Monthly Archives: March 2015

Went for close to home

We had intended to attend Hilo Church of the Nazarene, but we discovered Kirtistown Assembly of God only 5 miles from our home.  So instead of a 45 minute commute it is just a hop, skip, and a jump away.  On Facebook it stated that they host a soup kitchen and food pantry which we were hoping would be opportunities for us to give back to the community.  It is a small church, with two services at 8:00am and 10:00am.  There was a group of kids from a Christian school in Oahu there this morning that did a couple of thought provoking skits.  A quick lunch at the house then on to coconut island for a baptism service.  Coconut island was awesome and a neat discovery! 

 Then some quick grocery shopping so we can make Musubi tonight.  We need some more hawaiian food to try. 

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We slept in this morning until about 6:30AM.  No alarm set, but the beautiful sound of hundreds of chirping birds coupled with a now established early routine had me and the kids bright eyed and bushy tailed earlier than planned.  Pancakes, peaches and coffee to fuel us for the road then we were off.  Instead of taking the Saddle road that goes around the island we went strait up over the mountains between Maunta Loa and Maunta Kea who both had snow on their peaks. 

We were headed over to the Kona side of the island where hopefully it would be warm and condusive to a fun first snorkeling experience for the kids.  Kahalu’u Beach Park was touted in our guidebook as the best place to snorkle with a big reef where beginners and intermediate snorklers alike would have fun. 

As much as I would love to claim that it was love at first sight of a beautiful bright colored fish. That would not be telling the whole story. The kids have not really done any swimming where their heads have gone under in salt water before.  And this whole allowing yourself to breath with your face in the water doesn’t come too naturally either, with some practice, and mask adjusting, and some tears we got it all worked out.  Hannah is not too strong of a swimmer so she panicked a few times and tried to drowned me.  It’s a good thing the water really isn’t that deep.  By the end of the day the big kids had the snorkeling down and were excitedly discussing all the fish they had seen.  Eve got so far as putting her face in the water with the mask and snorkle on and making friends with everyone on our side of the beach.  All in all it was a good and successful day.  We had a late lunch at Costco and headed back over the mountains towards home. 

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Ahalani Warm Spring

Yesterday we finished up our first work week, and my first five day work week since new grad orientation at Salem Hospital almost eleven years ago.  To celebrate (and to attempt to use some of our smaller chunks of time to see closer sites) we had decided that we would take the kids to Pohoiki Warm Pool after work.  

Work went well although I think I will write an additional post to sum up my work week.  Chad and the kids picked me up from the hospital at 3:30 and in scrubs and all we headed towards the warm pool.  Chad headed in I the general direction, but some how our guidebook with the names and maps got left at home so we winged it and punched in hot springs in the GPS.   The location that came up looked on the map to be in the same general location as the one I was thinking so it wasn’t until much later that I noticed in the guidebook that we had infact visited a separate warm pool very close to the first called Ahalanui Warm Springs.  (That just means we have another place to check out later) the drive was very green and always interesting as most of the plants are new to us.  We drove past a papaya grove or was it guava.  A sign said papaya but that was down the road a bit and could have been for a different grove.  The fruit on the trees looked like it could be either as they are all clustered up and there is no way to know, being new to the crop, where it is in it’s gestation.  We made one wrong turn before we turned to the GPS and ended up on a dirt road (there are lots of those). 

We were close, we turned around and found that we were on the right road just had turned the wrong direction.  The weather was cool for here and a bit breezy.  Shorts and a tee shirt were fine but the thought of getting wet would give you shivers.  Less so since we knew the water was warm.  

The kids found more coconuts a young man was picking them all up and breaking into them for a refreshing drink; he left three for the kids to collect.  He asked us if we wanted him to break them open for us.  We politely declined stating that we would take them home and break into them later.  

There were port-a-potties but no good place to change so we made our own changing room for the kids.  What else is a trunk really for? 

The pool here is fed both by  a spring that is volcanically heated and by the surf that comes in via a controlled channel.  The guidebook claims that the water temperature varies from 91-95 degrees which is warm but definitely not body or hot tub temperature.  

