Day 1- First Impressions of Hawai'i

Day 1: Amuary Vazquez Arreloa

I walked off the plane and immediately felt the difference in temperature, yet I did not let it ruin anything for me. I knew better things lay ahead. The day continued and we all had our fair share of dinner, but what occurred after dinner is what truly opened up my mind. I listened to a lecture on what Hawaiian culture was like. I did not just learn about interactions between people, but also with nature; we are able to connect with everything and anything that surrounds us and creates a sustainable society. “Sustainability” was a crucial word today, considering that most of the Hawaiian beliefs revolve around this idea that we must interact with others, whether ‘they’ be nature or people, in order to form stronger bonds and live peacefully. I was also enlightened by what the actual language itself meant. Common words such as ‘Aloha’ hold such deeper meaning than simply ‘Hello’. I was immersed in what rich culture and traditions Hawai'i has to offer. In all honesty, it was far more than I expected. This activity made me see life from a new perspective, one in which everything has a purpose and a role in the survival of a group or society. The most surprising thing is that everything, and I don't say ‘everything' lightly, is interconnected. People, places, plants, gods, and weather all have their respective places and influences on each other. It's all a beautiful thing.
Students learned how to make a lei to offer to Pele tomorrow when we visit Volcanoes National Park.

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