Week 1- Let the fun begin!
Trip Start Jun 01, 2009
7Trip End Jul 26, 2009
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The base seemed really confusing at first but I've been discovering more and more things on each run I've gone on. I found out that there's a bowling ally, a theater (only $3 to see a movie), a YMCA, a really nice restaurant (which we found out the hard way, closes at 5:30p.m.), a church, and RACQUETBALL COURTS!
This first week with Camp A was orientation and preparing for our camps which start this Tuesday. One downer I learned during orientation was that we weren't allowed to bring anything with peanuts or peanut butter in our lunches, NOOOO!!!! I guess it's precautions in case some camper had a severe peanut allergy and decided to eat your lunch. We covered everything from the rules on the military base and how to program our camps to "effective coughing techniques" and where the best sushi on Oahu is located. We also learned that being called a "haole" by the natives is not another form of saying hello. It basically mean "hey white boy/girl!". We've been doing a lot of team builder activities which reminds me A LOT of RA training but its been fun getting to know all the other counselors. There's a few people from Ohio and Florida but most of us are all from Iowa State, Iowa, or UNI.
Amos, the head project director, is a ton of fun; showing off his Jamba dance he does when he goes to Jamba Juice and his secret offices he holds around Oahu (a.k.a
the best parts of camp. Partly because he drives like he's still in
Kenya and you don't have to be in the van getting lost behind him, and
mostly because of his awesome African music that we jam out to! He likes to tell us his African stories and he's big on getting the most out of our experience here on Hawaii. He has planned a lot of fun outings for all of us to do together during the summer, like camping out one night on the beach and going night snorkeling. Can't wait!
Wednesday night we went down to Waikiki. For some, it was their first time seeing ocean so of course, we jumped in. The water was unbelievably warm and it was a beautiful night with the full moon. Some of us walked along the beach which was alive with music and entertainment. We walked down past the famous pink hotel "The Royal Hawaiian," and got to see the Polynesian dancers perform with fire and their hula dancing. While walking down the beach, two really nice kids (so we thought) came up to us putting leis around our necks and took our picture. Being the naive Iowa's that we were, we began walking off when the stopped us and told us to give them $10 for them
On Friday Angela (my camp director) and I got to see our campsite for the first time. It had been previously used as a storage shed so it will definitely be a fixer-upper. It doesn't have any AC but its nice because it has a huge open lawn behind it for the kids to play in.
On the weekends we get to do whatever we want but we have to find our own transportation to get there. The bus system on Oahu takes you about everywhere you want to go its just a matter of figuring out the routes. On Saturday, we planned a group outing to Waimai Bay on the North Shore so we got to use the vans to drive all 25 of us out. It was a beautiful drive to the beach with the mountains alongside. We drove past the Dole pineapple fields and a bunch of coffee bean fields. When we got to the beach it was GORGEOUS! The ocean is so blue here. On this beach there was also this great big lava rock that you can jump off, so of course I had to jump. It was a ton of fun besides the massive surge of saltwater up the nose. Then we went to Turtle Beach to see a bunch of lazy sea turtles who were very camera shy as you can see in the pictures.
On our way back we stopped for some shaved ice
Well it sounds like we've got a busy week ahead of us. Tomorrow we will be doing all the last minute preperation before our first day of camp on Tuesday. I'm really looking forward to finally meeting all the kids. Should be a great summer!