Day 144, Year 2: Skype Contact With Our Kids
Date: Saturday, September 15, 2007
Weather: Another Beautiful, Sunny Day with Sprinkles Here and There
Location: Port Vila, Efate

Saturday in the South Pacific means that most business stops at noon, or even before in a few cases. So we started our day early and went to shore to call our son Justin to wish him a happy birthday (yesterday here, today in the US) and our daughter Heather to see how the moving process into their new home is going and to see our grand baby Sam. When we first arrived at the internet cafe, Justin was not online, so we called Heather. Moving is “moving along” and Sam is . . . well, quite a character.
I know all grandparents think that their grandchild is the cutest in the world, and we fall right into that category. Sam will be eight months old this week and he is so very expressive. We will post some pictures with this log so you can see what we mean. He is a happy baby who lets you know what he is thinking by the expressions on his face and his version of talking. Real words will come very soon. We had a terrible connection this morning and that was disappointing as the video was mostly
frozen. But we saw enough to know that Sam is keeping his parents on their toes.

We then talked to Justin and Jo in Albuquerque and for some reason had a much better connection. We wished Justin a happy, happy birthday, and he was able to take us on a video tour of our their new home and the half-acre “yard.” We saw pictures of this place when they first moved there and saw just how much work they needed to do to get the place cleaned up. They seem to have risen to the challenge and everything looks great. They now have their puppy Alfie who is growing by leaps and bounds,
three kittens, a bunny, and a couple of chickens. Their rent here is half what it was in Venice, California, and we could see just how much they are enjoying the extra space. They have put in a small fish pond, a little garden, and they have an above ground swimming pool. In dry Albuquerque, the swimming pool seemed very inviting. Once again, Skype ranks high on our list of things we are thankful for out here. Talking to and seeing our kids at no cost is such a wonderful gift.

Mark was running to and fro Windbird in the dinghy while we were talking with Heather and Justin. We had hired a young man to clean the bottom of our boat not realizing that we were double booking the time. So Mark would talk a bit and then run out to the boat while I talked. It was a bit hectic, but it worked. We got to talk to our children and the bottom of the boat is clean. What more can you ask for?

After talking to Heather and Justin, I made our online applications for Australian Visitor VISAs. If I did it right, we will get an email by Monday afternoon letting us know that all is set. We returned to Windbird to have lunch and then Marie an I went to the Namba Tu shopping plaza. We walked up and down the aisles just to see what was there and bought a few things on the shopping list. I’m trying desperately not to overstock, as much of our food will be taken in New Caledonia by Quarantine,
and the rest of it taken when we arrive in Australia. Some canned foods will survive, but all fresh and dried fruit, vegetables, and meat will go, as well as honey. If the weather dictates that leave here on Monday or Tuesday, we will just have to see what is taken. If we stay here until later in the week, I will have a chance to go through things and at least give away some of the food that we know will be taken away.

Tomorrow is Sunday here, but we are hoping we can visit a waterfall that is not too far from Vila. It is supposed to be spectacular, so stay tuned.

070915 Day 144 Sam’s Summer Fun
Day 145, Year 2: Another Granola Day
Day 143, Year 2: Happy Birthday to Justin