The initial warmth was followed by a realization that it was cooler that the YMCA therapy pools and we were going to have to keep moving a bit to stay warm.  We all stayed together for a little while.  We discovered that at no part was it too deep Caleb couldn’t touch and the kids started spreading out a bit.   Chad, Eve, and I talked for quite a while with a lady visiting from Northern California she and her two year old son were quite conversive and you all know Eve by now.  Everyone is her new best friend.  We stayed until nearly dark when amorous couples started showing up. Yep, that’s our cue to leave.  We all just about froze getting out.  The showers were not cold, but cool and we all heald our breath in anticipation.  The cold was short lived.  As soon as we were dry and in our normal clothes it was all better.  70 degrees is warm unless you are wet with a healthy breeze going.  The locals here have warned us that it has been unseasonally cool and rainy this past week.  All the same for our snorkeling debu today (Saturday) we are going I the sunny warm side of the island. 

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Technologically Challenged

We have discovered that Internet and cell coverage are going to be a challenge at this assignment.  We can talk on the phone outside, and with our nose in the corner of the girls room.  That is with 1-2 bars and is garble also it seems to fluctuate so you are fine for a while then it cuts off the call.  And you can load a picture into face book but it takes a long time and you have your nose in a corner or are standing outside to do it.  I have attempted working on the blog, but it is a lost cause.  The pictures don’t load and I can’t publish it with such a poor connection.  So the brief postings have been quickly written when we are in town.  We will try to keep you all updated but it will, I’m sure, be at a decreased frequency.  Chad and the kids have been getting up every morning at 5:45 to take me to work and then pick me up (a 45 min. commute) so that they will have the car.  I am on my fifth 8hour shift this week.  I have not worked five days in one physical week in at least a decade.  I’m so ready to get back to twelves next week.  Although my assignment here will be a combination of 8s and 12s swing shift, nights, and twelve hour nights I know this is not my last five day week.  At least we weren’t planning any long road trips. Everything is close and can be done as a day trip except visiting other islands, but I’m not sure that that is on the agenda until it’s time to leave. 

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Hannah’s pictures

Hannah took pictures of the flowers/plants around our house.

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Breaking & Eating Our Coconuts 

We stopped on our way home from work yesterday to pick up a machete at Sports Authority and before I even had time to change out of my uniform we we were elbow deep in husks.  It was pretty fun.  The kids were good about staying clear while dady worked. 

The green one had soft flesh, clear water, and was pretty easy to break into.  The meat was quickly gobbled up and we saved the water to drink with dinner.  The dry husk of the brown one on the other hand proved to be quite a challenge.  

It had sprouted….

The water was milky and sweet, but had a more rancid aftertaste.  Caleb liked it better than the water and drake it right up.  We donk know if you are supposed to eat the ball inside, but we did eat it also.  It was sweet and airy, and we are still all alive this morning to tell about it.  I am sure though if Chad comes across more coconuts that are just laying beside the road he will pick up the green and leave the brown, just sayin.

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Work Day 2 &Coconuts

I assumed wrongly that the day started at the same time as the previous day. 0700 today instead of 0730.  Thank goodness that I got to work early so even after stopping in the ER to talk to someone it was only 0715.  The problem is I get very nervous about time and try never ever to be late, so now for the first time in my travel career I was late….also I was 5 min. late yesterday do to school busses and school traffic.  We left the house an hour before work…..they were very laid back about it, but I still feel terrible. How could I not see the time was different.   

Meditech training this morning was great.  Again the staff were very friendly.  I am not really a sit in front of a computer girl though.  It took a lot of focus to keep my mind from wondering.  

Finally after lunch I got to be on the L&D unit. Our induction that I was looking forward to practicing the admission, orders, and charting on did not show up until shortly before it was time for me to leave.  I stayed as long as I dared and got to help with all the hands on stuff.  I am having trouble finding the balance between being proactive and too high strung.  

