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,

Thursday, April 2, 2009

coco loco

Hey hey,

We're still loving life on the Kona coast. In the next weeks, 3 apprentices are leaving, including our dear friend Pat. Barry, one of the farm owners, is also on vaca with his family for 3 weeks, so if we don't get any other apprentices, we'll be way down on numbers.

I've been working on buying my plane ticket back to the mainland and i'm planning for a stop in Oahu to see Gina and a stop in Phoenix which I am so excited about!!! Then it's back to VA to do I-don't-know-what except to see my family for a bit. Hey, if you have any ideas on what I should do next, please let me know.

Em and I eat a lot of fresh veggies and fruit, but our other staples that we fly through are bread, peanut butter, plain yogurt, and milk. Peanut butter and jellies have made a comeback and I've really enjoyed eating them. Other common grocery purchases are eggs, chocolate chips, rice, soy sauce, and cheese. We've become creative with our meals.

For Pat's last night, we played Apples to Apples, ate a chocolate cake with peanut butter icing that Emily and I made, and listened to a lot of reggae music--Pat's fave.

So let me tell you about Kona coffee. It's really good. It is also very strong. When I drink the coffee here, I have this urge to clean (and luckly there's always something to clean with 5 boys around). So there's a little hint: invite me over and give me Kona coffee and I may just clean your entire house.

Today Em and I rode the bus into Kona. Two very unfortunate things happened: the buses were very unreliable, and 2 bus drivers were mean to me. They just talked to me in a mean tone and it hurt my feelings. Maybe they're not paid well. I dunno. But i maybe won't be taking the bus for a while. In Kona, we tried to print pictures, but the digital picture machine wouldn't read our cards. Then we tried to find Cadbury Mini Eggs easter candy, and they didn't have bags of them, only very small packages. I mean, come on!

Goodnight and Happy Palm Sunday!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Photos from the long lost Emily!

And guess what? This is actually Coriena!

Here are the links to Emily's photos on Facebook for those of you who do not have facebook or are not Emily's friend on FB.

she has good narrative titles for the photos. Enjoy!

Coriena from Emily's account

Monday, March 23, 2009

tour de Hawai'i

My goodness. This has been a fantastic couple of weeks.

Fun things:
Dance parties. One night Emily, Pat, and I had the most fun dance party. It was late, and I was planning on going to bed. Pat, however, was moved to put up the disco ball he found and was determined to set up his and my headlamp and once he had the lights in the right spot (it took him a while), he had to enjoy it by putting on a dance song and it looked fun so I joined in and then Emily did too and 2 hours later we were exhausted and sweaty from the funkiest dancing i have ever seen. My fave: the props we used to dance, for instance, the machete (i know, dangerous), and one of the disassembled lettuce boxes (there is a priceless photo of Pat modeling this). Fave quote of the night: "Ew, machetes taste bad." -Pat.

Emily and I may have gotten a part-time job. We both tried out being helpers with the after-school program at the local charter school where the farm owners' kids go. It's a Waldorf school (in other words, a hippy school), and is so so cute and looks like an awesome place to go to school. The learn all of these cool things like sewing and knitting and gardening and the classrooms are all cute little buildings around the gardens and play yard. The after-school program is in a tent and get this, they call their teachers/helpers auntie and uncle and their first names instead of mr. and mrs. So I'm Auntie Coriena or just plain auntie. Even the Principal is Auntie Usha. It is a fun job, and kinda exhausting. But hey, it's a little extra cash.

St. Pattie's day was fun. We went to a mexican restaraunt (hah) that was having a st. p's day party. I had a coconut porter, yum. We danced to the live band. Then when we got back to the farm, we had Irish car bombs and had a dance party with costumes. So funny.

