Archive for April, 2009

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maui photos cont’d

April 28, 2009

It hasn’t even been a week and already my memories of the sun and the sand are fading.  Darned Alberta spring’s which bring a mix of sun and snow.  I’m not actually bitter but I’m worried that a snow storm will get in the way of birthday celebrations with friends from afar as they have for the past two years.  Anyways, onto the main subject of this post – photos!

dsc_0176Today I’m focusing on what was definitely a highlight of the trip and one of the only pieces that won’t be hampered by the stubborn little detail of an unfinished roll of film in the underwater camera.

dsc_0193Last weekend we headed up Haleakala, or House of the Sun to escape the box jellyfish that are known to head towards leeward (swimming) beaches 8-10 days following the full moon.  I’m guessing there’s not much of a problem with jellyfish since everyone we spoke to seemed to be surprised to even hear about them but I wasn’t interested in taking any chances!

maui-s210_041809_0084Haleakala is of course a volcano.  My details on the history of the volcano and the facinating tales that relate to it are sketchy at best but I hope to get into my book on Hawaiian myths and legends because it sounds so interesting and I’m sure will make for great teaching material too.

We spent two nights camping a good deal of the way up the mountain at Hosmer Grove.  It was a little weird to tent in a field with a group of strangers but we met some great people over dinner and trips to the car.

dsc_0194After getting up early – but not quite early enough – for sunrise the first day we decided to act on numerous recommendations and take a hike on the sliding sands trail to the Ka Lu’u o ka Oo cindercone.

dsc_0200The landscape up here was quite barren in comparison to sea level but it reminded me so much of “home”, which in the case refers to the Rocky Mountains (I’ve lived close to them on both sides).  The temperature was similar to what we get in the summers and the weather was constantly changing from cool, vicious breezes to still air and intense sunshine, to cloudy with some rain.  Thankfully on this trip there was no snow.

dsc_0197There were marked differences as well.  Whereas here we have the hard work of hiking up first, this trip started with the descent.  And while the surface we hiked on looked similar there was a wider range of colours and hiking on it felt markedly different.  Instead of talus that slows your ascent, the volcanic material stays “still”, probably because the root materials that have been eroded are so different. dsc_0293Anyways, it was a great hike and I’ve enjoyed going through the photos for this post.  I hope you enjoy them too.

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photos – part 1

April 27, 2009

Now that I’ve gotten all this Waldorfy news out of the way it’s time for photos from our trip. I only realized when using my camera for the painting photo that we took photos of us and our gear before we left.04-maui-photos-2

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I admit that I often forgot there was a camera around but between the two of us we were able to snap some shots to remind us of our trip.

In our first beach day we headed to Big Beach on the recommendation of friends who were on the island a month earlier.  This beach was stellar but it was definitely one of the more popular stellar beaches.  The locals were reporting the trade winds to be stronger than usual but memory tells me this was the first pleasantly windy beach we found – the others on the north shore and even in Kihei, just a short distance north of Big  Beach were too windy for our liking.

Our favourite beach in Maui was in our least favourite town if you can call it that.  Before I was born my folks made a trip to Hawaii and while they were on Maui they stayed in Ka’anapali.  The tourist map indicated it was the first master-planned resort community in the US.

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Kevin at Big Beach

Urban planning is definitely one of my interests but the “master planned” part makes me laugh and frustrates me at the same time.  Sure most of the guests have views of the ocean from their room and easy access to the beach but I’m not a fan of that kind of tourism.  It quite irritates me actually.

maui-s210_041509_00921Countless times we’d come across teenagers talking on their cell phones to their friends that were only a few feet away.  And of course, the developers of these sites wanted grass everywhere so there’s quite a bit of soil (from erosion) and chemical going straight into the ocean.  I definitely don’t like that.  The waves though were great.

maui-s210_041509_0093On our last day we returned to this place and while there were still a lot of beach breaks we went further out and floated on the 6 foot waves and dove under the ones that broke further out.  I still need to finish up the roll of film in the underwater camera to get photos from our play in the water but here are ones of both of us and the eroded beach from when we first visited Ka’anapali.

