Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One Year and Two Weeks Later

We made it, can you believe it? Tomorrow I leave Maui!

The last few days have been really good. I've said goodbye to almost everyone at church, spent some time with Uncle Kaleo (the pastor) and Auntie Shelly, hung out with a few friends and coworkers, closed my bank account and p.o. box, took the bus around a lot, wrote a bunch of letters.... Holly is visiting, so we got to talk to her for a while. She's freaking awesome. It feels like things have come full circle, since she was not only the one who got us started on Maui but was also here during our first month. I've been able to get good closure with the different groups I've been a part of over the past year.Last night there was a goodbye party at the Lodge with all our work-trade family. I really dislike parties, but this one was fun--comfortable, people we know well, and no one got (very) drunk. We got to meet our replacement, Courtney, and she's cool. It's kind of nice knowing who will be moving into our beloved little shack when we go.

Today Jeanie and I walked on the beach one last time with Luisa and Sarina, went to breakfast with a gift card from Rick, and spent a few hours cleaning our place thoroughly and packing. I have to say, I am a great packer. There aren't a lot of abilities I feel comfortable bragging about, but packing is one of them. I think because it's so symbolic of my personality and interests, I get excited about it and take pride in it :)

Mixed emotions. Excited, nostalgic, a little sad...nothing too dramatic, though. Maybe I'm getting better at transitioning. I can't believe I'm going to see my family and Isaac TOMORROW.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Healthy Reflecting

I have five days left on Maui! Can you believe it? Our "to-do" lists are quickly turning into "done" lists:

-Sell car (When I feel like crying because we abandoned our beloved Haiku to a crazy lady from Alaska who's a terrible driver, I have to remember that cars don't have feelings and $800 is $800.)

-Quit both jobs (I had no idea last Wed. was my last day at Borders...our manager failed to even acknowledge that we were leaving except for taking us off the schedule a few days before we'd requested. It's comforting to know that everyone besides her will really, really miss us. We're two special gals ;)

-Submit one grad school app and my visa app (!!!!!!!!!)

-Take a full car load of stuff to various donation places

-One last hike and lunch with Isaac's parents

-Take Jeff and Retha out to dinner

-Go back to church (this past month has been rough because for me busyness + depression = purposeful isolation. I went to small group last night and it was SO encouraging to come away feeling like I can be sent off rather than simply escaping. I've been reflecting a lot on how much I have been blessed through relationships this past year, and I'm humbled to think that I've been able to bless others as well. The next five days will be extremely un-isolated as I spend as much time as I can with people...I know it will be hard and tiring, since a huge part of me still wants to hide away and rest, but in the long run, this will be the healthiest way to say goodbye to this period of my life.)

I thought that after I sent in my applications on Monday, things would be smooth sailing, but every morning I feel like I'm about to start running as soon as my feet touch the floor, and every night I'm exhausted but my mind is racing through a million more things I have to get done. I don't know why I always talk about boring things like stress. As if everyone else isn't stressed too.

I am giddy thinking of next Wednesday...even for the bittersweet feeling of leaving. Hopefully I'll shed a few tears. Tears that prove I'm leaving behind something that was special enough to miss.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Exactly one year ago....

Oh, and guess what? Yesterday, Dec. 8, we hit our one-year mark, our anniversary with Maui. It's hard to believe I've been on this tiny rock for an entire year. My friend Scott asked me today if it was worth it...oh, yeah.


Exactly two weeks, ten hours, and ten minutes from right now, I'll be getting off the plane in Portland. I'll be a little stiff from the flight, carrying a heavy backpack, my jeans will be all wrinkly and stretched out from sitting, my heart will be racing and doing those little weird jumps of nervous excitement. I'll follow my fellow plane-mates along the concourse in the direction of signs stating "baggage claim." I'll enter the baggage claim room, big round conveyor belts and clumps of people spreading into my range of vision. I won't care yet which contraption is going to spit out my luggage, I'll be scanning the crowd for familiar faces. And then I'll see them.... my parents to my right, holding a jacket for me, smiling; and Isaac to my left, my excitement reflected exactly in his own grin. In my imagination, I wonder who I'll run to first, but honestly, I think I know. Nothing against my parents (I LOVE YOU!!!!! and I can't WAIT to see you too!!!!), but I am SO excited to hug and kiss a real, live Isaac again after three and a half months of cold, unfeeling technology (It's just not the same to hug a phone, you know?). Can it really be only two weeks?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Work Break

I think I'll be disappointed in myself if I don't write again until I leave Maui. I've started a few entries and then didn't have the heart to finish them, but I'll try again.

So, things have been a little rough here.... Not terrible, and I'm finding a lot of things to be happy about, but in general it has been an incredible struggle to stay positive while going to work, investing in relationships with people here, and trying to keep my grad school applications/visa application/editing project going. It's a weird tension of feeling like I have too much time until I leave yet not nearly enough time to get everything done.

So I'll focus on the good things:

-Thanksgiving with Isaac's fam :) Lots of good food, new people to meet, lots of intimidation on my part, haha. I never realized just how small my family was. Jeanie and I also saw Up in the Air with Mary at Maui's one and only artsy theater. It was really good.

-Another Star Trek party, this time at our place. As if it's not bad enough to GO to a Star Trek party, we had to host one ourselves ;)

-Jeanie and I hiked in the crater on top of Haleakala. It was intense and fabulous. Four miles downhill and four miles back up the same way. No joke, everyone is right when they say it looks like the surface of the moon. No other way to describe it. I added pictures to my album (click on the link from the last entry with photos).

-I finished a draft of my paper, a draft of my admissions essay, and a draft of my teaching assistantship essay/application. Still a LOT to get done in the next week and a half (the deadline I set for myself to mail the application to UW.... EWU isn't due until Feb), but I've accomplished a heck of a lot and there's no giving up now.


A few bummers:

-Josh moved back to Oregon. When we saw him off at the airport, I realized that after a year here, Jeanie and I are actually quite alone. There was a time when it seemed like there was endless potential for deep friendships, but now so many people have left and so many things have happened that essentially we just have each other again (I mean, that's a little dramatic. We know a ton more people, but don't have any really close friends). Our time in Maui has come full circle. We'll get to see Josh in Portland, though. It'll be SWEET; Jeanie, Isaac, Josh, and I all there at the same time :) :) :)

-My favorite supervisor at Borders got fired. Because she didn't have enough Borders Rewards sign-ups. I encourage everyone to boycott Borders.... They're trying so hard to stay afloat that they're pressuring customers and firing employees who don't pressure customers enough. It would be better if they just went out of business. I'm a little bitter.


And finally, a poem. Because I feel bad about not blogging anything pretty about my time at the Cerizo's farm. I guess technically it's for Isaac, but you are all welcome to read it too:

Your Family's Farm

After a five-hour trek up
and down the irrigation ditch, after
fitting river rocks
into the dam, after hauling
shovels and dense bunches
of bananas back along
the narrow ridge, after
late lunch in the kitchen, we sit

in the front yard,
listening to Keola Beamer,
finishing off sweet coconut
cascaron. These are the voices
of your childhood,
not so unlike my own:
mother, uncles, family friends,
crickets, wind
like rain in the palms.
You, in Seattle, are homesick,
and I, in your home, am too.

Night transforms the view.
Miles across the city,
across the harbor,
headlights on Haleakala Highway
resemble a trickle of lava
down the ancient volcano,
carrying, for anyone
who learns to see,
the earth's deepest memories.