Okay, so here is the main topic of this post: the tour de Hawaii. Pat, Jon, Em, and I rented a car this weekend and drove around the Big Island. It was absolutely incredible. We went to Waipio Valley, Mauna Kea volcano, Hilo, Akaka and Rainbow falls, a hot pool, geothermal steam caves, and the Kilauea lava flow viewing area. I now personally know how amazing and diverse this island is.

Waipio Valley is this beautiful, remote valley on the north shore of the big island. We parked at the top and hitched a ride in the back of someone's 4-wheel drive pickup down this insanely steep road. At the bottom is an awesome black sand beach with the Jurassic Park looking valley behind. We had to trek across a swift stream to get to the camp sites. We chose a nice spot right by the beach and made a fire pit and started a fire. Then we sat on the beach and looked at the stars for a while until clouds moved in all of a sudden and rain almost instantly fell. Aaaand Emily and I had chosen not to bring the tent. So we had to go find a place under some trees to sleep so we would stay remotely dry. It was already dark, so we didn't have a lot of options, so we found this cozy (really really small) spot under some not so dense trees and frankly, had the most uncomfortable and damp night of our lives. It could have been worse. The next morning, we were in good enough spirits, and we enjoyed the sunny beach view, and a quick hike up the other side of the valley. Then we trekked back across the stream, got another ride up the steep road, and were on our way to Mauna Kea.

The drive to Mauna Kea is so cool. You would not know you were in Hawaii if you were just dropped there. There are just open, grassy fields with yellow wild flowers. Most of it ranch land. It looked kinda like Colorado Springs. The Mauna Kea visitor center is at 9000 feet (we were at sea level just that morning), and we spent at least a half an hour there to adjust to the altitude. It was probably 30 degrees cooler there. Then we took our little Chevy Cobalt up another 4700 feet to the summit of Mauna Kea, which is just over 13,700 feet. Snow. Everywhere. It looked like Siberia. There were all of these dome-like observatories and there was black lava rock poking through some of the snow. It was insane looking. I still find it hard to fathom that that is part of Hawaii. There were a ton of people snow boarding down the hills. Also, I was totally feeling the effects of the altitude change. I was super out of breath and fatigued. After Pat and Jon bummed a snowboard for a quick run, we were off again to sea level to the rain forests of Hilo.

It started raining on our way to Hilo, which is called the city of rainbows, and well, we saw a rainbow! Hilo is quaint and mellow. We stayed in a hostel (dry and soft sleeping arangements!) and ate at a Thai food place (Em and I were sick of what Em calls "bird food" i.e. dried fruit, bread, peanut butter, and granola). Then Pat, Jon, and I went to a $1.50 movie theater and we didn't have a lot of choices so we chose to see Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler. We knew going in that it wasn't going to be that great, but it was so bad. Plus, i was so sleepy from the lack of sleep the night before that i instantly started falling asleep. Pat was cussing like the whole time about how dumb the movie was. He and i eventually left because Pat couldn't bear the movie any longer and I couldn't bear sleeping in those awfully uncomfortable theater seats anymore. The next morning, we walked around Hilo, and I found the nearby Catholic Church and Em and I went to mass and Jon tagged along. We saw another rainbow on the way to church and it looked like it was coming out of the church. How lovely. After mass, we popped in and out of little gift shops and i was craving sugar and went in a candy shop and bought some jelly beans and then ate too many of them and was feeling it the rest of the day, but man, they were good.

We left Hilo and went to see some large waterfalls that were very beautiful and Hawaiian looking. Then we headed toward the active volcano part of the island which is the south coast. We went to Lava Tree national park which is this beautiful park with remains of "lava trees" which are the bottom parts of trees that were too big for the lava to completely incinerate, so the lava had surrounded the trunks and then solidified around them. Then the tree decomposed and left a hollow lava tube standing. There were also these huge earth cracks. I mean huge! Like looked like they led to the center of the earth. Then we headed to the geothermal pool--this heated pool right by the beach--and swam around for a bit. Then we headed to a non-advertised spot off the side of the highway where there are geothermal steam caves! These were totally sweet! We climbed through this little hole into a small cave that was so steamy and it felt so good. It was so neat to feel the hot walls of the cave, and kinda creepy b/c what if it just decided to heat up all of a sudden and bake us? On the way back to the car, Pat showed us sensitivity grass--it's actually like a fern that scrunches up when you touch it. Wild.

