It’s hard to believe that we’ve only been in Hawaii together for four days – we have already seen and experienced so much, and most importantly become a new family. Our first day was spent sailing the beautiful Honolulu coast, enjoying breathtaking views of Diamond Head, which we will be climbing in just a few days. This was followed by a relaxing afternoon at one of the most incredible beaches any of us had ever seen.
After we had settled in and quickly seen some of the awe-inspiring landscapes of Oahu, we began our community service. Our first day of service was spent at the Boys and Girls Club in Waianae. The organization works with children from difficult backgrounds. Many are from very low-income families, while others have experienced different family situations, and constantly changing residences. The Boys and Girls Club offer those children daily programs that provide them with stability, caring adults, and an overall fun time with other kids. Our group ran programming throughout the morning, and assisted with activities in the afternoon. The kids at the Boys and Girls Club were so excited to spend time with our group and had an amazing day. At the end of the day Jessica, Stephanie, Monica, and Hannah had a group of kids dress them up in paper dresses. This was followed by an impromptu fashion show that had all the kids smiling. When we were leaving, one of them told Eric that he couldn’t wait until Monday. When Eric asked him what he was so excited for, he replied that he was excited for Eric to come back. We are truly looking forward to spending some more time at the Boys and Girls Club on Monday and Tuesday.
After our great day at Boys and Girls Club, we started our second community service activity with Habitat for Humanity. Our group was assigned one of Habitat’s Brush of Kindness projects, where we took apart and rebuilt an elderly couple’s staircase and front porch leading into their house, which they were unable to replace despite its seriously deteriorated state. Our group worked very hard and put so much effort into the project for two days. I am proud to report that today we finished all the major work, and were even able to take a picture of our group sitting on the brand new staircase that we put together in such a short time thanks to everyone’s great effort and determination. All of our trip members worked incredibly hard. For example, Alex spent time carefully learning many skills in carpentry from Ron, our supervisor from Habitat, and worked diligently all day. As trip leaders, we felt such a sense of pride watching our group go above and beyond in their work. We know that by the end of the trip, we will be blown away by our group’s incredible talent, enthusiasm, and dedication at each project.
Finally, today was Samantha S’s 16th birthday! It was not only an amazing treat to be able to celebrate her birthday in Hawaii with her new family, but it was particularly special since she was able to spend it giving back to the local community. After a night of celebration, we are about to go to bed and prepare for another amazing day in Hawaii tomorrow: a visit to Pearl Harbor and an afternoon at the beach.
We hope you are all enjoying your summers!
The Westcoast Blogger