Last Breaths

The worst part about our travels is saying goodbye and blogging about it.

Friday after work we went to Hanauma Bay again and I layed in the sunshine while Mi Amor snorkels in the warm wavy waters. We both had our versions of soaking in the island and relaxing. Our host family made us a traditional Hawaiian dinner, some good, some odd, but we definitely found our favorites and appreciated the history behind it all.

Our last day (Saturday) we spent being apart of our ohana, our family, after setting up the produce stand. Mi Amor had a scratch pad along so he was drawing in the Hawaiian breeze as I began the cleaning of our tent. We said goodbye to our Saturday volunteers that we learned from and made friendships with. We decided to take one last trip to the water, so the final destination was getting two scoops of CocoDamia ice cream (my favorite Bubbies Ice Cream) and heading to the first beach we went to. We walked along the shore and got in the water to soak up some last rays and waves. It was a meditative moment of thanking God for blessing us with this trip and for the simple fact of the people He placed in our path along the way. 

Sunset was coming so we walked back to the house for a last dinner and I showed our host family a treat from our home: banana ice cream.

We had a big bunch of bananas that was over ripe so I sliced them into discs and froze them for the day. Then blended them that evening with coconut milk and peanut butter. Pau! Sugar free, organic ice cream–made from the farm’s “Ice Cream Bananas” (did you know there are varieties of bananas which definitely have varying flavors!)

Off to the airport, from one to the next, it’ll be about 18 hr of travel with a 5 hour time difference making it 23 hours until we will have gotten from point A to point B. 

Our host family welcomed us back anytime and said they will make a spot for us whenever we want to visit. They will definitely be receiving snail mail from us, as I want them to know how important of a role they have in teaching and inspiring people from all over the world. If you ever get the opportunities: 

  • Work/volunteer/helpx on an organic farm–do it
  • Grow your own food–do it
  • Inspire people around you–do it

Mahalo, Oahu, and we shall see you again soon–Aloha! 

China Walls…in Hawaii?

As usual I lay here in the morning looking out over the Hawaiian land with mountains in the distance.

Yesterday we had the blessing and pleasure of meeting a volunteer who is in remission from stage 4 cancer, who after radiation, decided to choose life and heal with vitamin C infusions and living on live food. That’s how he found our farm. We were talking about so much as we were working. It was a huge blessing for him to say, “if you were staying longer I would totally take you out for a surf” so instead after work yesterday he took us to his favorite place in the world…China Walls. It’s a cliff off the neighborhood Portlock, which is pretty ritzy. 

I stood there after jumping in once, whale watching and catching some surfers ride the waves. Our friend swam out to his surfing buddies and Cameron was jumping off the cliff. 

I, just like plants, want to work with them before I make things with them; so the Ocean, I need to get to know before I continue in it. 

The special thing about China Walls is that the waves ride perpendicular to the cliff; they don’t crash up to the cliff they come sweeping past and can rip you off while you’re climbing up. I lost sight of Mi Amor after a white cap and he got sliced a bit by the rocks. I’m glad he is learning about the ocean, but I know with his stubbornness, like mine, sometimes you just gotta learn the hard way. 

All of our days here have reminded me so heavily of Panama when I was there for three months in 2010. I surfed small waves to train and I’ll never forget the feeling of the ocean’s power roaring…I have so much respect for it, that as the ocean changes at every beach I need to read the water.

We had Acai bowls afterwards. It’s a Hawaiian traditional food of blended frozen acai (ah-sigh-ee) strawberries and bananas with soy milk or apple juice, topped with more bananas, granola and some yogurt. 

Then we walked back to the farm, took showers and headed out with our host parents for some food. We talked story so much and it was completed by walking down to Bubbies ice cream (homemade ice cream-best on the island) and in my opinion, best in the world. Moomers from Traverse City, MI comes second. 

I got coco damia….aka coconuts and macadamia nuts swirled into perfection, chilled and scooped for my mouth. 

 Definitely gonna have that our last day…I have to, or I’ll cry. 

What a blessing it was to ride separately with my host mom while the guys caught a ride in host papas truck bed. (Cause it’s not illegal here to ride in the back!)

She asked me “are you guys Christians?”

And it was such a blessing to know they see a different kid of love in us…

It was a good conversation and she said they’ve recently found Christ too. She was mostly happy for us to be working in the soil together, as a connection to our Creator and how He cares for us. 

I told her, “I love the quote, ‘life is lived forward, but understood backwards.’ And that’s how I’ve seen God caring for us, trusting everything is going to bring glory to Him, and looking back on the reality of that.”

Snorkeling through Smoothies

Monday was the start of our typical farm week. We woke up and weeded, cut banana trees, made sure the animals had water, and communicated with the two other workers here from San Diego and New Mexico. We got to take a look at the nursery and how that works to put good plants in good soil and give them a chance against weeds. Because it’s organic farming you have to hand weed, so there’s care that goes into every plant, every day. 

Think about what the grocery store food goes through. Chemicals, and fake sunshine sometimes, then being picked and sprayed with preservative, then shipped to a store to be bought and sit for a few days at your house…it’s old food.

Organic: workers make their own soil, manually turn on the water daily, hand weed, and spend time protecting this life form that will eventually give back life to you. 

