Ka ʻElele Leo ʻOle

Aloha mai e nā maka heluhelu, nā ʻohana, a me nā hoa i nui ke aloha iā Hōlanikū. Ke kokoke nei ka pau ʻana o kēia huakaʻi. ʻEhā wale nō pule i koe! ʻO ka hapa nui o kaʻu mau puke hoʻomanaʻo, ua kālele ʻia ma luna o ka hana. No nā pule i koe, e kākau ana au e pili ana i ka nohona i Hōlanikū. ʻO ke kumuhana o kēia pule, ʻo ia ka loaʻa ʻana mai o nā lekauila mai nā hoa a me ka ʻohana. ʻO ka lekauila wale nō ka mea e launa ai mākou me ka poʻe i waho o Hōlanikū. No laila, he mea nui ia iā mākou. ʻO ka lekauila kekahi mea e lana ai ko mākou naʻau. I ka hapa nui o ka nohona i ʻaneʻi, ʻaʻole loaʻa iā mākou nā lekauila, a kali nō mākou i mau pule. Hiki ke kaumaha. Hiki ke huikau. Manaʻo mākou iā mākou iho, “Noʻu ka hewa?” Eia naʻe, ke loaʻa mai ka lekauila, piha mākou i ka hauʻoli. I ke kali ʻana, ua ʻike au i mau mea e pili ana i koʻu ola ponoʻī. I kēia noho kaʻawale ʻana, ua hoʻoikaika ʻia nā pilina me nā hoa a me koʻu ʻohana. Ua nui aʻe koʻu aloha a me ka mahalo i koʻu mau mea aloha. Nui ke aʻo i ʻaneʻi.

Howzit gangeh. Can you believe we have only 4 weeks left?! It feels like not too long ago I had first set foot on Hōlanikū’s bright, sandy shore after a week at sea on the Kahana. For these last few weeks, I have decided to focus on writing more about the camp life here. This week is about the way we communicate with people outside our little world in Hōlanikū. If you do not already know, we are on a super remote island. Cell phones are of no use here. There is no internet. We do not even get snail mail. We are totally off the grid. Fortunately, we do have a satellite phone which can receive emails. However, there are rules that we must abide by. All emails go into one shared account. So, the subject title must have our name somewhere or else that email is pretty much up for grabs. Also, we cannot send or receive pictures or attachments and the emails cannot be long either. With limitations, it is important that we follow these rules ʻcause there is nothing more disappointing than finding out you got an email, but it is too big that it is inaccessible. What a tease!

Going further into detail…we do [use the satellite phone to] send and receive emails every morning and evening. These emails are the only reason why I even wake up early to eat breakfast. Every morning at breakfast and every evening after dinner, we all wait anxiously in the camp house to find out whether we got any emails or not. Eryn or Andy take note of how many emails were sending, how much we are receiving, and how long the whole [phone call] takes. Meanwhile, headlamps are on, books are open, and hearts are racing with excitement. The waiting game can drag along for a while. First, Eryn or Andy will tell us the number of emails we are receiving. Once they announce the number of emails, there are high hopes as everyone puts in their guess on who is going to receive an email. Time goes by…still waiting. Sometimes the system shuts down and they must start over again. The anticipation gets stronger. A moment later, they announce the winners and kindly allow them to claim their prize. I do not know how to explain the level of stokeness when I receive an email. I have a small group of people that I have kept in contact throughout the season. For one, I like being off the grid, just focusing on life here. Second, rather than constantly repeating myself, I have designated a person (my mom) to share everything with everyone else back home.

There are times when we, as a team, did not receive any personal emails for a week or more. Individually, we have waited two weeks up to a couple months to receive an email from a certain person or anyone at all. For some, we have only heard from people maybe once or twice throughout the season. I am going to be real with you. The waiting game SUCKS! Waiting, especially while being isolated, does influence us. First, we are sad to not hear from anyone. Cannot help but wonder, “Do they even care?” Then it leads to questioning ourselves, “Did I say or do something wrong?” Or we get worried that something might have happened.

Some of us have had our streaks where we would get multiple emails for a few days. After a week, that streak would end and then it goes back to “silence,” allowing someone else to be on a roll. In the end, we lose hope and come to accept that we just will not be receiving anything. I understand that our selection of people are busy, but brah, they do not really know how much this way of communication affects us. Just like my inbox, I, too, feel empty. Out of all people, we chose to contact these specific ones because of the certain roles they play in our lives. If they do not already know how important they are to us, well they do now.

To be honest, I had no plans of contacting anyone while I was out here. I told friends and ʻohana that they would probably hear from me once or twice a month. I just wanted to be off the grid and cut ties with everything and everyone that connected me to a crazy world that I left behind. However, throughout the season, I have come to realize many things and have been spending a huge amount of time reflecting on my life. In isolation, I thought about people and the specific roles they each played in my life. After a while, I realized that I could not maintain this distance much longer. I wanted to be reconnected. From emailing just my mom and a dear friend, my contact list slowly grew over the course of a few months. Although I have only contacted a small amount of people, those are the ones that I knew I had to send some aloha – because of their importance to me. I am grateful to receive anything from them – mele to jam to, words of encouragement, stories of adventures, updates on family, etc. I am happy to not only keep updated with their lives, but to share my experience with them as well.

Throughout this experience, I learned that I have been taking things for granted. I had not realized the importance of communicating with others, especially my loved ones. Ways of communication has changed over the years – from letters to phones, from talking to texting. I am guilty of preferring to text rather than speak on the phone. Now, emails mean something different than what they used to be. Emails and letters are silent messengers. With this silent messenger, I began to miss the sound of the voices of my loved ones. I listened to old voicemails and watched videos just to hear their voices. When I read their emails, I try to picture them speaking those very words. As I continue to learn through my experience, my love and appreciation continues to grow for my loved ones. Brah, this trip has been heavyyyyy. But I will tell you now, I will no longer take the ability to communicate with others for granted. Haʻo nui ʻia ʻoukou pākahi!

  Mahalo a nui no ka heluhelu ʻana. Eia nā ʻōlelo noʻeau o kēia pule:

“Ka ʻelele leo ʻole o ke aloha” (The voiceless messenger of love). A letter bearing words of love and cheer -Ka Puke ʻŌlelo Noʻeau a Pākuʻi #1284

“Kū a keʻokeʻo; ʻaʻohe i hōʻea mai” (Have stood until bleached white; no one came). Said of a long, hopeless wait -Ka Puke ʻŌlelo Noʻeau a Pākuʻi #1857

Naʻu,

Aulani

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