Field Notes

Maui : 3B • July 17-July 30, 2016

Mahalo!

July 31, 2016

Aloha Family and Friends,

 

The warm Hawaiian sun we have graciously become great friends during our adventure in Maui, woke us up again by kissing the tops of our cozy tents. Shoveling out from our sleeping bags and packing our daypacks with heavy intentions for another great day. We ate a beautiful assortment of dry and wet cereals paired with bananas and good morning vibes before hitting the road and driving to Makena beach landing for some paddle boarding fun. We met Griff, our island guru, and his helping hand for the day, Michelle to learn about the basic procedure of paddle boarding. They taught us about the importance of being shoulder with the part (balanced) and how important keeping one’s eyes on the horizon is. After a few more sips of water, our feet led us to the shore line and we climbed upon our boards with a fierce amount of determination. Leader Zach, lead team ‘no longer dry’ began the very fun activity of paddle splashing and smile laughing. Clay and Addie seemed to follow in his footsteps cooling off fellow group members and supplying the rest of the group with an endless amount of fun. Peter and George sailed through the water focused and mesmerized by the crystal clear water and swimming life beneath us all. No goggles or snorkel gear was needed to see the bottom of the ocean that morning. Lilly carried the team on her back, as she lovingly made sure everyone was staying safe and seen in front of her and her board.

 

After getting the hang of things, a paddle board race was suggested by all. In teams of two we used our credibly and strength to paddle from start to finish against one another. It was hard to choose a winner from the group due to everyone giving it 110% and we concluded that it was time to lay down on our boards and take a rest. Maren, Sally, and Lucy let the motion of the ocean relax their exhausted bodies and enjoyed the hot rays of the sun. Hannah practiced her yoga during the break and surprised people by her ongoing talent to balance on one foot with her hands above her head. Bobby challenged guide Griff to a one on one paddle boarding duel and shocked everyone in the water by tieing! Annie and Riley had the never ending giggles and used the muscles in their arms and stomachs to maneuver back to on time! We said our goodbyes and heartfelt thank yous before hitting the beach shower to rinse the salty residue and sandy remains from our bodies. We enjoyed creamy peanut butter and jelly, turkey and cheese sandwiches, apples, cuties, and chips before taking in our last beachy afternoon as a family. The cool water warmed our souls and we played and splashed as if we had all the time in the world!

 

The heat of the day dragged us away from the beach and we got in our van to purchase some banquette outfits. Strutting our stuff like famous supermodels we entered the restaurant flatbread, where we devoured slices upon slices of cheese and pepperoni pizza before fixing our sweet tooth crave with shave ice and gelato. Unable to hike the Haleakala crater earlier in the week due to tropical storm Darby, we decided it was the perfect location for our last sunset Moonup. The length of the drive melted away as burnt oranges, blossoming blues, and soft shades of pink filled our eyes and heart with love for the beautiful island of Maui. We parked the van at the summit and quickly unloaded to witness and be with this beautiful night together. As a group we could not believe the power of nature at that point in time and all agreed to live a life as beautifully as the sun does. Driving down Haleakala we sat in silence reflecting on the trip, what we had all learned, the friendships we had gained, and how much opportunity we all have within us. We returned to the Montisorri school a little sleepy from our journey and enjoyed Moonup one last time with a few incredible shooting stars too.

 

Chocolate chip pancakes were a must have for our last breakfast together and the proper fuel we needed before zipping through ongoing acres of trees in Maui. We secured our harnesses as needed, adjusted helmets, and grabbed our rain jackets before making way to the line with our instructors. Lessons about proper speed control, harness positioning, and stopping was taught with a few funny puns and laughs brightening our cloudy day clear! We concurred all five zip lines with ease and knew we could hold onto that euphoric feeling of flying through the sky until next time. The morning began with some small rain showers and ended with that addicting Maui sun we have all learned to love! Zipping could not have started or finished in a better way. Our lunch menu consisted of anything and everything. Hungry for all things in site we decided to make a first as our last lunch together. We prepared cheese quesadillas, green beans, mac n’ cheese, apples, popcorn, fruit snacks, cuties, chips, and so many more yummy things before we set out on a full campsite clean-up. Multiple cleanup parties took place before our home was squeaky clean and swept up. Not wanting too but knowing it was time, we loaded our white beastly van one last time and made way to the airport.

