Monday, June 15, 2009

Mahalo for the good time, Hawaii!

Our time in Hawaii is over. I did not want to leave and miss it so much. I'll miss the fresh fruit and veggies--coconuts, papayas, avos, mac nuts, mangos, lychees, lettuce, carrots, ginger, basil, and bananas!, the weather and sunshine, the beaches and snorkeling and swimming, the farm and farm work, and the good good people that i met and worked with.

Our last few days were so fun. We had a mediterranean themed potluck on Thursday, a mexican/volleyball bash on friday followed by Apples to Apples and homemade mead, and Saturday! Saturday, we finally saw and swam with the dolphins at Kealakekua Bay AND Two Step! It was incredible.

Saturday, Em and I flew to Oahu and stayed with my friend Gina and her husband Mat. We had a good time going to the pretty Oahu beaches, playing ukulele on the beach watching the sunset, walking around little Hawaiian towns and going in shops, going to Kualoa Ranch where Mat works and getting a jeep tour and seeing where scenes from Lost are filmed!!! I went on a really good hike with Mat called Crouching Lion (we were wondering why it was called that and then looked over to see a huge rock that looked very much like a lion). The hike was on ridges, so the majority of the hike was on skinny paths with steep drop-offs on either side. Intense!

Wednesday, Em and I boarded planes and left lovely Hawaii. Em is in San Francisco with some friends and I'm in Phoenix having a blast visiting old friends and places around Phoenix and Tempe. Em and I both leave Tuesday morning and will be back in Virginia in the evening.

So, "What's next?" everybody keeps asking me. I don't know. I'll figure it out when i'm back in VA. Probably a summer apprenticeship on a farm. I'm a drifter right now, and I kind of like it.

Until my next adventure,

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bees, bees, and Lychee trees

Ah, we're leaving the farm in 3 days! So sad. I don't want to leave. But Em and I have fun plans in the next few weeks. We'll go to Oahu from here and spend 4 days with Gina. Then Em flies to San Fran and will road trip back to VA with her W&M friends. I'll go to PHoenix for 5 days and then back to Va for a wedding and hanging with the fam for an indefinite amount of time...If you have any ideas for what my endeavor might be, let me know.

Em and I donned our bee suits today and peeped into the bee hives with Barry. I feel a special connection with bees for some reason. They are just on of the coolest creatures.

Last Sunday, Barry took the farm to the green sand beach on the south side of the island per Emily and I's request. Holy smokes! It was fantastic. So frickin beautiful and the waves were perfect for a bobbing, beachy swim. Then we went to South Point and there was this 45-foot-high cliff jump into clear blue ocean water. It looked pretty fun and also terrifying. I didn't even try to jump. Jon just went right over. But the big surprise was Barry's daughter, Zea, who is 8 years old. She jumped right off! I couldn't believe it! Bravest little girl i know.

I've learned a few more songs on the ukulele thanks to I'll be getting a ukulele as soon as i can, but not until i get back home so i don't have to fly back with it.

We just had an ice cream party! That may have been the best sundae i've ever had, with fresh coconut, mac nuts, bananas foster, plus the more normal sundae toppings. It was just really good.

The lychee tree is just getting ripe right before we leave. Lychees are so good--like a grape/citrus flavor. Mangos are ready too. And always bananas, papayas, coconuts, and avocados! I will miss free armfuls of avocados oh so much. Notice i said nothing about pineapples. Pineapples are not in season and are not very plentiful here actually. Just one pineapple grows per plant and they take so long! Too bad, huh?

Must go take an outdoor shower! Wee! Bye!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ukuleles and Ohm

1st-ly, Photos from Emily:

Em and I have been messing around on the ukulele and I can choppily play Jack Johnson - Breakdown and a simple Hawaiian blessing song. Em is getting good a playing Help Me Rhonda by the Beach Boys. I'm thinking I want a ukulele, but may wait til I get back to the mainland b/c they're all made in china anyway (well, the ones under $100 are).

We have a new vibe going on around the farm. A couple of the new apprentices are way into yoga and meditation and one of their friends made us a raw food meal the other day, complete with raw chocolate--best choc i've ever had maybe.

