Brad Swanson reports on the happenings in and around Trans World Radio's station on the island of Bonaire. TWR Bonaire broadcasts Gospel music and Bible teaching programs which can be heard in Latin America and the Caribbean: in the Spanish, English, Portuguese, Baniwa, and Macuxi languages.
You can click on the pictures to make them bigger.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Radio Listeners Respond
In August, TWR received forty letters from Cuba, in response to the program A Traves de la Biblia. We also received a letter from Las Vegas, from a person who listened to us when he used to live in Cuba.
Here is a translation of one that came from a listener in the Dominican Republic.
Greetings friends…I listen to you daily on 800 kHz AM during hours of night. My joy is great and I benefit spiritually listening each night to your programs in Spanish and I want to tell you that my life has taken a 180 degree turn around. The truth is that you cannot imagine the understanding that your programs have given me and the change that has taken place in me…May God bless you and I am listening to you everyday.
Hooray, the Weather is Back to Normal
Our weather on Bonaire is getting back to normal now that Tropical storm Noel has moved further away. Normal for this time of the year is early morning showers, and then light winds and sunshine during the day. While Noel was dumping rain on Haiti and the Dominican Republic (DR) to our North, we had a week of overcast skies and occasional heavy rains.
Our Trans World Radio team in the DR reports that water has entered part of their new office / studio building and that Noel has created "a national tragedy" in that country. We'll keep those countries in our prayers and we'll remember to be thankful that Bonaire never seems to catch the brunt of these storms.
The skies were clear enough to see comet Holmes the last two evenings. It is very easy to spot, if you know where to look. I snapped a couple pictures last night, but I haven't opened them on the computer yet to see how they look.
Five of us went for an early morning/before work group bike ride today. A lone rain cloud had paid a visit to some of the roads we rode on just before we got there, and they had a soupy sort of muddy texture to them. It was fun actually, but my chain started locking up part way up the back side of Seru Largu, probably because of that mud, grrrrr...
I got myself and the bike cleaned up and still made it to work by 8 am. so all in all, it was a success I think.
Recent Picture Posting Malfunction
Monday, October 29, 2007
Big Bonaire Birdbath
That all purpose Gradall crane/forklift/cherry picker is fairly new on Bonaire, I think, and sure came in handy on this job.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Dog Days of October
New Bright Comet
Our rainy weather here on Bonaire continued today and unfortunately, the sky has been completely clouded over last night and tonight, so I haven't seen it. Aaaarrrrrggggg......
If you know were Perseus is in the sky, you can learn the exact location of the comet here. It sounds like you can't miss it.
Delayed Listener Reaction
This note, just received at Trans World Radio's office in Cary, North Carolina, is a case in point.
My parents were Wycliffe translators for 45 years in South America. Many times we listened to “church” on your radio station while we were out in the jungle. Thank you for feeding us God’s word while my parents worked to make it available to others!!! Blessings!!!
This is certainly not the first response of this type that we have received to our broadcasts. So for the last eight years or so TWR has been producing radio programs specifically for Missionaries and other NGO cross cultural workers. You can read about this initiative here.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Star Count Update
If you like looking at the stars at all, do get outside during the next night or two, before the moon gets bright, and see how many stars you can see from your location. You can figure out your latitude and longitude from Google Maps, and report your findings on the Great Worldwide Star Count website.
It's not many times one gets to contribute to real science without needing a lot of equipment and training.
Speaking of equipment, I'm still experimenting with getting good star pictures with minimal fuss and equipment. I brought my camera and a regular tripod with me when I headed out to count stars. The picture below, shows the stinger of Scorpius' tail as a vertical pair of stars a little left of center at the bottom edge of the picture, just to the right of a cactus. The teapot of Sagitarius is standing on its spout with the bottom of the teapot on the left and the top of the cap to the right. The spout is a little to the left of the middle of the picture, partway into the Milky Way. The handle is a little down from the top of the image. Half way between the stinger and the spout of the teapot is M7, an open cluster of stars.
So I mounted the camera on my trusty tripod, used a 28mm lens at f2.8, and took some 15 second and some 8 second exposures at ISO 800. I could pick these exposure times from the camera's menu, so I didn't need a cable release or remote trigger device. When I got home and looked at the pictures at 100% size, I could see that the stars had moved during the 15 second exposures, but they appeared quite round in the 8 second exposures.
Having said all that, it is interesting that the picture here is a combination of three 15 second exposures that I've downsized for easier viewing online. The stars look round enough in this small size image. (well you can hardly see them at all in the thumbnail. I'm really referring to the 1024x768 image you'll see if you click on the thumbnail) The 15 second pictures showed a lot more Milky Way than the 8 second ones, so I used the 15 second images, and downsized them.
So, if you have a DSLR and happen to be somewhere where you can really see the stars, have a go at taking a picture or two, even if you have to prop up the camera with a rock on the roof of your car and use the self timer to trigger the shot. You won't get a prize winning photo, but you might be surprised by what you can see in that image. I shot some 8 second images of Cygnus while I was out star counting and they showed MANY more stars than I could see with my naked eye. I'm still snooping around Bonaire for a great foreground of cacti, in front of a non light polluted western horizon. I can find one or the other, but not both.... so far.
7th Annual Jong Bonaire Swim
The seventh annual swim to Klein Bonaire, to benefit Jong Bonaire, was held this past Sunday. Loads of people turned out for this worthy cause, and a chance make the swim between Bonaire and Klein Bonaire in safety.
I had to head over to our church at 8am, to set up the PA system, and missed the start of the actual swim. George DeSalvo sent me this action photo of the swimmers getting underway.