 

Thankful for the great deal of fun and unforgettable memories we were only sad because we did not want to leave this family of greatness we had created within two short weeks. Us leaders cannot speak highly enough for allowing your wonderful kids to experience Maui, Hawaii with us. We were able to watch an immense amount of self-growth take place for each of your kids and feel like the luckiest people for that. Thank you for raising such wonderful future leaders and allowing them to join us on this adventure, we had a fabulous time altogether!

 

Mahalo,

Zach, Maddie, and Kienne


Molokini Masters!

July 28, 2016

Aloha family and friends!

 

Everything is awesome, when you’re in a sensational place like Maui. This was particularly true after waking up to a gorgeous sunrise at Montessori School and a delicious breakfast of assorted cereal and hot oatmeal, paired with bananas and clementines. After washing our dishes squeaky clean and filling out water bottles for the day, we loaded the van and returned to the beach park for our second day of totally terrific waves and surfboards. Today the waves knew we were coming and that our skill levels were way higher than the previous day, and provided us with a greater amount of fun with the largest surf waves we had seen since coming to Maui. George proved he no longer needed the extra push from our instructors and began tackling waves on his own, and standing up with pride. Hannah and Lilly were quick to follow, proving they had mastered tandem surfing, even riding backwards together for our final set of waves. Our instructors were so impressed that they showed us a few new tricky moves themselves. Bobby, challenged their example by jumping to do 360 spins while on the wave. His innate ability to master this move without any complication was just the encouragement the other students needed to pull some sweet moves on the waves. As time went on and waves got bigger, more friends decided to join. And by friends, I mean turtles!! We spotted many baby green turtles (5-7 years old, as told by our instructors) and fish that wanted to play. As we crushed our last waves, and paddled back to shore to return our shoes and boards, we were greeted by cold Hawaiian juices and yummy granola bars to replenish our tired bodies. We then rinsed the salt free from our bodies and sandy toes and drove a few blocks down for some famous food at Maui Tacos. We each enjoyed a delicious lunch that was particular to our own taste buds. Once our tummies were full, and our bodies reenergized, we felt another beach calling and loaded our van to swim once again. Clay joined leaders, Maddie and Zach, for some adventurous snorkeling and turtle spotting on the off shore reef while Riley, Maren, and Lucy turned our brave soul Peter into a mermaid using the sand as their canvas. Feeling the draining sun we decided to head in for refreshing water to imbibe and homemade delicious stir fry before watching the sun set over the hills at camp. As the sky lit up with beautiful hues of pink and orange, we gathered for our nightly moonup to reflect on the days adventures and prepared for an incredible ride tomorrow.

As the sun rose with even more vibrant colors than the ones we had witnessed at moonup the night before, we were already awake and heading to the boat dock for an awesome ride with Redline Rafting! There we met Sean and Kelly, today’s captains. We pulled away from the dock after a lesson on boat safety and enjoying a few hilarious puns before the engine got going.   As we learned more about the historical events and placements of the various islands, our mouths and brains were filled with cinnamon rolls and freshly cut fruit provided by our outfitters. Our first snorkel took place next to the cinder cone island of Molokini. Addie was our first camper to see a spotted eel, and boy was it big! We each swam closer to admire the majestic animal and watch it’s jaw open and close while breathing in the oceanic waters. After a few more minutes of swim and play with the large fish in the worlds clearest water, we moved on our big red boat back into gear and to the back side of the island. There, Sally, took the plunge into the deep deep waters and with her heart full of adventure, swam as c lose as she could to feel the waters current as it pulled waves up and down the mineral rock. She encouraged her friend, Annie, to jump in and join her. Together the two rode the waves and experienced the fun ocean life as a pair. Our captains then drove us back closer to the main island to explore for turtles and a spotted eagle Ray. We then chomped down on the most delicious sandwich bar we had this far. The most popular item was the tasty pasta salad provided by our awesome Redline Crew. Sadly, our time was up and we returned to the boat ramp to change into our hiking clothes. After reloading the van, we bumped to some sweet jams and cruised further down the coast to Kings Trail at La Perouse Bay. Although the path rocky, our spirits remained high and our Ohana quickly tackled the trail to the end for the most beautiful scenery we had witnessed since coming to Maui. We gathered together for an unforgettable photo to commemorate this sensational moment and each other forever. After a reflective hike back we returned to camp for card games, knockout, and hair braiding fun before diving into a delicious pasta and green bean dinner.

It is hard to believe we only have a few days left with our adventurers. However, we look forward to the memories we still have left to collect and moments that will last us a lifetime.

Until next time!

Maddie, Zach, and Kienne


Rain or Shine...Maui is Still Marvelous!

