Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Rules.. By Karen Campau

The following was written by my roommate, Karen, who moved here from Michigan.

Here is what I have learned so far since getting to Maui. I will be adding to these rules as I go along, and giving more vocabulary as I learn my way around. My maui cruiser runs good and only has 50,000 miles on it, it is a '94 Tempo and hopefully will last me until I am done here, however long that may be. -k

(**Notes from Susie: My car may technically be a Maui Cruiser based on the odometer. I am in denial about this status, however, and prefer to consider my car a hotrod.)

Rule #1- You must wear antipersperant, you get really sweaty, it is also a good idea to carry around a napkin with you to wipe your face off so it doesn't run down your shirt, at least not in front.
Rule #2- You must drink lots of water, this makes you have to pee a lot, so you have to get used to running to the bathroom every five minutes, but it is a small price to pay so you don't get dehydrated because of all the sweating.

Rule # 3- Do not scream when you see a roach, yes they are huge but they don't bite(they can supposedly fly) , you can scream if you see a centipede, they do bite, and can get up to 12 inches long ( I have only seen one three inches long) You may also scream when you see a scorpion, although I haven't seen one of those yet.

Rule # 4- Do not worry about deadlines, they are not important, things will get done when they need to be done, before that point it is not worth working overtime and worrying about it. (I cannot follow this one, I like deadlines and thrive under stress)

Rule #5- Do not go to the beach between 3 and 4 it is too windy and you will be covered in sand.(**If you want to get a microderm abrasion treatment for free, this may be an option)

Rule #6- The sand here is different, it is much stickier, it is impossible to get off unless you rinse really really good, you can't just let it dry and it will fall off. This is also the reason you MUST NOT lay on a towel on the beach, the sand will not come out of the towel for months, instead it is a good idea to buy a bamboo mat from ABC stores for $1.50 and keep your towel for drying off with. It is also a good idea to take two towels to the beach, one for drying off ocean water, and one for drying off from the shower.

Rule #7- The ocean is too warm to be truely refreshing, I am a Lake Huron girl, and like the water I swim in to be brisk and induce goose bumps, this whole ocean thing isn't the greatest. Plus there a a lot of critters that live in it. (** I disagree with this statement wholeheartedly. The water is downright chilly but turns refreshing after the initial numbness wears off. Major difference in perspective from this VA girl!)

Rule #8- NEVER snorkel where you swim. You really don't want to know what is in there with you.

Rule # 9 Do not leave the main streets unless you know where you are going and have a good map with you, the streets are not laid out on a grid and an East-West street turns into a North-South street fairly often. ( I went to an address on S\. Wakea, but I had to turn onto East Wakea to find it) Also important note about driving, the addresses make no sense, you will find #35 across the street from #77, even/ odd it makes no difference things are numbered randomly. (**Those of you who know me know that I am so directionally challenged that I have no idea what this girl is talking about here..)

Rule #10 Learn how to say the street names, pronounce every letter say it to yourself a few times, if you are unsure ask a local how to say it, if you are asking for directions, ordering a cab, or driving around town it is important to know the difference between Pi'ilani and Pi'ikea, Ka'ahumanu and Kahmehameha, DO NOT just think to yourself (okay I turned right on the K street and left on the P street)

Rule #11- A Hawaii driver's license will get you discounts on all kind of things (**however, obtaining one may be a challenge..)

Rule #12- When you move so far from home you can never get too many emails from home, even if nothing has changed and you have nothing new to say I appreciate every note.

Vocabulary of Maui:

Maui Cruiser- a cheap car that may have a lot of miles, or just look like crap, but still runs and after all you are on a tiny island why do you need a fancy car to go two miles in? I drive a Maui Cruiser

Haole- that is me, a white girl, the locals do not want to rent out their Ohanas to a Haole, any good deal you may find in the paper are not necessarily available to Haoles.

Ohana- The Hawaiian word for family in the context of apartment rentals an ohana is an apartment in a house. Sometimes an ohana is a separate apartment within the house, in the back yard, in the garage, in the attic, there is no regulation on ohanas so they can be a very good deal or piece of crap, only the junky ones are available to Haoles.

No worries attitude tested...