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craving art!

April 25, 2009

While I was away my art supplies arrived at the in-laws and I’ve so been looking forward to playing with the paint and making my first attempts at drawing.  At the pace I’m going at it’s really going to be hard to get all my readings done for my anthroposophy course.  Oops!

I had really thought I would do some reading during our trip but 30 pages was about all I could manage.  Ocean waves are so mesmerizing and the 12 1/2 hours of daylight didn’t leave much time for enjoying a book outdoors.  I did the most reading as a way to calm down after seeing so many creepy crawlies outside of our tent on the last night.  I’m good with most bugs but I’d never seen that many beetles and sow bugs and I’d be quite happy to avoid a similar situation again.  Instead of falling swiftly into dreamland I was moderately freaking out about them being in all our gear or inside the tent.  Reading definitely helped.

Despite my lack of reading I feel like I learned so much on all fronts during our trip and I’m really looking forward to the days when my occupation brings me to such an active learning environment on a regular basis.  I’m also excited about painting for “real” in the next few days.

I now have the “basic” set of colours: golden and lemon yellow; crimson and vermillion red, ultramarine and prussian blue.  I’m also on the lookout for a used chalkboard so I can try my hand at drawing on a larger surface.  Waldorf classrooms look so amazing in part because of the artwork teachers are able to come up with for the black boards.  Bright colourful chalk helps and now I have some of that too.  I think it’s going to take me a while to build back my drawing skills, thus why I’m wanting to start now!

I purchased a recorder a few months back so that I could figure out the melodies to some songs in books I borrowed from the school here.  I don’t remember enjoying the recorder when I was in grade 4 but I love it now.  It was so hard to be without it during vacation but the opportunity to try the kinder harp for the first time certainly made up for it.  In the kindergarten the teacher used it to create light, soothing music to help the children prepare for their afternoon nap.  I didn’t know what I was doing but I was able to make up some pretty nice melodies.  That pentatonic scale makes musical experimentation so easy and satisfying!

I’ve got a lot of things to do this weekend but here is a photo from my first art experiment – I’ll be writing out the words to one of the new songs we’re using in playgroup so that it’s easier for the parents to follow along.

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It’s really interesting to see how the colour moves on the paper.  I changed this painting a number of times – creating the green on the outside and then unpainting some of it so that the green didn’t look so solid.

I don’t claim that it’s beautiful bt it was fun to do and definitely a nice start.  I’m going to try another one with a yellow wash across the page first.  I’ll have to wait and see what happens!

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a day in the kindy!

April 25, 2009

During my great afternoon at the Waldorf school I was able to arrange for some time in a classroom the following day.  I had been hoping to observe a main lesson for one of the grades but I really enjoyed my morning with the kindergartners – it provided a really nice connection between what we’ve been doing with the tot program here and what I’ve been reading about in the grades.

At this age, the specialized instructors come to the class and so I was able to have my first taste of Hawaiiana and Eurythmy.  I had been craving an authentic Hawaiian experience and this certainly felt like it.  The children already knew the songs we sang along with the teacher (who was also playing her ukulelel) and then we also practiced our hula with the words in English and Hawaiian.  I wasn’t sure about the hula the first time I saw it but with the words it made so much sense!

Eurythmy was surprisingly similar to the cirlce time we do in play group except that it also included storytelling with interesting movements to go with it.  I thought that Goldilocks and the three bears was a great choice for this group because of all the repetition.

Our other activities included coloring, bread baking and gymnastics style free play before we went outside for a snack and a good amount of outdoor play and gardening.

It was a great day and it’s definitely got me excited about school.  And going back to play group tomorrow too:)

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I’m back!

