Perfection is easy desired but rarely achieved A most enjoyable vacation.

Aug 2018

Dear Margo:

I rarely write letters of recommendation, I hate the constant solicitation from Amazon to write reviews, but it is with great pleasure that I write this note to you.  First, thank you for sharing your wonderful husband with us here in Palau, especially at this time.  He is warm and generous and made our first days at Palau Kid’s Sea Camp a very pleasant affair.

I have rarely seen so many people work so hard to make a vacation work well for my family.  I know that some look for perfection in such vacations; I do not, I look for effort.  Perfection is easy desired but rarely achieved.  Sincere effort is rarely attempted and is usually driven by rules and not the heart.  Only one can be achieved and it takes really hard work.  Your choice of Sam’s Tours was in my opinion, excellent.  I can’t turn around without finding one of their staff waiting to see what I want and to try and make my vacation better.  Their people are good at what they do and are sincere in their friendships.  It is great just being around them.

This brings me to Josh and Olivia.  The number of fun and sometimes serious conversations my family has shared with these two warm and funny people will leave an impact that we will take home with us.  Their concern for our stay isn’t lip service; it is from the heart.  I know that I’ve already written this, but I can’t state it firmly enough.   Tom may have told you that I have an overboard sense of humor.  It takes stamina and patience to deal with it at times.  Olivia and Josh took it in and gave back in equal measure, something that takes courage and a great sense of humor on their parts.  I am grateful for that and their friendship.

That brings us to time spent.  I came on this trip with a notion that I would learn a bit about underwater photography.  Instead, I learned a great deal, and a good bit about my above water photography to boot.  I am a practiced amateur at above water shooting.  The conversations that I’ve had with Josh gave me great insight in shooting at depth but also made me rethink a number of things about my picture taking in general.  His effort there was quite high and is much appreciated.  In fact, the amount of time that he, Olivia, and Marc of Sam’s Tours spent teaching me was extensive and pleasant.  I will forever carry a warm spot for Nudibranches in my heart due to conversations with Marc.

The kids.  I have coached and refereed youth soccer.  Finding staff, people who understand children and teaching, and getting good outcomes, is tough.  American culture has forgotten, in my opinion, that teachers are a valuable asset in the emotional and external development of our children.  We only want kids to learn what we want them to learn, forgetting that other thinking and opinion is good for them.   I have been impressed by the efforts to teach my kids about the oceans, about being in the marine environment, and about our obligations to take care of that resource.  Most of all, the efforts on the part of Sam’s staff to teach my kids to behave carefully while scuba diving is greatly appreciated.

My brother-in-law is a huge WWII fan.   In part, we came to Palau so he could visit and experience the WWII history here.  The recognition by the folks at Sam’s and Josh and Olivia that this was important to him has led to numerous discussions on how to make that part of his vacation as fulfilling as possible.  I will end by thanking you for your efforts on behalf of my family, and for a most enjoyable vacation.

With Regards,

Lyle O. Ross,

Husband of Alice Chen and father of Auden and Emerson Chen