Field Notes

Maui 2C • June 28-July 11, 2018

Final Update!

July 11, 2018

Aloha families!

We simply cannot believe that our time with your incredible daughters has come to a close. The past two weeks have flown by and we are so sad to say that our ohana has been split up for the time being (we have all agreed to be reunited soon). Since our last update from the field we spent an epic morning boating to Molokini Crater and snorkeling beneath the Pacific, explored one of the best beaches on the west side of the island, and rappelled down three different waterfalls.

On Sunday, we started the day off early with fresh fruit and cinnamon rolls as we headed a few miles out to the unbelievably breathtaking Molokini crater. This partially submerged, crescent shaped volcanic crater has some of the most amazing snorkeling with visibility up to 150 feet down to the big blue. Although Bekkah and Caroline originally struggled slightly with sea sickness, they persevered and embraced the morning on the water snorkeling amongst the majestic fish. Izzy, Della and Lucy were constantly some of the first and last in the water swimming with the big Hawaiian green sea turtles. Hunter was always found with her GoPro strapped around her head or in her hand ready to capture every amazing moment on film.

After our snorkel tour of Molokini crater, we continued our day on the ocean by spending the afternoon playing in the waves of one of the best beaches on the west side of Maui. Olivia and Grace led the girl gang in riding in the big Pacific waves as they crashed against the beautiful white sand beach. Tired out from the sun, salt and sand, we concluded an incredible day with a great Moonup beneath the stars before we were off to bed in our cozy tents.

Monday began with a relaxing morning of pancakes for breakfast and the nostalgic talk of goodbyes coming soon. However, before anyone could get too sad about leaving, we all piled into our big ole van to head to our last activity- waterfall rappelling! After downing a delicious lunch that was provided for us, the girls were all geared up and ready to rappel. Madison and Kelli lead the gang with their incredible confidence and capability of rappelling down roughly 70 foot waterfalls. Although SB was skeptical of this activity at first, by the third cliff we rappelled down she was looking like an absolute pro.

On our final day, we ate lunch at Maui Tacos decked out in our banquet attire (Goodwill’s finest Hawaiian shirts). As we sat chowing down on some amazing Mexican food, we all reminisced about our favorite moments of the trip and tried to take in every last moment as one big family. After lunch, we all piled into Big Mama (our van) and drove to the airport, all while shedding tears knowing we would not be waking up side by side in our tents the next morning.

Before singing off one final time, we want to thank you all so much for letting us spend the past two weeks getting to know your amazing daughters. What a special group we had that we will certainly never forget!!

Mahalo nui loa!

 

All the best,

Alden, Taylor and Kate


Shoutouts!!!

July 8, 2018

Aloha Mom, Dad, and Jack! I’m having soooo much fun in Maui, and I love all my new friends! Love you! -Gracie

Aloha family! I’m having so much fun in Maui with all my new friends! I had an açaí bowl- it was so goooood! Miss you -Izzy, chunkey monkeys

Hey guys, I miss you but I’m having such a fun time in Maui. See you in a few days! Love -Lucy

Aloha family! I am having SO much fun. I love every leader and person here! Love you all so much -Olivia

Aloha! I miss y’all so much. I have been having the best time here, and I don’t want to leave, but unfortunately I have to. Can’t wait to see you -Madison

Miss you guys and Stevie! I’m having so much fun and wish you were here with me. Can’t wait to see you and eat a quesadilla! -Caroline

Aloha Mom, Dad, Mel, Sarah MC,Sarah R, Molly H! Miss you guys!! -Della

Hey family and possibly friends and Buddy having so much fun! See you guys soon. Love and miss you all! -Rebekah

Aloha Mom, Dad, and Millie. This trip has been so amazing. Miss you all so much and can’t wait to see you! -Hunter

Aloha Mom and Dad! I’m having the best time here and my new friends are so so fun. Miss and love y’all lots -Sarah Beth

Aloha family! Maui is so much fun and the people are the best!! Love and miss y’all!! -Kelli


Getting Tubular in the Pacific

July 8, 2018

Aloha!