I am here to tell ya that i have dealt with some major b.s. since I've been here. To make those of you who are envious of my living in paradise, here ya go...

My stepmom, Maggie, has been kind enough to agree to fly out with my dog- I originally thought it'd be cheaper this way, now I'm not so sure. Either way, she'll be my first visitor and I'd rather pay a little more to get her out here... Today I checked her flight to see what time it leaves Honolulu on the 19th of september so I could schedule the interisland leg of the flight... to discover that the flight was not leaving on the 19th. No. The flight was from the 12th to the 16th. 4 days. Maggie is supposed to fly across the U.S. on a 15 hour flight and return 4 days later. Not even enough time to be void of jet lag even. To make a long story interesting, well, never mind. No way to make it interesting. It just took me an hour and a half and two more phone calls to get it all straightened out and avoid the 100.00 charge for changing a flight. I think it's straight now. If not, maybe Maggie and jack can just hang out on Oahu for awhile (just kidding maggie!!)

This wouldn't be that big of a deal if my brand new, less than a month old, not cheap, Toshiba laptop hadn't CRASHED Sunday when I was burning a cd for a girl I hardly know! Many phone calls and a few Advil later I found a guy in Kihei to back up my data (i know, i should have thought of that earlier...) for 49.99. I called Best Buy who told me to call Toshiba who told me the closest authorized dealer who would be covered under warranty was in Hilo. That's on the Big Island. Not an option I wanted to explore. I took it to the Kihei guy and he made a comment about the 40 gigs of info. on my one month old computer. I had to download many cds to get me through while on Maui!! Anyway, I have it back now and he was able to fix it. Apparently some file on my dvd burner was corrupt and conflicting with XP. Damn technology.

I would have been able to deal with the computer glitch a little better had I not had to listen to "mommy coming back" in a whining, crying voice all day Friday and Monday from one of my darlings in my class. I also worked monday night at the restaurant and it was DEAD so I made very little in tips. And no famous people came in.

I still haven't made it to the DMV to get my Hawaii driver's license so that I can get my kamaina discount (local). My new social security card has arrived, but I haven't made it out of work on time yet and can't get there before it closes. ( i had to go to the social security office for a few hours 30 minutes away, wait a few hours, and then I was told it would take 10 days to come in the mail).

On the bright side... I have a new cool roommate, Karen. She moved here from Michigan to teach 5th grade at Kihei Elementary. She not only has cut my rent in half (now only 725/month), we end up hanging out at night here and there and have been on a few excursions together (see Rule 13 in next blog..). My dog is coming soon, we have Monday off, Julie and Tyg are coming at the end of the month, and I'm finally settled in with all I need at my apartment. I'm still waiting to meet my sugardaddy with a yacht, but I have faith he will appear soon.

Until next time.. Aloha! Susie :)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Phil Mickelson and the Brazilian Girls

I worked tonight at Stella Blues. Phil Mickelson (Pro golfer for those of you who don't know) came in for dinner! The Brazilian Girls band also came in to eat before their show at Hapa's later. Pretty cool!! Apparently Clint Eastwood comes in often and Mike Meyers was here all summer and was a frequent visitor too. Neat.

I went out last night with girls from school - to Lulu's and Life's a Beach... it was a low key but fun night. Today I went to the beach for a few hours with a girl from work and her daughter. It was pretty overcast where we went, so I'll be beaching it again in the morning. I need a little color! All of this work has kept me from getting sun.

Maggie has agreed to fly out with Jack on September 12th. She'll only stay for a week, but will be back out with my dad in November! It will be fun to show her around. Julie and Tig (Jamie's sister and bro-in-law) will be here late September and we plan to get together. Also hope to have a visit from an old friend, Cory Steinberg in mid-September. :)

I have a webcam now, so I'm planning to have a video session Mom, Lisa, and the kiddos tomorrow evening. It is almost as good as being there in person! I'm looking forward to it.

Well, I haven't eaten dinner, so I better go. Ciao!

