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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Sunny Service in Hawaii – Hawaii & Alaska Community Service

‘Mahalo’ to the Nanakuli Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii for welcoming the AH-Dos crew into their clubhouse with arms wide open. If you’re wondering what ‘mahalo’ means, it’s Hawaiian for thanks, gratitude, regards or respects. Our past two days of service at the Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii have been quite rewarding. Once again, the Trip Members jumped into action and excelled at working with the club kids. Unlike the free-flowing Boys and Girls Club of Anchorage, the Nanakuli clubhouse is very structured. This worked in our favor as the Trip Members follow directions very well. It was great to watch Harrison and the art ladies run a fun program for the kids where they designed and decorated their own name tags. Isabel, Jake, Samuel, and everyone else in the games crew, fired up ‘Huckle-Buckle’ and ‘Ocean-Land’ to get the kids moving and having fun.

We got the opportunity to participate in a talent show rehearsal that the club kids were having for their end-of-summer show. The club kids were practicing their “Old School” dance and the Trip Members got right into the mix to learn the choreography. Allie, James, Amanda, and Gillian can really move their bodies to the groove, which they displayed by quickly picking up different moves- the ‘robo-cop’, the ‘running-man’, the ‘tootsie-roll’, and the ‘cabbage-patch’. Vivian and Kennedy got pulled up to the front of the stage by their new buddies to help display the choreography to the rest of the dancers. Everyone worked up a good sweat in the dance rehearsal so it was really nice to cool off with the ocean breeze during our lunch picnic at the local beach park in Waianae.

In the afternoon it was time to give back. Everyone got their hands dirty in the clubhouse garden and yard as we picked up trash, cleared natural debris, swept the walkways, and raked the lawn. The club takes pride in keeping their space neat and presentable thus we were happy to help maintain such an important building for the Waianae community. Isabel was a really great garbage bag assistant and Jake really showed us how to handle a rake. Nikki and Karly W. provided some break-time entertainment as they danced at the front of the club to some current and popular songs.

After our hard day of service work, we took the opportunity to have a relaxed dinner in Haleiwa Town, which is one of the gateways to Oahu’s legendary North Shore. If there is such a thing as a perfect wave, you’ll likely find it on Oahu’s North Shore. The year round waves of this surf mecca attract some of the best surfers in the world. Although we weren’t visiting Haleiwa to surf, our own surfer-boy Allie was in heaven. After a walk through town to check out some of the local sites and shops with Lindsey, Karly K. and Jake, Allie ran to the waters-edge to fulfill his dream of swimming at the North Shore. He was incredibly satisfied with his ocean experience but can’t cross anything off his bucket list until he comes back to actually catch a wave. Karly K. also frolicked in the water and Jake came close to getting soaked by a wave but avoided the approaching tide with some sweet acrobatic moves. We left Haleiwa as the sun was dipping low and it was just so peaceful to watch silhouettes of surfers and SUP boarders against the backdrop of the setting sun.

Hau oli la Hanau (Hawaiian for Happy Birthday) to Karly W. who turned 15 today! Karly W. woke up to loads of balloons hanging off her doorway and all around the hallway outside of her hotel room thanks to friends Lauren and Gillian who accomplished a sneaky late night birthday decoration mission. What a great way to start the day! Fun fact: there are only 12 letters in the Hawaiian alphabet – vowels a, e, i, o, u and consonants h, k, l, m, p an dw, some of which you will find in the word happy birthday.

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure”. This was stated by Bill Cosby and is posted in the Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii. All of the Trip Members displayed this desire during our second day of service. In the morning, the Trip Members planned, instructed, and ran all sorts of fun activities for the club members from a ‘make your own surf board’ art activity, to a limbo competition, to a soccer match outside. It was another great day of involvement with the kids and once again was hard for some Trip Members to say goodbye to all of their new buddies. Samantha got bombarded with hugs from little girls, while Allie and his buddy said goodbye with their special handshake.

The good times continued for our group at Dave and Busters where we ate, played arcade games, and were merry. Our big winner of the night who turned out several jackpots was Harrison who redeemed his tickers for a blender! It’s a good thing we learned how to make healthy smoothies at the Boys and Girls Club earlier in the day. James got silly with a pair of nerd glasses and was accompanied by a couple of giraffes- Lindsey, Lauren, Samantha, Amanda, and Allie. Birthday girl Karly W. got chocolate cake in the face, while Abby munched on her Laffy-Taffy winnings. Our time in Oahu definitely ended on a high note and we’re all looking forward to what the Island of Kauai has in store for us.

Aloha Kakou,

The Westcoast Blogger

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