Monday, February 05, 2007

A relaxing Saturday after a hectic week

Several friends and I spent a very relaxing day together on Saturday. First, we spent several hours up at Ritidian Beach, one of the most beautiful places on Guam. Upon our return to Guahan we showered and reconvened for supper and movies. We watched last week's American Idol auditions, The Illusionist, and Facing the Giants. I know! That's a lot of movies! But after a yearbook deadline, recital practice, progress report grades, and the recital, we were all beat, so we enjoyed the chance to relax and recover a bit from the week.

Here is a picture of Kelly and Karli right before we hit the beach:

The beach:

My charming friend Jodi enjoying the sun (He, he, he! I couldn't resist posting this picture). Jodi was starting to get sunburned--a condition most of the group is suffering from right now--so she tried to cover up.

My beautiful roommate and friend, Kelly:

Me on the beach:

Elizabeth tackling me--of course, I screamed! She's been doing this to me a lot lately . . .

Faculty Recital

On Friday February 2, Harvest hosted the 8th annual Faculty Recital. Faculty and staff members worked for several weeks (or longer) to prepare piano solos, piano duets, vocal solos and duets, and instrumental numbers. There was great variety in the styles of pieces performed and a nice blend of everything from serious classical music (I sang "Mon couer s'ouvre a ta voix" from Samson et Dalila) to fiddling (Kelly played the "Orange Blossom Special") to a funny rendition of "I Need a Man" (to the tune of "Part of Your World") to the theme from the Pink Panther as performed by the music faculty on percussion instruments.

On Monday of last week I started to get a sore throat and by Wednesday, I had a full-blown cold. On Thursday during my last couple of classes I started to lose my voice and my voice only got worse on Friday. I drank several cups of tea and swallowed spoonfuls of honey and prayed! When I got up to sing I had no idea what would come out. God was so gracious! I was able to sing! I made it through my song, and although it wasn't as strong or expressive as I would have liked, my voice didn't crack and I was able to sustain the long and high notes. Many people commented that they had no idea that I had a cold. After I was done singing, my voice was pretty much shot for the evening and didn't really start to get better until today. I am so thankful to be a testimony of how God's strength and power works through us when we are weak. There was no way I could have sung that song the way I did without the grace of God.

My wonderful accompanist, Lisa Flower, and me after the recital. The piano part was very challenging, but she did a beautiful job and even covered for my mistakes!

My roommate, Kelly Schlarb, and me. Kelly dressed in-character to add to the mood of the piece. Everyone loved it and she even played it again for the encore.

The music faculty:

Yap, Part IV--Christmas Day

I am way behind on posting about my trip to Yap. After this post about Christmas morning, I still have a bunch of pictures from the days after Christmas, but I'll have to wait for another time to post those.

If you've been checking my blog waiting for me to update it, I'm very sorry. (If no one reads this and no one knows that it's been months since I posted, that's okay with me, too.) I haven't had much time for pleasures like posting to my blog. I've been trying to survive the end of the year madness at HCA and HBC.

On Christmas morning, Bob and Polly took us on a tour of the island.

This is an iguana we saw on the side of the road. It reminded April of her iguana, Monty, who has since died. :-(

I love taking pictures of palm trees. I take them from every angle and with every setting, and at every time of day. I am still trying to get the perfect shot of the shadow of a palm tree. (The hardest part is not getting your shadow in the picture!)This one came out pretty well, but I would have prefered that the shadow be over the water. Alas, the water was too far away and it was the wrong time of day.

Here's a view of the Yap airport from the top of a hill. I thought the structure of the airport was unique with its echo of traditional housing. This airport is almost as bad as one I was at in the Philippines. The one there was basically a tin box with wooden benches and no aircon (of course). We walked through a wooden gate, threw our luggage on a cart, and then got on the plane. The Yap airport is also not airconditioned (no surprise there--and by the way, I'm not complaining, I'm just trying to describe it so you have a mental picture of what Yap is like), definitely under construction (you might be able to see the scaffolding that's around the building), and we had fun watching the men carry our luggage from the back of a pickup truck to the table where we claimed it.

