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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Living the Aloha Life! – Hawaii Community Service

Aloha friends, family, pets and loved ones,

On a boat ride out on the Pacific Ocean to go snorkeling among fish, corals and sea turtles we think it finally hit us: we’re in Hawaii! It’s only day five but the family we’ve built here seems like a lifetime’s work.  We have embraced Hawaii in every way: culture, food, music and the “Aloha Life”. When it comes to culture, Jonathan and Patrick have it down-packed. They took in Hula dancing with stride showing off their moves even after the group dance was over. They made sure we all knew our stuff and man, do their hips shake!

When it comes to nature, no one does it like our group. Really though…Grant has renamed himself “Nature G” taking after our eco-tour guide “Nature Jay”. Grant has decided to become one with nature and embrace the all-natural life. Jackee was happy to learn about Hawaiian history with “Nature Jay” and how these islands became what they are today. She loved our all-natural “classroom” as we hiked and learned in-person what secrets these islands hold and how precious they are to their people.

We took a drive up one of the biggest mountains in Maui and stopped to hike and dive in a few small natural “pools”. Nina couldn’t have been more at peace with nature in the waterfalls there. The water was fresh and cold and Nina found her happy place!

On our first community service day at Boys and Girls Club Maui, Caroline, Mei-lin, Gabby and Allie found their calling with the children. They each had so many kids clinging to them who couldn’t get enough of the “mainlanders” as they called them. We all had such a blast playing with the kids and they couldn’t wait to see us the next day. We even learned a traditional Haka dance (Warrior dance) from one of the 15-year-olds at the club! Amazing!

We do know how to work hard and play hard, so of course, no Hawaiian trip is complete without a little Surfing USA. Katja schooled us all on surfing, getting up on her first try! Unbelievable and so graceful.

The weather and the ocean have been good to us! Too good sometimes and Sophie, Erica, Jenna and Marissa will attest to the warm waters whispering their names to stay longer. They were swimming in the water when we spent the afternoon at the beach in Kamoela for an hour and a half – needless to say they came out looking like prunes but couldn’t have had bigger smiles on their faces. On our snorkeling day, Michael was determined to pet a shark – of course, none were around but we think he was happy to settle for swimming with sea turtles weighing up to 400lbs.

The Hawaiian spirit is really getting to Ryan as he takes in all the sights and sounds this beautiful state has to offer. Whether it’s playing beach volleyball, swimming, or talking to locals, we think Ryan blends right into the easy-going spirit.

Iliana and Rebecca have found their calling but we’re not sure it has to do with Hawaii. They are music souls and make sure this trip is always pumping. Whether it’s leading a conga line to the beach or forming a dance for our games, these girls keep everyone on their musical toes and we love it. Their energy comes right through everything they do.

So we trek on this 18-day adventure and can’t wait for the next thrills. We’re all looking forward to more time at the Boys and Girls club, surfing round two (hopefully we’ll all get up this time), and fireworks for 4th of July. The spirit is alive and well down here and we’re sending love and “Alohas” back up to you!

The Westcoast Blogger