Long time no talk-things have been nutty, what can I say.
I have been missing my Hawaiian dwelling sis recently. It has been over two months since she left (tear!) and I have become increasingly anxious with Hurricane Flossie running around the pacific. I texted Hannie and insisted she wear a helmet until the tropical storm passes. I am praying she is safe on Oahu!
She emailed us the sweetest little update the other day. She did this when she was in NYC last summer, and it was so cute to hear all of her updates.
Thought I would share in case anyone wondered what the little baby Lou was up to :)
Aloha my ohana!
Just thought I would take a sec to give you an email update of the Hawaiian life. I'm tellin ya, it's a different world out here. It still hasn't hit me or Ben that we live here now.
To back track, I'll tell you a little bit about institute. I finished it! I can't describe to you how challenging and awful it was. Imagine being thrown into a classroom to teach children after 1 week of a few sessions. I was mortified! We had to script out lesson plans for each day (like seriously we had to write out every word you're gonna say) but no matter how much you plan you can never be truly prepared for what will happen in a classroom. Kids are moody and they are animals sometimes! They were never too bad for me but they were terrible for one of my co teachers. Since we were in Phoenix, they were pretty much all Hispanic, which was also a slight challenge because of some cultural barriers.
As terrible as the weeks were (I've seriously never felt like I was so bad at something in my life than teaching my first few weeks) the weekends were super fun. We went to this restaurant/bar called the Vine and I've never seen so many teachers acting like idiots. We also got to get out a little bit and went to a water park one day and then went floating down the real life lazy river on tubes with a separate tube for our beer. It was a tour of the desert and it was actually really beautiful! We floated for 4 hours, haha. Other than that, there was a pool on campus and we spent a lot of time there since i got up to 120 degrees while we were there! It was a good experience living there for a little over a month... but now I know I could never actually live in the desert long term.
We got back on the island and despite a few super stressful things: moving, finding a car, some training sessions, etc.. Hawaii has been about what you'd picture it to be. We have made it to beaches on every side of the island, north, south, leeward (west) and windward (east) and they are all beautiful and surprisingly different. The west side of the island is desert like and the east is seriously a lush green jungle... it's amazing. We find new roads every day to drive on and my jaw just drops it's so beautiful. I can't wait until you all see it.
Our house is beautiful and perfect. We are 2 minutes from the highway, 1 minute from a wal mart, and we have everything we need in a shopping center near our house. We can even see the mountains from several windows in our house. Ben and I are saving a lot by living with other people and I think it's more fun this way anyway. It's not too hard to get away from everyone, last night we were just like- okay, we're gonna go for a drive! and we went to a beach to watch the sunset. It's great to have him here and I think it really will do him wonders for his sometimes uptight tendencies, haha. He seems to really like it :)
In other news, (don't let this scare you... especially mom) but there are some REALLY fun waves. We were playing in this one beach... Nanakuli... and there were like 15 foot waves... It was awesome. The only problem is.. they got to our stuff.. our phones, books, etc. my phone was okay but my roommate Dylan had to buy a new one :(. And on a side note- I had mentioned to you all that I was worried about being discriminated against for being "haole"... but luckily thay hasn't been an issue at all! Every interaction we have had with locals has been super friendly.. And it helps having several local friends that are in the program.
Unfortunately the fun we have been having is going to come to an end this week.. I have to make a unit plan, study for another praxis test, submit a lengthy contract, submit a portfolio of my summer experience, host a lunch for the parents of my students, etc. Real life must begin even in paradise. I was really lucky to get placed at the school where I'm placed, though. It seems like we have a really good support system... And they hooked us up with school laptops!
Anyhoo, I have training early in the morning. I'd love to hear any news you all have to share! You don't know how much I miss you all...
It sure looks like she is having a terrible time doesn't it? ;)
Hannie, I am so proud of you. I know it was scary to up and move to Hawaii, and to learn that you have to pay bills in order for the lights to stay on, but I know you are settling in just fine, and I am praying for you and all the lives you are going to touch while working there!! Can't wait to see you soon. xoxo
Already daydreaming about family Hawaiian vacay happening in 2014!!!