Psalm 104: 24-25 “How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number-living things both large and small.” (NIV)
I knew I would like Hawaii, or I should spell it correctly , Hawai'i, (Who knew it had an apostrophe?), but I was surprised at how much I loved it. God created such beauty and such loving people who live there. I feel blessed to have been able to experience this beautiful state.
Let me step back a little to explain how the trip came about. Every summer for many years, my daughter has worked at Camp Wonderland, the Salvation Army Camp here in Sharon. Last summer she decided to change it up a bit. She applied and was excepted to work at at Camp Homelani, the Salvation Army Camp in Oahu, HI. She returned this summer, so my husband said, "Why don't you go and spend some time at the end of the camp session to tour around with Sarah?" He said he would never be able to handle that long of a plane ride. At the last minute, he said, "Book me a flight before I change my mind, I'll go with you!"
We were so fortunate to be able to stay at Camp Homeland, it is right on the ocean. Even better than our new digs, were the people. They were so gracious and loving. The staff that were younger than me called me "Auntie!" I was so touched, but apparently they call any female older than them, Auntie. I still loved it. I felt welcome right away.
We hit it off right away with Stacy and George, a husband and wife team that were care takers of the camp. Such nice people. They lived above us with their two handsome sons. George has the Homelani t-shirt on, and Stacy has the pink cross shirt. Pink is her favorite color. Even her car is pink. George had it painted for her.
Bon Bon, the camp cat, was the only one around with an attitude.
Here are some things that I learned and noticed:
* A six hour time difference can really mess with your sleep patterns. I spent a lot of time photographing in the middle of the night and the early morning hours because I couldn't sleep. Here are a few of those shots:
*There are a lot of chickens and cats running wild around Hawai'i. They are quite entertaining and roosters crow all day long, not just in the morning.
*The trees are amazing! There are so many different kinds.
This is a monkeypod tree. They are everywhere and provide wonderful shade.
*Food trucks are popular and there are no Dunkin Donuts. Bummer.
* Shaved ice is big, literally!
*The beaches are gorgeous and everywhere. They all have their unique features and wave strengths. They have outdoor showers and bathrooms. They are free. It is worth visiting as many as possible. The water is warm and there is always a breeze. Sunscreen is a must, even under an umbrella.,
*There is too much traffic near Honolulu.
* Waikiki Beach was my least favorite beach. You can drive 15-20 minutes away and be at a different beach that was less crowded and more beautiful.
* There is a lot of poverty and homelessness in Hawaii. The cost of living there is very high.
*Hiking to the vast variety of landscapes and waterfalls is well worth the effort. The lush greenery is amazing. The vast diversity of landscapes will keep you in awe.
*Rain only enhances the experience.
*Surfers and surf are really cool!
Goodbye for now, Hawai'i.
This was a really long blog, so if you made it this far, thanks for reading and looking.
After 31 years of teaching, I have decided to retire and start a new chapter of my life as a photographer. It has been my passion for about 7 years now.