Sunday, December 7, 2008

Looking Forward to a Caribbean Christmas

The ISC Halloween Haunted House Crew

Bon Bini Korsou Ron!

British Trivia Anyone?

Erin and Robin were the stars of the team!

A Moonrise from the Kinzer's apartment

And a Sunset on the other side!

Erin Running into the Sun!

1/2 Marathon in 2 hours ...

The 3rd fastest woman in Curacao!!!
Watch out Disney World ... here she comes!

The 5th hole at Curacao's Blue Bay Golf Course
The pride of Curacao ... Isla Oil Refinery
Dan's students are creating solutions to Global Warming ...
but what can we do about this?

Well, it's been a while since we updated our friends and family, but that doesn't mean we haven't been busy! After Jack and Kori left back in October we celebrated our first Halloween in Curacao. A few tricks, and lots of treats made the International School's Halloween festival a lot of fun. Dan got all done up to play the part of the "Scary Dead Man" in the Middle School's Haunted House. The Middle Schoolers voted for "Mr. K" as the scariest person in the school, and therefore a perfect match for the job. While neither of us are big fans of Halloween we love seeing the kids smiles and outrageous costumes ... and a good scare never did any harm.
Once Halloween was over we had to prepare for the big Election Day in the States. Obama's victory wasn't really a surprise, but it was fun to watch as the World celebrated. Now it will be interesting to see exactly how much "change" takes place, especially from the perspective of Americans living outside the borders. Once the media hoopla surrounding the election was over Dan found himself watching a little bit less CNN (Erin was thankful), and spending more time developing his own plans for "change".
Dan's 10th grade history students have been studying the 19th century and looking at the people, places, and processes behind industrialization, democratization, and globalization. To go along with their study of history the students are participating in a program called Challenge 20/20: studying the causes and effects of Climate Change, and focusing on creating local action plans to address the problem here in Curacao. Their ideas are impressive, and you can follow along with their progress at - where you should find information about the GreenFest concert, windpower projects, consulting services, and educational efforts that will occupy their time when they return to school in January. It is a privilege to be a part of something truly educational - and is serving as a model of how a 'classroom' can function as a place of real discovery and problem solving.
Erin's Journalism students were up to some discovery and problem solving of their own as they wrapped up the first edition of the International School's newspaper, The ISC Times. The paper even had a student-written story on "Mr. K, the tree-like man" and his life with diabetes. Despite some controversy over some "freedom of the press" issues and the students' editorials everyone agreed that Erin and the students did a terrific job, and we all look forward to their 2nd edition in 2009.
As November flew by we enjoyed a night out at the British Women's Pub Quiz Night - full of laughs and a respectable 4th place team finish. We also enjoyed a visit from Ron Emerson (Selena's dad), who flies for American Airlines and finally got a 2 night stayover here in Curacao. We went out for dinner, caught up on life in Pensacola, and filled him in on life in Curacao. We also both enjoyed a beautiful Thanksgiving celebration with some good friends from the International School. In fact, we celebrated twice - Turkey, Ham, Sweet Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie, Cranberry Sauce, Stuffing - you name it and we ate it! Once we were done with all that eating, and the weekend rolled around, Erin ran off all in the calories in the island's 1/2 Marathon - finishing in 2 hours and coming in 3rd place among the women! I followed along in the car and cheered her on - choosing to soak up my Thanksgiving calories rather than run them off. I did, however, get a chance to burn some calories when the surf came up the week after Thanksgiving, and I enjoyed head high waves!
Now that December is here final projects and midterm exams are among us; and we're getting excited about our Christmas and New Year's celebrations here on the island. This upcoming week is the last week of school, and then it's just another week until Christie comes to visit from Pensacola, and a few more days until Mom, Dad, and Tim come from California. Some windsurfing, mountain climbing, scuba diving, and some good ole' relaxing Caribbean style will be in order; and it will be a wonderful way to spend the Christmas Season.