Tuesday, January 10, 2012


This is how you pronounce the name of the island. I, as with most places I have ever been outside of Canada, was pronouncing it totally wrong and had no idea until I arrived. Now we allll know! Alright now, it's only been a couple days but now seems to be a good time for blogging, so let's do it. Yesterday we started into the extra touristy junk, with a little plane ride around the island. It was excellent...it's something like 90% of the island is unreachable by road, and there are parts that you can't even hike to up in the mountains. It took us about an hour and twenty minutes to go all the away around the island, including into the interior for a bit, and back out to sea. Tiny tiny. Found out that this island boasts the "wettest place on earth" where I guess it just rains non stop.

Today we did a kayak/hike tour. I may have misled dad a little about how much effort this trek was going to be, and he was pretty exhausted by the end. Oops haha. In my opinion, it was all totally worth it because we got to see and also swim at the bottom of a picturesque little waterfall. And we got a picture of my standing in it, which is totally the greatest. And of course all the parts other than just that were also super beautiful.

I forgot to mention last time: Reggae is a BIG deal here. They love it, it's played heavily on 2 of the 4 radio stations, and of those 2 one of them ONLY plays it. It makes cruising around pretty badass.

There is a Hawaiian form of Pidgin, which is English mixed with regional language or variations. And they call it Pidgin too. I haven't heard a lot of it, but I have definitely noticed some interesting dialect, like 'tree' instead of 'three' as an example.

Wal-mart sells the cheapest souvenirs. That's just how it is. Although I haven't been in Costco yet haha.

OH! And I found out today that it is totally legal to sit in the bed of a pick up truck if all the seatbelts in the front are being used. That is a law. On an unrelated (or is it?) field, booze is crazy cheap.

That is all for now.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hawaii Installment

Okay team...it has been a while, but I feel inspired to fill the internet in on this little Hawaii side vacation. Short story: this is the greatest place on Earth. Somehow, Hawaii has been underrated by the tourism industry. Doesn't seem possible right? But seriously, this place is some kind of untapped paradise. Beautiful weather every day, perpetual beaches, friendly and welcoming culture, perfect AND empty beaches, and WHALES!!!! SERIOUSLY! I am glad this island isn't swarming with people, but frankly it is astounding that it isn't. For those of you who don't know, I'm on the island of Kauai, in this little tiny town called Kekaha, a town that according to the guide books, is "rarely visited, even by locals". This place is smaallll town...Bayfield style...but with a school...and so much surfing. So, since I wasn't really planning on blogging at all, but have been noticing little things I want to share with everybody, and probably won't have a chance to upload any photos until I get home, I'm gonna list off some of the more interesting things I have noticed while here! HOORAY!
1. The "surf's up" sign. You know that thing you've seen in surf movies with the thumb and the pinky sticking up?
Ya, this one right here!! This is a big thing. People flash this to each other when they pass on the road, when they see each other on the beach...all the time. Spreads lots of good will and surfer karma I guess.
2. Literally everyone here surfs. Everyone. It's like hockey in Canada. People can surf before they walk. It's pretty cool.
3. Jacked up trucks/jeeps. Jacked up literally...like when the body of the vehicle sits above the tires by at least a foot? Like that...all the rage. And not new trucks...trucks from the 1980s. Vehicles here age waaay differently than in Canada...salt damage occurs on THE TOP of the vehicle rather than on the underside. Weird right? Either way, it means that taking preventing salt damage tends to be a lot easier, and thus vehicles age more gracefully and thus older vehicles can be "cool" and not just totally worn out.
4. The Pacific Ocean is terrifying. Totally scary. Respect. I've heard lots of stories about pro surfers getting HELLA banged up...and these are people who KNOW what they are doing and still manage to get totally mangled by the ocean.
5. Hawaii's main industry is tourism. Until about 10 or 15 years ago it was sugar cane in a few places still, such as this island, but this has been totally shut down and moved to the Philippines where labour is cheaper. On this island there is a great deal of seed corn grown, but that requires minimal manual labour. Our hosts have been telling me that since property values have increased by so much, young Hawaiians are unable to buy their own homes, and up to 4 generations are living within one rather small house (and spending a lot of money on their souped up trucks!) Sooo...economic situation could be better, especially on this island that tends to stay away from the tourist spotlight.
6. ROOSTERS! Actually roosters everywhere. Back in 1992 a hurricane destroyed all the cages that the fighting cocks were kept in. If you know the fist thing about anthropology you know that cock fighting is a pretty big deal in Polynesian culture, thus, a pretty big deal in Hawaii. You might also know that it is highly frowned upon by most Western governments. Thus, in 1992 when this hurricane hit, a bunch of illegal fighting cocks were released into the wild by a hurricane, and there was no legal recourse for going about recapturing them since nobody wanted to take responsibility for a bunch of illegal birds. So now there are just wild roosters all over the place! And not North American variety roosters...fricken South East Asian JUNGLE fowl is what they are called!!! As a person who is afraid of most kinds of birds, they are pretty intimidating. I've been taking photos of them, but at a respectful (fearful) distance, so watch for those to come.
Okay, that it is for now. More to come probably!!! Also lots and lots of photos. Peace and love friends!