for those who thought Hawaii was only sun & fun…

if you don’t see any videos, please click on the post title to be taken to the full view

…here are a couple views of Hawaii that aren’t usually tourist stops (from Kohala Mountain on the northern part of the Big Island)!

Not the tropical experience I had in mind…

Nope, no tsunami here…just the Moors of Ireland…er, Hawaii!

Nothing to see here folks, keep on walking (or at least try to…)

i must admit, it was beautiful once we got in there (even if it took me 5 minutes to tell which way is up in this photo – this is my best guess…)

and here’s a shot of our make-shift refuge camp when we got off the mountain and found some SUN! :-)

Yes, this was my SECOND day in Hawaii! What happened to the warm pond swimming and fresh papaya!? :-)

We actually kept our spirits pretty high throughout the work, which was: removing the invasive Banana Poka plant from this particular gulch on Kohala Mountain. The Poka is a non-native plant and basically entangles itself around other plants and smothers them. Not nice. So we took out a good deal of it, along with its fruit, which taste similar to passion fruit. I ate a couple during the work – not bad.

And while we were helping out this cause, this was definitely a bonding experience. Many times since this outing have we laughingly referred back to this craziness, assuring ourselves that no matter what work is ahead of us, “there’s no way it could be worse than Kohala!” As many of us didn’t know one another before this Intensive, it’s been great to have something that so quickly united us and gave us something to laugh at. What’s even funnier is that Michael, the Polestar leader, agreed that this was an insane way to start off the Intensive (This wasn’t Polestar’s event – it was led by a different group; Michael was just happy he wasn’t responsible for everyone!)

I think there were at least a dozen times where any of us could have started complaining, moping, whining, etc, and it’s really awesome that did not happen. It could have been easy to say “Why are we out here – no one is ever going to see this work we’re doing!” And that’s the point sometimes: you just need to do the work. It’s not about showing it off.

I think each of us DID want to have fun that day, so we just did! When you look around and everyone is making the best of the situation and having fun, it doesn’t really give you an opportunity to commiserate. I was really conscious of what I was saying that day – I didn’t want to poison the well with any negative energy. What I was talking to people about (after the work was done) was just how crazy the conditions had been and how unprepared we were – I was wearing shorts and some people only had t-shirts! But it all worked out, we got the work done, and now it’s behind us.

Now, not to worry – there HAS been plenty of sun & fun since – more on that another day!