One final greeting!
The last three days of our trip were, as always, extremely eventful. The Boys and Girls Club of Maui welcomed us immediately and warmly. After introductions, the trip members found themselves being hugged, tugged, and chased around. The children were so eager to play with their new friends and we did not disappoint them. On the playground, while the club members showed Emily how they could climb up over the monkey bars, Mireille was giving piggy back rides. In the art room, Jacob, Mika, and Amelia bonded with a small group through the traditional art of Lego while Jen, Ally, and Hannah helped make friendship bracelets. On the court, Jonathan challenged the local children to some basketball. Outside, Samantha befriended a quiet girl, and got her talking with a discussion of My Chemical Romance and Adventure Time. Jess K., by the end of the day, found herself in a bit of a predicament: it seemed she had captured the young heart of a club member. It was Jessi S. that aided the little guy, helping him craft a love letter that would win Jess over.
On the second day, some club members ran to the vans as we approached. Familiar with the routine, the participants quickly integrated into the club. In the games room, Taylor J. schooled a few of the kids in table tennis. Sophie put her hours of ukulele practice to good use for a small audience on the side of the building. On a table, near the basketball court, an intense battle was raging: Taylor C, Alex, and Remi had found new friends with which to engage in the ruthless art Egyptian War. Cards were slammed onto the table; cries of defeat and victory followed. Taylor C remained undefeated.
Saying goodbye wasn’t easy. The club members did not want to let go of our trip members and stuck to them with hugs and words of appreciation and gratitude. As we were driving away, we noticed some of the younger Boys and Girls chasing our cars and waving goodbye. To the Boys and Girls Club of Oahu and Maui: you will be greatly missed.
With all our volunteer work done, the trip members spent their last day on Maui relaxing and focusing on enjoying each others’ company. One last visit to the beach and one last dip in the waters of Maui. On our final night together, we went to Sugar Cane Café in Lahaina whose menu consisted of some mouth-watering options. The whole group collaborated in selecting different items in order to experience the most possible plates. The lobster fondue, the Ahi steak, the seared Mahi Mahi filet, the delicious kale/bok choy/Portobello risotto… It was an excellent way to spend our final night together, with people sharing stories and pictures from their lives back home and some of their favorite memories from the trip.
Once back at the hotel, Trip Director Shelby assembled everyone by the water for one final group activity. She held within her hands a ball of yarn. Every member of our trip was to throw the ball of yarn to another and share either a memory or a few words of appreciation with regard to the chosen person. Before throwing it, however, the members had to hold onto a part of the yarn, keeping it in place. As the ball was tossed around and kind words were shared, an intricate web had begun to form, linking all members together. Now tied around our wrists, we have something with which to remember our trip and the friendships forged.
After 18 days spent as a family, everyone must say goodbye. We will all, however, retain, in our minds:
Awkward conversation in the airport
The morning mix
The “tsunami” while on the Catamaran in Honolulu
That little boy with his happy bucket
Yummy food trucks
Playing at B&G
The birthday celebrations
The dude in the morph suit
Rocking out in the minivans
Catching the waves in Maui
Nature Jay and Nature Ray
Swimming under waterfalls
Eating wild “candy”
The banana bread
Millions of selfies
The list can go on for pages on end. Thank you for creating beautiful memories – they won’t be forgotten…
The Westcoast Blogger