Touchdown Anchorage, Alaska!
Our crew arrived safe, sound, and smiling Friday afternoon at the Anchorage International Airport. Trip director Ally and trip leader Dorothy greeted Trip leader Jon and the Hawaii & Alaska trip members with two big bright bristol boards marking our meeting spot! ‘Snohana’ was a word written on these posters. Trip director Ally explained to everyone that this word has become the official motto of our trip; ‘Sno’, signifying the Alaskan snow, and ‘Ohana’ which means family in Hawaiian. After a well deserved snack and meet and greet, we made our way to the University of Alaska, settled into our dorms, and jumped into some ice breaker games! Our group quickly learned a lot about each other. From Jessica’s passion for reading, Evelyn’s love of Lacrosse, Maddie’s interests in fashion and signing, and Cael and Noah’s snowboarding adventures, it was evident right then and there that our group was filled with fascinating, unique, and varied individuals!
The following morning we made our way white water rafting. Evan led one of the four rafts down the river, setting the pace of the raft’s paddle rate whenever cued by their former Olympic paddler tour guide! Jordan and Alex also led one of the rafts down the river, taking all the water and enjoying the “glacial facial” we received complementary of the white water! Our drive back to our dorms from was a great opportunity to bond within our van groups, just ask Matt who we all learned was the king of making new friends, even those driving by! We sang, shared jokes, waved to passengers, and just flat out acted silly! It’s a good thing that night was “date night” so we could continue to learn about one another one on one. During our closing circle that evening, it was noted that the drive back from rafting was the trip members’ highlight of their day. It’s amazing that this was the case, despite having spent 3 hours white water rafting. This was a true testament of our group’s flourishing friendships! That same night, it was off to the bowling alley where Maddie, Stevie, and Cael teased each other amiably about their ‘incredible’ bowling skills.
Sunday morning we headed to the Boys & Girls club. Lourdes, Evelyn, Maddie and Ashley made their way to the art room and worked on some arts and crafts with a group of girls aged 8-13, while Emily, Jessica, Stevie and Dori accompanied another group of girls in an interactive dance video game. Jordan, Noah, Cael, Evan, Matthew, Alex, and Eric took the initiative to gather dodgeball supplies provided by the facilities. An awesome game of dodge ball ensued, which required a great deal of organizing. Special shout outs to Noah and Matthew for stepping up to the plate and making that happen with the help of the other boys! It was great to see everyone move about the facilities with the club members and we all came up with some great activities, and can’t wait to come back tomorrow. Stevie and Dori had some really fun ideas for some of the club girls that were not so inclined to play soccer that Jessica and Evelyn initiated with the help of some of the boys. It was especially touching to witness Lourdes and Emily have what seemed to be a very heartfelt conversation with one of the older club girls.
If the past three days have been exemplary of the amount of fun, friendship, engagement, and all around goofy silliness we have been experience thus far, it’s safe to say that the Hawaii Alaska is going to be one heck of a ride! Snohana everyone!!!
The Westcoast Blogger