July 26, 2016

Aloha family and friends!

 

It is us again! We hope you all are sharing as many deep belly laughs and truly wonderful conversations that we have since talking with you last. Although we were unable to experience sea kayaking and the Haleakala Crater hike; we have been having an absolutely outrageous amount of safe fun away from the tropical storm Darby. Us leaders have remained completely impressed by the entire group’s willingness to be flexible and roll with the uncertainty of daily activities due to the critical weather conditions. The positive spirits of all of your incredible kids have made this small hiccup an honest blessing as we have become an even stronger, closer, and caring ohana.

 

We opened our sleepy eyes and greeted the early morning showers with nothing but a rainbow smile. After Communicating with Griff, our surreal Maui trip director, and the Moondance office we all decided that our morning sea kayaking adventure needed to be cancelled in response to the storm that was brewing. As if our awesome attitudes could be persuaded by the uncontrollable realities of nature; we had a beautiful exchange of morning hugs and dived into some very sweet doughnut holes, fresh bagels, and crunchy grapes before we said our goodbyes to the amazing campsite of Maui Preparatory School and made way to our new Montessori School home. Wanting to stay clear from Darby but still enjoy all of what Maui has to offer, we took our excited troops to the aquarium! Our eyes watched various sea creatures and our brains grew bigger with the ongoing number of bulletin boards filled with facts and pictures. Riley, Sally, Hannah, and Lilly specifically noticed the harsh realities of captivity when seeing two hatchling turtles being held in a rather small rectangular and unnatural habitat which is a striking difference than the vibrant and vast ocean that they normally call home. Their ability to vocalize this difference facilitated a larger group discussion about conservation in nature. Peter, Clay, Maren, and Lucy’s hearts melted and our family grew a little bit bigger with the purchase of many stuffed animals that now play an important role in our loving ohana. Their positivity throughout the long day combined with their playful love of all things fluffy, set the mood for an afternoon full of games and laughter. Our team whipped up some fantastic cheese, pepperoni, and veggie pizza and munched it down! Dinner was followed by a delicious cake made by our awesome campers to celebrate Kienne’s birthday!!We then hit the hay altogether inside the amphitheater protected from the potential rainfall.

 

The national park of Haleakala closed its gates to all traveling visitors in regards to tropical storm Darby. SoOo naturally, we decided it was only appropriate to have a massive yummy brunch consisting of homemade cinnamon French toast, bacon, and hash browns! We truly ate like kings and queens until we were completely stuffed like pigs! A big fancy meal meant for a serious cleanup and our very helpful group of kiddos lead by George, Addie, and Bobby steered the team to victory as they vigorously cleaned everyone’s cooking gear. After many thank you’s were exchanged a very memorable group game of ‘look up/look down’ took place outside. All of us had trouble keeping a straight game face and Annie especially cracked the group up with her hilarious commentary and talent of funny faces. We continued to laugh, sing, and dance as we drove to Paia for town day! We shopped for unique souvenirs to give our loving friends and family as well as devouring some scrumptious local food on this surprisingly sunny day. Upon returning back home we had show in tell with our new purchases and played many games of knockout up on the basketball court. After working up a sweat we chowed down on some cheesalicious macaroni with broccoli and apples. It didn’t take long for our eyes to fall after another fun filled day. We gathered for Moonup and thought provoking questions before laying our tired heads on soft pillows.

 

Today we awoke before the sun, put on our swimsuits(finally!) and set out to ride some gnarly waves with one of Hawaii’s best teams, the Maui Beach Boys. Our surf instructors gave a quick tutorial regarding board safety, balance, and paddling out. We then hit the surf and became one with the waves as if we had been pros for years. It didn’t take long before tandem surfing, triple surfing, backward surfing, and some sweet 360s took place. The waves only grew bigger and so did our confidence. Sadly we had to paddle in but we’re excited knowing that we had a second day in store. After rinsing our salty skin and beachy hair, we turned back to camp to gobble down some lunch and gather our belongings to wash our smelly clothes (which was much needed!!). The kids enjoyed smoothies and Starbucks and learning how to wash clothes at the local laundromat. Loading back into the van smelling like the fresh, sweet Hawaiian air we packed our things back into our duffels and made way to the upper grassy fields of Maui prep. Tonight, we will enjoy a backyard barbecue of burgers by the beach and watch the sensational sunsets that the Maui sun gods provide.

 

We hope all are doing well on the mainland. We cannot believe we only have a few days left with them. Each one has proved daily that they will be terrific world leaders and bring back an abundance of newfound knowledge and respect for the world they live in.

