What's happing over in Hawaii? We touched base with student leaders of the week Elliot and Ryan to find out what they got up...
"We crammed into the van, drove down a long bumpy dirt road and arrived at a beautiful white sand beach, a day trip to Makalawena Beach planned by Elliot, situated under the doming masses of Mauna Kea. The waves were majestic and perfect for the group to boogie board. Afterwards, we headed to another white sand beach that was really a blend of white sand, lava rock, and seashells. By the time we reached this beach, everyone was quite tired and all sunned out, so we quickly decided to go back to the hostel in Kona.
The following day a couple group members decided to rent bikes and bike into Kona for lunch. They grabbed Indian food at a local restaurant and enjoyed a pleasant afternoon by the shoreline. Next up the group left the Kona hostel and traveled back to Big Island Farms. Upon arrival, we unpacked and played Two Truths and a Lie with the entire group. Afterwards we prepared for our camping trip which would take place the next night.
In the morning we went snorkeling in the most alive reef on the Big Island. Renee guided the group and showed us some cool fish. Afterwards, we stopped at E Komo Mai, a Hawaiian cultural site that preserves ancient peoples homes. Hungry and hot, we stopped for lunch in Kohala and grabbed some quality Mexican food and smoothies. Prepared for our camping trip, we headed to Pololu Valley and gathered our supplies for the hike down into the valley. The hike was treacherous and steep. We found a lush green area to camp and set up the tents. Sweaty and ready for a swim, we ran to the beautiful beach. The setting sun painted the sky with hues of orange and pink. Everyone ran into the water, enjoying the crashing waves. Out of nowhere, Luke and Sam cried out for help against the sound of the tumultuous waves. Gigi and Grace were stuck in a riptide and a scary moment ensued. A few minutes later, all was well and everyone was safe on the shore. Later that evening, we gathered around a bonfire and shared a meal. We ate quesadillas under the stars.
Some members of the group went on a beautiful morning hike. Others went swimming (safely). We packed up all our tents and hiked back up to the van. We stopped for lunch in Waimea.
A man by the name of Coco Chris arrived at Big Island Farms. He is a coconut expert and taught the group about the usages of coconuts. He was a bit eccentric. A man named Bali led a farm-to-table workshop and helped cook a lovely vegan meal. We had “mock fish” that was really fried comfrey leaves. We also baked a vegan cake. The meal was delicious, but not quite enough to convert us to veganism. We visited waterfalls with Renee in Hilo. For lunch we got fresh poke and ate it on Coconut Island. Afterwards, we explored the lava tube caves that wind underneath Hilo. It was cold, wet and incredibly dark but it was fun exploring the unknown. Upon returning to Big Island Farms, we made breakfast for dinner.
In the morning, we wove hats with Renee. Made out of coconut leaves, the hats were quite difficult to weave and took a significant amount of time. In the afternoon, the boys went to play basketball and the ladies went to the beach. We began the day at the farmers market. Grace climbed in a tree with a child named Beatrix. The pizza and music at the market was satisfying after a long week at the farm." - Students Elliot and Ryan
Want to learn more about this program? More information can be found here