Em and I just hit our 3 month mark and have less than 1 month left on the farm. That means I only have to work at the after-school program 2 more weeks! Oh, i mean...dang, only 2 more weeks. I have learned that I do not want to be a teacher of a class of elementary aged children, especially naughty boys. For me, it's not worth the pay or even worth the funny stories it makes afterwards.

Miss you all and Happy Birthday Michelle-y. I'm going to try to call her right now!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mushi mushi, I heart sushi.

It was such a fun weekend.

On Friday, I went snorkeling at a place called Two Step (named for the two steps carved out of the lava rock that you use to get in the water). I was with 6 Japanese women who all were speaking Japanese to each other. Haha, it was fine though. Gave me time to think. At two step, someone spelled out the word ALOHA under the water in cinder blocks. We went to this remote beach (I think it was called Ke'e beach) after snorkeling and sat and watched the beautiful water for a while. Yuko's friend, Kiwami (the one who fed us sea urchin), made us sushi and miso chicken. My goodness, I have fallen in love with sushi. Yuko is leaving on Saturday and we're planning a sushi feast on Thursday. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. We saw a couple of sea turtles and some cool fish who would stick their fins out of the water and look like sharks. A local dog came and hung out with us and chased a sea turtle in the water. Yuko and I think Hawaiian dogs are funny because they chase turtles and eat avocados.

Saturday i got to sleep in and I woke up at 7am! Emily, David (apprentice), and I hiked down to the Captain cook monument and snorkeled. Then later that day, we went over to a park with Barry's family and played baseball, basketball, and FRISBEE! It was so good to huck a frisbee again. When we got home, we had a bonfire and made Smores with the other apprentices and the kids, Rowan, Ella, Zea, and their friend Kalela.

Today, Em and I made French toast and hitchhiked to church, but couldn't get a hitch for a HALF HOUR and so were late for church! It was quite unnerving. We walked home and I made a refreshing banana/papaya smoothie and then took a beautiful afternoon nap. When I woke up, I played hair dresser and cut John, Emily, and David's hair! We gave Dave a mohawk for about 10 minutes. Then all 6 of the apprentices, Me, Emily, Dave, Yuko, John, and Jason did yoga. I've realized stretching is really important for farming, but something I haven't really been doing at all, and my back is suffering from it.

The apprentices now get along really well together, which is very nice. Yuko and Jason are leaving at the end of the week though, so that's sad. But hopefully we'll get some fun new people to take their place.

I'm really trying to live in the present and not worry about the future and leaving, but I can't help it, especially because I'm so excited to visit Phoenix and see my Michelle-y boo and play frisbee.

Mushi mushi, I heart sushi,

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Holy Guacamole!

Tons of avocados right now, and plenty of limes. What does that mean? A big ol' bowl of guacamole. And yes, you can have to much guacamole...

Fun things this week:

Gina and Mat visited the farm. They camped out here and we made a fire and roasted marshmallows and made S'mores. Then they took Em and I to the beach the next day.

Saturday morning, we went to the Ho'okena beach with Yuko, from Japan, and her friend. It was finally sunny and warm down at the beach and I can't tell you how good the sun felt. Yuko's friend (I can't remember her name) took us out snorkeling and it was so fun. She would dive down and bring up sea cucumbers and sea urchins for us to see. I tried going under the water for the first time and i felt like a mermaid. When we got out, Yuko's friend and Jon had gotten sea urchins and said we were going to eat them! So she just cut them in half and all of this water shoots out and inside it's basically hollow with some orange egg looking things and that's what we ate. I was so reluctant to try it. It was maybe the strangest thing i've ever eaten. It wasn't bad, though. The color and texture were hard to get past, but it tasted alright. Em tried it too.

When we were sitting at the beach, a local hawaiian came to us and asked us to take our stuff off of this rock that was beside us because it was an ancient sacred shark rock. When we looked closely, we saw it was carved and looked kind of like a shark. She said that if you disrespect the shark rock, sharks will be attracted to you. Yikes! Obviously we removed our stuff.