As we’ve surpassed the half way mark of this trip, every moment and conversation gets better. Over the past few days, our ohana has been lucky enough to take on ziplining AND surfing. Beginning with five zip lines through the Makawao forest, these girls were in for a treat. Although Lucy and Izzy were a bit nervous about the heights (at one point we sailed through the sky 700 feet above ground), they conquered the zips and led the team from line to line. Later that evening, we also embarked on a 6 mile hike pushing us through more of the Makawao Forest. Della, our D1 athlete of the group, conquered this path with ease (and continued to excel in surfing the next day). Afterwards, we headed up to Haleakala, a volcano which stands 10,000 feet tall and boasts rich views of the clouds and Maui land below. Unfortunately, the view we got that evening was not the glowing orange sunset as we imagined, but was filled with fog, mist and cold air. Nevertheless, the girls ran around the summit taking photos with smiles glued to their faces. Once we took in the cold and mist at the top, we departed, ready to take on the next day- surfing!

Day 1 of surfing was a huge hit. Kelli and Caroline, among others, were eager to get on the boards and learn the ins and outs of surfing. Within minutes, they were up on the boards traveling along the Pacific waves. Moreover, Bekah and Della were able to surf on one board and captured some great moments (and some goofy wipeouts) together. Later that evening, we were able to enjoy some down time at a local beach and rest up for the next day. Once situated back at camp, the girls began to master their dance (something that’s been a work in progress for a while now) while cook crew prepared our Spaghetti for the night. The night ended with a serenade from Liv, SB, and Madison- all of whom are exceptional singers. Liv and SB created a mashup of songs, while Madison continues to belt out any song we shout out at her. Moreover, Izzy and Gracie then joined in and gave us a more interesting performance of Miley Cyrus’s “It’s the Climb”. Soon enough, we all found ourselves singing Pitch Perfect as some of us created beats while others rapped and sang along. After an insanely memorable and fun night, the girls fell asleep to the rain and were ready for surfing Day 2!

Our last day of surfing was an absolute success. On one wave, Hunter cruised into the shore on some massive 40 inchers while SB carved out her own. Just as we were wrapping up the morning on the water, Izzy and one of our surf instructors cruised into shore on one board together with ease. To continue the fun, we then took the girls to a favorite cliff jumping location! These girls all conquered their fears and leapt into the air to the (very deep) water below; whether screaming or not, our ohana had an incredible time together. That night, we came back from a brief stop in Lahaina and cooked up some classy grilled cheeses with the crew. During dinner and continuing into Moonup, these girls began reminiscing on the past couple weeks and how incredible it’s been to unplug. Furthermore, they expressed how much they loved each other- there has never been judgment or passivity with this group but only love and acceptance. It’s been a blessing watching this group become one cohesive unit, and we can’t wait to live up our last days together.

 

Best,

The Ohana


Love from our Ohana!

July 6, 2018

Aloha again! Since you last heard from us we have been learning and conquering both water and land activities! All of the girls were eager to get salty, and we did just that while sea kayaking. The water was especially calm in the morning when we set out with our guides and brand new snorkel gear. Madison’s kayak set the pace as we paddled in the morning sun under the overwhelming view of Haleakala.

 

Once we made it to our snorkel destination, we tied up our kayaks and jumped in right off our boats. The water was especially clear and we saw an array of fish and SEA TURTLES! To Hunter’s surprise a turtle swam up right next to her on his way to sunbathe at the water’s surface. Right at the end of our session we spotted a manta ray coasting along the sea floor!

 

After our morning on the water, we headed further down the south shore to Big Beach, accurately named for its length and width. Lucy Goose and Rebekah led us in a group walk down the beach while we watched the big waves crash on the shore. We spent the afternoon in Paia, a popular and fun beach town filled with local shops and food. The girls ate açaí bowls and poked around the town for some keepsakes from Maui. Olivia scored with a giant inflatable beach ball that has now become our group mascot.

 

The next morning we beat the heat and did a hike on the southwest side of the island alongside the huge wind turbines. Rebekah and Della led the way up the exposed, desert-like terrain, and we ended with an expansive view of the South shore. Later that afternoon, we all got a workout while windsurfing. Everyone took to this challenging sport with LOTS of skill, especially Gracie and Kelli who were heading out from the beach and coming right back in like a pro by the end of the day. Perhaps the highlight of this day was getting our laundry done! A simple but special treat.

