|Sunset at Magic Sands Beach|
|Ohia Tree Flowers|
|Plumeria in the (warm and refreshing) rain storm|
See, things are different down there so close to the equator- the sun sets at 7 pm every night, which at first didn't bother me- but now that we're home I appreciate that extra sunlight in the summer. I love how the seasons shape our lives here- and how we're surrounded by vast areas of land- I started to feel a bit claustraphobic on that island way out in the pacific- even though it is huge in it's own right. And because it's a volcano you're always on the edges- near the water- and it's amazing, and beautiful and slightly terrifying to know how isolated you are out there, maybe especially so for us prairie dwellers.
We started talking to people who work in our fields, Ag. research and local artists, and It was eye opening to know that these areas which receive quite a bit of funding from our government- don't get any there. Maybe it's different on the mainland- (as Hawaiians call the continental U.S), but by the end of the week we realized how hard it is to make a living there- how insecure it is, and I left feeling grateful for our government- socialist as it is- I suspect that even our conservatives are socialist by U.S. standards- and I like it that way.
When all is said and done though- Hawaii is so beautiful, and the culture of the native Hawaiians is so complex and intriguing, surviving in such extremes of nature- between volcanoes and the huge pacific. It is truly breathtaking to experience.