Friday, August 22, 2008


I don't usually waste my time and energy commenting on things that are happening on this island as there seems to be plenty of people willing to do that. But today I read an unsigned editorial in the paper about a new Indigenous Rights Group. I have to be honest - I just don't get this. Yes, I'm a white American. But I have lived out here for 12 years. I have many local friends, I have many filipino friends, too, among others. My initial reaction was great, another way to separate ourselves and act somehow superior over other people groups. But after reading it, I got the feeling the group felt somehow victimized by the U.S. Now this is truly baffling. The indigenous of this island have been "self-governing" for 3 decades now. We can clearly see the results of that. Not only that, but this island has been "self-governing" on huge amounts of U.S. dollars. By U.S. dollars, I don't mean that some faceless government handed them money, as many would view it. The money was paid in the form of taxes by the citizens of the United States, and entrusted to their leaders to spend it wisely. Now the spending wisely thing is a whole other topic. In trying to understand this editorial, I searched my brain for a reason to say the things they said and to feel the way they feel (yeah, I do this - it's just futile, I know) What exactly does this group want? Do you want the U.S. to build up your island, draw investors, give you working power, fresh water, good roads - all free of charge and with no effort on your part, and no accountability for any of your choices? Should the U.S. hand this group endless millions to sort out their self-governance issues? Make no mistake, I think the U.S. made a huge mistake in agreeing to the covenant. They should have given the island back to the local people - no U.S funded anything, no U.S. passports, nothing OR should have made it a true U.S. state completely, functioning as any other American state. Yep, all or nothing should have been the agreement - not this half baked nobody wins thing. Just my opinion. Anyway, we made our mistake - now we're stuck with it, I guess. But the attitudes of entitlement are more than frustrating. They are frustrating by the groups in the U.S. and they are frustrating by people here.
If the people of this island truly want to secede from the U.S., then do it - but do it completely. Ask to become your own nation, ask to sever the covenant completely. What have you got to lose? That way the U.S. will stop interfering with your "self-governance". You wouldn't want to live in cooperation with the U.S., abide by their laws, weed out corruption here, pay our fair share of taxes, or be in any way a part of the bigger global picture. You are the only ones that matter - self above all else. May your wish be granted.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Early Morning

I was awakened this morning at 4:00 a.m. by another power outage. The dog started whining when the power went out. I think she gets nervous about that for some reason. I let her in our room and tried to go back to sleep. But once you're awake at that hour, it's hard to fall back asleep. I finally drifted into a good deep sleep about 6:00 a.m., but had to get up at 6:30 a.m., so when Sarah woke me up this morning, I felt completely out of it. Harry was supposed to call to wake me up since the alarm wouldn't work with the power off, but he was busy running fuel up to Tapochao for the station generators. So I'm tired at work today - again. The power is off at work, too. Yep, still off at 10:00 in the morning. We're running on generator. I decided to take a break and write this post. Maybe this way I won't think about how tired I am all day. Ha.

The constant power outages don't seem to bother these two. They just snuggle up together and nap all day. Here's Belle. She thought she should check out the wine rack. I guess she is pretending she's a white zinfandel today. She is truly a sweetheart cat. She hugs you when she's picked up, purrs, sits on your lap, shows affection. Yes, the cat girls make us smile pretty much every day.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sunday Obyan Dive

Sunday I had the pleasure of diving Obyan with Harry, Scott and Chris. Scott is visiting from Cleveland, Ohio. And yep, he has actually gone diving in Cleveland. It's a cold, yet funny story. They actually wear 7m wetsuits and dive a quarry that has a sunken boat in it with a dummy driving, barbies in some corner "doing it", and various other funny signs and objects. That is real desperation for diving, I'd say - more power to them. After I got done laughing at his Ohio dive stories, I was really thankful for my little dive island.
Scott spotted these two nudis. It looks like they might be two different species together. We came across this soft coral floating gently in the current. I love this stuff. Here's an exit to one of the swim throughs. I always enjoy going in those. A group of fish hangs out near the openings to the surface. Here's a scorpionfish - ew. Chris is checking for critters under the rocks. Harry is pointing at the biting anenome fish.Scott enjoying his dive. Harry and Chris. Anenome fish hiding. Harry putting his finger close enough to get a nip from the residing anenome fish. Eel checking us out. Harry found a pillow starfish. They are so pretty. Well, as usual, it was a fun and relaxing dive.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Saturday Boat Dive

Saturday Harry and I went on a boat dive with fellow dive friends to Temple of Doom and Bird Island. I spotted my very first shark on this dive. Here he is. Here's Rusty (I think) and Harry dropping down.
Mark is ready to head out. Here's me, dropping down to join Harry. Harry took a picture of me coming through the rocks. Harry found this puffy sand dollar. Harry and other divers exiting the crevasse. The next few photos are Brad. He must have been nearby while I was snapping pictures.
Brad in the fan coral crevasse at Temple of Doom.
Brad and Tammy on the boat before the dives. Me, enjoying my boat ride to the dive sites. Ryan is in the background. Check out my Axe Murderer Tours gear!Harry on the boat ride to our dive sites. We dove the Temple of Doom first. I liked Bird Island alot better, but I think I would have liked Temple of Doom more if we weren't trying to swim against the current to get to the big rock formation. Hanging out at Temple of Doom would have been more fun, as I wanted to take more fan coral pictures.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Obyan Octopus Dive

Awhile ago we went on a dive with Rae and Michael to Obyan. I've been wanting to post the pictures from that dive, as it turned out to be a nice clear, critter filled dive. But something was wrong with smugmug, so I couldn't add the photos until today. I have some great pictures from our boat dive over the weekend, too, but I'll post those later. In the photo below, you see Rae and Michael swimming over the coral. There were some nice big fish hanging out at the coral, so we got alot of nice pictures. I think Harry must have used my camera to get this great nudi shot. I'd be surprised if I took that one. Here's Harry getting some pictures of the schools of fish we saw that day. He really misses his camera. I miss it, too. If he doesn't have his camera, he swims along faster, so I have to work harder to keep up. But seriously, why would someone steal a dive camera? We all know each other's gear. Anyway, I layed down on the bottom and looked under this rock, to get a picture of this guy. Actually, I was hoping to see an octopus under there, but this fish was really pretty. We saw this eel poking his head out along the way. And I stopped to get a shot of these little fish swimming around the coral. But there were just schools of fish that day, it was fun to swim along with them. Michael was checking out a hole and got this guy to come out for a visit. He got real up close and personal with Michael, as you can see in the photos below. We all had a great time watching the encounter.

After a while, he had enough of us, sprayed us with ink and went on his way. All in all, a very fun dive.

Friday, August 8, 2008


Happy 08-08-08. I decided to post 8 happy pictures. Have a great weekend.

#1 is me relaxing at Oleai Beach. #2 Sarah, me, Hozumi enjoying a girl moment at 360. #3 me, Harry on our 28th anniversary - diving at Lau Lau. #4 Sarah and the cat girls, Oli and Belle.#5 Regis and Josh - in Colorado. #6 Monkey and Harry in Bali. #7 Harry in Bali - with a refreshing glass of watermelon juice. #8 Kelli in Bali - enjoying banana pancakes and fresh fruit for breakfast, served with hot ginger tea. Mmm.