WATCH: 99 per cent grade average student from Maple Ridge

Sean Okawa, who is one of my blog friends, is a genius!  He is going on to The University of British Columbia this month.  I hope he has a very enjoyable and rewarding college life.

Global News

Maple Ridge teenager Sean Okawa is remarkable in many ways.

He is about to graduate from Thomas Haney Secondary at the age of 14, a full three grades ahead of schedule.

Okawa also has an impressive 99 per cent grade average, and now five Canadian universities are trying to woo him with impressive scholarships.

He volunteers in his spare time, is about to get his solid black belt and is also an accomplished pianist.

Linda Aylesworth reports.

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Join and Leave

Two hamsters joined our family a few months ago.  My daughter was eager to have a pet.   So I thought a small one would be nice to take care of.    We bought two one-month-old hamsters at a pet store.  They were both male, of course.   If they were a breeding pair,  we would be troubled by a lot of baby hamsters.   At first, I let them live in the same cage, but one of them wasn’t active.  The other one ran around energetically.   I thought they weren’t getting along well and bought another cage to keep them apart.  However,  the inactive one died soon after this.  The active one is still alive.   It is said that the lifetime of hamsters is only two years.  How short!




On the other hand, my daughter is leaving home.  She was accepted to a college which is located far away from home.   Recently I’ve been busy for helping her move.   In Japan, the new school year starts in April, not September.  I think spring is a good season to start something.   I wish her good luck with her new life!

Walking inside the Hilton

Here are some pictures I took in the Hilton . This is an entrance of the main lobby.


The valet parking is interesting to me because it is very uncommon in Japan.



I was able to see only blackish fish, not colorful one in the lagoon.   My son saw a sea turtle from a boat here.


Several parrots stayed still without a cage.   They didn’t speak unfortunately.






Rocky shore outside the Hilton.   It may be as well to swim in a pool.


You can swim with a dolphin here by joining “Dolphin Quest”.




Although there is no photo, the most impressive sight was a night sky.   I was able to see many stars.  Fortunately,  our stay was in the period of the new moon, and so it was a good time to see stars in the dark sky.   When I was looking at the sky,  I saw several shooting stars, and one of them was very bright one.  Wow!  I felt like becoming one with nature.   It is said that a volcano “Mauna Kea” near Waikoloa is the famous star watching spot and has many celestial observatories from overseas.  I want to join a stargazing tour on this mountain sometime in the future.

Hawaii Report #12

Hilton Waikoloa Village

We stayed at the Hilton Waikoloa Village for three nights in the Big Island.  The hotel was so huge that a monorail was running inside.

A boat was also used to transport hotel guests.    It was so fantastic to watch the starry sky from the boat.

It’s possible to walk around inside the hotel, but  you would be tired.   Pink is accommodations and blue is routes of transportation.


Though the room was not bad, I prefer a condo.  I wanted to stay at Aston’s condo at first, but I heard that only Hilton guests can use the facilities such as pools, so booked the Hilton.   Actually, there was no check of guests unless renting something.


There were three towers, Place, Lagoon and Ocean.   Our room was in the Palace tower.   My complaint was that only the Palace tower had no laundry room!   So I went to another tower by monorail to do the laundry.   In addition,  it was not easy to find the laundry room, it was like a maze.

The entrance of the Palace tower


The view from the entrance.       We were able to see the beautiful blue sky and sea every day.


Hawaii Report #11

Hanauma Bay

On the last day of our stay in Honolulu, we decided to go to Hanauma Bay.    The #22 bus is very popular route for Hanauma bay and Sea Park.    It was so crowded that we couldn’t get a seat.


It took about 30 minutes to get there.   Wow, look at the beautiful coral sea!


People are required to watch a short video before entering.



A pretty bird came closer to us.

Maybe this tree is a mangrove.


I enjoyed snorkeling for the first time.  It was really fun.    I bought a snorkel at a supermarket the day before.   Beach sandals are useless.  Fins or swim shoes are better.  You can rent snorkeling gear with ID and deposit.


It was very exciting to see pretty fish like these.



My son taking a shower.


I expected that the bus might be crowded on the way back, so we left early.

Hawaii Report #9

Diamond Head

The next day,  we went to Diamond Head, it is a very famous volcanic crater in Hawaii and a popular hiking destination with panoramic views of Waikiki.


We took #22 bus in Waikiki.   Then, we had to walk for 15 min to the entrance from the closest bus stop.  I checked the bus schedule in advance,  but didn’t notice the route change.   If you take a bus, check The Bus website.    The #23 bus stops at the entrance (see the  picture below)


You need to walk a little to the toll gate from the entrance.


There were trees with flowers around the gate.



However, the mountain had no green.


You have to walk a long slope for about 30 min.   It was a little tough for me.



We avoided the steep steps and chose the alternative slope.


Wow, what a great scenery!  Beautiful nature!  This is the view of Waikiki.


You can see the crater which you walked across, and the south shore.


We took the #23 on the way back.  This bus comes only once every hour.  Unfortunately, we waited nearly one hour after all.  We should have been back to #22 bus stop which comes every 30 mins.  Some other people decided to take a taxi instead.    That would be a good idea because it’s not a long distance.


Hawaii Report #8

Ala Moana District

We dropped in at Ala Moana on our way back from Kailua.    Ala Moana Beach Park was a quiet and peaceful place.


A rainbow hung in the sky.





We went to Walmart passing through the  Ala Moana Center.


The flowers for making a “lei” were sold.   A lei is a wreath of flowers draped around the neck.    Walmart was so big that we didn’t feel like walking around.


There was another supermarket “Don Quijote” near Walmart.



I saw a green cake for the first time.  It was a blueberry cake.


There were Japanese foods because a Japanese company runs this market.


Hawaii Report #7

Kailua Beach

The next day,  we went to Kailua Beach.   Here is how to get there by bus:   You take the route 57 at the bus stop (west bound) on AlaMoana Shopping Center.


The bus goes across the island and arrives at Kailua Shopping Center in 30 minutes.   You pass by the town and get off at the next stop.   You walk ahead a little.    Turn left and then walk about 15 min. along the Kailua Road.


In fact,  if you take the #70 bus, you don’t have to walk.    However, that bus comes only once every hour.    So I suggest #57.   The #70 bus goes to the Lanikai Beach, but then it has no public facilities.   On a map,  these two beaches are within walking distance.  I want to go there someday.   “Lani”  means heaven and “Kai” means ocean in Hawaiian language.

When you see Kailua Beach Center on the left, the beach will be right ahead.


The sea of Waikiki was aquamarine blue,  while the sea of Kaikua was emerald-green.   There were fewer people than in Waikiki.   I felt relaxed and refreshed by the beautiful ocean view and the sound of waves.




Please check the route and schedule of the bus before your trip.  The Bus

Hawaii Report #6

Scenery From The Trolley

Many trolleys (mostly Japanese travel agencies’ ones) and buses run in Waikiki.   Traffic is so heavy that I can’t drive a car in Honolulu.


JCB credit card holders can ride on the pink-line trolley for free.


Lovely Prumeria on the street


The bus drivers weren’t very friendly.  On the other hand, the trolley drivers were so cheerful.  Some drivers were singing while driving.

Hawaii Report #5