Forget the Octopus. Gimme a Coral Garden.

I’ve been traveling a lot for my job. Job? What job? Yeah. I was hired the first day of my internship at a private forensic psychological practice. My employer is one of the most notable forensic and clinical psychologists in the field and I say I won the lottery. We travel for Court trials all over the world. I was also able to travel to Maui, and also spent a week at her home on the Big Island. I work hard and we get along great. She treats me like a professional and is very generous with her knowledge and time.

Larry and I have also been exploring Hawaii quite a bit, hiking and checking out the different beaches. Each part of the island of Oahu has its own culture, and the beaches are no different. While the hiking and mountains are certainly second to none here on the islands, the snorkeling I have experienced is still not as impressive as Guam’s many beautiful reefs. Even Bonaire and Aruba couldn’t compare. Guam’s natural beauty is a treasure…in that way. Now… the black mold and awful radio stations (lookin’ at you, I94) are a different story.

My two nieces, 7 & 14, visited me last week here in Hawaii. We did all the sights, cultural activities, seaside hikes, and lived the beach life. My oldest niece told me this trip has “changed her life.” Secretly, that was the idea. Neither had left the continental U.S. before. Virgin daiquiris (“lava flows”), a Pearl Harbor memorial visit, Polynesian Cultural Center, beach days, Dole Plantation, Chinatown in Honolulu, Kailua shopping, snorkeling with Hawaiian sea turtles off the coast of Diamondhead, lunch aboard an ocean catamaran; we even went to a luau at the Hale Koa. I guess I’d say a spring break on Oahu is a pretty good way to spend your time.

You know sometimes you feel a little down. Today I felt that way. Moving to a new area, no matter how idyllic, extroverts still need that dose of social energy each day. For those of you who have moved to a new city, you might understand. While most people my age befriend coworkers, my job is just me and my employer in a private practice. & I don’t hear a lot from my friends back on the mainland. But you know what? The drive to and from work today was the most beautiful I had seen yet. Also, I received a lovely voicemail message from my niece’s father who said that my niece sees me as a role model, a mentor, and is very inspired. It sure is nice to have someone tell you “I appreciate you.” When I am down, I only have to look around to be reminded of the good things in the world.

I’ve also joined the local Rotary club after having to leave my Bossier City, Louisiana club where I was the pioneer social media outreach committee chairperson.  This club, Windward Sunrise of Oahu, is a smaller club, and was very welcoming. I immediately set to work setting up the social outreach, including online media. Since the 2020 Rotary International Conference is being held in Honolulu, I asked to be my club’s president for that year, so I could take part as being a host club. This is a great honor and I am so amazingly stoked! My president-elect role begins in July.

How predictable am I… watching a documentary on Netflix about how volcanic Pacific islands are born, and the flora and fauna within. I dare you to find an animal documentary where they omit the line “…& the competition is fierce…” And when they play Skyrim style music, they are talking about disappearing cultures. What is that? Whimsical bassoon? Must be a Bowerbird decorating his nest or a Bird of Paradise showing off a comical mating dance. And forget it if you hear intense drumming. That flamingo doesn’t stand a chance against that hyena. Damn.

Oh yeah, I graduate with my Master of Science in Counseling next month. Nice.

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