Aloha from Maui! – Hawaii Community Service

Aloha from Maui! – Hawaii Community Service

Aloha!

My name is Brad, and I am lucky enough to be one of the trip leaders on this year’s Hawaii Community Service trip. Over the course of the next 18 days I will be writing from the tropical, 80 degree, breezy shores of Hawaii to share some of the exciting things that we’ll be doing on the trip. The trip promises to be full of rewarding work as well as unforgettable experiences that we’ll all be able to carry with us forever.

Our adventure began as we all met up at the beautifully quaint Maui airport, which perfectly captured the “ALOHA” spirit of the island.

Sidebar: What does ALOHA actually mean? I didn’t know before I came here, but the word “ALOHA” is actually an acronym for something much more powerful. Each letter stands for an authentic Hawaiian word that perfectly captures the spirit of the islands…

A – Akahai: kindness

L – Lokahi: unity

O – Olu’olu: agreeable

H – Ha’aha’a: humility

A – Ahonui: patience

Aloha is used here in pretty much every sense of the word you can think of: in a greeting (Aloha!), in a farewell (Aloha!), as an adjective (it was so Aloha of the small fish to clean the big fish’s teeth!), etc. The idea is that any way you use the word, you’re not truly capturing the essence of “Aloha” unless you are filling all five of its characteristics: kindness, unity, being agreeable, humility, and patience. I thought this was a really awesome way to begin the trip. Anyways…onwards.

All the trip
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7 Awe-Inspiring North American National Parks

7 Awe-Inspiring North American National Parks

Have you ever wanted to experience all the natural beauty our country has to offer? Luckily, the majority of our North American summer programs have the opportunity to visit incredible National Parks and explore the amazing views, forestry, wildlife and outdoor activities that are so unique to each area. Check out our top 7 Awe-Inspiring North American National Parks. 

#myWCC360summer Instagram Giveaway!

#myWCC360summer Instagram Giveaway!
  We want to see what your Westcoast Connection / 360° Student Travel (WCC/360°) summer looks like! Share a photo of a moment, an activity, a new friendship or give us a 15 second Instagram video describing your overall experience. What will you remember forever?

8 Reasons Why Montreal Summers Are The Best

8 Reasons Why Montreal Summers Are The Best

Spend the summer studying and living in one of the world’s most international and vibrant cities, Montreal, Canada! Choose from many courses including learning to speak French, learning to cook like a professional chef, and boosting your creativity in our photography course. The exciting city of Montreal is renowned for being a student favorite. This program prepares you for the academic and personal challenges that come with entering college. Check out the top 8 Reasons Why Montreal Summers Are The Best! 

Top 10 Uniquely Down Under Experiences

Top 10 Uniquely Down Under Experiences

Journey to the lands down under and immerse yourself in everything these two amazing countries have to offer: incredible beauty, friendly culture and thrilling adventure. Zorbing, waterfall rafting, alpine trekking, skiing or snowboarding, horseback riding, and jetboating are just some of the fun on our awe inspiring journey. Not to mention snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef and trying an intro SCUBA dive, swimming through waterfalls, and climbing to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This is no ordinary summer; it’s the adventure of a lifetime!

Take a look at the Top 10 Uniquely Down Under Experiences that Westcoast Connection/360 Student Travel participants get to enjoy when travelling with us!

Best Job In The World: Kelly B.

Best Job In The World: Kelly B.

Name: Kelly B. Nickname: Kel, Kelbel, Kellster Occupation: Teacher Years working for WCC/360°: Five

Where can we find you when you’re not working? At the gym, running outside, playing sports, cooking or hanging out with my family and friends.

What’s your favorite place to travel and why? My favorite place to travel is definitely in Europe. I loved that every country I visited had such a different look and the culture was beautiful. Every place was so different and filled with many rich foods, languages and diverse cultures.

Best travel memory? Zip lining through the Costa Rican Jungle

If someone dumped out your bag right now, what would they find? They would find my running shoes, workout clothes, beach dresses, comfy sweatpants and a big puffy sweater and probably 5 different scarves, I just LOVE scarves!

You’re stranded on a deserted island… What are the 3 things you bring with you and why? 1) I would bring a lifetime supply of watermelon because it is so delicious and I would get to enjoy it’s sweetness and also stay hydrated. It’s also my favorite fruit! 2) My travel diary so I can write down what happens to me everyday and so I can re-read everything I’ve written in it since I started traveling. 3)A big knife so I can cut down coconuts from trees and catch fish! I know I’ll be hungry!

