Friday, August 31, 2007

Not GDB's gonna be hard to relate things to guide dogs while here


So, here I am in Hawaii. I have finally learned the true story about how to pronounce the name of the city, which is that the first person who told me (who is herself Hawaiian and went to school here) was right and that everyone else who thought they were right were actually wrong. The vowels are pronounced like in Spanish: la-eee-eh. Laie.

Things are going well except that it is hot and I don't talk to new people so I eat by myself a lot. I hate my math class. I'm not even sure that the instructor is speaking English (she is, but she just whips through the material). I'm going to have a really hard time in that class. I really want to switch to a different class but there aren't any and I have to take it because it is pre-req to PSYCH 205 which is a pre-req to every psychology class I haven't already taken (or am currently enrolled in).

I'm exhausted and I have so much to do because not only do I have all the standard homework, but I'll be leaving next Friday for a week (Disneyworld!!!) and I have to have everything that I'll miss done ahead of time. So, I'm a little stressed out, not the least of it from the 100 or so math problems assigned everyday (it takes me, on average, about 8 minutes per problem- I'm terrible at math). I can do this math though: today, three math classes next week, and the three I'll miss while I'm gone- that is seven classes, with about 100 problems assigned every day. 100*8= 800 minutes/60 minutes/hour= 13.33 hours of math homework before I leave next Friday. And that's only if I can actually figure out how to do the problem and don't have to go get help from a tutor. Thank God for them!

Tomorrow is the Circle Island Tour. I'm excited about that. It goes everywhere: Pearl Harbor, Swap Meet, and Walmart! I really need to go to Walmart and I wish I had more money to do so. Plus, I get to go with the girls who took the shuttle here with me- the first people I met on the island.

I have registered to go to volunteer orientation at the Honolulu Humane Society next Wednesday. I need some way to keep up my dog handling skills while here. I've also filled out the forms to become part of GDB's "Speakers Bureau" to maintain contact with them while over here. At this point, I have loads of time for all this because I don't have a job. I'm sure I’m going to need to get one but I don't want to think about because I'm still so drained and because math takes up about 50% of my awake time already. I don't want to have to throw a job in there somewhere. But ... if I want any spending money. Which I do.

I really enjoy having a temple so close. I went last night with my roommate (Apple, from the Philippines) and several other people who were there to see their friend receive his endowment. So many of the girls here have been on missions so there are plenty of people to go with (if I talked to them :)

Anyhoo, I'm thinking about switching rooms and I'm going now to go look at my potential new room. Talk to ya'll later.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Going home (kind of)

We’re just sitting here waiting for core staff to get back from drop off runs and then we are doing check out, having lunch and then we are suppose to get to leave by 1 pm.

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. Teen camp was awesome. They got us all worked up telling us how difficult it was going to be, and then it turns out to be the easiest and most fun camp of the summer. I had an AWESOME cabin. We were the only cabin in camp with all blind and visually impaired campers (most campers had one or two “buddies”- sighted campers) and it was so much fun. I miss my campers- that session was the hardest one to say goodbye.

For my last break, Sprite and I went to San Diego and stayed with her family for a few days. They were here on vacation. We went to Sea World. It was awesome. I’ve decided to forget guide dogs and train whales instead!  Although I’d have to get over my fish phobia in order to do that. Anyways, it was a lot of fun. I called my dad and told him to get tickets to go to Sea World next month (on a side note, it’s only 15 days until I go to Orlando). Then on the last day of break, we went to Magic Mountain. That was sooooo much fun. We didn’t get very long there (only about five hours) but our tickets were free so it wasn’t that big of a deal that we didn’t necessarily get out monies worth.

This last session was family camp. It was a lot of fun too, but it seemed really long. We had three good families that were very independent. I miss them too. One of the campers should come back for teen camp next year. He is awesome. His mom just needs some confidence in him.

Now, as soon as they let us leave, we are headed out the door. We need to stop at UPS so I can ship my sheets and towels directly to myself in Hawaii. And we need to go to the bank. There are now four of us and two dogs in my car (we had three people and two dogs on the way here). I’m dropping Sprite and Tonks off in Utah, and picking Shawna up there. Then Flip Flop, Shawna and I are driving to Bend and will be home about five pm on Friday (we are not stopping
overnight anywhere- we’re just driving straight through). I have Friday evening and Saturday morning to pack for school and then we head to Portland to do some last minute shopping and stay at a motel (we’ll be dropping Flip Flop off in Portland with her mom and Shawna is flying back to SLC on Monday). My flight leaves at 9 am. Crazy!!! There is so much to do.

I have had so much fun this summer. In less then two hours, I’ll be saying good-bye to the people I’ve worked with and lived with for ten weeks. It’s kind of depressing. This has been such a rewarding experience and I am soooo grateful for it. I’ve learned so many things this summer: how to use a cane, how to use a brailler- kind of - I’m still working on that one. But I’m also really excited to move on with life and finally start school again after a two year break. That will be a lot of fun too. I’m sad that I’m only going to get to see my family for a day and a half. But all in all, I’m ready to move on although once I have to some time to sit down and breathe (next weekend), I know I’ll be really sad. But it’s time for a new adventure. But I sure hope I get to come back next summer!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

So tired...

Well, it’s been awhile and I still haven’t posted pictures and I’m not going to this time either because my camera is in Malibu and I’m not (I’m still up in the Bay Area from Fun Day). Things at camp are going well. We’re all tired and anxious for and dreading the end of the summer at the same time. We only have (less then) three more weeks and four days of that are breaks. We have teen camp (gross) and the second family camp (fun!). The breaks have been fun. Disneyland last break (with a VI counselor- we got the front of all the lines) and Fun Day this break. It was (surprise) really quite FUN. Haha. It was super sad to go without a dog though. I’ve never done that. Even the year I went without my own dog, I had someone else’s. Sad story, I know. I can’t wait to be done with school and puppy raising again.

So, there isn’t a whole lot of time right now. I’m just drained during breaks and prefer to do things that don’t require any thinking or any other effort. Maybe sometime soon I’ll give a better update, but until then…