Let us begin with some catching up! Since we last touched base, the group began a new service project with Habitat for Humanity at their ReStore facility in Honolulu. Trip members divided and conquered! First being tasked with the organization and decluttering of a huge storehouse of materials that were to be sold, before having their creative appetites satisfied with various handy projects. As the Hawai’ian saying goes, ‘a‘ohe hana nui ke alu ‘ia’ – meaning, ‘no task is too big when done together by all.’ The difference made by our 24 members had an immediate impact, with customers and employees alike commenting on how well organized the showroom was, making building supplies more readily available to be sold to those in need. In addition, the shadowboxes, shelving units, dressers and Hawaiian themed signs they built, painted and put their creative touches on, were left for the ReStore to sell after our leave. Yet another successful community service project in the books for our group.After arriving on Maui, the kids were eager for some rest and relaxation at Kanaha beach. We enjoyed the shimmering sun, and the view of the kite and wind surfers on the horizon. InMaui we were greeted to beautiful weather and serene beaches of white sand and bright blue ocean water. We headed back to the Maui Seaside Hotel to get ready for the Drums of the Pacific Luau. The drive to the Luau along the Honoapiilani highway offered coastal views of the sun setting over glistening water and waves crashing into rocks along the coast, with a backdrop of the Maui mountains. A notable of the night occurred when the emcee offered the opportunity for volunteers to enter the stage area – anopportunity that trip members Jenna, Rafael and Sam had the courage to seize, learning to hula dance from performers in the Luau in front of a huge crowd of people.Over the last 2 days, we were fortunate enough to work with the Maui Boys and Girls Club. The group was initially surprised when being introduced to an older group of kids than they had previously worked with in Honolulu. However, many found that the time spent was more meaningful in that they related better to an older group. That they were closer in age made the harsh reality that many of these youth live all the more real to our members, creating a greater understanding of the importance of the work we are doing on this trip. The B&G Club thanked our group for their time with a signed ‘thank you’ poster from all the kids in the group. Our debrief lead to the common realization that many of these kids at the club share the same basic values as we do and that we are all not that different in terms of convictions and beliefs.We have had delicious dinners in Kihei and Lahaina (oceanside at Bubba Gump!), and have been enjoying seeing what Maui has to offer our group.Excitement and anticipation is in the air as surfing and a snorkel cruise are quickly approaching in our itinerary. The group will also have a unique opportunity with Nature Jay, to learn about what the beautiful and lush environment of Maui has to offer in the comings day. But more on that in the next blog!Until then!The Westcoast Blogger
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