Friday, August 26, 2005

From Newport to Stella Blues

This will be a quickie! I started my new hostessing job at a really cool restaurant called Stella Blues today( ). A girl named Emery trained me and she was great. The people are friendly, the food is good, and the atmosphere phenomenal. If you come to visit, we will be going to Stella's for dinner. I had CPR training earlier so I didn't work with kids today- the second day of school for them! I also have to be out at a reading training tomorrow all day. Nothing the Dept. of Ed. does here makes sense at all. I have a new roommate moving in over the weekend- a girl named Karen who moved here from Michigan. SHe teaches 5th grade at my school (Kihei- said KEY HEY). She is super nice and we never see each other at work so it should be good. I haven't had a roommate in a while so it'll be an adjustment. THe last roommate I had was Kevin, and he slept all day so it was just fine!! :) (love ya kev)

I'm planning for Jack to arrive on Sept. 9th. I am hoping that Maggie (my stepmom) will be able to fly with him. It will be cheaper, I'll feel better about him flying, and I'll get to show her around my new world!

Well I am totally exhausted so I'm off to crash out. Aloha to you!! Susie

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Keiki's Are Coming...

The 24th is the first day the Keiki's (said Kay-Kees) come to school. Judging by the emails I've been getting, I thought I better post a blog about what's going on with my new school environment! I've been going in for the past two and a half weeks for at least part of the day. My co-teacher, Rochelle, has been there along side me almost every day. She is a second year teacher who grew up here in Kihei. She attended our school growing up and is really sweet and flexible. Actually everyone I have met at work is incredibly friendly and personable! One of my boxes (a small one) theat I mailed to myself almost a month ago from VA arrived today. I was so excited! It was a good one to arrive first b/c it had materials for the beginning of the year in it along with my favorite large puppet. As far as my students, I have 5 on my roster right now but one of them is a monitor meaning she will attend a regular preschool and I will maintain her paperwork, etc. I have one little girl who has Down Syndrome, and three boys. One of the boys is non-verbal and has a diagnosis of Autism. He was a student in another pre-school classroom last year and his reputation precedes him. This is usually not good! I am off tomorrow because it is a holiday, Admissions Day, which has to do with being admitted into the U.S. or something. I should know more, but I don't! It works out well that I'm off b/c my furniture is coming sometime after noon!!!! I am very excited about that. It turns out that the furniture that my landlords were going to loan me isn't available, so I had to make alternative plans. I found a place in Lahaina (20 min. north of here) that sells and delivers used furniture, and that is where it is coming from. I will now officially not be making any more big purchases. I REALLY hope that I get most of the money I spent back when I go to sell it when I leave. All of the tables/stands are light colored bamboo. I am especially excited about the kitchen table. I'll post some pics later. MOST IMPORTANTLY, I will be sleeping on a bed tomorrow night for the first time since I've been here. The old air mattress has been good (and for future visitors, is really comfortable) but it IS an air mattress!!

I went to Lulu's last night- a neat bar/restaurant in the middle of town. It was karyoke night, so I was prepared to cover my ears. Boy was I pleasantly surprised! Those people could really sing! I am used to people who think they can sing but really just had a few too many!! Lisa, you will have to sing one of your Grease tunes if you make it to visit. Someone did the new country song "My Give A Damn Is Broken" last night. I hadn't heard that song, but it was great.

Anyway, I'm gonna try to catch up on individual emails now. Be sure to let me know what's going on in your world when you get a chance.

Aloha!! Susie

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Back from Oahu

I went to Honolulu this weekend to visit some VA friends. It was a fun trip!! I'll be posting pics probably tomorrow. It went by fast and I didn't sleep much!!! Today we went to the North Shore and got to see several sea turtles. You could feed them seaweed right out of your hand. It was awesome!! I'll write more tomorrow after my orientation for work. UGHH reality sets in! Aloha to you!

Finally back to add pics and details about my trip and catch this up to date! The first tw0 pics were taken at the North Shore at this place where sea turtles come right up to you in the water! They eat seaweed out of your hand- it's so cool. This turtle, we were told, was coming to shore just to rest. The next pic above is Missy, Andre, Yvonne with her Spanish man, O.C., who called her Mommi, and Dee. This was in "the bush" as the Jamaican Carlene's said. (two of the girls on the trip who are both named Carlene and both from Jamaica!) The next pic is the view where Nita (our hostess) works at an outside restaurant near the pool. She certainly has it rough!! She said she can make $1000 a week or more most of the time!!