It’s a beautiful cycle that once the food has matured and is picked for a market or a table, it is treasured. So much effort went into it.

And it’s taste is irreplaceable.

Mi Amor and I were talking about how slaves would be forced to stay in the fields and yield a crop of great proportion and to work fast they would sing songs to keep on rhythm.

So Mi Amor and I decided to make our own slave song and remember the ones we were taught from childhood as well.

It’s good to laugh and joke…we try to make it all fun.

After our morning of work, we ate a late lunch and made it from the veggies of the land. Talking to the guy from New Mexico, he told us to hit Hanauma Bay.

And so we took our snorkel and mask, borrowed from Grandparents (thank you!!) and hiked over…what a gorgeous place. Research some pictures, it’s absolutely incredible.

The fish and the coral, the view and the salt water waves…all of it: perfect.

And if you come at 4, you can watch a movie of preservation of the reef at 4:15 and get in for free! So we did. And we put our name on a list so if we go back within 365 days, we don’t have to watch the movie and can go right to the beach.  

Oh And dinner was awesome. We made a DELICIOUS kale and squash soup, had chicken and veggie burgers, and while I was doing that our host mom made smoothies, one that was a piña colada green and a fall harvest with cinnamon and vanilla! 

We were stuffed and talked story the whole time around the outdoor kitchen. What a blessing to be here.

So, it’s Tuesday morning and I reflect on the previous day while I write all my blogs and I feel sunburned today. Weeding in the sun gives me an awkward sun tan for sure! 

Off to make a smoothie with coconut milk and begin another adventurous day lived on purpose.

The HI life…(Hawaii)

So far up, so far down, so far wide, I could see all around…. 

Hiking the extinct volcanoes on Sunday was incredible. On my Instagram KLINGTOJOY you can find some views. 

We were unbelievably blessed by an angel, who volunteers on Saturdays at the farm. She allowed us to hop in the car along with our Japanese helpx-er, to go on an adventure. She is the sweetest person I’ve ever met. So much care and freedoms in her spirit. She has a passion for hiking and laughing, teaching and learning, emptying herself to give to the world, and she loves people.

She took us to the view of the south east coast, hiking to Puka mountain.

Then we took off for Manoa Falls and saw the part of the city in Honolulu where she lives. 

We ate Ahi and Tako bowls from a local hole in the wall whose flavor was built in to be amazing. Then we headed for a long scenic drive up the coast to see the north shore, Pipeline, the filming spots of Jurasic Park, Forgettig Sarah Smith (or something like that), and a few little towns…these all ended us in Waimea Bay-which let me tell you with all our research of knowing the directions of where we were, the highway we were on, the mountains nearby, the history of Hawaii, the influence of the surfers, the names of the surfers, and some knowledge of the plants, we had incredible conversations leading up to Waimea Bay. We watched body boarders, cliff jumpers, and definitely was invited by the ocean to release it’s power on us. Hug waves thy white capped at not even 10 feet from the shore. 

Respect for it all–learn from it all–admire and reflect, and most of all, honor the One who created it.

And then there were critters…

The first day we experienced the Saturday roadside stands, waking up to a double rainbow in the sky, the tour of the farm, and some skills; we cut leaves from banana trees that were dead, finding out about the creatures that live in those too…giant cane spiders, centipedes longer than my fingers, slugs as big as my big toe, and cute little geckos. We weeded beds with baby daikon in them. Got to take a shower outdoors and experience some skills of how to cook the food they grow on the farm. 

We took off in the evening for a walk to the ocean, experiencing sunset and coral. I had looked up Kona Brewery and we headed there for a treat. 

Everyone here has been so nice. We pass people on the street and they make eye contact and say hello–not the creepy kind that makes you uncomfortable..the hospitable kind that makes you say, “Aloha”.



This is the view from our tent in the morning, atop the farm with all the ornamental banana trees

Today is Sunday, we are up early to work the land and then go hiking!

Saturday: day 1 Oahu

After 3 hours of driving, 12 hours of flying, 2 hours of layover, being forced to check a carry on, losing it, and having it be delivered today…we finally met our host family. 

I lay here in our tent listening to this symphony of birds–beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This noise could be annoying as I wake, but this is Hawaii…I’m here to have an open mind and take in this experience. 

Our hosts have 4 pigs, cats, 5 dogs, chickens, and three fields of organic land. 

What a time change though-6 hours earlier I believe..I lost count and haven’t looked it up. Last night we went to be at 11:30ish and now I have already adjusted and it’s 7:30. Praise God, I’ll be able to enjoy this trip more with a fast adjustment. 

My mind will not make for a “good read” if that’s what you’re here for. Just popcorn thoughts typed on a little screen, posted vulnerably for the world.

Time to go meet some workers, and gather some eggs for breakfast! 

O’hare..not the rabbit

Grandma and Grandpa drove us down to O’Hare airport giving them an excuse to go to Chicago for the day! 

We are super blessed to have the ride down, especially because I was able to finish my hand stitched leather backpack!! (Special thanks to a friend who graciously gave me the leather! You know who you are!) and Rizo for taking me to goodwill to get a handbag to cut apart for the clasps. 🙂 

I’ll do some more work when we get back there’s some details i’d like to finish up.

Here’s our update from Chicago!