Sunday, January 24, 2010

This is the feeling we've been waiting for

  I didn't do my homework tonight.  It was worth it.

  I've lost track of how long I've been on this ship.  It feels like weeks and minutes.  But tonight it didn't matter.  We are home.

  There was a coffee house open mic in the piano lounge where hundreds of students came to watch peers, previous strangers, perform their talents.  Let me just say-this ship is talented! But not AT ALL intimidating!  If anything the night inspired me to perform at the next open mic.  The support for performers was unbelievable.  The performers and the audience were connected.  Even when Emerson, from Japan, sang Celine Dion (terribly) we all cheered because before he began he said "I don't know if I'm a good singer but singing makes me happy".  So we loved him.  And when a sixteen year old girl (the daughter of one of my professors) performed slam poetry I got chills when she spoke "I am not afraid of hell, I like the heat".  There was energy flowing tonight.  So we clapped, we loved, and we became a shipboard community.

  Earlier this evening we had a preport lecture with Scott Fisher.  Scott is a guest lecturer who was born and raised in Hawaii and now manages acres of preserve land there.  For a week he has been engaging us with Hawaiian lectures and I am fascinated daily by the Hawaiian history that I previously knew nothing about.  Tonight he told us about Ohana, which is the Hawaiian word for family.  In Hawaii ohana is crucially important.  He also quoted a phrase that his father told him, "Turn your hands to the sky, you have nothing. Turn your hands into the dirt, you have life".  Tonight we put our hands into our dirt and found our ohana here.

  We dock in Hilo on Monday.  I look forward to more dirt.


  1. Ohana means faaaamily!!!!! I might call you Lilo while you're on the islands.

    Also please sing some Alanis for me, or maaaybe some Horton Hears a Who?! You go grrrllll!

  2. The only thing I remember from Hilo was a really great Ice Cream Parlor. It was super tiny, and we spoke with the owner for a while. I'll try to google the name or address for you.

    Also if you get to Kona (on the other side of the island) eat lunch at Huggo's and get the fish tacos. (seriously, they're excellent!)

    If you end up about an hour north of Hilo, there is one of the most amazing beaches I've been to, it's called Waipio (YPO) It's sort of in the middle of nowhere, but it's worth going to.

  3. Ok, it's either called "Hilo Homemade Ice Cream" or "Gammy's" and the address is:

    41 Waianuenue Ave, Hilo, HI