This wraps up what I can share about the trip to Oahu. Little sleep, lots of drinks, and a whole lot of fun was had by all. I hope to make it back sometime to see more of the island.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Aloha to you! Here is a picture of my sweet dog, Jack! The other 2 (of the same picture!!) are of me on the first night me and Jamie were in Key West in June. I'm pretty sure that was the night that I had too much to drink...uhhhhgh. It was fun until I woke up the next morning!! Thankfully we got a ride home from some guy with a bike with a cart on the back.. I can't figure out how to delete one of these!!

Fast forward to NOW. Things are falling into place here. I seem to make a daily trip to Walmart for something. Is it bad when the cashiers call you by name??? I now have a small t.v. (however the cable we pay for in our rent that i just found out about doesn't work right now!), a printer, a webcam and microphone, a toaster oven... the list goes on. So much for not stockpiling while I am here! I got a flight to Honolulu today- I leave Friday afternoon and return Sunday evening. Some VA friends are going to be there (Yvonne and Missy) and I am looking forward to seeing them and Oahu!! I have to go to an orientation in Wailuku on Monday and at my school on Tuesday so it will be my last hurrah. I figured now was the time with the offer of the free place to stay and no dog to worry about yet. By the way, I MISS MY DOG!! I get frequent reports about him from my mom, but it's not the same. When I'm done eating, there's no one to give the leftovers too. When I go to sleep, there's no one to fight with for my side of the bed (maybe that's good considering I'm sleeping on an air mattress right now)! Oh well, he'll be here in a month. Then I'll have to deal with getting him to go to the bathroom while on a leash which he's never really done (on command anyway).

I had the pleasure of sitting in the Social Security Admin. building for over an hour today. I was granted this joy because I erroneously laminated my original SS card several years ago in an effort to be efficient. Apparently this makes it invalid. I need a valid SS card to get a HI driver's license. I need a HI driver's license to get the local discount. I don't know why she swallowed a fly, perhaps she'll die!

Monday night I played tennis with a Jamaican guy at these public courts. Let me rephrase that. I ran my butt off all night and lost! It was fun and he was nice- I met them there while I was there hitting on the practice wall. I also got the phone numbers of a guy and a girl who play USTA here. THey were so friendly and encouraged me to call this one lady to join a team for the fall. It's so cool, at these public courts you can just show up and pretty much know that you will find a match!! I love it!

Anyway, for friends and family, I have posted yet more pics in a new photo album called AAAAJune/July '05. ( ). They are from June and July.. better late than never. It is VERY hot here right now. I heard on the news last night something about record highs this week. WHeeww, whoever said there is no humidity here LIED!! I have the A/C running most of the time during the day.

WEll, I best go. Take care and keep in touch! Mahalo! Susie :)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Hana Highway!!

I am just in from a fantastic trip up the Hana Highway!!! I had the hardest time deciding which pics to put here. The first picture is of Honomanu Bay. As you can tell, the water was such a clear blue. The junker car is one of the many found on the island that have been abandoned and then decorated in some unique way. The next pic is of Lower Puohokamoa Falls. I had to hike a little trail (muddy and slippery) to get to it, but it was pretty easy and worth it! The last shot was taken at the Ke'anae Peninsula. The ocean continually pounds through jagged lava rocks and it is breathtaking! I got my feet wet here- burrrr- the water was Fraeezzzing! When I left this area, I stopped at this little hut and got the best homemade banana bread and pineapple/strawberry smoothie I have ever had! The bread was still warm and the smoothie was a much needed relief from the heat. I had the top down on the Miata for the whole ride. Great views but a little warm at times. In the shade it wasn't bad! I stopped at a place called Ching's Pool after the peninsula and went for a dip. I unfortunately don't have any digital pics of this b/c I only took my waterproof camera down there with me. The water was really cold but refreshing. It said "No swimming, domestic water," but there were locals in the water so I jumped right in! Next I turned off the highway into a small settlement called Wailua. There was supposed to be a view of a waterfall there according to my handy Maui book, but all I saw was a funny sign and an angry local! (See first picture about Ass Biting Dogs!!)

