Wednesday, July 24, 2013

ward camp

i moved to hawaii for three reasons: the beach, the weather, the people. i've mentioned my love for the physical aspects of polynesia about a zillion and a half times. it's time i say something about my love for the polynesian culture, history, & people. more or less, i love all things polynesian. i've felt connected to the culture from the moment i met it. i cannot get enough of the food, dance, arts, songs, lifestyle, & more than anything, the stories. i could sit & listen to people talk story all day long. basically, i should have been born brown. alas, i was not so i am left with no choice than to embrace polynesia as much as my haole body can. and my ward (church congregation) is a great place to start. 

the majority of my ward is polynesian & comes from long hawaiian lines. they are truly wonderful people. i had the amazing experience to spend 3 days camping with my ward. we stayed on the waihe'e refuge. it is a beautiful piece of reserved land on the windward side of maui (only 4.5 miles from my home). the refuge was once a thriving hawaiian village & the heart of much of maui's agriculture. it is also the spot where king kamehameha first attacked in his conquering of maui. there are still remnants of the ancient hales & fish pond on the reserve. i am fascinated by all things pre-contact hawaii so these sites just a few hundred yards from my tent were a rare treat.

we stayed right on the beach & i made sure to reserve a spot with a view. there was hiking, crab hunting, swimming, surfing, body boarding, rope swings, row boats, horse shoes, hammocks, seashell & beach glass scaveging, a kid carnival, s'mores, tide pool exploring, fishing, a service project working deep in the beauty of the reserve, poi ball making, a talent show, testimonies, talking story, heaps of food, & some of the best people out there. it was awesome. each of the boys had their own little groups. coop was in heaven playing shirtless & shoeless all day everyday with the other kids. honestly, i barely saw him. they were at the beach, in the trees, on the swings, & in the jungle. since it was reserved land with no public access i had little fear. plus, coop is a pretty cautious kid & i can trust him to never go beyond his ability. (i loved his wild independence. it reminded me so much of my own country upbringing. except, you know, it was at a beautiful beach in hawaii not the ditches & orchards of yuba city.) tj & his friends loved playing in the tents & on the swings. mylo's crew was enthralled with the dirt. and sticks. and rocks. they were pretty easy to please.

coop was counting down the days until camp would start & could barely contain himself when we passed throug the gate & drove through the stream to enter the grounds. tj was a little dissapointed. for some reason he was under the impression that grama, papa, kam, & rylie would be joining us & he was quickly distracted by the awesomeness of our tent. i loved just about everything about camp. the food was ono, the people delightful, & the scenary beyond beautiful. all-in-all, i'd say the weekend was a success.

(excuse the photo overload. i haven't busted out the dslr in awhile so i may have gone a bit overboard.)

carnival gaming

tree climbing, tent playing, & rope swinging

tide pooling

that's our tent in the middle, the view from our tent, ruins just down the trail

swimming, exploring

crab hunting, horse shoeing, playing

hiking, stick fighting, our bathrooms, play doughing, brick throwing


  1. You're ward is so much cooler than mine!

  2. So cute looking back and seeing my Mikayla following your cute boy around! Miss you all