Monday, November 15, 2010

Living in Hawaii So Far

So we've been living here in Hawaii for about two and a half months now. It has been a ginormous adjustment. But most of the challenges we've had to deal with would be challenges no matter where we moved.

Par for the course, moving is hard.

Leaving behind friends is the biggest challenge, for myself as well as my children. But my kids seem to be doing okay, as well as can be expected considering they've only been here for a couple months. As with all things time will help.

Isolation is definitely a huge aspect of such a relocation. All of our friends and family are so far away that I do truly feel cut off from my old life. The time zone doesn't help matters. Suddenly I'll feel like I need to talk to someone only to realize that with the time difference it would be terribly inconvenient for me to call right then. Days will go by and missed opportunities, and that in itself is sad.

Life here is beautiful though. There is sun everyday. Really hot sun. And the ocean is always cool and refreshing. With Thanksgiving approaching it is bizarre for it to still be in the high 80s. It's really weird, it just doesn't feel like Thanksgiving. It feels like summer break. I think the holidays will be a new challenge for the kids, I think they will be missing noisy extended family celebrations... (and how on earth will I cook a turkey for six hours in this heat?)

With all this isolation comes a new closeness in our family. All we have is each other and so we spend more quality time together, exploring our island and just being together. It's really nice. I have such a wonderful family. I am truly blessed.

Being haole is not necessarily an easy thing. Sometimes it's a non-issue and then other times it is uncomfortably obvious that we are outsiders. I love Hawaiians. I love their sense of ohana and their fierce self worth (only the Hawaiian way is right). I love the way they speak, even though I can only catch every third word or so. Sometimes I truly feel like a foreigner.

The beaches are amazing here. We have been exploring the waters on all sides of Oahu. The ocean has become our playground. Surfing and paddle boarding and snorkeling are our favorite pass times. I love the way my children have already gained a new appreciation for the ocean and the creatures that live there. And how so easily they've become comfortable in the sea. This is what I've always wanted, an ocean lifestyle. I look forward to our mastery of spear fishing and shore fishing. (Although I'd much rather capture them on film.) I hope to learn to surf with grace. I hope to find a cute little house somewhere a little cooler than Kapolei and slowly renovate it inside and out. And to garden, oh to garden, here where everything grows and it's summer forever.