Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Haunted Farms, Jobs, Tsunami Warnings, oh my!

This past week has been a whirlwind of events and emotions. Starting new jobs, while still living in the tent and semi working on the farm has been kinda crazy to say the least. For me personally I've felt really stressed out, I don't feel balanced or settled. Zach and I had a night where we talked about everything...did we make a mistake trying to move to Hawaii? Have we bitten off more than we can chew? Did we really think things through? And we came to the conclusion that it's not a mistake it's just a lot harder than we both anticipated. Of course moving somewhere new is hard and of course trying to make a life for ourselves on the island is even harder. Although, right now we feel frustrated and stressed out we know thing will get better. I pray that this beginning is the toughest part for us.

We both work at Wholefoods but at two separate stores. Mine is in east Honolulu and Zach's is in Kailua, about 15 minutes north of the farm. I'm working in the bakery/coffee bar and Zach is working in the prepared foods department. I have been working the evening shift, 2:30-11pm and I've worked 7 days straight (not my favorite) but we are both glad for the hours and money that will come. So how it's been working out is we wake up around 7:30am and try to do a little work on the farm so we are still contributing, then I get ready for work and head the bus stop by 12:30. The bus is about an hour ride and drops me off right in front of work. John is kind enough to let Zach drive his car to pick me up at 11:00 but I usually get out about 11:15, then we drive the 25 minute drive back to the farm and are in our tent and asleep around midnight.
Zach started working yesterday and it went well, he thinks he'll enjoy working in prepared foods. He has never worked with food before so he'll be learning a lot. He got to chop vegetables, cracked 500 eggs, stocked the salad bar, and helped out in the kitchen. As of right now his schedule is 11:00am-7:30pm so he is still able to pick me up. Although this current set up is not ideal we are doing our best to make it work.
Working in the bakery has been interesting, I don't feel like I received a proper training so I've been learning as I go. I basically prepare breads and pastries that need to go out on the shelves. I cut up cake slices, bake cookies, and help customers with cakes and pies. I trained a few days in the coffee/juice bar, which I enjoyed and hope to work more in that area. Luckily the store is very busy so the 8 hours go by pretty fast. We are grateful that we found jobs now we just need to find an apartment.

With our delima of working in different areas, living on the farm, and having to rely on the bus, which stops running at 10:00pm we thought it best to buy a moped with the intention of me driving it to and from work. Let's just say it's going to take me longer than we both thought to feel comfortable driving it the 16 miles. But Zach loves it and drives it all over and it does give us more independence. 

At the beginning of the month the farm decided they would host a haunted house to raise founds for the farm. It was a haunted farm theme featuring several things that we do on a daily basis, but much spookier. We had a real live chicken slaughtering section, a Black Soldier Fly maggot dinner buffet, a Mongoose petting zoo with real real Mongoose, a Bobcat Tractor gone wild, and of course a deranged chainsaw murderer. We asked for $5 donations for entrance, and the first night the farm raised over $400! The second night was more of the same, only things got really scary when the National Weather Service Tsunami warnings started going off and we were forced to close down the Haunted Farm and head for high ground. I was at work, and thankfully we got to close early that night. Zach picked me up and he said that the roads were packed with people forced to evacuate the lower coastline areas and that all the gas stations and grocery stores were packed with people trying to get last minute provisions in case the wave actually did hit and cause any damage. While he was driving the Deep Purple song "Burn" came on and it was the perfect song for that moment, driving along the coast of Hawaii, racing an approaching tsunami and the pending road closures to pick me up. We got back to the farm and talked with the other WWOOOF'ers for a bit before deciding that we felt we were safe enough and were going to bed. When we got up in the morning, turns out we were the only ones left on the island! Just kidding! Nothing really happened. The tide maybe rose an extra foot and nothing came from it thankfully. It was kinda cool to be here to experience a real tsunami warning though.

This weeks mission is to find an apartment!

Zach doing some farm work. Here he is burning an Ali Koa tree stump that is trying to grow despite our best efforts to kill it.

A picture of the two live Mongoose that we caught for the Haunted Farm. Despite not looking like much, these things are nasty and quite fierce. We didn't let anyone really pet them.