Yuko has been teaching us all about the Japanese culture and cuisine. She made us sushi with big hunks of raw tuna that were really delicious. She made some with egg on them and some with avocado. Then she made tempura--battered and fried beans, squash, and bananas! Yummy yummy. Much easier to eat than sea urchin.

Bye ya'll,

Monday, April 13, 2009

easter eggs and rice

Happy Easter, everybody!

I'll start with good Friday: it rained all day. Very appropriate I guess because it's supposed to be a solemn day. We couldn't plant because the soil was too wet, so we just seeded the trays and ken let us watch movies. Just so you know, Purple Rain is a very weird movie.

Saturday when we woke up, it was so nice and sunny, so we thought, let's go to the beach. By the time we got to the beach, the sky was solid clouds and it was so chilly. We left pretty soon after that and hitched into town. I was really craving a hamburger, so we found a place that served them. Man, what a bad hamburger. It was one of those premade frozen patties and made me feel bad the rest of the day. Em got one too and it did the same to her. We should have expected that since it was a mexican restaurant. When we got back to the farm, we got ready to go volunteer at a benefit dinner for a family who lost their husband/dad. The food there was so yum, but unfortunately, I was still feeling funky from the hamburger so couldn't enjoy it to it's fullest. They had a live band and we danced a bit in the mucky, rain-soaked grass.

Easter was great. It didn't rain until the evening. Em and I made banana pancakes with bananas foster for breakfast. Holy moly, bananas foster is good. And since we didn't have an easter basket full of candy, we had to get our sugar somehow. We rode bikes to church and that little church was crowded so we had to sit outside. At church, a woman named Margie invited us to her house for Easter dinner. It was so nice! It reminded me of Easter with my family, a big family with lots of kids running around, dying easter eggs and having an egg hunt, eating lots of food and desserts and easter candy. Margie warned us about the kids and the chaos before we went in the house and Em and told her we were used to it and chuckled. If she only knew. The only thing much different was they had rice and soy sauce with their meal...oh, and no collards.

Hope everyone had a blessed Easter.
Love, Coriena

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

big guns

I think the farm work has finally caught up with me, or else i've reached a plateau. We've been here for almost 2 months now (which is crazy) and my body has all of a sudden decided to act a fool--creaky knees being the main thing. I shouldn't be surprised when I squat at least 10 hours a week. A good thing is that i have gotten my farm guns back. That's what hours of hoeing, lifting lettuce trays and baskets, moving bags of potting soil, chopping coconuts, digging holes, and machete-ing coffee trees does to you. Oooh, they're growin' now! And boy do I have some gnarly, dirt stained, dirt-under-the-fingernails farm hands.

Today i was making something and I thought, a lime would be good in this. So I looked in the fridge, but there was no lime. So I walked across the yard to the lime tree and picked a beautiful green lime. I mean, how awesome is that?

Sunday, the farm took a trip to Makalawena (pronounced mah kah lah VAY nuh). It is a beautiful white sand beach about a half-hour north of here. It was right before Pat had to go to the airport, and we had a good time swimming, snorkling, throwing the friz, and laying in the sun. To get there, you had to walk about a mile down this super rough lava path. After the beach, Ken let us take the van and hang out in Kona before we had to take Pat to the airport. We went to the kava bar, and asked this man to take a picture of us, but then he started taking a video of us with his own camera and said he was going to put it on youtube. So, here it is, the most stupid and boring video on youtube: So strange.

Em and I are working one or two days a week at the aftercare program at the school. It is quite exhausting, especially after a hard morning of lettuce farming, but also fun. We're slowly learning all of the kids names (a lot of them are unique and/or hawaiian, for example, Kainua, Nuara, Halia) and feeling more comfortable. We have good stories to share when we get home. Here is a song we sing before we eat snack. It's a hawaiian blessing song (each line is echoed).
E ke akua
Mahalo no
Mahalo ia 'oe
No keia 'ai
I can't really find a good translation.

Oh, and one more thing. I booked my flight hooooome! I'll be leaving Honolulu June 10 and going to Phoenix the June 11-16 and then flying home to VA on the 16th. Party in Phoenix!

Woo woo,