see the crown on my head

Well, well, well, what to say about Hume Lake? It was FANTASTIC!

I was in charge of a cabin of 8 girls, many of whom were 'sons'. The surnames of 5 of the girls in my cabin ended in 'son': Watson, Richardson, Hutchinson, Wilkerson and Thompson. Unbelievable. They were a lively bunch, and we played many rousing games of cards (the best of course being agressive spoons with the rec leader Megan and our lead counsilor, Amy). Other exciting events in our cabin included vegemite tasting and the building of our anti-terrorist teepee. This was supplimented by the "sarah-ists" jumping into my bed every night as soon as the lights were out.

Chapel was twice a day, rec was every morning and free time every afternoon. During free time I engaged in such activities as the high ropes course where I managed to score a technicoloured rope burn and meet Chris: Camp Champ from Oregon (and the other peoples from Oregon too); and also the wonder that is the blob. The blob is situated on the pond and is a large, inflatable, sausage type thing that is anchored at the edge of the pond beneath a platform and stretches out to the middle of the body of water. One very suspecting fool jumps off the platform and crawls to the end of the blob that is in the middle of the pond and then, once settled, their partner launches of the platform and lands on the blob beneath the platform, causing the person on the other end to be catapulted into the sky and wind up in the freezing water below. I challenge you to find a more amusing way to employ air, water and some vinyl.

For recreation we were split into 28 sub teams, and 2 large teams (with 14 sub teams each). My large team was the blue team: Ingimar (the theme was vikings) and our sub team got the very coolest team name imaginable: Haasg-um-Dumpkin. Out of 11 weeks of camp, the staff had never heard a decent war cry come from the Haasg-um-Dumpkin team, but our's were sensational.

"Haasg-um-Dumpkin is hyphenated, everyone else is overrated!!"

"It's Haasg-um-Dumpkin time, Haasg-um-Dumpkin time, Haasg-um-Dumpkin, Haasg-um-Dumpkin, Haasg-um-Dumpkin and a viking axe!"

Apart from that is was genrally an awesome camp week, which left me exhausted and happy as Loony Larry (or Crazy Larry as PJ put it in his last message). I purchased the Mega DVD that has some great pictures and video footage, and I will post some of my own pictures shortly.