Winter or summer? SUMMERRRRRRRRRRR!!!!

Runners or flip-flops? Runners

Favorite WCC/360° activity? Sitting by the bonfire at campsites or on beaches. It’s the best way for any type of bonding to occur and I have seen dozens of beautiful friendships begin this way, even for myself:)

My celebrity
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Service and Surfing, a great mix!

Greetings from Flamingo! On Tuesday we had another great day of community service, during which we had the opportunity to connect with local grandmothers who shared their stories with us. It was a very powerful experience. After painting, building, cleaning up, and saying goodbye to the community members we’ve gotten to know, we wrapped up our day with dinner and Karaoke- Macie and Justin stole the show!

Yesterday we took surfing lessons at Tamarindo Beach and everyone did really well! We all got up on our boards at one time or another. Saeree and Griffin seemed to be naturals, and rode on almost every wave they tried! Sal and Natalie did great too, and we caught lots of smiles from them…despite a few falls on their first few waves. We ended the day with a group dinner and refreshing ice cream. We’re excited for a new community service project tomorrow when we’ll get to work with families from this great community and help them brighten up their homes!

The Westcoast Blogger

Journey to Mars

Journey to Mars

YOU WILL VISIT Mars & the Moon

TRIP SUMMARY Space Shuttle, NASA International Space Station Accommodations, Small Group Adventure

Enjoy an “out of this world” experience on this incredible program. Travel through the galaxy to be immersed in space, exploring our solar system and all that surrounds us. This small group experience allows us to dig deep into the atmosphere and maintain a zero-gravity adventure like never before. Ride around on the Mars Rover, rock climb along the coast and slide down the unbelievable sand dunes. Witness the double moons, enjoy a floating meal and take in the scenery below. You’re in for a cosmic exploration you’ll never forget!

COMING SUMMER 2016

The Westcoast Blogger

 

Best Job In The World: Sara L.

Best Job In The World: Sara L.

Name: Sara L Nickname: Sas, Sarbear, or Susie Occupation: Intervention Specialist; Special Education math teacher Years working for WCC/360°: Summer 2015 will be my fourth summer!

What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend or a Sunday afternoon? During football season- at the Browns game!!! Any other time, either relaxing with my puppies, watching a movie, or baking some dessert. I also love taking weekend trips to visit friends or just to get away.

What’s your favorite place to travel and why? Somewhere I have never been; I love exploring new places and see the different cultures throughout the world. However, my favorite place is Sedona, Arizona. I love the scenery and different views when hiking!

If someone dumped out your bag right now, what would they find? Well, you would definitely see how silly organized I am! I have a bag full of pens/markers/pencils/teaching things, lip gloss, hand sanitizer, Advil (all those essentials) and my planner!

You’re stranded on a deserted island… What are the 3 things you bring with you and why? Tough question… One- Planner/pens- I have to write down what I do all day! Two- matches- this will be used for light and heat (I’m always cold) and Three- Something to hold/purify water- I’m always thirsty!

Ocean or pool? Love the ocean, sand and waves!

Favorite WCC/360° activity? Hiking! Even though sometimes it makes me feel out of shape, I love exploring!

The one item you always pack and never use is: What feels like 200 t-shirts when I really wear three.

The item you always wished you’d of packed and would always use is: A
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Our First Day of Service – Lending a hand in La Carpio

Our First Day of Service – Lending a hand in La Carpio

Yesterday was our first day of community service, and we loved it!

Our day was packed full of projects: painting, construction, and spending time with local children. After being introduced to the community of La Carpio and the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation, as well as the work we were going to do that day by community leader, Gail Nystrom, we all felt very connected to the experience before us. Rachel’s artwork completed a freshly painted front wall of a woman’s house, and the woman couldn’t have been happier or more proud of her home’s spruced up look! Saeree and Evan worked on their construction skills, as they helped build a wall in a two-family home so that each family could have some privacy. While playing with and teaching local children, SJ, Allie, and Justin learned that, despite a language barrier, their presence could brighten the kids’ days and make them smile!

We ended the day with a poolside Latin dance class and lots of laughs. It’s been a long and meaningful day and everyone is looking forward to day two of community service today!

The Westcoast Blogger