Friday, August 30, 2013

Live life and help others

Today at school we continued working with all age groups in reading and becoming fast friends with the kids. Our entire group feels very comfortable with the teachers and routine of the school. Smiles of recognition and happy hellos keep us delighted. Barb, Olivia, Alex, and Gary went to town on some errands and I went swimming at the Kii Kii pool. It’s hard to believe that soon we will be saying goodbye as Friday is our last day at school. 

This afternoon Debi and James picked us up for a fundraiser event where we all joined in a power workout led by Debi and her friends. It was very fun and energizing. Barb helped to sell coconuts to help everyone hydrate. Back home at the Kii Kii we are relaxed and contented after a busy day.

Entry submitted by: Terry

Message of the Day: “Live life and help others.”

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A wonderful day at Takitumu school

We had a wonderful day at Takitumu school. We were greeted with many “hellos” and “good mornings” as we made our way off the bus. All of us spent time reading with the grades five and six while Jack spent time in his class. When we were done with the older children, we moved on to the younger classes. During lunch we had fun playing whiffle ball, frisbee, and netball as well as tag. It seems we have all gotten into a routine. I was able to read to Jack’s class as well as play a few games. A highlight of my day is putting the toothpaste on the children’s toothbrushes after lunch. After school we headed to town and much to our delight we had our favorite bus driver who has entertained us with his singing and jokes. We had an enjoyable time at Trader Jack’s while Terry had some alone time in town. In the evening we spent time at the Whale Research Center with Nan Hauser. It was a great experience. After we had a nice dinner at Boogies where we spent some more time with Nan/Debbie and one of Nan’s interns. Overall, it was a great day and I can’t believe tomorrow is Thursday and our trip is almost over!

Entry submitted by: Barbara

Message of the Day: “A life is not important except for the impact it has on other lives.”

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I will miss this island

After a day of rain we had a beautiful day of sunshine and 24 degrees Celsius. The children at school were glad to be able to get out on the field and play. I really enjoyed the day, especially being able to read and do math and art with eight students ages eight to eleven. I ate lunch with the five-year-olds again. They always energize me. James and Debi and grandpa showed us the many forms of coconuts from young to old. They all tasted great. I love their home! They also have the Matutu brewery in their front yard – many of my friends back home would be in heaven. 

The black pearl jeweler, Colin Rattle gave us an intro to pearls and how they are formed. 

My highlight of the day was spending time with Sahi at St. Paul’s Church from 2:30 to 4 p.m. working on her math division and reading and, of course, the great chocolate cake that mother Margret made for us! However, my legs are still sore from the Sunday hike so I was not running very fast during the frisbee sessions at school. I will miss this island. 

Entry submitted by: Gary

Message of the Day: “Joy blooms where hearts and minds are open.”

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Playing with puppies in Rarotonga

Today we went to the school and we had a lot of fun. All of us helped the kids to read. I helped with math and then lunch time came. We played under the school overhang because it was raining. It was fun because we played soccer. My mom and I learned a new game called foo ball. My mom read to my class.

After school we went to the animal shelter (Esther Honey). We played with the dogs and the puppies. The puppies were very small and cute. We took the big dogs on a walk on the beach. My day was very fun. My favorite was playing with the little puppies.

Entry submitted by: Jack

Message of the Day: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Weekend adventures

Our adventures for our weekend included taking in the sights and sounds of the saturday market for me. Gary went deep sea diving on a chartered boat and Barb, Jack, Olivia, and Alex flew over to Aitkin for the day. We all went out to dinner with James and Debi to the Edgewater Resort and were treated to the sounds of traditional drumming and dancing. On Sunday morning we began our hike across the island through the interior and up to the mountain. The highlight was getting to the top. We carefully made our way back down the way we came because it was rustic and slow going. Back for some dinner at the Vaka lounge for a great dinner. We are looking forward to getting back to school on Monday.

Entry submitted by: Terry

Message of the Day: “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

Friday, August 23, 2013

Feeling welcome in the community

We had another amazing day! We went to school and had a great time with the children. After just three days, it is surprising how comfortable the children are with us and we are with them! Many of them greet us by name and remember some of the things we have taught them! We (Olivia, Barb, Terrym and Gary) spent the day helping the children with their reading. Jack and Alexandra were lucky enough to go on a field trip with the younger grades. My favorite time of the day is lunch when we get to spend time playing with the children. After school Olivia and Alexandra were invited to a friend’s house for a play date. They had a wonderful time and have been invited back. It is such a friendly warm place and the people here have made us all feel so welcome. Tonight we had a lovely evening with our group and James and Debbie. It is really nice getting to know everyone on our team as well as James and Debbie. Overall, I cannot believe it is almost Friday and that the days have passed so quickly. Thank you, Terry and Gary, for being so kind to the kids.  

Entry submitted by: Barbara

Message of the Day: “Help others to help yourself.”

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A day filled with lots of fun

Today was an amazing day. It was filled with lots of fun. I’ll tell you all about it. Once we got up we got dressed and went out for breakfast. It was delicious. After that we went to the school. The principal came out and told us what we were going to do. She told Jack and me to go and help in the third grade. All the kids welcomed us and we started the day with worksheets. Then I started to color and all the kids wanted pictures from me. I did a lot mostly for my friends Kimberly and Shonel and a few others. After that we had lunch. I ate with Olivia, Jack, and Terry. Then it was time to play. I gave piggy-back rides and horse rides and spun them around. That was a lot of fun. Then we went back into the classroom and I colored more. I also did a few races and Gary started us off. It was a workout, but I love to run! Then we went back and cleaned up. That was a fun day. I can’t wait to go tomorrow. 

Entry submitted by: Alexandra

Message of the Day: “Be good to the earth and it will be good to you!”

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Making friends at Takitumu Elementary

Tuesday we went to Takitumu Elementary. We met the principal, Engia Pate, and then were assigned classes to help kids read. We then went to the classes and read with them.  All the students were so sweet and friendly. Then we had lunch and played soccer. I made a lot of friends, one being Jette. She even invited us over to her house. We began reading again. After that we had free time and played in the classroom and got to know each other. We then said goodbye and headed to St. Paul’s Church. We helped some kids with their homework. I helped a young boy with spelling. We left and went to a dance practice. I thought it was very interesting and fun. The music was so cool. It was a workout! We left and had dinner. Today was a great day! 

Entry submitted by: Olivia

Message of the Day: “By helping others become better we become better.”

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Meeting our team in the Cook Islands

Wow, I can’t believe that I just landed this morning from Los Angeles. James met our group at the airport. There are five of us – Barbara and her three wonderful children - Olivia, age 12, Alexandra, age 10, and Jack, who is 7 - and me, Gary. They all live in San Diego. I live in Las Vegas. One more lady will join us tomorrow. I can’t wait to meet Terry. She is from Detroit.

We had breakfast and our first orientation of the day. We then had time to explore the island and meet some of the local people. James’ wife, Debi joined us for the second orientation. We set some personal and team goals and talked about characteristics of an effective team. I especially liked the input from Barbara’s children. They were enthusiastic and creative. We are all excited about tomorrow’s day at the elementary school.

Entry submitted by: Gary

Message of the Day: “Judge success not by the harvest that you reap, but the seeds that you sow.”