living aloha.

filmWith limited time left living in Hawaii, I’m making it a mission to capture some of my favorite aspects of the islands. I’m hoping to create a collection of film photos that not only feature the beauty of Pacific living, but also detail the charm of the not so modern 60′s era architecture and signage.

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The location of these photo’s encompass the Diamond Head and Ala Wai Canal. I frequently run along this route and I’m certain that I’ll look at these scene’s with fond memories once we move on to somewhere new.

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28

Yesterday I celebrated my 28th birthday – better yet I celebrated moving on from 27, a year that I might just deem as my most challenging year yet.

27 meant dealing with career issues (or lack there of), preparing for and experiencing Don’s first deployment, living and working in Cambodia, and fighting to overcome other more personal issues that I’ve refrained from sharing from the world in writing just yet.

But the nice thing about significant dates like birthdays, the changing of seasons, or the New Year is the hopeful prospect of turning a new leaf, putting the past behind you and moving on.

So that’s the plan for now. Tomorrow Don and I leave for the mainland to spend the next few weeks with friends and family, together, for the first time in two years.

So I’m hoping to start 28 off with a more grounded outlook, a better plan, and most importantly the intention of staying present in the moment. What better way to get started than to spend the day horseback-riding through a Hawaiian Ranch with my love and enjoying a peaceful sunset dinner.

Recovery Walk and Dry Run 5k 2012

Although I’ve run the same early morning running route for years now I’ve never become accustomed to running past people literally passed out from the transgressions of the night before, sprawled on the side-walks of the Ala Wai Canal, the smell of liquor wafting from their sleeping bodies.

Even on the most focused runs I can’t help but let my thoughts wander on what led these individuals down a path that could get them to that point.

Last week I passed by a middle aged woman passed out on a park bench. She held a crumpled up brown paper bag nestled under her arm like a child would hold a teddy bear. Although she was asleep her facial expression looked so sad that it literally brought me to tears.

As I kept running, she stayed on my mind.

Waiting at a stoplight I spotted a banner for an upcoming 5k titled “Recovery Walk Hawaii“. As soon as I got home I signed up for the 5k that takes place this Saturday September 8th. The proceeds from the donations walkers and runners receive go to various local substance abuse treatment centers.

I chose to support Hina Mauka due to the fact that they provide treatment programs to homeless people and incarcerated women.

Serving the Homeless – Hina Mauka offers a unique service for homeless men and women at the Institute of Human Services (I.H.S.) homeless shelters at Sumner Street and Ka’aahi Street in Honolulu. In our approach we “engage” the prospective client to help motivate them towards more extensive treatment as well as provide a more formalized low intensity outpatient treatment. Since the homeless population is unique and often challenging to work with, we do not mandate abstinence. Success is determined by their choice to seek higher levels of care. While challenging, we find that they are certainly not without hope.

Working with Incarcerated Women – Ke Alaula Hina Mauka has developed and amazing therapeutic community treatment program called Ke Alaula, at the Women’s Community Correctional Center in Kailua on Oahu. Ke Alaula translates to “breaking of a new dawn”, and is a culturally sensitive program based in traditional Hawaiian culture and values. While outcomes are still being compiled in this relatively new program, everyone visiting the site readily observes the phenomenal transformation of the inmates. Ke Alaula is the result of an effective collaboration between Department of Public Safety department heads, the WCCC Warden and his staff, and the Hina Mauka. Excerpted from Hina Mauka Programs

Of course the Hawaiian Islands are known for their beauty, although the issue of homelessness and substance abuse rarely gets addressed as it is overshadowed by the Hollywood image of paradise.

I’ll be running in support of Hina Mauka this Saturday. Please help me in donating to this worthy cause by visiting my donation page.¬†Every $5 counts!

Market Morning.

When Don & I lived in Winter Park, FL. one of my favorite things to do was walk to the Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. We lived hardly a block away and it was such a great way to start the weekend.

Now that we live in Hawaii, there are many great Farmers Markets to chose from, the closest one being the KCC Farmers Market which is located across from Diamond Head Park. This morning I had a hankering for a good breakfast so to the Farmers Market I went.

I love Okinawan sweet potatoes, and this stand put an interesting spin on the purple spud by baking it into breakfast cookies. I tried one, they were simple and slightly sweet.

There was a huge line for the Fried Green Tomatoes, although I love the movie, I decided to skip this treat.

Another interesting fried concoction were these “sushi sliders”. They tempura fried kale, purple potatoes bananas and ahi tuna. I didn’t try this one either but it sure looked interesting!

I did sip on a refreshing green juice in place of coffee this morning, and it surprisingly gave me a good bit of energy.

To sweeten things up a bit I tried the most delicious Kona Coffee Cheesecake from Hawaiian Cheesecakes.

And then there was this.

A soul-food stand complete with biscuits and gravy, cheesy grits, collard greens and last but not least fried chicken and waffles. Enough southern food to make a Florida girl feel right at home. Although I don’t eat chicken I must say this set up almost made me change my ways. I compromised by getting a waffle, sans fried chicken and it hit the spot.

Great way to start my Saturday – but I can’t wait until Don gets back so we can enjoy it together – I’m sure he would’ve happily tried the fried chicken ;).

 

forgotten ft. kam

Since I’ve adopted learning film photography as a new hobby, I received an early birthday gift from Don which I put to use this weekend. I was gifted a Pentax K-1000, which happens to be the golden standard camera for learning film photography. So far I love it in all it’s simplicity. Here are a few shots from the new camera, taken at the abandon base housing units and the old shore Battery on Hickam Air Force Base, formerly known as Ft. Kam.

fresh air.

I’ve recently come to terms with the fact that I am underusing our balcony.

I live in Waikiki, Hawaii. I can see a sliver of the pacific ocean from my apartment balcony yet it remains a small underutilized part of our home. This is our amazing view in which at the right time of day, produces an breathtaking sunset.

While standing on the balcony this evening, I took in the fresh air, the amazing city/ocean view, and noticed a neighbor’s balcony who had a pretty little cafe style terrace set up that instantly inspired me to fix up our drab balcony & turn it into something that looks like this:

Instantly inspired by a neighbor, I’ve got a weekend project to look forward to.

sandy beach sunrise.

Last night I set my alarm for 5am and planned on experiencing my first Hawaii sunrise. Much coffee was needed in preparation, but it was well worth the lost sleep.

After the sun rose we headed to a coffee shop for my favorite weekend ritual of buying an actual New York Times, Sunday edition (it’s just not the same reading it digitally) and enjoying what was at that point my 3rd or 4th cup of coffee.

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

i’ve been busy…

…jumping out of airplanes!

Still hard for me to believe I did, but it was an experience of a lifetime! My cousin came to visit for 5 days last week & she talked me into skydiving on the North Shore. We went with SkyDive Hawaii. Although they had rave reviews on Yelp, I was a little apprehensive upon signing 6 pages of legalities, on which the bottom of each page read skydiving is extremely dangerous and you may die. Needless to say, I was a little off-put by that. But then I was somehow comforted by the fact that my tandem partner was going to skydive wearing flip-flops (or as they saw in Hawaii, slippers). I did draw the line at Shark Diving though. Considering it was Shark Week and all.

My cousin went though & loved it. What can I say – I’m a chicken when it comes to sea monsters with hundreds of saw like teeth, so I stayed behind and watched the beautiful sunrise.

A very adventurous week indeed.