Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ko'u 'A'ahu (My Costume)

Not much to say at the moment, but I do have a few pictures (ones that I took myself, not taken off of "google images"). The first few are from my day off yesterday. I went to the mall in Pearl Ridge with a few friends and we rode a monorail from one side to the other, because it made us feel like we were in Disney World. This is a picture of an actual tree too--it looks like its painted, but its not. It was awesome. Then, my friends who speak spanish as their first language were invited to go talk to a middle school spanish class. I was taken along, because I had no other way to get home, so we went there, the whole class spoke Spanish, and  I barely understood what they were saying (even the 8th graders). It gave me a bit more incentive to learn Spanish. 

The other pictures are by request from courtney, to take a picture of my  "work costume." So, today after work, I took a picture of me in my work costume, which consists of the same red shirt every day (i feel like Doug Funny--I have about 8 of the same shirt in one drawer), shorts (which today I chose some man shorts that the other girls left for me--very comfortable, not the most attractive), and usually tennis shoes. My favorite days are they days I wear board shorts and flipflops. I love board shorts. They are super comfortable. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mua Noa He'e Nalu (First Surf)

Oh my. Yesterday was amazing! I got up at about 7 (as usual), and Kyle, Amanda, Wiking (pronounced Viking), and piled in the car. Wiking had one of the kitchen staff slice us a pineapple for the road. It was soo good. We headed out at about 10:00, getting to Haliewa around 10:15 so that we could rent some surfboards. We get to the store, and this sign was there... If you are having trouble reading it because of the glare or because you don't believe what it actually says, here it is:

Hawaiian Time Hours
Open: 9 or 10 
Sometimes 11
Mostly 12 or 1
Close: 5 or 6
Sometimes 4
Mostly 2 or 3
Closed for:
Big Surf Luaus no like work

Seriously. So we get there and the store is closed, its about 10:15, we decide to go and get some breakfast at the Haliewa Bakery, which has amazing cinnamon buns and pineapple iced tea. I love that they put pineapple in everything here. It just makes it taste so much better! After we went to the bakery, we headed back over to the surf shop to see if they were open, and they were. It was around 11, and we rented boards (only $10 for the whole day!) and tied them to the top of Kyle's car. Kyle and Wiking already have boards, so Amanda and I each got one. We rented the only two surfboards left to rent. Amanda's was a little shorter than a longboard, and it had a foam top, so its a little easier to ride. And I got a pink and white longboard. It was giant. I have a picture of me next to it, but it's on Amanda's camera, so I will post it soon. 
So, we went to the beach and ran right into the waves. The waves were pretty dead, but we got a few good ones every once in a while. Plus, I don't mind just sitting on my board in the ocean; it's very peaceful. I caught 2 and a half waves. The first time I fell off and as soon as I got my head out of the water, the board smashed me on the head. The half means that I got to my knees on the board, the other two were full standing for at least three or four seconds. I was very proud of myself, plus I had a blast. My arms are so sore, you can't even imagine how much you have to paddle when you surf. Its nuts. I have bruises on my hip bones from going straight through waves while they were breaking. My board kept hitting me, but it was totally worth it. Now I can proudly display the "Shaka," which is the surf sign with your thumb and your pinky out. I hope I get a chance to go again sometime soon. 
After we had our morning surf, we went to get an Acai Bowl, which is basically a smoothie in a bowl (made with Acai berries and other fruit) with granola, honey, and banana on top. It was amazing. 
We went out surfing again in the afternoon, watched the sunset at a really cool secluded beach (the picture at the bottom is of the sunset, and there was a guy board paddling--a mixture of canoeing and surfing) and then went to Haliewa Eats, which is an amazing Thai restaurant. It is actually the only restaurant I've been to yet, but out of the three times I've gone I have loved it. They have pineapple fried rice, oh man it is so good. If I haven't mentioned it yet, I love pineapple. 
I am so sore today. My arms are killing me. I was trained in the climbing wall and a few classes today. Someone asked 
me to climb so that they could belay, but there was no way my arms would let me today. But I did do well belaying and with the other classes. 
Now I am just sitting here resting and watching The Office (season 4), exactly what I need to relax. One of the cooks is letting me borrow her van tomorrow so that me and 3 of the girls I work with  are going to go to a mall in Pearl City tomorrow. I've had a lot of days off this week. Its great. I will only have two weekdays this week that I worked. Perfect.

