The Maui culture is one of a kind. Stepping off the plane I immediately felt the warmth of the fantastic Hawaiian weather hit my skin. As I waited for my ride to come get me all around me were people full of positive vibes. It was absolutely unreal. As I finally got picked up I found myself sitting in a beat up pick up truck with two strangers on a similar journey to my own. We climbed up the mountains and braved the awkward small talk that no one really likes to deal with. After running out of gas twice and not being stressed about it, I began to realize this was a place where stress and worry goes out the window. Turning down a tiny road and up to your typical Hawaiian home, I was greeted by a mass of people. Voices melted into one as I repeated my name, how my flight was…. Though it was incredibly overwhelming I immediately felt at home.
The following day I started my work on the 3rd Day Nursery. This site is one in a million. The colors and plants are almost overwhelmingly beautiful, not to mention the view of the mountain opposite of us and the coast as our background. This is my first time ever working with plants, and working with orchids proved to be very intimidating. I was terrified to break them or ruin them in any way. As it turns out, however, non of my fellow wwoofers have ever worked with plants before arriving in Maui. That thought put me right at ease.
I think the thing that resonates with me about Maui is the kindness of everyone. From the people I work with, the neighbors next door, and even strangers on the street… everyone is genuine and wants know about you. Their kindness also shines through in a culture that is completely different than one on the mainland. Hitch hiking is something that is widely accepted here on Maui. My small town mentality kind of freaked out when I learned this. There was no way I’d hitch hike… I’d much rather take a bus or walk, but as I was walking four miles up a mountain, I realized it couldn’t be that bad. A colleague of mine could tell I was very apprehensive to go at it alone so he showed me the ropes. As we walked down the road our thumbs stretched out it only took like five minutes for a lovely couple to pick us up. “Where you guys headed,” we asked. “Wherever you are,” was their simple reply. They were completely genuine in their answer. Willing to go wherever we needed, and when they passed our road they even turned around and took us right to the house. This is something mainlanders would never do. Hitch hiking has become such a taboo and something people fear, but here it is a part of life. It is a big testament to the island’s kindness.
I cannot wait to see what the next few months have to offer as I am here. It has been less than a week and I already see the magic in this place.
Until next time,