The weekend after the first week of classes was jam packed full and so much fun. On October 8, the Iron Man Triathalon starts and ends in Kailua-Kona, a 20 minute walk from the base here. Every year, Iron Man counts on having many people from U of N (University of the Nations) volunteer. At least 200, maybe even more people volunteer. I was on the morning shift, and it started at 5:30.
At first, I thought to myself “Oh man, I wish I didn’t have this shift” but after thinking about it for a while, I was actually very happy with the shift I had. I had the job of security, and was placed at the edge of the pier. The event didn’t start for an hour so I had an hour to do nothing but sit there, which was fantastic because there were schools of pink and blue jumping fish dancing on the water, and these silly needle looking fish that made me laugh. I was able to watch the sunset, which is something I hadn’t done here yet.
It was stunning. The shift was 6 hours I think, and then the morning shifters had the day off. After, some friends and I decided to go to a beach called Kahalu’u Beach, which is apparently is a really great snorkeling beach. There were rainbow fish and some small schools that I swam above. There were people crowded around something and they looked excited, so I swam over and found out there was a turtle! I can finally check swimming with turtles off of my bucket list.
After going to this beach, we went to La’aloa, colloquially known as Magic Sands to all the YWAMers (which is what we call ourselves, the Youth With a Mission-ers), which was absolutely incredible. Within 20 minutes of getting there, we saw a pod of 6 or 7 dolphins jumping in the water all across the horizon, not too far out from where the waves were foaming on the sand. When I stepped into the water here at Magic Sands for the first time, I had been bracing myself for the water to be cold, because that is what I am used to having to do at home. It was a pleasant surprise to find that I didn’t have to do that, as the water was just the right temperature and I dived into the wave that was about to crash over me with ease (and hopefully grace, although I am not too sure about that part).
On Sunday of the first weekend, I just relaxed! We had a book to read before the next week, and a lot of us hadn’t done much reading so three of the girls in my room decided to not do much for the day and just sit by a cafe and read. We read a good chunk and decided to reward ourselves with donuts from “Holy Donuts”
These are the most creative donuts I have ever seen. They are truly works of art to behold with the eye, and creative masterpieces to be enjoyed by the taste buds. The three of us were lucky to come in just as they were closing, and they gave us 7 for free even though we just bought just 2 donuts. We were praising God as we left the donut store to demolish all 9 of them.
These are our faces of incredulity and joy at the provision!
After more time reading the book for the next week of class, we hammock-ed, which is a huge thing here. Everywhere you go, there are people hammock-ing on anything you can find, stacking hammocks as high as is feasible. We gave up in the process of setting them up because it was very late at night and we had to be up early for class the next day. All in all, a weekend I wouldn’t trade for the world.