It's Not Logical.....It's KWAJICAL!

The title of this post if from a t-shirt available at the AAFES store here on Kwaj. It's in reference to the fact that not everything makes sense here. There are a lot of decisions made and actions taken around here that can leave you scratching your head and asking, "Why?".

Sometimes it seems that people forget that we are not like every other city out there, that Kwaj is unique and what applies in other places does not necessarily apply here. I like to joke that I live in the Twilight Zone.

Unfortunately, my blog is monitored by the powers that be so I will not be siting any specific examples.


Anybody Got A Bucket?

Every so often, something happens here that makes me feel like we're really living the game Survivor. Obviously it's not quite as harsh as that but things that can happen in normal cities affect us much differently.

Losing power here is pretty serious. Not only does it knock out our air conditioning but our refrigeration which can cause our limited supply of food to go bad if it lasts long enough. You can't just bring more in on the drop of a hat like in the States. What you can end up with is a salad bar with strange mix of canned foods, but no actual salad.

Delayed shipments of food and consumables can cause problems too. Not too long ago we ran out of toilet paper and paper towels. I'm talking island wide; fortunately we had plenty at home but I'm sure someone got caught without any at some point.

And we've also experienced the equivalent of a water main break. No toilet flushing for 4 to 10 hours! Yikes! (Makes one wish they were a guy and could just sidle up to a palm tree. Unless of course you are one.)

Now you know why it's called "Almost Paradise". ;)


Quick Trip To Hawaii

This weekend I went to Hawaii. It was my first trip back to the States in 11 months. I was pretty sure that the traffic and insane amount of people (compared to the 1300 or so on Kwaj) was going to drive me crazy and make me want to run right back to my secluded little island and hide. It did not. In fact I really enjoyed being there, I had a great time and I'm ready to go back to "the real world".

I think one of the things I enjoyed most was the options available to me. While I never seem to lack for something to do on the island, the choices are pretty limited. It makes you feel a little more free when your options are unhindered. I also felt more independent and in control. In the States, my choices directly affect my quality of life. On the island, my quality of life is managed by the choices of other people, people who are trying to keep costs down and while they may be providing basic human services, there are a lot of services and supplies that we do not have access to.

It's a running joke here that we live in "Almost Paradise". It's very true. Yes, the environment is beautiful but there are a lot of other factors that make our standard of living low compared to the rest of the world.

While in Hawaii we went snorkeling with sharks. The company that we signed up with made us sign a waiver that we would not post any pictures taken during the tour on any social media or blogs so I won't be able to show you how cool it was. All I've got to say is that it was really a great experience. We got up close and face to face with sandbar sharks. Some of them were pretty big. The water was very clear and deep; the sharks would just sort of materialize in front of you as they swam out of the deep water into your field of vision. It was a great experience.

The other main activity for the weekend was a helicopter tour of the island with Genesis Aviation. the chopper we went on didn't have any doors, that was a very exciting ride! It was an absolutely gorgeous day, clear and sunny so we got to see everything clearly. We took the Waimea Tour which was an hour long tour. If you ever decide to do this tour, I would suggest doing it at the beginning of your trip. The pilot was able to point out a lot of places that we might want to visit on the ground from the air, things you might not have discovered on your own or found without seeing it from above first.

Suffice it to say I had a really good break, and it was time. I'm already looking forward to my next vacation, hopefully in the May/June time frame. In the meantime, I'm going to try to make sure I take my little sailboat out a lot more.


Small Craft Advisory

For the last four days there has been no boating on Kwajalein or Roi-Namur. We've been experiencing steady, heavy winds that have resulted in waves on the lagoon around 5 feet and up to 10 feet on the ocean side!

I was all set to race in the sailboat race on Sunday but decided against it after seeing the small craft advisory. As a private boat owner, you have the option of boating during the advisory if you think you can handle it. Rentals are not allowed out at all when the red flag is flying.

A couple of larger sailboats attempted the race course but went back in shortly after and one even ripped his main sail! I'm glad me and my green crew didn't chance it, we would have gotten beat up for sure.

If you think the boating conditions are bad, try riding your bike in wind like this! It's a real challenge.


What a Treat

I am so glad I attended tonight's Cowboy Poetry by Joe Herrington. Joe is the brother of one of our islanders, otherwise we probably would never get the opportunity to see him.

If you've never experienced cowboy poetry, it's fantastic. In my humble opinion anyway. It rings of all the good and true values that seem to be slipping away from our society; honesty, hard work, honor, respect. It was very refreshing and fun to say the least. I teared up at some of the stories for their raw truths and the values they represented.

Thank you Joe for your time and your stories, they were much appreciated!



My camera has died.

I'm not sure if I killed it or what but it won't stay on for more than a couple of seconds, it snaps a random picture and then locks up on me and then powers down.

I'm going to try replacing the battery when I am in Honolulu next week but if that doesn't fix it, I'm going to have to invest in another one.

I've been so happy with it up to this point too.

So, I've got some backdated pictures to share in upcoming posts but this puts a damper on recording anything new that happens.