Ok, now to the part I had been waiting for since elementary school--going to see the active Kilauea volcano lava flow. We got there just before sunset and trekked over scrunchy cooled lava to the viewing area where there was a huge billow of steam where the lava was flowing into the ocean. A lot of times, you just see a fiery red glow reflecting off of the steam, because you are a half-mile away from the flow for safety reasons (understandably). But I was going there with faith that we'd see something more, and more we did see. As we were gazing at the glow, a huge spray of lava spurted up like a fire work and I shrieked as did may others in the crowd (emily has a video of it and the best part is the reaction of the crowd). We stayed for over an hour just watching lava spurting up. That doesn't usually happen, so we were really lucky. That perfectly completed my trip, as that was my #1 thing to see.

So then we drove about 2 1/2 hours back to the Kona coast, me singing really loud to the radio trying not to doze off while the others slept. I woke everyone up when i swerved to miss a car that was IN MY LANE! Crazy idiot. But anyway, it was an amazing trip, yet it's nice to be back home and have permanent, dry shelter and a mattress and a fridge and stove and washing machine.

I'll try to post pics as soon as I can and I'll make Emily do it too.

Love you all,

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sunsets and rainbows, plus PHOTOS!

For those of you who don't have facebook, PHOTOS!!!:
Emily will have to put the links to her albums on here.

Let's see, last weekend was super rainy. It rained for like 4 or 5 days. We were totally sick of it. We couldn't plant lettuce one day because the soil was too wet. I haven't been to the beach in over 2 weeks. The sun has finally been out the past 2 days and after harvest was over, we just laid out in it's warmth for about an hour.

Last Wednesday, we pruned coffee and got to use machetes. Pruning coffee is essentially just chainsawing the tree down. Then we chopped off the small branches from the large stems with machetes. It was really satisfying and fun work, and good exercise.

The sunsets the past few days have been excellent because the rainy weather decreases the vog (volcanic steam and gas) and makes the horizon more visible. Also, today I saw my first Hawaiian rainbow!

Emily and I, plus a fellow apprentice Patrick who's become a good buddy of ours, rode the bus to Kona today and went to the farmer's market. I got some bracelets for my little sisters and some mangos (b/c we don't have any here on the farm right now). We went to the Hula Bean cafe and got coffee floats--holy moly. You get two scoops of ice cream with a double shot of espresso dumped on them. We got this ice cream called Kealakekua Crunch which was Kona coffee ice cream with cinnamon coffee toffee and then Kona Joy that had coconut, mac nuts, and chocolate bits. Needless to say, it was delicious. Don't ask me how much it cost.

A bunch of us went to Zea's (Barry's daughter) theater performance last Tuesday and then they invited us over for dinner and we played Apples to Apples and drank homemade mead (honey wine) and pina coladas. Zea, who is 8 years old, beat me at Apples to Apples. It was so fun.

We're planning a St. Patrick's day croquet party. We're also planning to rent a car next weekend and drive to other parts of the island. Hopefully i'll be writing about how fun those things were in the near future.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Very large centipedes.

This week has been a bit chaotic because 3 apprentices who have been here for about 7 or 8 months just left. We were crowded with the overlapping apprentices, and with them packing and celebrating their time in Hawaii, things were a little nuts and way fun. I got some sweet give away clothes out of it, too.

Here is another reason why this farm is a dream come true for me: we have dress up harvest days and dress up potlucks. We have a dress up box. On Sunday night, three of the guys dressed in drag with dresses and wigs. It was amazing. Eventually i'll put up pics.

