Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ghadira Nature Reserve

If the sun is out and the wind isn't, odds are we'll be outside on the weekends. Usually, we head to the beach, be it January or June. Living by the sea is a treat and one we may not always have at our fingertips.
A few weeks ago, we ventured to Ghadira Nature Reserve on a nice Saturday afternoon. Ghadira is a salt marsh on the north of Malta.
It isn't a big place, but it is protected and offers an unusual estuary setting for Malta. 

We got to spot a few young flamingos; their plumage is not adult color (pink/orange) yet, as they haven't had access to a great shellfish diet.
But we loved to see them and hike around Elmer Fudd style... verrrry, verrry quiet!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Marine Ball 2014- Valletta, Malta

Oh... that yearly fun, excuse to leave the kids (overnight when possible) while your husband works the Marine Ball event, but manages to dance, smile and woo you for yet another evening. He was the MC for this year's ball. Fun times and an elegant event, as always. It's always nice to be on your second year at post (vs last year being 3 weeks after we arrived... still without a car to find a dress), so you can enjoy the night and know friends at the ball. 

We had a great night, especially since we arrived at the Grand Excelsior Hotel in Valletta at 3PM (him working, me relaxing after battling a monsoon to get here). All was great until an hour before the start time, we turned on the shower to find no water... so he showered at the Marines' room, while I watched the servicemen tinker and finally got ready 10 minutes before game time. So much for a relaxed prep. 

Always proud of the great MSG (Marine Security Guard) detatchment we have at post. They did a professional job with the schedule, colors and the night in general. 

Hope we are overseas next year to enjoy the 240th birthday. Happy Birthday Marines!! Thanks for letting us share your special day!
 (a/m- Chris's shop and MSGs, some great mama friends)
(b/m- we 2 Denises and my cake companion)
(above- tradition to leave an empty place setting for fallen comrades)

Turtle Release

Last week, Ceiba's 2nd grade class experienced a first... all together... on a field trip. Two rehabilitated loggerhead turtles were released back into the wild at Gnejna Bay in Malta with several school classes observing. How amazing for us to watch as they flipped their way back out to sea!

Nature Trust Malta organized the release and cared for the turtles during their rehabilitation, with the help of some giving volunteers on land and in the sea, helping to guide the turtles back out to the depths and their return to freedom.

The kids enjoyed the lessons about the environment, the importance of recycling and being sure to not let plastic get to the sea. The education portion of the morning was very interesting, a large part of the time dedicated to the turtles' dietary needs and jellyfish education. 

They were proud of their class poster! I enjoyed watching Ceiba really enthralled in the turtles, loving that she was one of the last children to walk away. She is very comfortable and at home at this beach, where we spend weekends as a family whether swimming in the summer or walking the sandy beaches in the winter months. We understand the luxury of living these 2 years beside the sea!