Big Island

10 11 2011

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I have been back on the mainland for almost a month now. Coming out of Hawaii I stopped in Bellingham for a week before heading to Arizona for another week and a half. Then to Florida for my cousin Danny’s wedding over the Halloween weekend. Then a quick stop through the midwest (Detroit, Kalamazoo, Chicago & Grand Rapids) on my way back to AZ. Needless to say life has been moving at a much faster rate since leaving the islands. I feel fortunate enough now to recount the experiences from my visit to the Big Island.

I took a little puddle jumper flight from Maui to Kona on the 16th of September. The plane could probably hold 10 people max. The pilot checked us in and loaded our bags, no co-pilot, kinda crazy. After landing in Kona I took a bus to Hilo to catch up with Oren, one of my best friends from high school. At the time Oren was working at an outdoor school for troubled youth. He was working shifts 8 days on followed by 6 days off. Once he had finished his shift for the week we went spearfishing and beach cruised Hilo. The next day we took a trip to Volcanoes national park and hiked down into Kilauea crater. The rest of the week included a reggae concert, plenty of hang time, a few workouts and some yardwork to keep me honest. When Oren was getting ready to head back to work I contacted a handful of wwoof farms with the idea of volunteering for 8 days. Colleenah Lawrence accepted my request and invited me to her Aloha Rejuvenation Farm in Kukuihaele (If you click on kukuihaele it will take you to google maps).

Colleenah is a world-renowned massage therapist and yoga instructor that has an amazing wealth of knowledge concerning just about everything. Her farm is about an acre of property with two houses (her residence and a vacation rental), a yoga/massage studio, many fruit and avocado trees, and a small-sized permaculture garden. I was able to learn quite a bit about maintaining a small sized garden using all organic principals. Colleenah moved to the big island from Nebraska 25 years ago. She lived in Waipi’o valley foraging for food and healing herself on a raw food diet. She has lived on the big island ever since and never too far from Waipi’o. While I was there we focused on mulching her trees and garden and creating imo’s to help her plants grow. After working we would take excursions around the island to go to sustainability classes, hit up costco for Ukeleles, cruise the beach or camp on the South Kohala coast. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to hike or kayak into Waimanu valley, next time. I am extremely grateful for everything I learned and experienced at Colleenah’s farm and will definitely visit again.

Once OG had finished with his shift work and I had finished volunteering we loaded his truck with the essentials (spear fishing gear & beer) and headed to the North Kohala coast to find a beach to camp on for the weekend. We spent Friday and Saturday boozing and hunting fish and booze hunting for lobster at night, with one dive light, pretty eerie. After getting Oren’s truck stuck on the beach and having to cowboy it out of there we headed to the southern most part of the island, and the United States. After taking the sights in for a couple minutes we jumped back in the truck and headed for Mauna Kea. Usually you spend at least an hour at 9,000ft to acclimate. We didn’t have that kind of time to spare so we hossed straight to the top to meet up with one of Oren’s buddies/coworkers that has worked at the telescopes for around 5 years now. We got a sweet tour of the Keck observatory and caught the sunset from 14,000ft. Unreal times on an unreal island. Mahalo plenty to Oren and all the locals from all the islands that made the 4 month trip so much more than I could have imagined. Until next time Aloha nui loa (very much love).

Chris Schup’s blog (An amazing blog by an amazing volunteer worker at the Kahumana Farm and Cafe on Oahu)

*stay tuned for the video, it’s in production.

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One response

1 12 2011
christine

howdy. finally posted pics and vids of your aquaponic build… check it: http://schupdesign.com/?page_id=121

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