 

Mahalo,

Maddie, Zach, and Kienne


Aloha family and friends! (Revised Post)

July 24, 2016

Our newest adventurers have touched down and arrived with a splash!! After our sleeper campers landed in Kahului Maui, we quickly devoured scrumptious pizza and laid our sleepy heads down in our cozy new tent homes.

Awake and ready to begin our day, we rose with the sun to greet our island guru Griff. With his incredible wisdom and repertoire of jokes, he taught a brief history lesson of the origins of Maui and the Hawaiian people’s, as well as a few helpful hints for staying healthy in this tropical climate. Hopping in our van, packed full with gear, goodies, and smiles we loaded up and moved across the vibrant valley to Maui Preparatory which would house us for the next 5 days of our adventures together. After a few lessons and a briefing on the ins and outs of camp, we tied our suits, put on sunscreen, and headed to the beach to ride the rockin waves! Tumbling in the surf, we felt the surge of the Hawaiian current and laughed and splashed. After munching down some yummy pasta provided by our cook crew, Clay and Sally who were also the first leaders of the day for our trip, we sleepily gathered for moonup, and then laid ourselves to bed excited for our first day of service to follow!

We met our amazing Hawaii wildlife fund conservationists, Amy and George, early in the morning and went to town on some breakfast sandwiches and crunchy grapes! Together we learned about the four major keys of life: food, water, shelter, and habitat, for any living being and discussed the importance of water. After learning about the native marine life and many historical facts about Hawaii, Maui especially, we left our first beach and made way to another sandy spot, in hopes of coming face to face with all of the amazing creatures we just learned about. Upon our arrival, we arranged our goggles and fins accordingly and quickly followed our fellow water fanatics into the deep blues of the ocean for our first snorkeling adventure. Under the feel-GREAT-water we spotted the state fish Humuhumunukunukukuapua’ and an ongoing colorful medley of coral. Everyone took the initiative and began diving all the way down to the bottom of the ocean to get the best look at sea stars, shells, eels, and so much more! Peter in particular utilized his swimming talents, diving deep down under through natural underwater archways! We left the water and crafted artistic sandwiches to fill our hungry tummies after swimming through arduous waves. Amy and George then led us to a local beach park in Kanaha where we walked the beach and learned about the importance of keeping our sandy lands clear of trash. As a team we collected a trash bag full of pieces that, if left there, could have harmed little turtles and other friendly native animals. Together we regrouped and addressed the realities of flying debris and simultaneously vowed to protect and respect the beautiful world we have; it’s simply our responsibility. Uncle Oliver joined all of us in the sun and spoke about his family’s native land in the valley. Our ears were full of all new information and thoughts of being pono. We went to sleep ready and excited to work in the Hawaiian ways!

After good morning hugs and delicious breakfast sandwiches with tasty plums, we entered the valley ready to get our hands dirty. We met many of Uncle’s grand children whom we would be working alongside, and were taught the traditional ways of farming. We were given various jobs, ranging from removing vines from an 800 year old wall to cutting banana leaves away to reveal the tropical flowers hidden amongst the soft leaves. After a few hours of work we stopped to munch down some yummy sandwiches and reflect on the work we had just completed. It was obvious that it was time for some play and we had what was a highly anticipated mud fight!! After being covered head to toe in the exfoliating mud, we bathed in the rushing river that flows through Uncles vibrant property. We were sad that our time there had to come to an end, so we gave our best hugs and biggest smiles and said goodbye to all of our new friends. George (the camper) completely and utterly stunned the entire group at moonup with an incredible amount of wisdom and positive reflections on the day. Bobby followed in suit, showing incredible expedition behavior and delivering encouraging nugs throughout the evening.

Excited for our final day with Hawaii Wildlife Fund, we sunscreened up and made our way for a fantastic day of snorkeling. As we devoured our breakfast, Amy gave us the low down on what we would encounter out in the deep blue waters. She surprised us with an interesting treat of fresh local dragonfruit. We discussed turtle protection and proper conservationist protocol in order to scan for hawksbill and green sea turtles properly. We spread out into our transact lines and scanned the ocean floor for our flippery friends. Although the waves were rocky and visibility cloudy, we all rolled with the punches and were able to see an adult female green sea turtle! Lucy and Maren, our dynamic duo, collected fantastic GoPro footage while pointing out some amazingly colorful  fish! We then traveled to a different beach to play a fun game and look at a turtle nest. Hannah and Lilly, our beach goddesses, were pioneers in the sand, drawing amazing images and teaching us new tricks and games to play on the beach. Sadly we had to say our goodbyes to the sparkly sand and headed back to camp excited and ready to share with our loved ones at home all of the new things we had learned about protecting our planet and the beautiful creatures that inhabit its waters.

