Hawaii: Start of an epic adventure!

Things are in full swing on The Big Island! Students are having a blast learning about the history and culture of Hawai’i. Read below to hear about their adventure in their own words!

Hello all! Welcome to Hawaii 2022’s first blog post! We’ve been in Hawaii for 5 full days now and love it! Already our group has experienced so many things and emotions and there’s so much more to come! Our first day consisted of a plant medicine ceremony where we learned about herbal drinks native to Hawaii. Uncle Kone taught us all about the history and health benefits they carry. It was a new experience for a lot of us an interesting to learn about the relation between the drinks and the culture.

On our second day we ventured across the lava fields at Volcanoes National Park. Amazing to feel the heat of the lava beneath the ground. We spent our third day with a local summer school of Hawai’i. Each of us were partnered up with one student who we bonded with for the afternoon. Some of us swam in a lava-heated saltwater pool and weaved bracelets with Auntie Lei. We were all so sad to say goodbye when it was over and had such a blast with the school.

This day was also the 4th of July and it was very eye-opening to see people here not celebrating it—not even mentioning it. Our group spent a good chunk of our evening discussing how Hawaii is part of the us but does not have independence. A lot of people shared their own stories on the topic and opened up about their experiences.

Our fourth day was all about closing up our orientation part of the program and spending time to reflect on what we’ve done and thinking about what to expect to come. Our group leaders Kayla, Pia, and Topher led our morning with a meditation practice, games, and a history lesson about the US Constitution and how it’s affected Hawaii. We ended up making our own constitution to follow for the rest of the program and all signed it.

We packed ourselves up on the 5th day and traveled across the Big Island from Open Gate Hostel in Pune to a farm in Kohala. On the way we stopped in Hilo town where we all bought some goodies and learned about the history of that town. We are so excited for what’s to come and can’t wait to share it all with you! See you in our next blog!

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