 

We rose early on the Fourth of July to make the most of our day. We SUPed in the morning and boy, were we in for a surprise. Right when we paddled out from the cove we saw a big group of kayakers observing something in the water. We quickly joined them to discover HAWAIIAN SPINNER DOLPHINS! This was spectacular. Not only are these dolphins pretty rare to see, but they are especially rare to see hanging around in one spot for thirty minutes. Izzy and Caroline were lucky to see this group of 30-40 dolphins swim and spin right underneath their boards. Moreover, we spent our afternoon hiking and taking in the breathtaking views on the west side of the island. In the evening we enjoyed a choreographed group dance led by Sarah Beth, shaved ice, and sparklers! Safe to say it was a fun and unique holiday. Mahalo nui loa again for sending your girls to Maui; we are having a blast and can’t wait for this next week of more fun.

 

Love from our ohana,

Kate, Alden, and Taylor


Service with a View

July 2, 2018

Aloha from our Ohana! What a privilege it’s been getting to know your girls over the last few days. Although airport day can be tough, your girls took on the evening with positive attitudes and smiles. Kate, Alden, and I were extremely eager to begin the next two weeks with these girls, especially since this group immediately clicked so well. After our first night filled with pizza (accompanied by some slugs), the girls were tucked away in Enos and tents and ready to begin the next three days of service!

For the first two days, we began our community service with Imua Family Services. Imua is a local nonprofit organization that works with children with special needs. On Day 1, we had the opportunity to interact with preschoolers attending Imua’s summer class program. Lucy (Goose) was a champ, as she spent hours chasing children around a singular Banyan tree. After an afternoon spent reading to the kids, we departed and spent our afternoon at a local beach. Although the snorkeling wasn’t A+ visibility, Liv and and Izzy came back giggling and as happy as could be. Later that night, we ended the evening cooking up some camp fajitas. As we watched the sun set over the deep blue and the clouds descend over the luscious, rocky terrain, we sat at our picnic tables grateful for the days to come. With that, our wahine ohana was ready for Day 2.

Day 2 was spent helping Imua organize storage units and gear for a few hours. This was tough work, but the girls finished the job efficiently while making it a lot of fun. Afterwards, we ventured into a cultural botanical garden, which Kelli, a Maui enthusiast, greatly appreciated. For lunch, we went to another local beach- a spot that boasts incredible views of windsurfers, surfers, and dogs. Here, Charlotte and Caroline took great advantage of a local fruit stand; buying dragon fruit, pineapple, mango, and sugar cane, I think these girls were set for the week. Finally, our LODs (Leaders of the Day) Lucy and Izzy, along with Gracie and Sarah Beth, led cook crew and whipped up some great stir fry. That night, our Moonup (a time in which we reflect on the day) was, to say the least, incredibly memorable. The question posed: “what has been the greatest challenge you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it?” Madison and Bekah, as well as many others, shared beautiful stories and offered the group mature and thoughtful reflections about their lives. After a great end to the day, the group grew even closer as we all fell asleep under the decorated night sky.

This last day, we ended our service portion of the trip with Griff, a resident of Maui and ocean life guru. As we cleaned up the beach, Della and Hunter did an exceptionally great job combing through the sand and picking out the plastic debris. Afterwards, the girls were dumbfounded that so much trash was littered across the beaches of Maui. What we had not noticed before was now so apparent and upsetting; to celebrate the end of service, we trekked out to Lahaina and cruised along a rocky coastal trail. From succulents to native bird nests, the path was rife with life and far from disappointing. To put it simply, it’s been a wonderful three days. All of us cannot wait to see what else Maui has to offer, and us leaders still can’t get over what a gorgeous place we get to continually experience.

 

Lots of love from the Ohana,

Taylor, Kate, and Alden


Off to a great start!

July 2, 2018

Hello Maui Families!

We have heard from our leaders that the trip is off to a great start! Stay tuned for more updates soon. We can’t wait to share more from their adventures!

  • Moondance HQ

Students

  • Olivia
  • Kelli
  • Izzy
  • Della
  • Sarah
  • Rebekah
  • Charlotte
  • Lucy
  • Madison
  • Hunter
  • Gracie
  • Caroline

Staff