Swimming with the sharks.

Our last days in KL were filled with lots of goodbyes, homemade dinners from church members, and one birthday! Saturday was surreal as we finished packing our bags and said goodbye to our favorite food vendors and new friends. In the midst of the chaos, we were still able to celebrate Sue’s birthday with a nutella banana roti birthday cake!

After two red-eye flights and one day in Seoul, we made it back in Kona. Having been gone for 7 weeks, it’s so refreshing to be back. Coming from Malaysia helps us remember what a blessing it has been to call this place home for 3 months. We’ve been soaking in as much as we can in this last week.

You may remember that we went whale watching before we left for Malaysia, but our attempt to see whales was unsuccessful. On Monday morning, we used the voucher we received in December and made a second attempt. This time we got to snorkel, go down the slide and jump off the high-dive from the side of the boat. They also cooked hamburgers on the grill for lunch and served them with complimentary coke. It was a great “Welcome back to America” meal! Our morning was complete with dolphin, whale and shark sightings. According to the boat crew, hammerhead sharks are not aggressive and they even went as far as comparing them to cats. They were so confident in their statements that two of the crew members jumped into the water to swim with the sharks and take pictures of them.

Last night I went on a manta ray night dive/snorkel with 3 friends. It was by far the coolest thing I’ve ever done! It’s hard to describe the experience, but I’ve included a video below so you can get an idea of what it might be like. There were 17 mantas out last night at our dive site, and the crew said the most they’ve ever seen at one time is 34. We chose the snorkel option since none of us are certified divers, and we held on to a makeshift device with bright lights in the middle. The mantas feed on plankton and plankton are attracted to light. Do you know where this is going? The plankton come to the surface and the mantas follow, swimming within inches of us. One of the mantas, lovingly referred to as Big Bertha, is 16 feet wide and weighs about 1,600 lbs. She stopped by last night and showed off a bit by doing flips for us. It sounds like it could be a scary experience, but it was quite the opposite. It was such an awesome experience and I highly recommend it if you ever come to Kona.

We’ll take one last red-eye flight back home on Friday evening and will arrive in Dallas on Saturday morning. Until then, I’ll leave you with some pictures from our last days in KL, travels home, and our open water adventures. Enjoy!

Relaxing at a church member’s home after one of our last dinners in KL.

ESL students performing at the class party on the last day of school.

Group picture.

Our favorite place to get banana roti, Hussain Cafe.

Making Sue’s nutella banana roti birthday cake.

The finished product.

“Touch the cake? Nope… wasn’t me.”

Happy birthday Sue!

Hudson, the world traveler.

Our napping area for a couple of hours before our second tour of Seoul.

View from Seoul Tower.

Locks of Love at Seoul Tower.


Mirjam making her way down the mountain.

After being separated for 7 weeks, Hudson and Gabriel caught up as they watched the planes depart and arrive.


Suited up and ready to go.


I wouldn’t go as far as comparing these to cats.

Charlee charming the captain.

Crazy crew members.


Manta ray night dive with Big Island Divers.


4 thoughts on “Swimming with the sharks.

  1. Glad you were greeted with a hearty meal coming back to Kona. Love you and can’t wait to see you! Enjoy the last few moments in the sun and rainbows! Get ready for Texas weather!

  2. How fun! While we were in Bora Bora T got to see a Manta Ray – he said it was one of the coolest things he has ever seen 🙂 Have fun your last 48 hours there and travel safe!

  3. So awesome! I love that picture of Charlee with frosting on her face….classic. Love you and can’t wait to see you. Glad you didn’t get eaten by sharks. Have those crew members ever seen the movie, “Jaws?!!!”

  4. We’re packing to leave Austin and drive to Dallas. We’ll see you in less than 24 hours. Get ready for it. You thought those rays swimming all around you was intense, wait till all you Texas friends gather around you for their welcome home squeeze. Remember – hydrate and bob and weave on the plane. PS don’t stack dinner trays.

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