April 24, 2009

Wow, it’s amazing how quickly we can adapt to warm weather.  Cold weather on the other hand is not so nice.  We had a welcoming snowfall a few hours after we got home yesterday and this morning it was -4.  Definitely not the 24-30C we got used to during our trip.

Internet access was not what I had anticipated but there was so much to see and such limited daylight hours so I’m actually glad I let myself unwind and detach from the electronic world for a few days.  I’ve often dreamt about car camping across the continent and really living in the places I’m at and this trip was both a great taste and a happy reminder of that.

We have so many pictures and Kevin just put them on the computer.  It will take a while to go through them all but for now I wanted to say a few words about my time at the Waldorf School.

Kevin and I took a tour of the campus earlier this week.  It was beautiful and of course in such a climate, there is plenty of outdoor activity during the year.  As a result the gardens and playing fields are plentiful and they were in use while we were there.  The campus, formerly the home of a public school is on a hill and some of the classrooms are in their own buildings even.

Here’s a silly shot of  me out in the field with the terraced seating that makes it more like an amphitheater – you can see that they’re getting ready for May/Lei Day.

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We thought we were just about done our tour when we stopped by the library and met one shining gem of a teacher/librarian/historian.

I’m struggling to find the words to explain our connection but it was energizing to say the least.  A former public school administrator, he had recently found his home at this private school.  We enjoyed more than an hour of conversation and it was simply amazing.  We discussed what draws us to Waldorf, the history of the school and even looked at books that some of the students had written for their “buddies” in the younger grades.  Kevin also noticed a book on his desk – he had been enjoying Everybody Needs a Rock too!

After a great exchange about the book, Mr. B presented us with a rock.  That rock and the book are now a great reminder of our visit and our new connection.

I still haven’t decided whether to go with the public or Waldorf teacher education program next year but this visit definitely solidified my interest in Waldorf.  I think it was also helpful for Kevin to hear about it from someone else and actually see how things are run in a school.

Now, hopefully I’ll get through more of the photos so I can share more about our trip:)

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maui

April 15, 2009

We’re just starting day 3 of our visit and already we have met some like-minded travellers, visited 6 beaches, hit all the health food stores and had everything but snow for weather.  That could come when we head up to Haleakala – we know other folks that have had that and there has been a lot of rain where we’re staying part way down the “mountain” side.

The second night we were here, some regular visitors filled us in on the best times to enjoy the beach – early in the morning or right near sunset.  We didn’t get up too early yesterday but we did get in the water shortly after 10 am and I’m glad we did.  By noon there were some clouds in the sky and the wind had picked up.

We woke up earlier today so we can get more good beach time in.  Kevin’s going to have to wear a shirt though because even with sunscreen he got a nice little burn.

Anyways, we’re heading out to the beach now.  And this time we’ll remember to bring the camera with us:)

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travel

April 8, 2009

The past 2 weeks have been… shall we say insane?  We’ve both been working long days and partial weekends but it’s all going to pay off in a few days as we’re going on vacation.  Woo hoo!

Instead of the usual trip to BC we’re continuing our exploration of the US and heading to Hawaii.  Kevin’s been there a few times and as much as I like the idea of sun, sand and warm waters I’ve always found a reason for us not to go.  It’s rather pricey and truth be told, I’ve never felt all that comfortable with being a tourist in a tourist area, especially when it’s for more than a drive through.  Perhaps it’s because I grew up in a little place that decided tourism was the way of the future.

While touristy places can seem great for those who come to visit it can turn out to be quite the opposite for those who grew up there and want to stay.  In the case of my home town embracing tourism meant high demand for people to work at low wages at entry level-ish jobs.  On its own that might not be too bad but add the baby boomers who want to retire out there and all of a sudden house prices etc. start sky rocketing.

What scares me is I want to return to the island and how am I worse than the retirees if I have equity in a house here and want to buy there?  I’m not really sure but it would be awfully hard to afford a house without the sacrifice we’ve made here.

Anyways, I’m rambling.  I’m going to enjoy the trip and hopefully post here a little more often too.