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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

“Hawaii is so much more than fun, sun, and beaches.” Hawaii Community Service

Aloha from Hawaii Community Service Hawaii,

I cannot believe it is already day 7!  Time flies when you are having fun!  On Thursday, July 3 we had the most amazing experience going to a transition house for families that are recovering from homelessness, alcoholism, and drug abuse.  Our morning started off with greetings from the families and their children and leighing us with a Mahalo, meaning, “thanks for visiting us”.  We actually had real leighs that they made for us!!  Two teenagers that live at the shelter home recited a Hawaiian prayer while we held hands with the families.  We toured the facility and were shown where these once homeless people now live.  I think it set in when we began hearing first hand how these people used to live day to day.  Brielle C. interacted with three girls during our visit.  She ended up exchanging her email so they could Facebook each other. At the end of our visit, the shelter home gave us lunch and sang Happy Birthday to Teddy while presenting him with cake and ice cream.  We celebrated his Birthday one more time! 

After we left the shelter we went to a beach that was suggested by Junya, the President of the home.  Junya told us to look as we drove along the beaches to see where he lived for five months.  Lena M. mentioned that she will never look at a beach the same way again as she saw the amount of families huddled together under a tent, which they consider their home. 

 Community service gets no more direct than the visit we experienced at the shelter on Thursday. To reflect upon our experience, we spent the remainder of the day at the beach while Teddy S., Brandon D., Oliver M., Anthony S., and Nick L. rode the waves and played sports in the ocean with Patrick our Tour Leader.  To conclude our beach visit, we had the students reflect on their service through a journal that they each received.  It was then that we, as a group, realized that Hawaii is so much more than fun, sun, and beaches. 

Stay tuned for more from H6 Hawaii!!