Today we awoke with the sun and loaded our van, pumped about today’s activity of windsurfing! Thanks to the storm brewing off shore, wind was our friend and carried us all over the rockin waves. Our stellar instructors divided us up into smaller groups so we could all learn the proper way to windsurf! After our tutorial and few tumbles, the group really seemed to master the wind and stay upright to make some tricky turns. As a group, we learned not to be frustrated by mistakes and that a key life lesson is learning to roll with the punches and persevere through challenge. This lesson carried throughout the day when our original hiking plan for the afternoon was foiled by weather conditions on the coast. As leaders we were amazed by the groups positivity and willingness to adapt to change, including spending large amounts of time in our stinky white whale of a van. Annie, Addie, and Riley took hold challenge and helped pass the time as we prepared for a newly selected hike and kept spirits high with their sweet dance moves and awesome voices. Our troopers hiked quickly and with stellar enthusiasm through the towering grass and rocky stairs. Exhausted from our hard work of the day, we chomped down on some terrific homemade pita pizzas and hit the hay before the rain could soak us. With our lessons learned today we are stoked for the rest of the trip and happy to have each other as an encouraging team of adventurers.

We recognize that having your loved ones so far away especially at a time where there is going to be bad weather, can be a little nerve racking. Us leaders wanted to let you all know what we are doing in preparation. All of our amazing students have packed up their tents and will be sleeping indoors at the beautiful and incredibly safe Montessori School of Maui in the main recreation room that they have, altogether. Weather permitting, some activities may have to be moved around, such as today, we were unable to sea kayak due to weather but our rock stars handled the change with ease and went to have an amazing time at the Maui aquarium with us! We have discussed safety protocol and proper storm behavior for the coming of tropical storm Darby. Everyone is all on the same page and feels equally safe. If there are any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the office and they will be able to reach out to us.

Until next time, aloha!

Maddie, Kienne, and Zach

Family Shoutouts!!

Sally: Aloha FAMBAM! I’m alive and breathing, so that’s good 🙂 I miss you all but honestly I miss my bed more. Tell Scouty I say hi! Xoxo, Sally

Maren: Aloha fam. I miss you and my puppies. I’m surviving well in this tropical storm. Love you! Maren

Hannah: Hi, fam!! I love y’all and miss you! I’m having a great time! See you soon and love you!

Bobby: Aloha, fam! I am having a great Tim and I miss you. See you soon!

George: Aloha! Maui is very fun, but it rains very hard sometimes. Can’t wait to see you!

Lilly: Hi mama and dad! Miss you guys tons. Tell the pups I say hi. I am having a blast! Let Alex and Liza know j love and miss them. See you soon! Xoxo Lilly

Clay: hey fam! I’m having an exquisite time. I low key do not miss you guys.

Peter: Aloha fam! I’m having a blast here. Miss you, see you soon!

Riley: Aloha fam! Having the best time here. Say hi to my puppies! Miss you lots, see you in a week <3 xoxo, Riley

Addie: Aloha Brooks, Mom, and dad! I hope you all had/are having a blast wherever y’all are. I miss you all much. See you soon! Xoxo, ginger kid

Annie: Aloha me familia! I miss y’all very much and can’t wait to see you! I haven’t broken anything 🙂 love you Becky and Robert! Xoxo AT

Lucy: Aloha family! Love and miss you guys so much! Maui is amazing! Tell Fin and Daisey hey! Xoxo, Lu


Aloha family and friends!

July 23, 2016

Our newest adventurers have touched down and arrived with a splash!! After our sleeper campers landed in Kahului Maui, we quickly devoured scrumptious pizza and laid our sleepy heads down in our cozy new tent homes.

Awake and ready to begin our day, we rose with the sun to greet our island guru Griff. With his incredible wisdom and repertoire of jokes, he taught a brief history lesson of the origins of Maui and the Hawaiian people’s, as well as a few helpful hints for staying healthy in this tropical climate. Hopping in our van, packed full with gear, goodies, and smiles we loaded up and moved across the vibrant valley to Maui Preparatory which would house us for the next 5 days of our adventures together. After a few lessons and a briefing on the ins and outs of camp, we tied our suits, put on sunscreen, and headed to the beach to ride the rockin waves! Tumbling in the surf, we felt the surge of the Hawaiian current and laughed and splashed. After munching down some yummy pasta provided by our cook crew, we sleepily gathered for moonup, and then laid ourselves to bed excited for our first day of service to follow!

