Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Poem: Trying to Be Romantic

The students were carefully prepped
“Listen to nature.  Find out what it says to you.
“Romantics see a tree differently than Rationalists.”
We entered the woods via the school trail
sat on the benches and studied Thoreau.
Ah . . . Nature!
Finally I set them off alone to “commune with nature”
Think about life.
See what nature had to offer them as a Romantic.
“The symphony of cicadas and crickets will speak to you,” I said.
The sunlight, trees and insects concurred.
Ah, Nature.
Just then They came.  The 12 year old scientists.
Their teacher hiked them up the very same steps by which we had entered the 
Romantic woods.
But they brought their yellow ribbons labeled with numbers
Tied them on the trees.  Asked questions like,
“What species is that?”  “What do its leaves look like? Its bark?”
The rationalists had arrived.
Ah, nature.
Next came the helicopters thu-thu-thu-ing overhead.
Then the computers accompanied by urgent questions 
on the particulars of “the assignment”
Finally, announcements rang out across the mountainside.
A bell sounded.
Civilization had arrived.
Aw. . .  nature.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hawaii 2011

We spent this year's Chuseok Break in Hawaii - the trip of a lifetime!  We were on Oahu and loved every minute of it!  Enjoy the photos.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Pacific: Above and Below

It's very likely that a day like today can never happen again.  To me, to you, to anyone.  Okay, to few people.  That is because today I was both above the sea and below it all in the same day.

We're on Oahu Island, Hawaii, for the Korean Holiday of Chuseok.  Today was one of the "big days" that we had planned.  We would head out to the western and northern coastal areas on an Ocean Joy Snorkeling Excursion (with Captain Jerry).  There we would get an hour of snorkeling and maybe see some dolphins on the way out.  This is our second time snorkeling.  Kids, too.  We were prepared for a good time.

On the way out the 30 of us had a light breakfast, listened to crew directions, and kept our eyes open for dolphins.  Our captain made a few calls to other boats on the water and discovered a small pod of spinner dolphins en route.  Sure enough, he found them!  They were gorgeous!  Perhaps 6 of them including two babies!  They were resting so they weren't going anywhere.  We enjoyed their company for about 10 minutes. 

A bit later we were all in the water with our snorkeling gear on.  Unbelievably there were not only several varieties of fish on the reef, there were also sea turtles!  At one point one of them floated up right below me; I got to within inches of it!  Anna, too, got very close to a sea turtle.  It amazes me how there is an entire universe under the deep blue sea.  All of this was plenty to enjoy and appreciate, but there's more.  We boarded the boat.  Alec was the first to spot flying fish as our boat skimmed along.  "Mom, it's the flying fish, just like in LIFE."  They were a brilliant blue, maybe 10 inches long, emerged from the water only to glide for maybe 30 feet before re-entering the water.  Crazy! 

As if this were not enough, on the way back to the harbor, our Captain learned of a pod of bottle nosed dolphins close by.  So we cruised on over, and sure enough, there they were!  Maybe a dozen of them.  One of the large ones seemed to love rubbing against the boat.  He hung out at the surface for a long time, even turning belly up and then on his side flicking a fin at us.  So amazing!  Our captain told us that when the whales are here, they play with the dolphins!  Sadly, after a lovely lunch on the boat we returned to the dock.

But this wasn't the end of our experience with the sea today.  Later, we decided to hike the .8 miles up the Diamondhead Crater trail.  It was a bit of a hike, but no worse than hiking in Korea.  In the end, we were standing on the top of the high point at Diamondhead.  Here the view of the ocean was amazing!  We had a full 360 degrees panorama view of the mountains, the city of Waikiki, the coastline and the Pacific Ocean.  Here the white clouds and sky blue complemented the deep navy blue of the deep water and the aqua blue of the shoreline.

And this was the day. There will be no other like it.
Give God the Glory!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Burger King - Finally.

There's something about Burger King that
sucks you in.
Is it the fries?
The Whoppers?
The "have-it-your-way" slogan?
Perhaps it's the grease
the hard chairs
the charcoal scent wafting through the restaurant.
Today it called to us.
Just 1 further subway stop;
We had time enough to sneak off and get
take out.

We waited patiently to arrive at home before
savoring the bun-meat-mayo-lettuce-pickle-ketchup combo

Sohyeon to Miguem by subway
Migeum to Goodmorning Hill by bus 17


But, wait!
Where is the Take-out bag?
The take-out bag with 2 burgers, 2 fries, 1 orange and 1 Coke Zero?
     The bus.

And so we waited some more
for 8018 to make it's rounds and return on the opposite queue.
Just 10 minutes more
Okay, 12 minutes more.

I hop on, flash "lost item" to the bus driver on my cellphone and
pick up the familiar brown bag on a back seat
just where we left it.
That's Korea.  Nothing stolen.
Just flavorful goodness awaiting my return
and a little warmup from the microwave.

Ah! Burger King.