“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”

May 31, 2013

Before I bring you up to speed on my international adventures thus far, I should probably start where I left off in my last blog.  I wouldn’t want to leave my many loyal fans hanging.

Faye's wedding 024Most importantly, I was honored and blessed to be asked by my dear friend Faye to officiate her wedding in April.  She and now-hubby Brian flew to Hawai’i to be married on one of the most beautiful beaches on Oahu (and my personal fav), Waimanalo.  And just like that, my Lunch Ladies were together again.  For those of you that haven’t been religiously following my blog for years (and if not, why ever not, I ask you?), the LLs are a group of friends I made in my early Hawai`i years.  Faye's wedding 035We met working at the Domestic Violence Action Center and formed an ever-lasting bond over lunch every day.  Lunch quickly expanded to dinners, shopping, movies, brunches (we sure did eat a lot) and mannnnny memorable (or errrr, actually…to be quite honest, not so memorable) nights out. Heh heh.  We haven’t all been together in nearly 4 years and to be honest, I was a little apprehensive about our reunion.  Would we be the same?  Would it be forced or awkward?  I didn’t need to worry at all, as we didn’t miss a beat.  We settled right in to our old Lunch Lady ways, giggling about old times and catching up.  Faye was a gorgeous bride,

LL6and Brian was very gracious about our constant story-telling and reminiscing.  Unfortunately, this all took place during finals AND the week of the marathon, so I only got to spend 2 nights with them, which is just not enough.  As I said goodbye for the last time, I was overcome with tears.  We were all going through a very difficult time in our lives when we became friends, and they were there for me in a way that no other friends of mine have ever been.  Because of that, the bond is strong and very, very special.  Even Joe commented that we all seemed intensely happy and peaceful together.  I miss ya, girls.  I miss us.

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Maui, End of school, SW bbq 036In other news, I completed my 4th marathon!  I ran the North Shore marathon on Oahu in April, for the charity ‘Opio Haku Mo’olelo.  It was truly one of the prettiest races I’ve done, even rivaling Maui.  It was a leisurely race for me.  I didn’t race and completely took my time.  And for the first time, I had a marathon road crew!  Joe, Becky, and her boyfriend Matt set up on the course in 4 places, providing me with apple bananas, pedialite, and much-needed cheers!  It was the first time I’ve ever had anyone along the course and I have to say, it was a HUGE boost for this tired running girl.  Everytime I saw them, I got a little boost of energy and having the pedialite (my go-to savior for long races) made my recovery a piece of cake!  After every marathon I am miserably sick for at last 4-5 hours, but this time, I felt great!  It was by far the easiest time I’ve ever had running a marathon.

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Maui, End of school, SW bbq 094 I finished my 2nd year of grad school after a few anxiety-inducing weeks of finals. (a pic of my friends lamenting the Dark Lord’s final paper after hours and hours of writing). I managed somehow to maintain my 4.0, which I am very proud of.  I had a full load this entire school year: working, teaching, and going Maui, End of school, SW bbq 148to school full-time.  Not easy.  We celebrated the end of the semester social-work style with a fun beach bbq with my lil’ social work sweeties.  Though it was a  wonderfully fulfilling and busy year, I’m happy to move on.  This next year will be significantly lighter, as I only have 3 classes left (and my 2nd practicum).  I hope to be able to actually have a life!  Ahhhhh…I forget what that is even like!   I volunteered for the social work commencement ceremony and got to see some friends graduate, which was wonderful.  I’ve met so many fabulous people that it’s 

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hard to believe I won’t be seeing them in classes anymore.  In the saddest of news, 2 of my dear friends, Elliott and Megan moved back to the mainland.  Boooooooo!!!!!  (You can’t see me but I am pouting and snarling at the same time…it’s very becoming.)  As I have grumbled 
Maui, End of school, SW bbq 200about before, Hawai`i is a magically wonderful place, but it is also a transient place.  Many come and go and it gets super hard to continually say goodbye to amazing people that begin to feel like ohana.  These two will truly be missed.  You have both given me hours of endless laughter and I hope you know how fiercely you will be missed by dis’ girl.  (Megan’s goodbye hug with Steph and I, below)

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As soon as school left out, I went full-swing into Philippines preparation.  Getting a visa, buying “conservative” clothing, dry-bags, figuring out my cell phones options…all of that boring stuff.  However, all of that boring stuff seemed endless, as I was constantly adding to my to-do list instead of subtracting.  I decided on just a backpack for the trip, so I bought an Osprey 75L MONSTER pack, which I affectionately refer to as “Ogre.”  Its behemoth size aside, I believe it will be very handy when Joe and I travel for 2 weeks after my internship is over.  I filled that puppy to the BRIM and even though I look completely ridiculous with it, I like that I only have one bag to carry with me like a turtle.  🙂 With all of the preparations, I didn’t have much time to play.  Joe and I tried to spend as much time together as possible, but many times that meant him accompanying me on my many errands.  We were suuuuuper snuggly and honeymoon-y the last week.  And of course, when he dropped me at the airport, I cried.  We’ve never been apart this long and I am going to miss him desperately!  He has been so incredibly supportive about this trip.  I really am not certain I would have been as amazingly gracious.  He knows how important travel is to me (and both of us, really), but I think he also understands how deeply committed I am to helping with this particular cause.  The buying and selling of women, the abuse, the atrocities that women face all across the world (the U.S. included), just beckons to me…I have to do something.  My sweet little feminist Joe understands that somehow, which I am endlessly grateful for.  I know what a gift that is, and what a gift our relationship is.  Love you my Barrrrrrr!!!! Ok, I’m going to end there and hopefully pick back up with my Philppine update!  Until next time…

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