We met our amazing Hawaii wildlife fund conservationists, Amy and George, early in the morning and went to town on some breakfast sandwiches and crunchy grapes! Together we learned about the four major key’s of life: food, water, shelter, and habitat, for any living being and discussed the importance of water. We learnt about the native marine life and many historical facts about Hawaii, Maui especially. We left our first beach and made way to another sandy spot, in hopes of coming face to face with all of the amazing creatures we just learned about. Upon our arrival, we arranged our goggles and fins accordingly and quickly followed our fellow water fanatics into the deep blues of the ocean for our first snorkeling adventure. Under the feel-GREAT-water we spotted the state fish Humuhumunukunukukuapua’ and an ongoing colorful medley of coral. Everyone took the initiative and began diving all the way down to the bottom of the ocean to get the best look at sea stars, shells, eels, and so much more! We left the water and crafted artistic sandwiches to fill our hungry tummies after swimming through arduous waves. Amy and George then led us to a local beach park in Kanaha where we walked the beach and learned about the importance of keeping our sandy lands clear of trash. As a team we collected a trash bag full of pieces that, if left there, could have harmed little turtles and other friendly native animals. Together we regrouped and addressed the realities of flying debris and simultaneously vowed to protect and respect the beautiful world we have; it’s simply our responsibility. Uncle Oliver joined all of us in the sun and spoke about his family’s native land in the valley. Our ears were full of all new information and thoughts of being pono. We went to sleep ready and excited to work in the Hawaiian ways!

After good morning hugs and delicious breakfast sandwiches with tasty plums, we entered the valley ready to get our hands dirty. We met many of Uncle’s grand children whom we would be working alongside, and were taught the traditional ways of farming. We were given various jobs, ranging from removing vines from an 800 year old wall to cutting banana leaves away to reveal the tropical flowers hidden amongst the soft leaves. After a few hours of work we stopped to munch down some yummy sandwiches and reflect on the work we had just completed. It was obvious that it was time for some play and we had what was a highly anticipated mud fight!! After being covered head to toe in the exfoliating mud, we bathed in the rushing river that flows through Uncles vibrant property. We were sad that our time there had to come to an end, so we gave our best hugs and biggest smiles and said goodbye to all of our new friends.

Excited for our final day with Hawaii Wildlife Fund, we sunscreened up and made our way for a fantastic day of snorkeling. As we devoured our breakfast, Amy gave us the low down on what we would encounter out in the deep blue waters. She surprised us with an interesting treat of fresh local dragonfruit. We discussed turtle protection and proper conservationist protocol in order to scan for hawksbill and green sea turtles properly. We spread out into our transact lines and scanned the ocean floor for our flippery friends. Although the waves were rocky and visibility cloudy, we all rolled with the punches and were able to see an adult female green sea turtle! We then traveled to a different beach to play a fun game and look at a turtle nest. Thanks to Amy and her super friend George, we had an amazing last day with them. Sadly we had to say our goodbyes and headed back to camp excited and ready to share with our loved ones at home all of the new things we had learned about protecting our planet and the beautiful creatures that inhabit its waters.

Today we awoke with the sun and loaded our van, pumped about today’s activity of windsurfing! Thanks to the storm brewing off shore, wind was our friend and carried us all over the rockin waves. Our stellar instructors divided us up into smaller groups so we could all learn the proper way to windsurf! After our tutorial and few tumbles, the group really seemed to master the wind and stay upright to make some tricky turns. As a group, we learned not to be frustrated by mistakes and that a key life lesson is learning to roll with the punches and persevere through challenge. This lesson carried throughout the day when our original hiking plan for the afternoon was foiled by weather conditions on the coast. As leaders we were amazed by the groups positivity and willingness to adapt to change, including spending large amounts of time in our stinky white whale of a van. Our singing voices aided the challenge and helped pass the time as we prepared for a newly selected hike. Our troopers hiked quickly and with stellar enthusiasm through the towering grass and rocky stairs. Exhausted from our hard work of the day, we chomped down on some terrific homemade pita pizzas and hit the hay before the rain could soak us. With our lessons learned today we are stoked for the rest of the trip and happy to have each other as an encouraging team of adventurers.

Until next time, aloha!

Maddie, Kienne, and Zach