Emily and I planted coffee trees last Wednesday. We had to move some wooden pallets, and I saw the biggest centipede i've ever seen in my life. Like as thick as my finger! It totally grossed me out, and justifiably so b/c their bites are horrendous.

We checked out some of the nearby thrift stores. I bought this hawaiian print shrug type thing. Em and I tried traditional Hawaiian food--Laulau (a meat like pork seasoned and wrapped in taro leaves and then steamed), this salmon-y tomato salsa stuff, macaroni/potato salad (yep, that's what they normally have with their meals), and we got chocolate haupia cake! yum, cake. we also tried poi, a fermented goo made from the taro root. it's purple and very plain tasting. they eat it with fish and meat usually. Anyway, i was famished so it all tasted very good.

Em and I also tried out riding bikes to get around for the first time. It's a nice way to get around, but a bit scary because the roads are narrow and busy and we don't have helmets. We'll just be really careful.

All is well and Em and I both have avoided bad burns AND farmers tans.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Potlucks, pizza, and whales

My goodness, these have been a good couple of days. On Sunday night, we had a potluck. Everybody made a dish to share and most everything was veggies from the farm. Honestly, it was probably the best food i have ever tasted. Let me tell you what we had: Emily and i made green beans with coconut, ginger, and tamari; there was a squash/beet/carrot stir fry, a salad (with lettuce from the farm obviously) with avocado and a homemade green dressing that had garlic, parsley, cilantro and some other stuff, fresh baked sourdough bread, rice, and a black bean salad with parsley. Man.

Monday, Ken traded lettuce for pizzas with a local pizza place, and it was the best pizza. Good gravy. There was one with feta, artichokes, spinach--pizza heaven. Later that day after we finished with the harvest, we gathered for what we all thought was a few hours at the beach (Emily stayed back for this one). We ended up getting some beer and staying until sunset. Just before sunset, we were blessed to see a humpback whale jump out of the water. My heart nearly exploded with joy. Then, since it was Karuna's last night, we went first to a kava bar, then to the Kona Brewery, and then to a bar. It was quite an entertaining night.

Today, Emily and I replaced our full bed with 2 twins in our tent and so we will both sleep a little better with our own bed. We just got a new intern today and there are going to be three more people leaving within the month, so there is a lot of transition on the farm right now. It reminds me of Maggie's Place a bit in that respect.

I'm feeling more comfortable and familiar with the farming duties, and things just keep getting better.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hitch hiking

Emily and I hitch hiked twice today! It was so easy. It's pretty safe and common on the big island and also it's our best way of getting around. Even so, my mom probably won't like it when I tell her we did it. It kind of stinks not having a car, but it was really fun to try hitching.

We went to the small catholic church and then to the farmers market to get lunch--a burrito from the burrito lady. Then we hiked down to the Captain Cook monument at Kealakekua Bay and snorkeled for the first time. Snorkeling is so so cool. I cut my foot on the reef when I jumped in. Then we tried to hike along the coast over jagged lava rock only to have it dead end, so we had to turn back. Then my water ran out and we still had to hike all the way back up to the main road, probably a 1000 foot elevation climb. I haven't been that thirsty in a long time. Emily hiked the whole thing in flip flops! Also, another guy from the farm we were hiking with got food poisoning from an avocado and was puking on the way up. But anyways, we're back and I downed a liter of water and scarfed an entire papaya, so all I need is a trip to the outdoor shower and i'll be good to go.

Burrito! Only 5 dolla! (I told you things were expensive here)

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Emily never writes on here.

We went to an avocado festival today. They had a free make-your-own-sushi table. Avocados are everywhere. It's like a dream.

We went to a bar last night that we can walk to. It was very small. There were a lot of older people who were dancing to the live rock and roll music. We saw half of them today at the Avocado Festival. It was the first time Em and I had beer since we got to Hawaii, so it was okay for us.

