Saturday, August 21, 2010

14 Years Together

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times,
always with the same person.
~Mignon McLaughlin

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Aloha 'Oe Grandma Carol

The day that Chris got home from Vietnam, was also my mom's last day here in Hawaii. To send her off in style we took her to a luau. We went to the Paradise Cove Luau at Ko'Olina. It's one of our favorites because it is so family friendly. Before the dinner starts they have little stations of Hawaiian activities. So fun. The canoe rides are one of our favorite things at this luau. We always head to the canoes first, because by the time everyone else realizes this is part of the luau, the line is crazy. If you are lucky you can see turtles swimming. No such luck for us on this day.
Here is Dallin waiting patiently for his turn on the canoe.
They demonstrate how to climb a coconut tree to retrieve the fruit. Take my word for it, this is a TALL tree. I was a little scared for this guy.
This lady was our Poi ball instructor. I still can't get the hang of this game. Instead of swinging the balls, I end up hitting myself and anyone within a few feet of me. My family quickly learned not to stand next to me while I practiced :)My mom and I had fun making a crown of flowers. It's almost like wearing a lei on your head, and the plumeria flowers smell so good.
Isn't my mom adorable?While waiting for the Emu (pig) ceremony, we were treated to this beautiful rainbow.
Sunsets at Ko'Olina are so beautiful. Here is my mom with the grandkids.
We warned my mom beforehand that the food is NOT the reason to go to a luau. It's OK, but I'm not a big fan of Hawaiian food. After dinner the hula and fire dancers came out and performed amazing dances. Such a fun night, and the perfect send off for my mom. Aloha 'Oe Grandma Carol.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Chris' Humanitarian Mission to Vietnam

Chris had the amazing opportunity to go on another Humanitarian Mission, this time to Vietnam. This trip was only about 10 days, as opposed to the 3 week trip last year to the Philippines. I say ABOUT 10 days because he crossed the International Date Line, so his days were all messed up! He flew 7 hours to Tokyo, Japan, then another 7 hours to Bangkok, Thailand, then another 2 hours to Northern Vietnam (Ha Noi), where he would be working. The following two pictures were in the Bangkok Airport.This is the government building where Chris worked at for the first of his two missions. It had much nicer working conditions than when he was in the Philippines (tents and run down class rooms). He used one of the offices as his dental clinic - no A/C, but at least he had a ceiling fan. These are the crowds of people waiting to be treated. Hard at work, showing his skills to the local dentist.Chris and his assistant took a field trip one day to visit a dental clinic, and meet with a local dentist. Chris was having fun messing around with the optometrist. What was the diagnosis?
He needs these ridiculous glasses! Sexy huh?Here is Chris with his assistant SPC Vestal and his translator (he was a Dermatologist). This is where Chris had his second mission site, another local government building. Ahhh....relaxing after a hard day of work. Now, those of you with queasy stomachs, may want to skip this next part. Chris and some of his colleagues went out to eat a traditional Vietnamese dinner one night. Their dinner included some stuff that I find pretty nasty, like river snake, worms (he said they were really more like grubs - like that makes it any better!?!), and crickets. Eeewww. They were able to enjoy a some sight seeing before heading home. Here they are in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.
This picture is taken from the entrance of the Ha Long Bay Caves. I thought this was just gorgeous.
Chris took the tour through the caves, and was treated to views like this.
The next day it was time to start heading home. They had one day to sight see in Bangkok, Thailand. Chris and his assistant toured the city together and were able to see many temples and the Royal Palace. They kind of got swindled by their taxi driver, who was also their unofficial tour guide, but I guess that's a risk you take.
They took a boat tour, and saw houses and shops built on the water. Kind of cool. I am so grateful that Chris is able to have these experiences at this point in his life. The only thing that might make it better would be if I could go too. Maybe someday when we are empty nesters.