A road less traveled by.

A little market in the village of Kodai, where Bob and Polly used to live.

Walking down the stone path to the men's house. Polly demonstrates how big the plant leaves are. As we walked, we carried a piece of greenery as a signal that we came in peace.

April and me sitting in the chief's seat.

Polly and April

The men's house in Kodai


To get pictures of this view, we climbed to the top of a little knoll. Climbing up wasn't too bad, but coming down was a challenge. There was a lot of swordgrass and prickerburrs, so we couldn't use our hands, so we slid down the dry loose dirt like snowboarders.

We tried to get a picture of a white egret like this for days. The little buggers kept flying off before we could get the camera out. This time we were waiting and finally got a good picture!

I loved the sign posts in Yap. So picturesque!

Bob Whitmore at Pacific Rim Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Yap, Part III (Christmas Eve)

On Sunday morning, Christmas Eve, we attended the Christmas program at Yap Baptist Church. As soon as the service was over we went to Faith Baptist Church for their Christmas program. After the feast there (where I had taro for the first time), we returned to Mark and Diane's for Christmas caroling and food and games at their house.

The Christmas program at Yap Baptist Church began with the little ones singing "10 Little Angels" led by HBBI graduate, Clara Yirimyad.

Several of the teens put together a play called "A Gift for Mother" in which the mother pawns her pearl necklace in order to buy Christmas presents for her children. But the children work at the pawn shop after school to buy the pearl necklace back for her. It was a nice little play and the kids did a good job with it. I know Diane put in a lot of time directing it as well.

Johnny, Caleb, Mark and Diane Zimmer enjoy the play.

Some more teens and young adults presented a story about a young shepherd who visited Christ in Bethlehem and another lazy shepherd who fell asleep and missed his opportunity to go with the other shepherds to see Christ.

Some views of the inside of Yap Baptist Church:

The Zimmer's house from the back door of the church:

Roland and Sensarina's house (HBBI grads who help Mark with various things at church) and the workshop:

Paul and Sherry Zimmer loaned us one of their vans so we could drive to and from Mark and Diane's more easily. Even though the Yapese drive on the right hand side of the road, many of the cars are Japanese models, so the steering wheel is on the right as well. It was an unusual experience, but I loved it! Here's a picture of me driving up to Paul and Sherry's church, Faith Baptist, for the afternoon Christmas program.

Sherry Zimmer narrated the Christmas program which was about the lost sheep. The children were the shepherds, villagers, and sheep. I had fun helping Sherry get all of the kids into costume!

Pastor Paul giving the challenge:

Christmas Eve is also Paul's birthday, so Polly surprised him with a cake. He's pictured here with Sarah and Paulie.

Erika, one of the ladies in the church, made flower wreaths for us (I don't remember the Yapese word for them, but I'll check my notes for it).

Polly handed out gifts to all the adults, which we had wrapped on Friday while the ladies were decorating.

The children enjoyed opening their Christmas presents.

Me and April with an outer islander dressed in traditional clothing called a thu.

After the Christmas program and feast, the Whitmores, and April and I returned to Mark and Diane Zimmer's for Christmas caroling and a Christmas party. We caroled to some church memebers, unsaved Chinese storeowners, and some of the American Peace Corps. We ran into a little trouble with the police--they were definitely keeping an eye on us--because they didn't understand the American custom of Christmas caroling. Someone had been sitting up on the side of the truck because it was so crowded, but we got away with only a warning.

The following pictures are from our game of Mafia, which Mark narrated. Some of us met rather unusual ends--April was beaten with a flute, I was attacked by boonie dogs, and Mark was cursed by a voodoo doctor!

Bob tries to deflect accusations of being one of the Mafia.

Polly protests being killed in the first round, especially since she was the doctor and not one of the Mafia!

Sensarina's laugh kept giving away that she was the Mafia.