My second day in Hawaii was packed, but I learned more about the culture of the people here and also little things about myself.
I went to the Dole Plantation around lunch time with my grandmother, I’ll address her as Manang (since she’s my grandmother married to the brother of my mom’s dad — phew). Okay, Manang. While we were traveling up to Wahiawa, I couldn’t help but notice that the land of Hawaii, although modernized (any land with a free way is modernized), still kept its harmony with nature. I also noticed that although we may think of Hawaii as a tourist location with an amazing view and beaches, it still holds a deep respect for their culture and their land. It makes me a little sad that sadly my own country, Philippines, does not seem to be “in touch” with themselves and their land (I’ll probably talk about this more when I go to Manila). The drive was fantastic. Of course the view of the mountains and the nice breeze was amazing. But most importantly, I didn’t get carsick. Usually, driving through hills and mountains get me dizzy (I think it’s because I’ve gotten used to the flatness of Florida).
I tried to remember why I was so excited about coming to the Dole Plantation. As I was riding the Pineapple Express (a train that takes you around the plantation and talks about the company’s history), I finally remembered the cause of my excitement as people walked around with ice cream in their hands. DOLE WHIP. Yes, the delicious treat that I find myself being addicted to when I went to Disney World in 2013. DOLE WHIP. DOLE WHIP. DOLE WHIP! When I finally bought my own DOLE WHIP float, I ate it with so much gusto that I spoiled my appetite for lunch.
The Pineapple Express was an informative ride. A part of Hawaii’s inhabitants were the families that worked in the plantation, which explains the diversity. More likely the Asian and Pacific Islander diversity.
Strolling Through Waikiki
During the afternoon, my aunties took me to the zoo to watch a summer concert (that’s open to everyone on Wednesdays) after stopping by Zippy’s (a local “fast food” place). It was pretty cute, the audience had their blankets and food. There were tons of kids playing in the grass. And at “The Shell” there was a live performance from a ukulele school. And wow, the weather was just perfect for this outdoor delight. We ate our food. I had a platter of rice, spam, teriyaki beef (MY FAVORITE in the platter), panko fried fish and fried chicken (picture below). We also shared a tuna poke (which melted like butter in my mouth) and kimchee octopus!
After enjoying some food and music, my aunties took me to see the sunset over Waikiki beach. And it was absolutely breathtaking. I’ve seen sunsets in Florida beaches, best one I’ve seen was at Siesta Key. But a Hawaiian sunset was different, or maybe it’s this specific one. We also went to shop around the strip (I got some amazing Honolulu cookies!) walk by the shore during the night (I can see the stars and beautiful city light and the ocean was still blue) and grabbed a drink (no more pineapple, I got intoxicated by my Dole Whip Float at the plantation). Oh yes, I definitely needed to drink to help me sleep the jet-lag off.
Updates on Projects…
Project: Redefining Me
Of course, every day I try to learn a lesson or two about myself. So as I was watching the sunset over the beach. I contemplated what lessons I learned today. In this island, I appreciate the cool breeze a little bit more, mind you there’s no A/C in the houses I’ve been staying at. But I didn’t mind at all. There’s something soothing about the wind playing with the trees. You can hear the rustle. I mean I’m literally hearing this beautiful sound as I’m typing. It’s cold enough that I can still wear a full comforter. I can’t do that in Miami. Sunsets, dole whips, music and great food are all reasons to think that the world is truly a great place to be in, if we only have the senses and heart to appreciate it. And when it comes to the people, they seem to always act in the saying, “Don’t worry, be happy.” They carry the “Aloha” attitude, even the tourists! The Aloha attitude is basically having to put others first. Welcoming each other, inviting each other to form good relationships. It’s both a greeting to a happy day, see-you later in hopes of seeing each other again in the future, and a goodbye to your worries. I think that is what the meaning of “aloha” is. It’s a contagious disease of happiness and joy.
Lessons Learned: Live simply and enjoy the little joys in life. Don’t worry, be happy. Have an Aloha Attitude. 🙂
Today, I learned the meaning of “shaka.” It is very universal and it’s use is diverse, kind of like the peace sign. Often meaning, “hang loose” or “go with the flow” in Hawaiian and surf culture, it represents more than that. Like the “aloha” it symbolizes friendship, peace, openness and thanksgiving. There’s a guy that did the “shaka” symbol to my auntie, as she let him pass first in the road. But I think that even when people are mad, people should throw up the “shaka” instead of the infamous middle-finger. I mean what good is it to spread negativism and hate, right?
Lesson Learned: Throw up the “shaka” symbol whenever you’re thankful or mad.
Here’s a couple of pictures I took from my second day in Hawaii! These were taken by my Canon T4i, 50mm f1.8 lenses.