May 24, 2011

My Canadian Hawaii

Day 0: "I'm 25 and I look 17." - Swags
I find that when I beat new people to the punch, it doesn't bother me if they think I look young because they are now agreeing with me. I wander through 5 baggage claims in the heavy humidity at the open air Honolulu airport to find my new Canadian travel buddies.

Day 1: "When are we going to swim with the dolphins?" - Anita
We tackle the day by climbing the Diamond Head Crater, then hang out in Waikiki the rest of the day. We play a bit of beach volleyball after I demonstrate "how to make friends." Some of us are still recovering from the underwater rock attacks on our feet the rest of the trip.

Day 2: "Do you like clowns?" - General Jamba
Aloha Stadium provides cheap thrills with the weekly flea market of at-cost t-shirts and a wild pineapple salesman. A slightly crazed man we dub "General Jamba" includes himself on four separate occasions in our conversation outside of Starbucks and Jamba Juice. We each experience Pearl Harbor in our own way and are able to go deeper as a group in our devotions time.

Day 3: "Can I have plum sauce?" - Brett
Time to make the switch from Oahu to Maui. Brett orders an unheard-of-in-America "plum sauce" from Burger King, and the cashier and I both stare at him in disbelief. I meet a Czech man in the airport and tell him I know 3 Czech words, "Ahoj, spojka, and dekuji." My seat mate on the plane tells me all about war and fishing in Hawaii. We settle into our rental SUV with our luggage on our laps, and finally forget our discomfort as we realize and scream, "The ocean is RIGHT THERE. Our condo is RIGHT THERE. OMG!"

Day 4: "So, what's the plan?" - Aleena
Beach day! Amen.

Day 5: "You dream about Hawaii." - Porcha
We trek to Seabury Hall (private school with an ocean view, no big deal) to run a clinic for Volleyball Maui all day long. I teach the Canadians two necessary-for-happiness pool games: Ultimate Spoons and Tea Party. We learn two important rules: 1) use waterproof cards, and 2) don't play Tea Party with Brett because he brings things like "jackets" and "BAY- GULL-ZAH."

Day 6: "Go bright, or go home." - Kaila
Church is super great, and we stroll around Lahaina the rest of the day. Grace and I are labeled as mother/daughter vacationers twice, and the terms "parkade" and "garburator" make their first Hawaiian appearances.

Day 7: "Get some dolphins!!!" - Anita
We enjoy the over-priced aquarium (without dolphins) with more over-priced food, then head off to mini-golf, where Anita and I both achieve the elusive hole-in-one. At the evening luau, an obnoxious baby involves itself with disrupting every prop, Porcha shows the party her island dance moves onstage, and a man throws fire batons around like it ain't no thang.

Day 8: "'How much does the mountain weigh?'" - Grace
We drive up and up and up on hairpin turns to 10,000+ feet on the Haleakala Volcano. I am basically drugged from the altitude and nap in the SUV the whole time. We scrimmage a 17s club team and push for an epic 5-game battle that ends with our loss at 17-15. Not too shabby, though, considering four college volleyball playing Canadians, a 27-year-old Hawaiian beach player, and a 25-year-old Californian were six strong (with 3 players out of regular positions) against a young team with a lot of height and regular substitutions.

Day 9: "I just want to swim with the dolphins." - Anita
We hit the scene early with an 8am snorkeling tour that is supposed to get us to some dolphins. Things look grim as we scour the open sea UNDER A RAIN CLOUD and none of the tour boats are finding them. But finally we meet up with the pod of spinner dolphins, watching them flip and surf, satisfying all of Anita's hopes and dreams. We also learn that dolphins can suffer from severe loneliness when in captivity, and "swimming with the dolphins" is not the nicest thing we can do for the dolphins. Boating with the dolphins is much better.

Day 10: "No, we'll play you again so we can beat you." - Tash
Another round of Euchre, anyone? We do tons of laundry, eat leftovers, and microwave s'mores and enjoy our last day together before our red-eye flight to San Francisco.

To My Canadians:
I wouldn't have my first trip to Hawaii any other way. Thanks for including me in your team time and being willing to try all of my crazy ideas. Thank you for the depth of your love for one another, and for investing in each other's lives. You are all family to me. You will always be welcome in my home, wherever I may be! Have a fabulous season and keep running this race!!! See you at the finish line, ay?