Sunday, December 28, 2008


It's been eventful and we've been so busy that this is the first real chance i've had to sit down and do this - cos i'm in Covance :)

We spent Thanksgiving with friends. In the morning, a group of us (mainly Aussies) swam across to Chinaman's Hat and climbed it. On our way back over, I was brutally raped by jellyfish all over my hand, arm, stomach and back -- sucked!!!!

We made a new friend on Thanksgiving. The marketing director of the Oahu Atlantis Submarine Tours is the dad of a friend of a friend and, after eating Thanksgiving dinner with him and his family (thanks to the friend of a friend - Stu Skinner - who'd been staying with us), he invited us to go on the submarine tour (he actually paid for us - not even the VP can get people on for free).

Above is Liane with her octopus friend. She later got soaked by some guy who put his hand in the water and freaked out with something slimey touched him. He pulled his hand out with such force (accompanied by a high-pitched scream) that he splashed water all over Liane's face and shirt. It was pretty funny (for us - the guy was really embarrassed).

Later that night, another friend of a friend allowed us to go into Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park after hours (Dan Sessions is in the same ward as the CEO of Hawaiian Waters). It was unreal.

I got to go to Kaho'olawe for a SIFE project. I went with 3 others (Troy, Brian and Leilani) and we were part of a group of about 12 volunteers who were given permission to step foot on the island. Kaho’olawe is the smallest of the 8 main Hawaiian Islands, about 10 miles off the coast of Maui. For over 700 years the island was populated by small, fishing communities, established along the coast. Following the introduction of goats to the island, severe environmental damage began. At its worst, there were estimated over 50,000 goats living on Kaho’olawe. On December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Army declared martial law throughout Hawai’i and took control of Kaho’olawe, bombing it in training exercises for almost 50 years. Kaho’olawe has since been returned to the people of Hawai’i (in 1990) and island is slowly recapturing her original beauty, through the conservation efforts of groups of volunteers.

The shells on Kaho'olawe were so impressive. They were all over the place and really big. We went to one beach and the shore was covered in all sorts of shells - many as big as your fist...some as big as your head!!

The beaches were amazing...but sure enough, every single beach was accompanied by signs like the one below:

Although i didn't see any bombs, apparently they're around the place! One of the fulltime workers told me that 2 yrs ago there was a fire and as it was coming down the hill they could hear explosions going off. One was a loud, deep BOOM that shook the they're out there!!

In addition to shells and bombs, the island has many archeological sites. This one marks the highest point on the island, Moa'ulanui (1477ft). The island also has amazing sunsets and awesome wildlife. We saw monk seals, a whale, all sorts of birds and even swam with a huge pod of dolphins (maybe 50 or 60 spinners). Base camp was at a place called Hanakanai'a (Bay of Dolphins) -- truely lived up to its name!!!

Thursday, 2 weeks ago (with 2 days left of finals and right before graduation) there was a massive storm and flooding all over Oahu. Parts of Laie were waist and chest deep and 45 TVA apartments flooded, ours being one of them. 2 weeks later, they've only just started working on our place. We ripped out the carpet the day after and they knocked down the bottom part of our walls just a couple of days ago. We staying across the street in a studio until we hear otherwise. They'll rebuild, repaint and recarpet over the coming weeks.

Liane and I graduated. The night before (in our flooded home) we made each other a fews leis (just in case we didn't get any others). We didn't have any family there (just each other), but we got to sit next to each other in the front row (sometimes handy having a last name starting with "B"). Pres Eyring came out and spoke. Liane got a "cum laude". I think that's Latin for "heaps smart" or something. she got 6 A's this last semester. She'll probably hate me writing this, but I'm so proud of her!! We enjoyed the occassion, but it was somewhat dampened (no pun intended) by the flooding and the stress of having so much other stuff to worry about (finding somewhere to sleep and packing all our stuff up into boxes for when they would begin work on our place).

Liane shaking Pres Eyring's hand.

Believe it or not, this picture is my favourite. They told the graduates to turn, face and applaud their family for their support and for being here!! We didn't turn!! We stood and faced Amraa (who's become like a little brother to us) who was armed with our camera and carrying a bag with the leis that we made for each other! He took heaps of photos for us (like a personal photographer) and put leis on us when we came out!!

Us with Amraa, our "family" and photographer!!

Veronica Vaughn played one last gig at Gunstock with Matt Newbold as lead guitarist and front man. Erik, Justin and i are all still here until at least April so we might keep playing, but after a year and a half together, this was the last time Matty would be with us:


Fearless Leader said...

OH SHUCKS!!! I sure miss you guys! I would have sent you heaps leis! Love ya guys!

Moni & Paul said...

tear tear.. im so proud of you guys! love you! what are your next plans??

TIM&SHAN said...

Congrats on Graduating you guys!! we sure miss having you at our house for Thanksgiving!! We are also soo sorry about your flood!! we wish we were there you could have stayed with us!! we would have also been there to cheer you on at graduation!! well we miss you!! Keep the updates coming we love to see what your up to!!

micah and nic said...

WOWZA. Congrats on graduating. Looks like Hawaii is as eventful and beautiful as it always was. What are you guys doing next?

ThE RaSmUsSeN's said...

you guys have been busy! sorry to hear about your apartment, I hope you didn't lose too much of your stuff. That graduation pic is pretty awesome! What r your plans for this year?