P.s. As requested from Courtney, I will soon post a picture of me in my work costume.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Waimea Bay

I finally got off of the campgrounds on Thursday night. My friend Kyle took the new swedes, James' (a guy that works here from England) cousin who is visiting, and me to Waimea Bay. There is this amazing jumping rock there that I jumped off of at sunset. It was amazing! There is one side that most people jump off of, with only one rock that you have to avoid, and then there is a "local" side, with lots of rocks. We jumped of the side with one rock. We had to wait for the waves to come in so that we didn't bust our knees on the bottom, so there was an added nervousness from that. I don't even know how I jumped off of it, now that I think about it. It was pretty scary. Especially since we went off at night, and someone had spotted a tiger shark there only like a month ago. I figure that I might as well take some risks while I'm here, and it has been totally worth it so far. After we jumped a few times, we body surfed the waves. They were the biggest waves I have ever seen, and it's not even winter yet. They were about 10 feet high, which is bigger than it seems. I think I still have sand in my hair from riding those waves. Here's a picture of Waimea Bay. The local side is on the left. Can you even imagine that the waves get higher than this rock during the surf season? We also walked to the pipeline, where a bunch of the competitions take place, and it was pretty cool. This picture isnt of us, i just found it on google images, cause I forgot to bring my camera with me while we were there.

I don't really have access to a car here, its kinda frustrating. In order to drive the staff cars, you must be 21, so I can only go out if someone who is 21 and has a hawaiian drivers license wants to go too. One of my friends has his own car though (kyle), so he has promised to take me some places. We do have staff bikes, though. They are not very good bikes, they always make a clicking noise, they barely ever shift, the brakes on one handle were shot, and the handlebars are loose. Not even considering that they are about 4 or 5 inches too short for me, so I have to use muscles that you shouldnt have to use so much when you bike. I rode about 15 miles to the nearest town, Haleiwa (pronounced Haliva), and walked around. It was such a cute little town. I made friends with the owner of a store and got 25 percent off of what I bought. I also got a snowcone, half pineapple and half coconut, but was a bit disappointed and confused, because the pineapple flavor is colored pink, and coconut is blue. I don't like to eat blue things. But i did anyway, cause it was really really hot. 

Not much else to report about at the moment. I don't work til after lunch, but at 4:00 til 10:00 i work in the camp store, so if i think of anything to add, I will.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Internet Has Been Down...Bleh.

     So, it has finally been a week. The internet has been down for a few days, all of my "flat-mates"--as the Kiwi's have told me it is supposed to be said, rather than roommates) and I almost went crazy without it. I've missed three days of trying to connect a little more with this camp by watching the show Lost on (unfortunately, I do not find it very interesting, so I commonly replace my time devoted to Lost with Samantha Who, which I find much more interesting). I have also been unable to update my blog, receiving emails through my phone telling me that its been a few days and I should probably get on top of it. 
 So, what have I done in the past few days? Let's see, I finally read "Everything is Illuminated" and loved it. I highly suggest it to anyone who is looking for an amazing read. I have begun to pick up bits and pieces from all of the crazy dialects around this place. I've started to speak a bit like the Kiwi's with the words that I choose; I have begun to go up at the end of my sentences like the hawaiian kids; When I give directions or tell people how to do things, I end my sentences with "Yea?" which seems to be a mix of Canadian and Hawaiian. I am not officially trained on the Odyssey or the Alpine Tower, but
I usually go help and have been told that I am basically trained, i just need to learn a few of the rescue techniques. I lead a few hikes. I taught my first class on my own today. It was archery--I have no idea how archery works, so I kind of just told the kids to hold it in whichever hand feels more comfortable, and do whatever, as long as they keep the arrow points away from everyone (I also made up a few games). A staff member here is going to be certified in lifeguard training soon, so hopefully I will be able to re-certify. I get to work family camps this weekend. I learned that Jack Johnsons, Inbetween Dreams, album cover is a picture of him under one of Camp Erdman's trees. He actually used to go to camp here and apparently he comes to visit sometimes. Fingers crossed. 

