Days 21-24 – Jumping Fences

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I’m okay. That’s all you really need to know.

But if you really want a little story as to why I haven’t blogged the last 3 days, then here we go…

Friday, my telework day, started off well. I was plugging along until I noticed that the fountain aerating the Koi pond aka Niagra falls, was a trickle.

img_8904A week ago, the property manager showed me how to clean the filter of the pump, but I needed to turn on the water to the hose.

The spigot for the hose is not in my little area – I had to walk out of my gate, then the main gate to turn it on. Notice the word gate.

For some odd reason, the main gate shut behind me. It was locked – something I have been super careful to make sure they are not if I don’t have my keys. (I blame this on the Menehune).

Jumping the fence was my first thought. I placed my right hand on what I thought was the neighbor’s secured fence, my left hand on the fence near the gate. As soon as I push myself up, the neighbor’s “fence” fell away. In the meantime, my hand is holding on to it so it doesn’t completely fall. Come to find out, it was no fence. It was an old gate with hinges and a hole where a knob would go that was leaning against a palm tree.

Casualty…

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My hand was ripped up by splinters. I eventually unlocked the gate (buy me a Mai Tai and I’ll tell you that part of the story).  I went inside to clean up my hand and wondered if I should go to urgent care because of a puncture on the tip of my index finger made me think there was a splinter.

Later that afternoon I did go to urgent care. The place I selected was new, and only 2 miles away in Kailua town. After 45 minutes of an incompetent “PA” using a pair of flimsy tweezers with a blunt end, saying “Oh grrrl, oh grrrl, I’m so sorry that this is gonna hurt,”  I asked her if she had a needle – so she went to look for one and brought back a fat needle (sorry didn’t read the gauge). After poking me twice, she gave up and told me they wouldn’t charge me.

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Saturday, I let my finger heal after being poked by the “PA.”  On Sunday, though, as I was cleaning my wounds – I could feel something was in the tip of my index finger. I gave my finger a little squeeze near the wound and a small amount of pus came out  (I didn’t photograph that).

I found a second urgent care whose phone message stated they were open 7 days a week from 8am-8pm, so I got on my bike and rode to their location (also only 2 miles away). At 3 minutes to 8 a.m. I noticed no one had shown up. I then noticed a note with small lettering on their door – “Not open Sunday, October  9th” – I was livid. I was about to hop a plane to Seattle when I decided to chill out at the farmer’s market before attempting another urgent care.

Luckily, I found the “only full-service urgent care on the windward side of Oahu” called Windward Urgent Care in Kaneohe. So I drove myself there – thinking if I don’t get care there I would just go to the emergency room (which was validated by a lovely chat with my MD brother and my RN mother).

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I felt good about the place. The PA (a true PA), discussed the options, was a little hesitant, but I told her I was game for having her slice my finger open and look for the splinter. We both thought it would be silly for me to go to the ER for a splinter.

I knew I had a winner when she came back with a syringe of Lidocaine to numb my finger. She also brought a scalpel blade, a small gauge needle (16?), and a pair of clamps.

The Lidocaine made my wound bleed more than usual as she slowly sliced open beyond the entry point of the splinter. She then grabbed the needle and started feeling/fishing around the wound. When the needle grabbed on something she was concerned it wasn’t the splinter, I told her it had to be the splinter.

From the photo above you can see the splinter (about 1 cm long). Success! A little slicing, then fishing, plus lubrication with the blood the splinter work its way out and the PA was able to grab it with the clamp.

She wrapped me up and sent me on my way.

I am forever grateful to Katie the PA – she was patient, persistent, and listened to her patient.

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What about those pesky Menehune? Well, thanks to them – I had an experience that has made me feel – strangely  – more comfortable here.

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Aloha!

 

Day 20 – Farmer’s Market

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Thursday night farmer’s market in Kailua is a family affair. There are food vendors where you can find, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Turkish, and my favorite Kalua pork…

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There are about 5-6 produce vendors mixed in with prepared food vendors,

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such as Hummus made with breadfruit (Ulu), salsa, poi (made from taro), cookies, pies, butter mochi (my new favorite thing), jellies, and…

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sugar cane juice (aka guarapo), just like in little Havana…

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Thank you Sugah Daddy for the yummy treat!

Aloha!

Day 19 – Homework in Paradise

Sunrise

Living and working in paradise has its perks. One is walking on the beach at sunrise. But a downside is I spend about 50+ hours per week working including commute time. I typically am out of the house before 8 a.m. and back by 6 p.m.  Sunrise is currently around 6:25 a.m. and sunset around 6:14 p.m. This doesn’t leave me much time to enjoy the sun.

What if I told you that on top of working in paradise, I also have to do homework in paradise.

Yes, it was my wise plan to begin an MFA program in creative writing the same year I applied for a rotational assignment at my agency’s lab in Hawaii.

I squeeze most of my homework in on the weekends. But I need at least 2 hours per day during the week to read, write, or contribute to online discussions.

Writing in Hawaii just isn’t the same as in Seattle. The biggest things I miss are my study buddies… My cats – who either walk across my keyboard while I’m trying to write, curl up on my lap while I’m reading, or just hang out in my office.

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Aloha!

P.S. All my gifs come from giphy.com 🙂

Day 18 -Diamond Head

 

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A brown, from drought conditions, Diamond Head, March 2016.

