Aloha from Maui! I have been on this island for a mere 24 hours and I feel like I have already seen and done so much. I arrived into the airport where I picked up my bags and was greeted by Linda (the woman who is renting out a room in her condo to me) and her friend Sue. They brought me a lei and were super welcoming, it exceeded my expectations, and I loved the aloha spirit that they radiated. We then decided that we should grad dinner and watch the sunset on the beach. They pointed out shops and restaurants and explained to me where the best places are in Kihei to visit. Sue is an avid snorkeler (which I am super into) so she was telling me about all of her favorite spots. Linda is leaving Maui tomorrow to go to the mainland for a month to visit her children (one of which is having a baby soon). That leaves me with the condo to myself, which will be super nice. Anyways, we went to a pizza joint and ordered one to go. They showed me a beach with a perfect sunset view, and we talked and ate. After the sun went down, Linda showed me around her condo and I got settled in and unpacked my belongings. The room I am staying in is pretty small but perfect and cozy. All of my clothes and diving equipment are now organized nicely. I also have my own bathroom right across the hall, which is very fortunate. I passed out by 8:00 (2 am EST). I was wide awake by 5:30am, and decided to go for a run. I ran a few miles along the main road, and stopped at a picturesque beach where I did some circuits for about a half an hour. I then walked back entirely on the beach as I collected shells and soaked in the sights. I was back at the condo by 8:00. I showered and enjoyed a breakfast made by Sue (eggs, papaya, bananas, and toast). We then headed to Lahaina to go to her church. Now I have never considered myself religious or an avid church-goer, but I think I have been going to the wrong services. We went to an incredible congregational church that was so uplifting and fun. The songs were sung in Hawaiian, with ukelele players leading the hymns. His sermons were meaningful, and not straight from the bible. The focus of todays service was that language doesn’t matter, and you can interpret feelings by the vibes individuals radiate. We sung a happy song in Hawaiian as streamers were thrown about the church and party horns were blown. Everyone was laughing and smiling, showing that even though everyone didn’t know the words, it was clear that everyone was happy. He then went on saying that every action could be misinterpreted, and joked that the Baptist church across the street probably looked at us and said “wow they are drunk and it is only 10am”. Overall it was a moving morning, I felt the aloha spirit and every single person was so loving and welcoming. I met tons of awesome individuals. I even shed a few tears during the morning, I definitely felt the presence of my love ones that had passed, like my Grandma and Nana. After church, was a potluck. The food was super delicious and I got to know some people from the church. They were all interested in hearing my story on how I am from Maine (kinda) and now doing research on Maui. Next, we headed to the towns center of Lahaina where all the shops were. Linda was searching for a mermaid doll for her new granddaughter, and I wandered through the streets like a typical tourist.
After we returned home, I threw on a bathingsuit and headed down the block from the condo to a cute little beach. It wasn’t very crowded, and it was such a beautiful day. I napped, read books, and swam when I got overheated). I read a book called Maui Revealed to try to get some hints on what I should do while I am here. I am definitely going to snorkel, scuba dive, hike and surf. I am also looking into taking a ferry to a nearby island called Lanai for a day. I am also considering a helicopter ride to get a new view on the island. Linda is kind enough to lend me her car while she is gone, so I am looking forward to exploring. Tomorrow I really want to snorkel and find some turtles so I will probably take the car to Wailea for the day.
After the beach, I returned to the condo, and Linda showed me around a little. There is an awesome lap swimming pool and gym, which I am looking forward to using. Then, she drove me to a beach where we were in the water swimming around for a good hour. I had a lot of fun, even though I did get sunburnt (Mom, I promise I was wearing sunscreen). On the way home she dropped me off at a super market where I picked up groceries. I am probably going to starve due to the price of groceries, as well as my lack of knowledge how to cook. Bread, peanut butter, cereal, and almond milk are going to be staples in my diet apparently. Oh I also got some quinoa and lentils, I have no idea how to cook either of those but I guess I will figure it out. Linda leaves in the morning so she cooked us a nice little dinner of chicken tacos and strawberries and ice cream for dessert. YUMM. It has been a super tiring day, and due to jetlag, I will probably watch a lil netflix (there’s wifi here!!) and then head to bed. More adventures await, I will try to keep you updated!

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