I stopped around the 22 mile post and headed home. I had to make it home for a webcam session with the family in Virginia. It was such an awesome trip already and I'll be returning to catch the things I missed later of course. I left home at about 8:15 this morning, and made it back around 2:15. The windy road was a bit nauseating on the way down since I wasn't stopping at all!! The cybervisit was awesome! It was so great to 'see' everyone. My nephew, Gavin, made me cry with his version of "You're a Grand 'Ole Flag!". I'm such a wimp! It was the next best thing to getting to be right there. Thank God for technology!! Be in touch!! Cheers, Susie :)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Baby Katie and pics of my new pad

Here are a few pics of my new apartment. It's starting to come together although I'm sleeping on an air mattress (thankfully it's pretty comfy) and sitting on my pier one beach chairs!! My landlords are off island as they say until the 12. They have some furniture they are going to let me use and will deliver it when they return. I am so stoked about that! Anyway, my extra bedroom is nice and empty, so let me know when you plan to visit! My first visitors don't come until the end of September. I am thinking about flying to Oahu on the 12th b/c some VA friends will be there and they invited me to stay with them. The cheapest flight I've found is around $150 and I've already spend a TON of cash, but I'm still thinking about it. It will be my last hurrah before school starts since I have orientation on the 15th. I'm meeting with a restaurant manager at a posh country club in wailea at 3:30 today, so it also depends on my server job too.

Anyway, I hope you and yours are well. I just had to add this cute picture of my niece Katie in her bikini b/c it is so sweet I can't stand it. Cheers!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

It's been 2 weeks...

Isn't that the start of a BNL song???

I can't believe I've been here for two weeks already! I'm glad that I came early because I can't imagine having to go thru what I had to go thru to find a place, try to get it livable, run a gazillion errands (ie.a/c fixed in the car, transfer registration..BORING stuff!) and get my classroom ready all at the same time. I actually just found out that I won't be able to get into my classroom until around the 18th. Not good. The kids come the 24th! No one seems stressed about anything around here so i'm trying to join them- I'm not sure if it's complete inner peace, an awareness that everything will work out in time, or a lack of concern!! It's so NOT like the mainland in that way! I have 3 students on my roster- two that seem easy going and one that DOESN't. How's "reduce biting behaviors" for an IEP goal sound??? I'll keep you posted on that one and make sure my shots are all up to date. That little boy will NOT bite me!

Now for the fun stuff! I finally ventured to a bar last night and it was great fun! It's called Hapa's and apparently the closest thing to a club in Kihei. The major reason that I went was b/c Willie K and his band were playing and I have heard so much about him since I've been here that I just had to go see. What an amazing musician he is! Slide, electric, and acoustic guitars- he was actually playing with his teeth on one of the last songs. Everything from Stevie Ray Vaughn to country to Hawaiian falsetto. Sounds crazy but it totally worked. After seeing all of the different kinds of people on the dance floor and the lack of rhythm that many of them possessed, I joined them! (if you know me at all you KNOW I can't dance) ANyway, it wasn't cheap- $10 cover and $5 a beer. That's Bud Light, not good beer! ANyway, I ran into this girl that I met when I was apartment hunting and we hung out most of the night. She's taking me to the east side of the island snorkeling tomorrow - my first time on the other side. I've rented some snorkeling gear for the week to determine if I think I need to buy or just rent equipment when I want to go. It's really cheap to rent b/c they expect you'll buy other trips, etc. while you're there. I saw a sea turtle Sunday when I went just south of here. I was't quick enough to snap his picture, but hopefully I'll have better luck tomorrow.

I bought a mountain bike at a thrift store today. I took if for a test ride about an hour ago. WHile the bike is great, it was HOLY HOTTER than HAITEEEEE!! I bought a lock for it since apparently stealing is more frequent than I'd like.

I've applied for a server position at several restaurants since I probably won't win the lottery anytime soon. I figured it'd be a good way to meet people also. I really hope that I am hired at this place called Capische. It overlooks the ocean, is all open air, and only open from 5-9 pm! (not to mention a few hotties work there!)

Well if you've made it this far you are probably as tired of reading as I am of writing. Keep writing me emails! I love it!! Mahalo!