Monday, July 27, 2009

Tour Trivia and Team Bonaire

Well the Tour de France is over for another year. So we're not glued to the TV each evening, and I can get back to all the things I normally do with my spare time, like this blog.

One surprise in this year's Tour was the new AG2R uniforms, which just happen to be in the same colors as our Cycling Team Bonaire kit.

I'm sure you'll soon be able to get your very own blue and brown AG2R replica outfit at your local cycle shop, but think about how cool you would be if your bib shorts and jersey, upon closer inspection, revealed exotic sponsor names such as: Bonaire Wellness Connexiones, Warehouse Bonaire, Jibe City, MCB, and Karel's Beach Bar and Water Sports. Cannondale is on there too.

Here is a picture of Miguel sporting the new gear one of its first outings. I don't wear my new bike duds on mtn. bike rides... too easy to snag them on a cactus or thorn bush, but we all wear them on our 6am Monday and Thursday road bike group rides. I'll have to get and post a picture of the back side of the outfit soon. Should be easy 'cause that is the only side I ever see of Miguel when we are out riding. :)

The Kids Cycling Team Bonaire will be participating in the Antillian National Championships later this month. Bonaire Wellness is holding a community fun ride this Saturday afternoon to raise funds to help the kids with their travelling and equipment expenses. If you'd like to know more, you can find detailed information, and can download a promotional poster from the Bonaire Wellness site.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

USA Radio Station Partners with TWR

The Sound of Life radio network, based in Kingston, New York, is doing a special promotion this week to raise funds for our upcoming TWR - Bonaire antenna tower repairs.

We are excited to see a growing number of Gospel radio stations in the States extending their vision to international radio ministry as well.

You can see pictures of some rusted out tower parts, as well as a Bonaire video featuring our station director, Joe Barker, on the Sound of Life Web site.

I think you can listen to this station on line as well. John Summerville, from TWR is on the air there this week as part of this promotion.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Starry Starry Nights

We trekked out to the south end of Bonaire on Saturday and Sunday night to enjoy the spectacular summer Milky Way. I think Sunday was the clearest night we've had all year. It has been amazingly cloudy and hazy this year. I think I can count all the good stargazing night on the fingers of one hand.

The picture below shows a large dark nebula known by us northern hemisphere types as the Pipe Nebula. It is located at the middle of the right side. The stem of the pipe extends to the right edge of the frame and the bowl is one third of the way across towards the left side. The Lagoon nebula is at the middle at the left side, and the Triffid nebula is just above it.I took these pictures to show what one can do with a minimum of equipment. I had my trusty DSLR camera sitting on a photo tripod with a 85mm lens on it. Each image here is a combination of 50 exposures, each lasting a mere six seconds. The camera was set at iso 1600 and the lens was at F2.8. I also took 50, six second exposures with the lens cap on (dark frames) and combined them all on my laptop with free software called DeepSkyStacker. So if you have a camera that can shoot RAW images, and a computer to process them with, don't be afraid to try some simple astro-photography. The sky's the limit!

The bright star above is Deneb in Cygnus, also known as the Northern Cross. The regions of the sky shown in both these pictures are some of the most fun to scan with binoculars.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bonaire in the Audubon Magazine

While I was sitting here doing a bit of blogging, an email popped up from the Bonaire Insider alerting me to the fact the the Autumn 2009 Audubon magazine has a interesting and lengthy article about the Bonaire yellow-shouldered Amazon parrot, or Lora.

There is an online version of this article so be sure to check it out. The online edition has some bonus photo and video features not in the print version. whoo-whoo.

More TWR Online Video

Thinking about some of the TWR videos on YouTube (see my last post) reminded me of a few more videos from our international TWR partners.

David Larrosa has made an interesting short feature about one of the radio programs that they produce in Uruguay. This video is in Spanish, by the way, for those of you who are multi-lingual. I've also seen an English version of this, but I don't know if it is posted online.

Kirsten, in the Netherlands, has put together a neat TWR photo montage that ties in nicely with a rockin' music track. The text on this page is in Dutch but the song is in English.

Our TWR partner in Venezuela has a clip posted in connection with their 25th anniversary. It's a true story. On a lighter note, RTM Venezuela has some happy happy video connected with their anniversary celebration party event posted too.

In this last video, Rachel Davidsaver talks about TWRs impact in her life over a period of many years.

There are probably more international TWR video clips that I have missed. Let me know if you find some.

TWR on YouTube

Sandra is having fun posting some videos of the dogs. I'll have to check them out and see if they would be good blog fodder.

Speaking of videos, Trans World Radio has some short videos on YouTube. Some are just like the ones we showed to people last year when we were traveling in the States visiting our sponsors. Others have more of a YouTube look and feel.

I like this one a lot.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bud at CIEE

Last night, Sandra's cousin, Bud Gillan, presented an update on the story of the Bonaire Banded Box Jellyfish at the CIEE lecture room here on Bonaire.It was an enjoyable evening because many of the people in the room have been involved in the process of discovery over the years.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Kibrahacha Trees

We had the first good rain in about four months a week ago. I did a test ride on our new mtn. bike race loop to see how it was in the wet. It was great, meaning no mud. It will probably be rainy in November when the races are scheduled, so no mud is a good sign. This past week all the Kibrahacha trees all over the island burst into bloom.
I went out after work on Wednesday and took pictures of these trees on the hills to the East of the TWR offices.
We enjoyed looking at the trees around Gotto Lake on our early Thursday morning road bike ride, but I didn't stop to take pictures this time around.

It is getting to be somewhat of a challenge to take fresh new pictures of the exact same trees each year when they bloom.
The color of the flowers seems to be very tricky to capture in an image. They usually a lighter yellow that what the camera captures, although they get a little darker the second day. I first saw the trees blooming on Wednesday morning, and by Saturday, the flowers were completely gone, at least when seen from a distance.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

IBC Gourndbreaking

The International Bible Church of Bonaire has received the building permit for our new church building. Sufficient funds are in hand to do the foundation and probably erect the steel structure and roof. (which are already here on Bonaire) Close to ninety thousand guilders has been contributed to the church building fund so far. Above we see Pastor Baran digging the first hole. (We already knew that Pastor Baran wields a mean shovel from his performance in our chicken manure project, which has generated over three thousand guilders so far.)
The lot where the church will be built is basically solid coral rock, so someone thoughtfully provided a strategically placed pile of dirt for shoveling purposes.
Lucho read some scripture passages and led everyone in a song based on one of them.

I threw together the same PA system that we use for our Easter sunrise services up on Seru Largu, so we could hear the guitar, singers, and speakers ok. We had distinguished visitors, munched on cookies and punch, and I think a great time was had by young and old alike.

Pastor Baran presented a few remarks about faith and led the group in dedicating the site and the new building. I have more pictures on my Picasa site. I put up a lot of pix today, but will weed some of them out at a later date. The slide show mode seems to be the best way to view the Picasa pictures.
If anyone in the States is interested in contributing to the IBCB building fund, a church in Nashville is handling donations for us so that you can get a tax receipt for your contribution. Here is a link to a form to send the church.