From the moment we got here I was thrilled to be back, back to "da kine" as we say here in the islands. Hawaii is the place where I truly feel like myself. In Hawaii I can roll out of bed, throw on a beach wrap and t-shirt, toss my hair into a bun, and I'm dressed for the day. If I need to head to the grocery store, all I need is my rubber slippahs and I'm all touched up.
Most people here don't focus on mass consumerism, or fuss with the material things that can crowd and delusion us from enjoying the simple things of life. One of the first things I heard from the pulpit at church when we got here was,"Life ain't about looking good to your friends, it's about serving them." And that's what I feel is the essence of (my)Hawaii, where the Aloha spirit means smiling and serving others, and not worrying about the excess things.
Of course, I am speaking from the down-to-Earth "country" places that I have grown up in. There are 8 islands in the Hawaiian island chain, and each island is slightly different from the others, culturally, socially, and economically. Having grown up on Oahu, where life on the city side is more fast-paced, and more materially focused, I have seen the good and bad of both worlds there.
But I was fortunate to grow up on the country side, where we learned from a young age to slow down and enjoy the falling coconuts and the changing tides. We found happiness in chasing frogs and crabs! And when we were older, surfing, snorkeling, and other ocean sports became my passion. I fell in love with this lifestyle, and now I feel like I can embrace it once again.
In a (coco)nutshell, I just want to live my slow-paced-ocean-loving-Hawaiian-lifestyle, always having the goal in mind of serving my family, my community, my church, and spreading the "Aloha." This is my happy, and I'm loving it.
When Micah and I were going through the many decision stages of where? and why? to move over here, we looked into the Big Island as an affordable option. The Big Island is the largest island of the eight main ones, yet slower and less inhabited. That means less busy, less commercial, and more open to the possibility of us living out our dream of buying an acre of land, and building a simple, homestead life on it. (You know, the one where we build a house, grow a huge garden, plant fruit trees, raise goats and chickens, spend our leisure time at the beach, and home-school our children. Yah, that dream.)
So here we are on the Big Island! I spent some time here as a little kid, but moving here as an adult, this is brand new territory for me. When Micah and I decided to move over here we didn't really know how it would all play out. However, we did know two things:
1. We were up for the adventure. 2. We needed to find out our dream.
For the first 3 weeks we were so very blessed to house-sit for some friends that were out of town. We woke up the morning after our flight to a lovely house surrounded by the most beautiful, tropical flowers, and classical Hawaiian rain forest!
We spent that first 3 weeks in somewhat of a culture shock as we drove around Hilo and roundabouts. We explored the exotic fruits and veggies at the farmer's markets, welcomed the humidity and rain that moistened up our desert skin, re-learned how to pronounce words like Kalanianaole and maku'upaniapa, and of course, swam our little hearts out at the local beaches.
Micah browsing the local farmer's market for goods:
Beach days on the big island means lots of black sand, lava, and sea-turtles galore:
However, (as crazy adventures tend to go,) our easy, house-sitting time began to come to a close, and we didn't really know where to go next! We felt so blessed that the Seivert family let us stay at their house, but with 3 small children, we needed to come up with a next plan, quick! (Gone are the single days of camping anywhere, anytime, and eating whatever!) So, we were starting to get a little worried. Since Micah still wasn't employed, what we needed was a temporary place to live until we found a permanent home.
Enter the Hanza family.
We met the Hanza couple at church on Sunday. Ivo and Heidi Hanza were friends with our house-sitting friends and welcomed us to the ward. After several minutes of talking with Heidi (the Mama), we both knew what was going to happen next: We were going to move into their family home, as they were getting ready to move out. This couple had been preparing to leave their house for the mainland and were quietly searching for the perfect family to rent their home. They told us we could even live there temporarily until we figured things out. They didn't mind a bit.
Turns out God made it possible for us to meet at that exact moment, so we could move into their house. Now they could rest from their search, and we could rest from our worries. God is so timely!
It's a family home, built 25 years ago, on one acre surrounded by trees.
They raised 6 kids here, and homeschooled them. They planted fruit trees, and gardens, had their share of chickens and goats, and spent much of their leisure time at the beach.
Does this sounds familiar?
We felt right at home the minute we stepped into this house! The Mama left us all the furniture, beds, linens, bath towels, kitchen pans, utensils,trash cans, book shelves...well, pretty much everything we didn't have, that we had to get rid of when we moved here!(and much, much more than I've ever had)
I feel blessed beyond what I ever imagined! I feel like the Lord is certainly showing me his love through these simple things. I was able to walk right into a house that already felt like mine, and feel so secure and loved that we are meant to be here.
I honestly feel like the Lord is handing us our dream, and lovingly helping us find out what we are looking for, for our little family.
One of our favorite things to do is peruse the yard for ripened fruit each day.
We have our choice of coconuts, tangerines, papayas, bananas, strawberry guavas, grapefruits, lemons, Ulu (bread-fruit), avocado, mountain apple, Hawaiian plum, and yellow Vivey. We come in and spread everything out and feast on fresh fruit.
The boys have all the running room they need on this land! Finding lizards and frogs is their specialty. Here they are running past the wild pig trap. If wild pigs come around to eat the garden, then the pigs get eaten for dinner.
The chicken coop will provide yummy, nutritious eggs for us! We just need some chickens. Micah is in the process of trying to set up a trap to catch the wild ones that loiter around here.
I know the Lord is blessing us on this journey and I'm fully looking foward to our lives here in Puna! Wild chickens and everything!
"Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you."
D &C 68:6