30 April 2009

Working in Hawaii

I arrived in the islands 10 days ago and I am starting to feel like a regulare resident. Things fly right by here if you are working and the hours are slow when you are not. I have agreed to live and work here for at least the next six months on a long-term project as the Program Manager.

That means I have an apartment and need to learn to fit in and live and work on Oahu. I have a 8.4 mile commute to work one way daily that takes an averag of 20 minutes, +/- 20 minutes for traffic dependent on the time you leave. My current rental car is a convertible as that is all Hertz had when I arrived. Now that sounds great for Hawaii; however, as I have learned, that also means getting sunburned during the commute to and from work during any given week while sitting in traffic. I now carry sunblock in the car for that exact purpose.

I am on the 30th story of an apartment building just at the beginning of Waikiki (West end). I overlook the ocean, Honolulu Harbor and the Ala Wai canal. I have learned that when asking directions you need to have people spell the name of the streets if you don't know Hawaiian and can't figure out what vowel combination was in the word they just told you. The words sound beautiful but the spelling is a real bummer and can lead to very messed up directions on google or MapQuest.
When in paradise, it appears the norm is a 4.5 day work week. If you are still at work at noon on a Friday, you are working overtime or considered an over achiever. If you haven't planned your work week to fit into that model you have bad time managment skills. Needless to say I am learning to have better Hawaiian time management skills.

All in all the experience so far has been very positive. I have been able to connect with the local USCG and USCG Auxiliary and I particpated in my first even on Wed as a victim for a inter-island WMD disater drill. It was very cool. I have also been able to talk with and welcome to of the boats from Kodiak, AK to Honolulu and the USCG ISC. The CGC SPAR and the CGC Munro are both here in Honolulu now. The Munro was involved in the 2008 rescue of the crew from the Alaska Ranger in Mar 2008 with Air Crews from Air Station Kodiak.

The thing I miss most from home besides my family and friends is my cat Truman. I think he misses me too because he has given my Mom and my brother Jeremy a run for their money. I should have told them that I say "Truman I'm going to bed" each night. I didn't and when Mom said it he raced her to her bedroom and was lying on her bed waiting for her.

Things Truman has done to gain noteriety in his new home:
  • Climb in the false ceiling in the basement and pull it down.

  • Hide in Jeremy's closet.

  • Leave nose prints all over the porch windows a foot below Emma's while chasing things outside.

  • Tipped Mom's birthday bouquet of flowers all over and then distributed the contents through out the house.

  • Hide under the freezer in the basement.

  • Licked everyone who was sleeping during the night and woke them up including my sister and her kids.

Well, its been a great 10 days. Once I figure out what I am doing for my long weekend I will let everyone know. In the mean time, Aloha from Hawaii!


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