Habitat for Humanity Kauai Trip- Day 7

Friday, January 17, 2014

Day 7
Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!
Happy New Year!

Even the rooster crow couldn’t bring me down this morning!  It’s a new year and I’m starting it off with 12 new friends and a day filled with outdoor adventure! I couldn’t be happier. 

This morning Deanna, who was leading reflection, gave each of us 2 slips of paper and an envelope.  On 1 piece of paper we wrote down things that held us back in 2013 or things that we want to move past in the next year.  On the other piece of paper we wrote down what we wanted to accomplish in 2014.  This positive note we then sealed in an envelope not to be opened until New Year’s Day 2015.  The other notes we all put into a pot and set on fire.  I can’t explain it but watching those little notes burn and escape into the universe was so cathartic.  I literally felt lighter and happier than I had in a really long time.

We loaded into the van and somehow made it to the launching point for our kayak trip on the Wailua River.  The kayaking company employee who was there to orient us was, by his own admission, still drunk from the night before so we only barely listened to him giving us instruction.  I think everyone was itching just as bad I as was to get out on the water.  We’d be kayaking a mile or so to a dock where we’ll get out and hike 2 miles up to Secret Falls.  Then after we hike back to the kayaks we’d have the rest of the afternoon to explore the river.

That's my pony tail there in the back

The kayaks were tandem 2 seaters which I’ve never done before but I remember enough of seeing other people to know what to do.  My kayak buddy was Deanna, my fabulous new friend from LA, and we were kayaking pros once we got into a rhythm.  The hike wasn’t difficult per say but the environment gave us some extra challenges.  With all the rain they had been receiving the ground almost the whole 2 miles was thick mud.  The kind of mud that sucked your shoe right off your foot.  

We also had a river and some streams to cross.  A few of us tried our best to not get our tennis shoes wet because we knew we’d have to walk around in them the rest of the day but after one particularly slippery stream crossing where my short little legs couldn’t make the rock to rock hop everyone else was doing, I gave up and just started sloshing through the water.  It was really fun.  Reminded me of when I hiked up a river in Nerja, Spain.  It took a little longer than expected to get up to the falls because we may or may not have gone off the designated path and gotten a tad lost.  We made it though.  The falls were GORGEOUS! It was just one really, really tall waterfall that deposited into this big pool before slowly trickling down a rock bed to form the stream we’d be hiking around.  I was amped from the hike and ready to keep going so I didn’t get into the water.   We stayed for half an hour or so then hiked a different route down to the kayaks.  Once we were all back at the docked kayaks we made our way up the river the other direction than what we came.  It was beautiful! Absolutely peaceful and serene.  Every once in a while (when our arms got too tired) we’d stop paddling and just float.  We spent the next hour or so going back and forth on the river and eventually made it back to the launch site and back into the van.

From here we went to Kapa’a for lunch and to hang out.  We found a restaurant with mediocre food but a 5-star view of the ocean.  Most everything was closed because of the holiday so Deanna and I decided to go sit on the beach (lava rocks) and enjoy the view until it was time to head back home to Ele’Ele’.

Later that night we had our white elephant gift exchange.  Each of us brought a gift indicative of where we were from.  Of course I brought a “Don’t Mess with Texas” tshirt and the couple from New Hampshire got it.  Perfect fit for one of them so Chris better be wearing it all over town!  I got “Clueless” from Deanna (from LA, PERFECT gift).  In fact, I stole that movie from someone else because it wasn’t in my collection yet and it’s such a classic! Confession:  I’ve already watched it twice.

All in all, today was quite possibly the best New Year’s Day I’ve ever had.  I feel rested, ready and eager to get back to the build tomorrow! Side note- Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!


1 comment:

  1. Yay!! Keep 'em coming!! I love reading these!! :)