14th March 2015: Manoa Falls & Waikiki
Started off my day right with a bowl of oats, topped with sliced bananas, raw cacao nibs and goji berries. Hmm.. We began our day trip to Manoa Falls Trail. Before we knew it, we were surrounded by a pristine rainforest and tropical bamboo shoots. The gravel guides you from the start of the trail into dense greenery. Only a 2.6 km/1.6 miles walk to and fro – easy peasy! I’ll be honest, the whole build up to a “waterfall” was slightly disappointing as there were only trickles of water. Nonetheless, it was still a great place to visit 🙂 I think the best part of it all is walking through the thick rainforest and simply being consumed by the beauty and serenity of nature. We often go by our days so quickly as if we are in a race and, forgetting to live. My papa always said to my sister and I – Life is about the journey, not the destination 🙂
Listen to Lilo & Stitch’s song “Aloha E Komo Mai”. It truly captures the meaning of Aloha!
Now you can see nothing but these clear blue skies
Love it has found you and when it surrounds you its just like paradise
Now the door has swung right open, now your heart has taken wing
Feel that magic in the air, oh hear your spirit sing
You’ll find the place where you belong
Ohana…a family to call your own,
Where you feel at home
After Manoa Falls, we headed to Waikiki – the city of Honolulu. It was a big change from where we were living. Waikiki consisted of high-rised buildings, shops and restaurants all over and musicians basking away from sunrise to sunset. The energy in Waikiki was so vibrant and lively! People were street shopping, chatting away, suntanning, surfing, bodyboarding, paddle boarding and playing the ukelele. It was so cool seeing the locals greet each other with the “shaka” – the symbol of aloha and local culture in Hawaii of “island style”.
It seems like a surfer thing to do but it’s actually used wherever, whenever and almost to whoever. When you want to thank someone, say hello or goodbye or simply spread a little aloha spirit to the world 😉 The “shaka” sign is found even on billboards and political ads, it’s the glue that unites surfers from all around the world. Even two complete strangers can connect quickly over a “shaka” because it basically says ‘We are of the same tribe and I’ve your back! We are ohana, we are family’.
In Hawaii, you would also often see drivers giving the “shaka” sign on the road to say hello or thank you. The “shaka” actually means “hang loose” or “right on”. It’s a reminder to the local Hawaiians not to worry too much. Especially with a bit of love and gratitude, everything will be just alright. Something I think a lot of us could embody into our lives. Sometimes all you gotta do is breathe, let go and trust the process 🙂
It’s very similar to the Australian egalitarian culture of mateship and optimism. Everyone’s a mate, whether you are acquaintances or friends. It’s about building & strengthening relationships and telling your mates that even in the toughest of times, there will be unconditional support (okay, so maybe not exactly literally but you get the gist right?). Aussies frequently say ‘she’ll be right, mate’ or ‘she’ll be apples, mate’ – meaning no worries, have fun, everything will work out.
So, back to the essence of the Hawaiian “shaka” and aloha spirit, will rushing our lives really complete tasks faster? Will worrying change the present? To everyone who’s reading this, let’s embrace the true concept of aloha and join the synergistic energy of Hawaii together! 😀
Let’s get this right – it’s not a “rock on” signal! First, make a fist with your hand. Extend the thumb and pinky while keeping the middle fingers curled under.
We clearly needed a time to recuperate from exchange college life because once we found a place to settle on the beach, we basically collapsed into a very deep sleep coma and nearly got very sunburnt haha The evening remained very relaxed and mellow (in a good way), just as intended 🙂 Oh, and today was a special day too – it was Michael’s 22nd birthday! hahahha.. Sleep tight!