Our trip kicked off with all of our trip members arriving at the Honolulu airport and being greeted with a colourful lei. The bright colors were a warm greeting to our beautiful new land and ‘ohana’ – which means ‘family’ in Hawaiian. To help break the ice and to help our new ohana get to know each other, we played a few games such as “Move Your Bum” and “Look Up, Look Down” before heading to our hotel. Our first night gave us a chance to continue getting to know each other and to both discuss and start planning for our upcoming service days at the Boys and Girls Club. Everyone was looking forward to working with and getting to know the kids at the club in the next few days.
Ready to really get our Hawaiian adventure started, we hopped in our vans and headed over to Diamond Head State Park to hike the famous crater. We hiked the steep winding trail to the peak and were rewarded with breathtaking views of the Hawaiian island of Oahu making the hike all the more worthwhile for the timeless photographs. Once we had descended the mountain, we headed over to ‘Timmy T’s’ for some stellar local fare to satisfy our well-deserved hunger. After lunch we arrived at Kailua Beach – the moment we had all been waiting for – and were able to take our first swim in the gorgeous waters.
The next day we arrived at the Boys and Girls Club, and Koa, the Program Director, gave us an orientation of the Nanakuli club. Our group split up into groups to work with the older and younger age groups. The groups created arts & crafts, played Capture the Flag, Chief and Wax Museum. At the end of the second day at the club, our students witnessed the unique experience of the children receiving a backpack filled with brand new school supplies for the year ahead. When it was our time to go, both parties were sad to say goodbye and we ended our time there with a group photo shoot. The kids and trip members exchanged hugs and smiles and shared hopes to see one another in the future. It was an unforgettable experience for everyone.
After a beautiful drive along the Hawaiian coast, we collected as a group to reflect on the qualities that allowed us to be successful in our community service endeavors over the past two days. The trip members decided that the three characteristics they want to be known for throughout our trip are to be optimistic, giving and easy going.
Following our first set of service days, we were able to spend a relaxing day soaking up the sun in bustling Waikiki! We began our day with a beautiful seaside brunch overlooking the beach. After some essential city exploring, we made our way over to Waikiki Beach, rented some umbrellas and set up shop by the ocean. What a day!
We are looking forward to our next service project with Habitat for Humanity working in their ReStore.
The Westcoast Blogger
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