Honolulu Block Party – Hawaii Community Service

Greetings from Waikiki!

The past three days had us all over the island of Oahu.

On Friday, our trip got its first taste of the sea on a Catamaran ride that took us along the coast of the island. Taylor J. helped us begin our adventure by hoisting the sails! The seas were calm and trip members got to take many pictures with the open sea as a background. As we got further out, things did get a little more exciting. The laughter and screams of Mireille, Jess K, and Jessie S, who were relaxing and taking in the sun in the front of the boat, were heard as waves came close to the boat. Hannah and Jen booked it to the back of the vessel as fast as possible to avoid getting wet. In the rear, Sean was quite content to put his feet up and enjoy the ride. We are happy to report that no trip members had to use the “Happy Bucket!”

On Saturday, we got immersed, quite literally, in the waters of Hawaii. We had our first beach day! Jonathan got a game of football going in the shallow waters of the Waikiki shore. We took bunch of trip pictures in the water. Needless to say, the entire group was quite happy to lounge in the sand and frolic in the water.
Hawaii Community Service
For many, the highlight of the weekend was a “block party” that was held in the heart of downtown Honolulu on Saturday night. It comprised of food trucks, live musical performances, and plenty of art and clothing kiosks. There was even a fashion show at the end of the evening. The most interesting thing about it was that all of the businesses were native to Hawaii. There were local musicians, local clothing lines, local food, and local talent. It is held but once a month so we got a rare opportunity to celebrate art and culture with the residents of Honolulu.

For others, the highlight was the Sunday morning hike up Diamond Head. This activity saw the group travelling winding paths through dark tunnels, and climbing up over 300 stairs. Despite some reservation, Remi remained brave within the dark and narrow tunnel that lead to the mountain’s top. And even though the stairs might have been rough on our quads, it was well worth it for the breathtaking views. The top was quite the photo-op. Once at the peak, Mika and Emily took the time to take it in and snap plenty of pictures.
“The view at the top was worth the trip!” – Jacob
“I’m so happy that we did this!” – Ally

After working up a sweat, we ventured to the north-eastern part of the island to relax on Kailua beach. As a special treat, we all went to Island Snow for the most famous shaved ice on the islands.

Over at Buca di Beppo, after quite a delicious and plentiful meal, the group had the opportunity to surprise trip member Sophie, who was celebrating her 16th birthday. The restaurant staff got the entire room to clap along as they sang to Sophie. We would like to wish Sophie a very happy and sweet birthday. May this year bring you happiness and even more adventure.

Our days on Oahu are starting to wind down as we start to look forward to Maui. But there is still a lot to see and do. We had an amazing first day volunteering at Habitat For Humanity and the Trip Members are excited for another day of work. We will fill you in more soon… Until then, hang loose!

The Westcoast Blogger

Amazing Journey! – California Community Service

We started off our second day at Boys & Girls Club today. As our crew walked in, kids screamed “you’re back” with excitement! Johnny, Adam, and Tyler ran the courts while Jason, Kyra, Casey, and Mickena finger-painted butterflies. Evan played intense pool games, Hannah played an interesting game of dinosaurs, and Charlie enjoyed Super Smash bros’ Wii game with the kids. Later, we brought the music outside and Jason ran a musical chair sing along followed by an intense game of Simon Says. We had a great movie night (complete with popcorn) this evening, followed by a surprise trip to IN N’OUT Burger! Early to bed and early to rise for out last full day of community service, we’ll miss it!

Our last day of community service was completed at Boys and Girls Club of South Bay. Our trip members conducted a science experiment with the young club members, making Ooblek. Ooblek is a non-newtonian fluid that reacts by becoming solid when pressurized and liquid when the pressure is released. Kids absolutely loved playing with the goo made from corn starch and water. After that, we had a huge water balloon fight where all the kids got absolutely soaked. Our day ended with a big group picture. The kids gave us a huge thank-you banner with individual signatures. Saying goodbye was the hardest part, and Kyra, Mickena, Jason, and Casey all had to part with the good friends that they had made.

That night, our final group competition began. Jason was named captain of Team Green and Johnny was named captain of Team Orange. These two trip members were chosen for their particularly strong leadership skills and constantly good attitudes. The first challenge was mini golf. Evan and Adam both had particularly good rounds and Team Orange took the first point of the games.

The second to last day of the trip was spent on UCLA’s beautiful campus. We started at the UCLA bookstore, where the trip members were able to purchase UCLA clothing. We continued our competition with a Mario Kart challenge, where each team had to pop balloons that were attached to opposing team members. Despite an early lead, Team Green sacrificed the second point, and Team Orange took a 2-0 lead. The next challenge was a “People Hunt”, where the team members had to search for a variety of categories, including a married couple, a French pedicure, a Minnesota license, and person wearing a Yankees hat. Team Green won a close challenge to get on the board, 2-1.The final challenge was trip trivia, featuring questions such as what the Trip Director’s and Leader’s trip nicknames were. Team Orange sacrificed just one of 30 points to win 3-1. That night, the crew went to the Los Angeles Improv for an incredibly funny comedy show. We saw seven comedians in small sets and some of the jokes had us practically on the floor laughing.
amazing journey
On the final day of the trip, we went to Universal Studios Hollywood. We began our time at the park with an incredible studio tour. We saw sets used in actual TV shows and movies, and even had to stay quiet while we passed the filming of a new commercial. The King Kong 3D exhibit was very realistic and every trip member agreed that was the best part of the tour. After experiencing Universal Studios, we headed to Buca Di Beppo at the Universal Citywalk for a family style Italian dinner. We gave out trip superlatives and discussed how far we’ve all come.

We truly did achieve a lot on this amazing trip. From a group of strangers, we bonded into a family over 21 days, dedicated to building community in both Southern California and in our own lives. We worked hard every day of community service, but were also able to explore new areas with each other. As trip Director and Leader, we are so grateful to have spent this time with such amazing people. There has been incredible growth over the course of the trip and we feel that the trip has had a positive impact on all of our lives.

Thank You, and goodbye from sunny Los Dangeles, Kylafornia

The Westcoast Blogger

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