Here is Sara, doing her best Vana White with our new scooter and helmet!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tantalus Hike

We both received great news this week…we got job offers from Wholefoods!!! More about that to come later… 

On Sunday we went on an amazing hike. John took 11 of us and two dogs through the woods. We were in awe of the gigantic trees and roots that lead the way. We sloshed through mud and climbed up steep hills while grabbing on to bamboo to help us climb. Along the way we ate strawberry guavas and ferns. At one part of the hike we ended up at the crater of an old volcano and we were happily surprised to find a swing hanging from a huge tree branch, of course everyone had to take a turn and swing. At another part of the hike we came across an awesome tree, Zach decided to climb it and got up to about 30 feet above ground. At the end of the hike we came out on top of a ridge and we could see all of Moana Valley and Honolulu, Waikiki, and Diamond Head. The view was incredible. Coming back from the ridge we encountered a guy walking with a wild pig draped over his back that he had just hunted with the help of 9 hunting dogs. Wild pigs are the largest, non-native predators on the island so they have to be hunted. John was a great tour guide throughout the whole hike, he knows so much about Hawaii it’s remarkable. The hike was about a 6 miles and took up most of our Sunday, when we got back to the farm we were beat but we were glad we went!

Huge roots that lined the path

Hiking through bamboo

Up in the tree 

Us and John

Diamond Head on the right, Waikiki in the middle, and Honolulu to the left

Dead wild pig

Pali Highway lookout

 A little video clip from the hike

We are excited to see what this week brings. I will write another post soon about our jobs.

Until then…

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Month One

Well, it's been one month since we arrived in Hawaii and became a part of Nalolicious Farm.
We thought it would be appropriate to share fun/interesting facts we've learned about Hawaii for our one month mark....

It is not illegal to ride in the back of truck beds but people inside of vehicles have to ware seatbelts.
The highest speed limit on the island is 60mph and it's only on one part of the freeway.
Flip flops are called slippers.
There are stray cats everywhere.
The Pitbull is the state dog.
Weed is called paco loco and medical marijuana cards are only good for growing your own weed, not for buying it.
There are a lot of geckos and they crawl around everything.
The surf is measured from the back of the wave instead of the front, and is also measured at half of what it really is. On a 2-4ft day, the waves would actually be 4-8ft.
There is not much evening. When the sun goes down it gets dark quick.
Contrary to popular belief, the water is not as warm as bathwater. It is not cold, just not as warm as advertised.
Coconuts are a lot more work than they are worth.
The beach is our favorite past time!

This week 5 more WWOOFers joined the farm...it's getting a bit crowded.
We are really hoping we find some jobs soon.

 We went to the beach a lot this week

 Our lovely ladder stairs to our tent

 Twitch watching Zach battle a coconut
{yes that's a hatchet}

 The best part of Zach's week--manning the bobcat

Monday, October 8, 2012

First Visitors!!

The best part of this past week was having Princess, Peter, and Becky on the island! Of course Princess and Peter (they are on a US road trip) had to visit the 50th state, and luckily Becky also got to come. I wish we had an apartment already so they could have stayed with us but I’m so glad I got to see them! Unfortunately, I have been sick for the past few days so I only got to see them Friday evening and Sunday afternoon. 
Friday night was quite the adventure. We went with a few other WWOOFers to Honolulu and then met up with Princess, Peter, and Becky. There was an event going on called First Friday, it takes place every first Friday of the month and streets are closed off, live music is played, and art galleries are open to browse through. It sounded fun but our night led us to an “underground” art studio were poetry was supposedly being read, ukuleles were being played, and various other acts. When we got there nothing was going on, they were still setting things up. Finally things started and the first act was an excerpt reading from an author’s book…it was weird and we decided to bail. Luckily, we got John’s car to drive back so we dropped P,P, & B off at their hotel and then headed back to the farm, it was way past our bed time and I felt sick. 
 On Saturday I laid on the couch wrapped up in my sleep bag all day. 
On Sunday morning we were suppose to go snorkeling with Princess, Peter, and Becky but I still wasn’t feeling good. But later in the afternoon we met up with them, we got shaved ice, went to Waimanalo beach, showed them around the farm, then drove them to the bus stop and said good-bye. It was a great afternoon and I’m so grateful I got to spend time with them and that we had our first set of visitors! 

We are still on the job search; I didn’t get that receptionist position…I honestly didn’t think it would take this long to find jobs. But we keep reminding ourselves that we need to be patient and proactive. 

At the artsy studio

Shaved ice

Waimanalo beach