Monday, August 2, 2010

A series of MOST fortunate events

I flew from Maui back to Hilo on Saturday afternoon and planned to hitch hike back to Honoka’a (where the farm is). Hitch hiking is a common practice on the Big Island, especially since most people get around in pick up trucks. I was a little nervous at first, but got a ride within about ten minutes of having my thumb out. I did some quick profiling and got good vibes from these people. Instead of going home, I switched my plans and accompanied my new friends, Robert, Mark, Nathan and Diane to a neighborhood party in a lychee orchard outside of Hilo. There was a guy at the party who was hacking open coconuts with a machete so we could drink the milk through bendy straws. I got a lesson about harvesting coconuts and making ice cream from coconut cream (mmm!).

After the party, we went to the Garden Snack Club and got the most delicious Thai food I’ve ever had. We got pineapple and curry stir fry with huge chunks of pineapple and Opakapaka (tasty local fish) and Thom Kah soup (coconut milk broth, ginger, lemongrass, kabocha squash, carrots, asparagus, celery, hearts of plam). The soup was like nothing I’ve ever tasted. Fresh, colorful, and bursting with flavor.

Robert offered to let me spent the night at their place in Puna, a town that I’ve wanted to visit (next to where the lava is flowing into the ocean). Puna is the yoga/artsy/farmer's market part of town. I definitely plan to make my way back there before leaving the island. I took him up on his offer and stayed in a Bali hut (below) while it poured during the night, which was a fantastic way to sleep (outside, but dry and warm). In the morning, I cleaned out the linen closet in exchange for my night’s stay.

On Sunday morning, we went to the beach (1st and last pictures on this page) and then to a dance. I almost bailed and went back to the farm, but realized that I was just nervous and had no idea what to expect. So, I decided to go and find out. At 11:00 am about 150 people showed up at a greenhouse to dance, do yoga and listen to a dj play music. Before the dance started, everyone sat in a circle for a welcoming and a few announcements. One woman pointed out that she brought a statue of Pele, the volcano goddess, and had put it at the back of the room. Puna is located in volcanic zone 2 and as the lava continues to flow, is in more danger of being wiped out. This woman mentioned that Pele was very present and wanted to acknowledge her. I was blown away at how calmly this woman was speaking. She was basically saying, we are totally powerless, could lose everything and are at the mercy of the lava. Whoa. Big stuff. Let's dance it out. For the next hour and a half you could meditate, do handstands, dance, sit, roll on the floor, anything. Just no talking. It was totally ridiculous and absolutely wonderful.

We hit the beach again (where a drum circle had formed) before grabbing some lunch and heading back to the farm. Good people in Puna. Great to be back at the farm.

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