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Today, a bunch of us went to Hilo. I was told it wasn't a very charming city and really just a place to shop, so I didn't take my camera. Boy, was I sorry about that!Our first stop was the downtown area along the bay. A large farmer's market sold produce, jewelry, clothing and gifts, so I pretty much finished my Christmas shopping!I loved seeing the Hawaiian Christmas decorations and hearing my favorite carols as I shopped. I drank iced liliquoi (passion fruit) juice and admired the exotic products for sale, from strawberry papayas to red cuttlefish legs and olive cake. While I was walking around, I ran into the lady who sat in front of me on the bus to Pahoa. She remembered me and asked how my shopping had gone.
Later, I went to the mall and was lucky enough to catch a Christmas hula show! The dancers wore tinsel leis and performed both traditional hulas and hulas set to contemporary Christmas carols. Of course, I didn’t have my camera, so you’ll just have to take my word on the fact that it was a beautiful event..
Dinner was Ethiopian food. It’s not my favorite, but it tasted pretty authentic.
Later, I watched The Nightmare before Christmas with some people, then went in the hot tub. As we floated around, I realized that I’ve already been here 2 weeks, and only have 2 ½ weeks to go. If it weren’t for Christmas, I’d want to extend my stay for another month or so. I feel like you need at least a few months to get the full Kalani experience. People are just getting used to me, and there are so many classes I still want to take and places to explore on the island.
Very hectic a.m. shift, during which we prepared all three of today’s meals. In the evening, there’s a kitchen staff party, so the other departments will fill in with the serving while we all spend time together. Before heading to the party, Christoph and I watched Running with Scissors. It was way funnier than the very depressing and confusing book.
After the movie, Mitsu and I walked up to the Field of Dreams, where the kitchen party was in full swing. There was music and people ate grilled veggies and steak, then danced a bit.
After a couple of hours, I left the kitchen party and went to the sweat lodge for a women’s gathering in honor of the new moon. We sat in a circle inside the sweat lodge (which was thankfully not heated) and introduced ourselves to each other, then placed intentions in the center of the circle, which was full of candles.