The banana harvest is not over.  The last bunch ripens.  Grandson, Samuel runs into the house, “The bananas are almost on the ground.” (As the fruit ripened the branch got too heavy for the stem.) Elder McCollum finds his machete and off he goes to the backyard jungle.  The bananas do end up having a “price tag”.

Home-grown organic bananas

Home-grown organic bananas

He chops the stem and carries the BIG bunch of bananas to the garage.  Later that morning, he stands in front of students teaching them to create their own time management calendar.  Sister McCollum wonders where the brown spots on the back of his shirt came from?  It is not mud for the roads were not wet on their morning bike ride.

Stains on Sam's white shirt from the banana stem.

Stains on Sam’s white shirt from the banana stem.

She remembers a comment of their friend Sister Noel, “If the liquid from the stem of the banana plant gets on your clothing, the stain cannot be removed.” A great experience but one less white shirt for Elder McCollum!

C a s t 

Henry in a sling.

Henry in a sling.

Yes, Henry falls while climbing a rope ladder, while Grandpa and Grandma are tending him and his brother. Following the x-ray, Henry wears a sling until he is able to see the ortho-paediatric specialist in Honolulu.

Henry with his red cast.

Henry with his red cast.

Right handed Henry shows off his RED Lighting McQueen cast!  Even though it is on his right hand, he is very adaptable and continues to enjoy playing with his favourite cars and lego.

Grandpa and Henry

Grandpa and Henry

Sunday Evening Samoan Forum – Student association gathering

Elder and Sister McCollum enjoy attending the first Sunday evening Samoan Club meeting of the Fall semester 2015.  The meeting is held in the Little Theatre of the David O. McKay complex.  Some returning students bear testimony of thankfulness for Christ’s gospel and the blessing of being able to attend Brigham Young University – Hawaii.  A few new club members share their testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  As usual, “refreshments” turn out to be a meal.  Sister McCollum thanks the student that brings her a full plate of food and then passes it on to one of the new club members.  Too much food for her to eat this late in the evening, besides the fact it is rice and meat!

The McCollums with student friends.

The McCollums with student friends. Note the beautiful Samoan dress. (Sorry it is not in focus)

Clearing of Plant Growth

"BEFORE" photo

“BEFORE” photo

On Saturday morning, Elder and Sister McCollum and their son Robb begin clearing all the bush and plant growth that is along the edge of the house and under the kitchen and the main floor bedroom windows where S&J sleep.  This “jungle-growth” is the bedtime nesting ground for mother hens and their chicks and a great eco-environment for MANY geckos and lizards.

As they work on the yard project,  members of the BYUH- Fiji Student Association gather at the house across the street to perform yard work service for this family.  It is a big group of students and soon several volunteers help the McCollums.  Elder McCollum is thankful for their kindness and amazed at the machete skills of both the  men and women as they rapidly clear the plants right down to the bare dirt!

AFTER the clearing!

“AFTER” photo!

That night, there is noticeably less chirping of geckos and in the morning, no chirping of baby chicks!  Yes, Elder and Sister McCollum have grown accustomed to the rooster calls!


Flowering ground cover.

Flowering ground cover.

On a recent beach stroll, Sister McCollum notices the summer blooms of the ground cover that grows on the sandy embankment.

Spikes continue upwards!

Upward the stock continues to grow.

Yes, the “bean stock” continues to grow in the backyard.

Spikes grow taller.

The stocks are still growing

Elder McCollum loans his sharp machete to Wrights who live next door.  They trim lower spikes on this plant but leave the stocks to keep growing.  The stocks are developing “fine leaves” and still reaching upward!

Weather Warnings


Elder and Sister McCollum are advised to install a emergency system on their phones that sends them weather warnings.  The loud beep goes off many times in the next several days warning of Flash Floods.  A few ponds develop on campus but none around the home where they live.

Center for Academic Success (CAS) – Weekly Meeting with Director

Michael A. is the director of the BYUH Library; he meets most Monday mornings with the senior missionaries of CAS, sharing a inspirational message and offers direction and advice.  He shares this insightful poster:


August Birthday and Anniversary Celebrations

Sister McCollum celebrates her 69th birthday with phone calls, emails and a family dinner with her husband, son Robb, daughter in law Kimberly and two grandsons followed by outdoor games with grandsons Samuel and Henry: blowing bubbles and rubber ducky sling shot.

Enjoying watching the bubbles float high in the sky.

Enjoying watching the bubbles float high in the sky.

Amazing how long bubbles last and high how they go in the heavy humid air!

Samuel creates lego Grandpa and Grandma!

Samuel creates lego Grandpa and Grandma!

Grandpa and grandma celebrate their 48th wedding anniversary by enjoying an air-conditioned room at the new Marriott Courtyard Hotel in Laie.

Room-view at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel

Room-view at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel


View of pool & canopy set up for opening ceremonies.

View out the window of the pool & canopy set up for opening ceremonies.

President Uchtdorf  of the first presidency of the LDS church arrives  to officially open and dedicate the PCC Hukilau Market and then he attends the opening ceremonies of the hotel.  Of course  he is presented with a lei.

President Uchtdorf, 2nd counselor in the First Presidency of the LDS church.

President Uchtdorf, 2nd counselor in the First Presidency of the LDS church.

New Canadian BYUH Service Missionaries

Elder Randy and Sister Julie Keyes from Victoria, BC, Canada on Vancouver Island arrive in Laie.  They will serve in the Counselling Office at BYUH, giving support and counselling to students and their families.  Elder and Sister Keyes are friends of Elder and Sister McCollum family from when the McCollum family also lived in Victoria, BC.  Welcome!  Welcome!  (Photos to follow in next blog posting.)

The Keyes attend 3rd married student ward their first Sunday in Laie.  Then on Monday the couples enjoy a lovely dinner at Pounders Restaurant at the Hukilau Market Place and go to the Senior Missionary Family Home Evening together.

Murals in the Island Buffet/Prime Dining 

Beautiful paintings adorn the upper walls of this large dining area on the grounds of the Polynesian Cultural Center.











  1. Helene & Bob Mitchell

    In case you haven’t heard, some sad news: Hartmut Gorbahn passed away on July 27 from Pancreatic Cancer and Theo Van Gogh on August 22 from Colon Cancer. He only knew three weeks before he passed away, so was very sudden. They were both lovely funerals and very well attended.

  2. Glenda

    Belated Anniversary greetings! Got so busy in August I forgot. Glad you had a special stay at the hotel. Hope I can come next year and stay there! So nice that you have a missionary couple there you were friends with before. You sound like you are as usual making use of every single minute of your time. Blessings and prayers to you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *