The First Weeks

As the days go by we are starting to get more and more settled. We have been decorating our little apartment and are getting back into the swing of things. Our schedule is (sort of) normal now and we are starting to get into a weekly rhythm.

On the 18th of January we had the opportunity to be part of STN’s Feeding the Hungry (FTH) program. It’s one of the largest food distribution programs on the Hawaiian islands and has been serving the needs of Oahu’s most impoverished areas for over twenty years. Getting to participate in FTH again was awesome as we had been helping out with it the previous time we were here. After a full days work you get to leave with the satisfaction that you just distributed food to over five-hundred people. Helping out at FTH was a unique opportunity as it’s not a normal part of our LTP. We’re stoked to see that the program is still running as good as it ever has.

feeding the hungry Stacks of food, ready to be distributed

As we get into the swing of things we have been doing a lot of reading and writing. As part of our LTP we are required to write numerous papers and read different books. It’s a challenge to stay home and work when you live on such a beautiful island. We are; however, learning a lot about ourselves, leadership and faith from what we have done so far.

When you think of Oahu, or Hawaii in general, one of the first things that come to mind are its pristine beaches. So you might think that one of the first things we did when we got here was to take the time to have a proper beach day? Wrong. Our first beach day was two weeks after we arrived on Oahu. We started the day surfing some laid-back waves at Pua’ena Point, where we could get back into surfing. Later we headed over to Gas Chambers where I got my weekly dose of gnarly winter waves; and Junia her dose of sun. It was exactly how you would imagine your days to be when living in Hawaii. We are stoked to get revitalized on our weekends as it helps us focus during the week. Not being able to go to the beach as often as we might want to helps us appreciate the times we get to go even more, and drives us to make the most out of our weekends.

We got invited to do the Lanikai pillbox hike on Monday (our weekends are Sunday to Monday) – at dawn. Starting at five fifteen in the morning, we drove over to the east side of Oahu where the Lanikai pillboxes are located. After hiking uphill for thirty minutes we got to the pillboxes just as the first shimmer of dawn started to illuminate the landscape around us. As it continued to get lighter we could see the islands of Moku Nui and Moku Iki as they lay in the crystal clear water before us. To our right the beaches of Waimanalo bay slowly became visible through the rain over the bay. Soon a soft drizzle started to cover the rugged landscape around us. As we took shelter inside the pillbox the sky started to light up as the sun got ready to break the horizon. In an instant vibrant shades of orange and pink started creeping across the sky as the first glimpse of the sun peeked over the horizon. The sound of camera shutters started to break the hush whispers of the other people around the pillbox. The steady whir of a drone filled the sky as people stood looking into their cameras and phones; mesmerized by the sight that lay before them. Slowly the sun’s rays became more intense and lost the color they first had. As the sun flew into the sky we joined a steady flow of people making their way back down the muddy slopes to where the cars had been parked.

junia photographing the sunrise Junia photographing the sunrise

After two weeks of scanning the market — we bought a car! Together with Isabel, we have bought a surf-mobile that is ready to take us wherever adventure awaits. Having a car not only allows us to get to the beach but also helps us go grocery shopping, drives us to the laundromat and allows us to make the most out of our free-time.

On the 1st of February we will be leaving on ROCK (Radical Ohana Camping Kickoff); a four day (three night) camping and hiking adventure made to challenge our team. We have no idea where it will be or what exactly we will be doing, only that we will be hiking and sleeping in the open.