Chad and the kids drove around and found some cool new parks and coconuts by the road.  They were an hour away at some cool beach park when they looked in GPS at how long it would take to get to the hospital and discovered just how far they had wondered.  Now we just can’t wait to get home and get into the coconuts….we have no idea what we are doing. 

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Hilo Medical Center Day 1

I think Hilo Medical Center is going for most complete orientation for their travelers.  Three days of non unit orientation.  Well, one full day and two half days.  Today I leaned how to use feeding pumps, wound vacuumes, pca, IV pump, point of care testing (my blood sugar after lunch was 105 not sure if I should be worried about that :0( ), facility tour, and packets of information to read on my own time.  Everyone was very nice  including the L&D manager.  I was still missing the correct Pyxis test (instead of just saying I needed to take the Pyxis certification test they said the Pyxis 4000 thank you for telling me exactly what I needed to do so that I could do it).  After work we sat in the McDonald’s parking lot and took the Pyxis 4000 test and got the additional certification.  Few.  This is the culinary offerings of the McDonald’s in Hilo, now we have not tried them yet, but I thought you all might enjoy seeing the advertisements. 

While I was at work Chad worked on getting everything sent to Joseph at Travel Tax who specializes in traveled allied health taxes.  We are kind of scared to see how taxes go with having to file state taxes in four different states.  They also visited Rainbow falls.  

They just looked from the view point, they are waiting for me to really get out and check it out. 

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Hilo Farmers Matket

We had been told by the many sites we had searched that Hilo was the best place to buy produce, cheapest and freshest.  It is open on Saturdays and Wednesdays.  We still haven’t figured out the food situation so we decided we better check that out.  Besides we had to go into Hilo to change cars.  I felt awkward taking pictures at the market so I didn’t.  Only a few when we were outside eating a little snack Caleb bought and shared with us. 

We came unprepared with only $20 cash.  That did buy a fair amount but not enough to sustain us for a week, or even until Wednesday.  Next time we will be prepared.  

Guava 4/$1, large avacados 1/$1, large bunch of romaine 1/$2, large bag of papaya 1/$2 bunch of Apple bananas 1/$1 I can’t remember the name of the brown circular fruit.  The look like nuts, but when you peel them there is a large white grape looking fruit inside with a single seed.  It tasts like a grape with onion/garlic mixed in too.  Not bad. The kids love them and already our bag is almost gone.

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Checked in at the hospital then a drive around the island 

Thank goodness for the two hour time difference.  We were all wiped.  With an appointment with The hospital HR department at 9:30 in town some 40 minutes away.  I took my professional binder to the appointment and it was a good thing.  I needed to give proof of the varicella immunity and a recent tetanus shot.  It had only been a year since my last one, but with no proof of my childhood series I had to get a second one, ouch!  Actually the nurse did a really good job, so I hardly felt it, but it didn’t take too long until some soreness set in.  The drive around the island was good.  It was long they say that the big island is about the size of the state of Connecticut.  Hilo is very much a jungle.  It is almost chlostraphobic with the thick jungle pushing in around you.  It is that way most of the east facing side of the island.  

The north end is grasslands.. We stopped for gas and lunch. 

The Westside is windy and covered in lava fields. 

Kaloko-Honokõhau National Historic Park looked like a small national park from the road and we all needed to get out and stretch our legs.  The purpose of this park is to show how the first Hawaiians lived in large long homes next to the water’s edge.  There were not many edible plants when they arrived and so their subsistence was dependent on fish.  It was .5 mile walk down to the long houses and beach.  

The lava that had flown into the ocean had created tide pools that had attracted fish and sea turtles.  We stayed there for a good hour to let the kids play and explore. 

We didn’t touch the turtles but they swam up to the kids and around them slowly minding their own business with out any fear. 

On the walk back up we checked out the petroglyphs. 

The greenery along side the trail was great too.  I though this stump looked like a goat. 

We then went in search of dinner food. 

The south end of the island is drivable but it is a steep drop to the water some 1000 feet.  We didn’t take many pictures there is a lot of black with the sea far below.  We were all feeling quite tired as it was a full day after a full day.  We got home just after seven pm and everyone crashed.  

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