 

One of the most iconic geologic features in the world is Diamond Head aka Le’ahi.

It is a volcanic crater about 300,000 years old and was formed in one explosive eruption about 2.3M years after O’ahu was created by the Ko’olau volcano.

 

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Diamond Head from the plane – March 2016.

 

Le’ahi is Hawaiian for “browridge promontory” or Le and for the shape of the ridge which looks like the dorsal fin of Ahi tuna. To me it is familiar.

I have visited O’ahu three times prior to living here. The first time I was in awe, the second time I hiked up to the ridge, and the third time we stayed in a hotel with a direct view of Diamond Head.

 

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Selfie gone awry – me and Le’ahi – March 2016.

 

I heart Diamond Head.

So it isn’t a surprise that the first weekend after I arrived, I searched for the familiar.

I took The Bus, from the windward side of the island to Honolulu, went to a parade, then walked down Waikiki towards Diamond Head.

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With each step along Waikiki, I remembered my last visits. With each step, I saw more familiar places – Hilton Hawaiian Village, Hale Koa and…

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the sunset “booze” cruise catamaran – all places I have visited with my honey.

With each step, I saw the familiar, and it almost felt like home.

Aloha!

Day 16 – Beach Access

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I really wanted today’s post to be about my first time diving since 1996. Yes, this marine biologist hasn’t been SCUBA diving in 20 years. I had a fantastic experience – I picked it back up like my last dive was a week ago.

Perhaps diving is like riding a bicycle?

The most amazing thing I saw on my dive – 2 large turtles at a “cleaning station.” A cleaning station is where larger marine animals go to get “cleaned” of parasites by smaller fish or shrimp. The turtles were chill as they floated in mid-water column, getting a spa treatment from their little buddies. Remember when fish pedicures tried to make it in the U.S? Well, it is sort of like that.

So instead of a dorky picture of me with matted hair, a silly grin, a red rim around my face from where my mask was, and sporting an unflattering wetsuit (yes! it was cold), you get to see the path I take to the beach.

Here in Hawaii beaches are public land – but access to the beaches may be private. So in a place like Kailua, where the beach is 2.5 miles long, there are public access paths between some private property. The beach access I go to is only a half-block away, but then the path to the beach is a long city block.

What would you think about if you had to walk down this path to get to the beach?

I think about how awesome it is to be living in paradise!

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Aloha!

 

Day 15 – Roadtrip

Today I went North. I used Yelp to find a coffee place up the coast. I needed a destination more than I needed coffee. I couldn’t just drive for the joy of it.


I stopped along the way. He’eia state park, where the views of sand bar, Kaneohe bay and the Ko’olau mountains were spectacular. 


Next stop was Kualoa regional park and beach to check out Mokoli’i aka Chinaman’s Hat. I made a note to come back with my snorkel gear. 


I stopped for lunch at the first shrimp truck I saw. The shrimp shack is across the highway from Punalu’u beach park and next door to an old Hawaii grocery store. I ordered the coconut shrimp with guava dipping sauce and went to the grocery store for a Gauva drink (cheaper that way). It was fun but the shrimp shack was a tourist trap – @ $11.25 – it was a bit steep.


The drive – @ a max speed of 35 mph – was mellow and beautiful. Until all traffic stopped. I was too far away from the popular North Shore area for it to be traffic due to cars waiting for parking by the beaches. 

Accident! Three cars somehow managed to crash into each other even though the max speed was so slow. Once past that it was smoothe sailing.


I found the coffe place Yelp suggested but they weren’t open. So I continued to the north shore town of Haleiwa. A place I knew had a coffee shop. I stayed there and did homework (reread book and made annotations to help with my essay writing tomorrow).

On my way back south I had to stop and get wet! The north shore beaches looked amazing because the wind was coming from the southeast (the tubular waves this area is known for don’t happen until winter). I didn’t stop because they were too crowded. Instead I found this little beach and hung out there before making my way back to Kailua..

Aloha!

Day 14 – Gecko

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In an earlier post, I mentioned how one of my favorite features of my rental is the outdoor shower. I have taken all of my showers in this outdoor shower since day 2. I love this outdoor shower.

One day while showering, I saw a bright green gecko staring at me. I muted a shriek of excitement – I hadn’t seen a gecko in Hawaii since my first trip in 1992. What I have seen plenty of are anoles, mainly brown anoles, although green ones are said to have invaded these islands also. Brown anoles are endemic to the Caribbean region but are an invasive species here in the Hawaiian islands. They are everywhere. I don’t mind them because one ate a huge cockroach the other day (the only cockroach I have seen so far) and because they are familiar to me. They were also common around my great-grandparents house in Miami, a place I frequented when I was a child.

My favorite memory of my great-grandfather is of him catching two small anoles, squeezing their jaws open, then “clipping” the poor anoles to his earlobe like earrings. For some reason, be it shock or fear, the anoles just clung to his earlobes, leaving me in stitches from laughing so hard.

Alas, the anole has nothing on the gecko. These funky footed, lizards, that can climb up anything, like little spidermen and that look on their face – what is it about that look on their face? They make me smile every time I see one. They too are an introduced species – originally from Madagascar.

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Today, Gecko decided to show him/herself next to flamingo which added to my amusement.

I was lucky to get these images because he scurried off soon after I took the last picture.

I can’t wait until he visits me again.

Aloha!

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