Oh, and we went to a snorkel beach yesterday and saw 3 sea turtles. And some pretty yellow fish. The swimming was awful though b/c of the rocks. Black sand was cool though.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

A few photos!

Emily's are better, but here are a few:


There are lizards everywhere. When you walk, the leaves are always rustling with lizards running away from you. Yesterday, I saw the coolest chameleon with these 3 horns coming out of its head. Ken the farmer picked it up and handed it to me and said it was a Jones chameleon, I think. It walked all over my arm and had the coolest feet with sharp little claws (i had little scratches all over my arm, actually). He started turning darker b/c he was threatened, but didn't freak out on me thankfully.

I also tried going for a run yesterday. Man. This particular spot on the big island is not ideal for running unless you want your running workout to be a hill workout EVERY DAY. The main road is the only relatively level road but it's a narrow, two-lane road that has a good amount of traffic, curves, and barely any shoulder at some points. Also, I haven't found any frisbee games close by.

I really want some cake. Papayas are great and all, but man a nice slice of cake would be so good right now. Or cookies. Or even a dark chocolate bar. (So if you were thinking you'd like to send me a package with some sweet goodies, that would be a-ok).

Bye for now,

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hi from HI

Em and I are safe and sound in Kealakekua, HI on Kealaola farm. The internet at the farm has been out since we got here and even now that it's fixed, the computers are kind of slow, so we'll have to wait til Mom sends Em's power cord for her laptop to post pictures. The weather is superb, the water is warm. We spent Feb 9-12 on Oahu with Gina. Oahu is gorgeous and excitingly familiar as they film Lost just miles south of where Gina lives. Gina was a great host and took us hiking up to Maunawili falls where we swam in a waterfall pool, one of my goals while here - check! Gina and Em jumped off the not-so-high waterfall cliff, and Gina found out that I am a huge wuss b/c i wouldn't jump. I did, however, try surfing. I may not have been a wuss for trying, but i definitely wasn't good at it. I could barely stay on the board while laying down paddling. Em and I took a little trip to Haliewa and got picked up a Chocolate-haupia pie on the way back per Gina's recommendation (it's a coconut concoction, yum.) Oh and Mat introduced us to fresh off the tree coconut milk and meat--really good. I really liked Oahu.

The Big Island is much different than Oahu. There's black lava rock all around and the mountains/volcanoes are much different looking--less steep and no deep eroded canyons. I must say, Oahu is prettier from what i've seen so far, but i've only been on a small part of the Big Island. Kealaola farm is so nice. They grow beautiful lettuce and coffee and have lots of fruit trees like bananas, papaya, guava, tangerines, and tons of avocados!!! There are 4 other apprentices here right now who are all nice and it's fun to get to know them and work with them. We laugh a lot. Emily and I are staying in a large camping tent under a solid tarp structure. Don't worry, it has a bed in it. It's fun to think we'll be camping for 4 months. We use an outdoor shower that is quite liberating. The work has been hard, but manageable. It'll get better when Em and I build up our back and hamstring muscles b/c we squat and bend a lot with planting, weeding, and harvesting lettuce.

Some other things: food is so dang expensive here! It's hard to get around cause we don't have a car, but I hope to try hitching sometime.

Also, i wanted to comment quickly on my 2 weeks in San Diego. I love San Diego. It is a fun place. It was fun to hang out with Leen, Beth, Laura, Bekah, and the long lost Diana Dunn! It was great to ride bikes and hike and play frisbee on the beach and go to the San Diego Zoo and Sea World and wear a wetsuit for the first time. That city never lets me down (nor the people there that I visit).

Love and miss you all. Send me an email or write me a letter! Our address is on the website: at the bottom.

Friday, January 9, 2009

1 month!!!

Emily and I will be flying to Hawaii in 1 month. is where Em and I are going to be working for hopefully 4 months.