Oh yea! And two days ago, I picked and ate a banana straight off of the tree!

On a sadder note:

My boss, Barry, told us all that he turned in his letter of resignation today and he will be leaving in two weeks. Everyone seems pretty upset about it, even though some suspected he was going to leave too. He is absolutely amazing, and brings a lot of fun here. I obviously don't know him all that well, but he always brings a positive, humanistic feel to a conversation, which you don't always get with people who work in camps. 
Unfortunately another person has decided to resign as well. She told me as I was walking out of my cabin. She seemed really upset and let me know that she was going to leave, and I figured she meant she put in her letter of resignation, too, but then she said that she would be leaving tonight. She was the first person I met that worked at this camp (she picked me up from the airport) and I really liked her. She just seemed like she was here for the right reasons. She really wanted to do something for this camp, but unfortunately there must be some politics behind the scenes of this place that I have not yet had to face.
So, two people have resigned in one day, one is leaving tonight, the other is leaving in three weeks. All of the people I am living with will be moving out in a week and are going to Maui from tomorrow until Wednesday, and I'm left here. I wish I had come three months earlier so that I could have worked with all of them during my time here. We are getting one more volunteer, making two of us. There are international students as well, but they have separate housing and some of them will be leaving soon as well. Its making me start to worry that there is a legitimate reason that all of these people are leaving, and I just hope that I don't have to encounter that reason. We have a guy that will be taking Barry's position that just arrived here like a week before I did (Ian), and I like him a lot, so I'm hoping that will make my time better, but still...

This is crazy, I'm kind of freaking out. 

I'm thinking about going sky diving on Wednesday with one of my flat-mates. Maybe that will help me realize something.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Whale of a Dream

I had a really weird dream last night. mom and I were out in the pool at our old house. We were in a little raft thing, and suddenly something bumped into us. It was a killer whale. It started to attack us, and it ended up biting me while mom tried to row us to the back door of the house...apparently in my dream, the water from the pool went up to the back porch. So, we finally make it to the door and go inside. The next time we looked out the window, there were like five killer whales in our pool, each of them larger than the previous. Somehow, our pool had a large filter in the back and the whales were getting through it. The whales that were too big to fit just hung out on the farm behind the house. Thats basically the end of the dream. I think it has something to do with the fact that I am going to be here during whale season, which means I get to sit on the beach and watch whales, and the whales are going to be really close to the shore.

On a work related note, I have begun my hula lessons and am going to be a pro. I found someone to teach me how to surf. I get to start working full on next week, after only sitting in on a few classes. Pretty exciting.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Just a quick one.

This is what I did today. It's called "The Odyssey." There is another things similar called "Alpine Tower." Intense, huh?

Here is my address:
69-385 Farrington Hwy
Waialua, HI 96791

Thursday, September 4, 2008

First Day


So I arrived last night at about 6:00 PM, was picked up at the airport by 3 of the other workers here, and headed to camp. I fell asleep at around 9...I couldn't get myself to stay up any later (It was 3 AM KY time). I woke up this morning feeling refreshed and ready to start the day, then looked at my phone and realized it was 2 AM I forced myself to sleep til 6. I completed all of my online training this morning, recieved my staff shirts, and will be helping with the campfire tonight. Everyone here is pretty diverse. There are people from New Zealand (referred to as "the Kiwis"), England, Venezuela, and Florida. 
However, I arrived here to find out that most of the people I have met will be leaving in two weeks, and the other group of volunteers should start arriving somewhat soon after. So, at least I wont be the new kid. 
I'm living in a cabin with 4 girls, all of whom are going to be leaving soon. 
I'm going to go play monopoly with them right now, so I'm done with this post. 

(The white house is where I am staying. the top two are the beach on the campgrounds and the other one is just a shot of part of camp)