I am still at Keck Observatory, but I am packing my stuff since I am about to leave Big Island for San Francisco, California. It was a rewarding experience to be at Keck Observatory HQ and I am very grateful to Peter Wizinovich, Optical System Manager and Taft Amandroff , the director of the observatory for inviting me. Keck Observatory is a wonderful place to meet people and I had stimulating discussions about future instruments for ground-based astronomy. I am leaving Big Island the head full of new projects and ideas and I hope to able to conduct them in the future (the reality of funding could be an issue here :-))
I finally had the opportunity to visit the island during my three weeks stay and meet people who were born and/or live in Hawaii for a long time. I also went to Hilo and gave a talk over there about my research at the Gemini Hilo center. I do encourage those interesting in astronomy in general to take the time to visit the Mauna Kea, but also the Headquarters of the observatories, you will have a flavor of the astronomer life.
Hawaii is definitely one of the best places to do astronomy and we should definitely be thankful to the Hawaiian community for letting us use the sacred mountain of Mauna Kea to conduct our research. We had a talk at the Keck Observatory about Hawaiian culture and the importance of Mauna Kea. It made me realize that we are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain; without the generous hospitality of the Hawaiian people, none of this would be possible. Thanks!
I am attaching a few more pictures that I took at Big Island at the end of this post.
Soon back to California!