Thursday, July 26, 2007

Lilikoi is Sweet

Really, I know that I talk about it a lot but it is true. Lilikoi is very sweet. However there is a slight bitter tang to it that can't really be described. The flavor swirls around your mouth enveloping all sorts of sensations that are unable to be described by any words you or I could come up with. You just have to take it all in and call it lilikoi.

Of course I am not here to talk about passion fruit or any of its products such as, sorbet, cake, or even juice for that matter. It is good though.

However good it may be…

I am here to talk about our time in Hawaii.

I write this on our second to last night. I do so only because the only opportunity to upload it will be tomorrow, Thursday, our last full day. Tonight is sort of surreal. Today may have been the most beautiful day out of the two weeks that we have called Hawaii home. We saw beautiful waters and creatures, scenic vistas of Maui and hillsides. We also once again saw the wonderful aloha of the people here. Our time here is coming to a close and it is very much like lilikoi. It is very sweet, but there is something that can't be described at work here. Whatever it is, it overwhelms you and moves you in ways that could not be crammed into any words you or I could come up with. You just have to take it all in and call it Hawaii.

Lord, bless it. Continue to be at work here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Makapala, Kapa’au Town, & Kohala

To me… right now… It's late.

Now those of you that know me know that 10:30 is usually not all that late for me.


Right now though, I am seriously out of it. I can hardly move. Between dancing and singing with 30 kids for 3 hours and helping put in sub-floor in the hot sun, I am pooped and drained of anything once recognizable as energy.

Energy is a funny thing. One second you're going full bore and the next you hardly can stand.

Today was one of those days.

VBS is going great. As I mentioned earlier, there are about 30 kids coming to VBS at the Makapala Retreat Center which is across the street from our job site and Kohala Baptist Church. The kids are full of energy and are quite entertaining most of the time. I am in charge of the music rotations this week and we have already learned 3 songs. Tomorrow is "The ABC Strategy". It should be pretty cute as far as kids songs go. I am fully prepared to have these songs stuck in my head for the next year or so. All of that means that I will have to do VBS next year to get more songs stuck in my head to push the old ones out.

Our building has slowed. Unfortunately, we aren't going to be able to put up the walls this trip. Well we could build them but all that would happen is that they would twist and warp in the wind and rain. So for now, we have to clean it all up and finish putting primer on the wood so it won't get damaged before the next team comes. It's kind of a bummer but that's the way it goes sometimes. Ok, I am falling asleep. Goodnight

Aloha a hui hou!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hilo, Laupahoehoe, Kilauea, Kona, & the Pu’uhonua o Honaunau

Well, the last few days were a fairly good, albeit wet time. After our breakfast of Malasadas and Manapuas, we spent Saturday traveling around the island on the tail end of a storm. Cosme left us many streams and waterfalls to look at that were bulging with rainwater. Unfortunately, we weren't able to see many of the scenic vistas because of all of the fog in the way. We stopped and saw some waterfalls and then I tried to get myself washed out to sea at Laupahoehoe (Law-Pah-Hoy-Hoy) Point. The waves were marvelous there as they broke across the rocks (and almost me). We then went to Hilo where we had a good lunch that stuffed us quite well. After lunch, and an excruciatingly long amount of time listening to K-Love while in the parking lot of W'al'-M'ar't and Hilo Hattie's we finally were on our way to the volcano. We actually saw an eruption that swept away a few homes from the hill below us…

Just kidding…

Actually, the lava at the volcano has stopped flowing to the ocean since June. Now, after a series of earthquakes referred to as "Episode 56" the lava has begun to build up in a place called the Pu'u O'o crater. That's pretty cool if you ask me. However, it is kind of boring as far as a hike is concerned seeing s all of the trails into that area are closed due to "activity". It was pretty fun walking to the end of the dark, scary lava tube though. We found a dyslexic dragon named Dagron in there. Not to mention the fact that we all made shadow puppets with our flashlights… Ok, it was just me. It seriously rains inside of the lava tube because of all of the water dripping through the earth. Oh yeah, there are huge puddles that must be crossed inside the tube… wet describes it to a "t".

We had a good dinner at Ken's House of Pancakes. Matt had a Sumo Burger. He ate the whole thing plus the onion rings. SUMO!!! I just don't get it. I could hardly finish it when I was here last time.


Sunday was a good time too. We went to church where a pastor from Waikoloa spoke. Then the church ohana (family) in Waimea made us lots and lots of 'ono kine' grinds. It consisted mostly of rice and pork, both foods that broke tha' mouth. There was some sushi stuff and then this layered sort-of Jell-O thing which was 'ono. Then we went to Kailua-Kona where we went to the International Marketplace where there was a lot of stuff to buy that was mostly for malehinis which made me happy that I have no cash. We then traveled downtown so some of us could shop… some more. After that we went to the Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, or the Place of Refuge. As soon as we got out of the car we were soaked. It was raining like crazy but with Hoku and her sister Kamele as our tour guides, we were fine. It was actually a surreal sort of place where the King used to live and where warriors would go if they were defeated or broke the kapu, the law proscribed by the king. It's neat. I approve of it. Apparently there was a sea turtle laying its eggs on the beach there. Missed it though.

