What a bunch of fun filled days we have just had!! Starting at Ka’ala Farms we had the pleasure of getting to know the roots of Hawaii figuratively and literally. We were working in a taro root garden (a traditional Hawaiian root used in many foods). The taro patches are under water similar to how rice is grown. The group really enjoyed digging into the mud, weeding the gardens, and perhaps having a little mud fight.
We also visited the beautiful North Shore for our first day of surfing!!! With great instruction and motivation from our guides, it was amazing to see how many of the trip members were natural surfers! Jenna and Bella specifically were described as “some of the best first time riders” by the instructor!!! Our group also enjoyed spending some time throwing the football around on the beach and cooling off in the water. We were fortunate to swim alongside some extremely friendly sea turtles who hung around in the waist high water with us.
After our day of adventure it was back to community service and working with Habitat for Humanity. The Re-Store was happy to see our army of excited workers ready to tackle any project thrown our way. From building bookshelves to assembling door handles everyone had their part in helping out. A couple projects required more teamwork and an energetic and very capable group was assembled, including Rebecca and Anna who never seemed to get tired! After our two days of work we all left with a feeling of accomplishment and a sense that we had really made a difference to this organization and in the community.
Our service work on Oahu has come to an end. After working so hard it was time for another break from our service work. We spent the day tackling Diamond Head and hitting another stunning Oahu beach! The views of the day were incredible!
As you can tell the awesome experiences haven’t stopped since day 1! We are looking forward to our last couple days in Ohau before flying to Maui!!!
The Westcoast Blogger
Every few days we will ask six different trip members to answer specific questions that we hope will elicit a deeper connection to our trip. After completing our community service days and fun activities, we want our trip members to actively reflect on their experience here in Hawaii. We will include their responses in our blog!
“One challenge I faced today was the difficulty of pronouncing the children’s Hawaiian names, which were uncommon for me to hear. I asked them to constantly repeat their names, but with this it allowed for me to further connect with them and become a Hawaiian celebrity!” – Jason S.
“A challenge I faced was ripping out an overwhelming amount of weeds in the garden. In order to cope with this challenge, I worked with others to make sure the task was completed.”- Jake B.
“One thing I learned today was how to interact with children from a different culture. Playing icebreaker games was one way for me to get to know them better.”- Alex S.
“I expected the children from the Boys and Girls Club to be less outgoing. One thing I learned today was that they turned out to be very playful and friendly. Syndi’s icebreaker games were SO much fun!” – Samara
“Some of the kids were really shy today. I had to help them feel comfortable enough to participate in the games so that they could really have fun.” – Corey
“During one of our icebreakers, I taught the kids how to play a dance called, “We’re going to Kentucky”. The kids had to skip around and dance in the middle of the circle. The kids soon began to memorize the words to the song and started playing the game on their own. This moment made me feel really proud!!” – Sydni
After service, we traveled up to the North Shore to go surfing. After our brief surf lesson the fun began! Erin, Jake B., Becca and Emily tackled waves and even stood up on their boards! Jon, Jason H., Jack, Jacob B., Jason S., Alex S. (male) and Roberto tossed a football on the beach while waiting for their turn to surf. We also encountered a sea turtle that drifted to shore!
After an active, sun filled beach day, we returned to Waikiki for dinner and went to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Jenna, Emily and Grace were getting excited to watch the fireworks on Waikiki beach. Anna, Kayla, Lucie, Alex S. (female), Sam, Amanda, Lindsay and Dani watched spectacular Fourth of July fireworks through the palm trees, which was a great reminder that we were spending our Independence Day in Hawaii! We then headed back to our hotel and celebrated Jacob B’s. birthday with a colorful cupcake cake.
We went to Kawaikui Beach Park for lunch and relaxed by the water. Becca and Amanda peacefully read their books on a bench near the waves while Samara, Sydni, Jack, Jason S., Jacob B., Alex S. (male), and Roberto played ultimate Frisbee on the grass.
Back at the hotel we all participated in an activity that prepared us for our Habitat for Humanity community service day. Trip members were given two pieces of paper with adjectives and had to identify themselves with these words. We discussed the meaning of sociology and what it means to be a cohesive community.
Mahalo Nui Loa!
The Westcoast Blogger