The trip home was restful and we arrived to a wonderful sunset at Waimea. Leftovers for dinner and then sleep.

Good weekend. Good times.


Aloha a hui hou kakou!

Goodbye until we see each other again!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Waimea, Hawaii

…is hot and sticky.


We just finished our first day of VBS in Kawaihae. (Ka-why-huh-i) We had it outside in a park overlooking the harbor and the Pacific Ocean. If it had been clear we may have been able to see Maui. It rained throughout most of the day however we had canopies and tarps to save us and the kids that attended from drowning. We had music and videos and snacks and all the other typical VBS stuff. Well, mostly typical. During a song, while the kids were dancing around, a few beetles decided to crash the party and scamper across the mat beneath us. Immediately the song transformed into an all out beetle bash. It was great.

As for us, we are here and well. It gets harder and harder to breathe though. The humidity envelops your lungs and begins choking you the moment you stop moving. If the breeze is blowing slightly it seems ok. But the breeze is not very reliable and it leaves you alone for long periods of time so that you'd wish that you had a fan or something to move the air around.

However, I like it.

Hawaii is beautiful even if you can't see much of it. Every so often the fog breaks and you are reminded that the beauty was there all along. You just need to be patient and look for it.

But that is not the beauty I love. You can keep it (at least for a little while, I still like the sunset).

I am growing to love the beauty of the people that give up their time to feed us lunch in a park. I am growing to love the kids that realize they are beautiful enough to make a random group of Californians, Oregonians, Nevadans, and Hawaiians travel far away from home and family simply so they will have a chance to grow closer to the God that has a love for them that far exceeds any attempts at love that we could bring. I am growing to love the woman in the airport that wishes me well simply for taking the time to talk to her while waiting around a busy baggage claim.

This world is beautiful even if you can't see the beauty sometimes. Every so often the fog breaks and you are reminded that the beauty was there all along. You just need to be patient and look for it.

The kids doing crafts, Kawaihae, HI.

We are home now. We just returned from meeting the rest of the team (a total of 28 people)living in Kapa'au for the week. Now around me people are sleeping, or at least getting there. We have a somewhat long say ahead of us and a bigger group to work with. So, with that said… goodnight and aloha.


A Lilikoi Story

One day, a boy went to Hawaii. He returned home but missed something special. Lilikoi.

People from the mainland call it "passion fruit" however; those in the know call it by something far better… lilikoi.

Lilikoi is perhaps one of the greatest fruits ever created.

One day the boy returned to Hawaii and went on the hunt for lilikoi.

This is his story.

He bought the lilikoi. Found in this instance as a juice.

He stared at it.

He awaited its fresh aroma.


At last!!!

Yes… bliss…


Eh! No… NO!!!

(sniffle) no more lilikoi!


And they all lived happily ever after.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen, Don’t Look Down

Actually, I can't unless you count looking down at the floor. I am in an aisle seat. I usually don't mind unless the stewardess keeps numbing your elbow with the beverage cart. Oh, wait. OUCH!

Haha. It only hurts a little.

We're about an hour into our flight as I type this and the fact that we're going Hawaii for two weeks hasn't really sunken in yet. At least for me. It feels like a trip to SYC or something even though we're high above the water. We already met the rest of the team in the terminal while we waited for our plane to arrive. They all seem like really nice people who're excited to be going as well. Rebecca commented that it actually feels like we're going to Hawaii upon seeing her name under "HILO" on her baggage claim ticket as we trudged through the security line.

I can't wait…


Standing and Waiting

I'm sitting in the Oakland Airport. It is just a little after 4pm and our plane is running late. Hopefully it will come soon so that I won't buy some silly, over-priced snack here in the terminal…

Nope… too late… pizza it is.

Off We Go Again "Aloha!"

I am tired...


Cause in a matter of hours I need to get in a van.

That van will take me to Oakland.

Once there, I will go to the airport and get on a plane.

That plane... will take me to Hilo.

Then, in Hilo, I will get off of the plane and into another van.

That van will take me to Waimea.

In Waimea... I will sleep.

Then Monday, I will get up again.

By the way... I am still packing. crazy eh?

I'll check in soon with an update.

Hope everyone is well.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Jesus Junk?

I found this online earlier.

I find it to be quite an interesting commentary on the dichotomy of our faith and consumerism.

In other words, money and God, do they mix? I wonder if we've given ourselves a reason to answer "no".

Let me know what you think. Am I being too cynical and picky? Or, is this a good cause for concern?

Oh, and the music isn't completely -ahem- "clean". (Just don't go blaring the speakers and you'll be alright kids)

(Dichotomy is your word of the day. yay)