In celebration of our incredible 2017 Alumni, this fall we are featuring student reflections on our blog. The following reflection was written by Lucia Donayre, a participant on our Hawaii: Aloha ‘Aina Program. Throughout the program, Lucia showed herself to be thoughtful and hard-working, leading by example and inspiring her fellow group members to strive for success. I am sure that her group will never forget the lucky day she serenaded them with her ukulele, accompanied by the sound of ocean waves.
After the program, Lucia took some time to reflect on her summer experience in Hawaii. Scroll down to read her poetic reflection on teamwork, joy, friendship, and stepping out of her comfort zone.
It’s Not Easy to Forget Paradise
It would be the last day we spend on Kauai,
And we were already nostalgic of the waves that
lulled us to sleep.
We woke up to a fast breakfast,
and our fatigued but sane bodies
got ready for a boat ride around the
I clearly thought of this
Boat ride too lightly.
We all went on Vanessa,
Our trusty white van we had taken
to Tiki Tacos and
The Waipā Foundation for island restoration.
Most just fell asleep,
But those who didn’t got to experience
The most beautiful sunrise.
It was all a mix of purple, yellow and
orange hues that will never be erased
off my mind.
The van stopped and we got to our exit to
the cinematically known Nāpali Coast.
I ate a granola bar to finally wake up
and we made our way to the dock.
I can easily say that this boat ride
was the most fun.
It jumped and took all the passengers
in the air.
My smile was so wide it reached my ears.
My hair was brushed back by the air
and I could later feel the finest salt in it.
When night fell under the Hawaiian sky,
We knew it was time for Poet’s Campfire.
The campfire was replaced by little
solar powered lamps.
It was enough.
I sang the song “The Moon Song”
With my ukulele, and dedicated it to this trip
and all of our memories and lessons we would
Keep forever close to our hearts.
That song will always remind me of the
Overwhelming starred sky and the moon that
Peeked through the tent window every rainy night.
I thoroughly enjoyed each of the pieces
We got our towels out of our suitcases,
which were barely done,
and laid by the Ocean to read the stories
the stars were eager to tell.
All nine of us,
just admired everything
we had just experienced days before:
from the chickens that crowed
“Good morning” every day in Maui,
the afternoons relaxing in the beach,
the taro we cleaned and helped plant,
the snail eggs we crushed,
and all the songs we sang.
Looking back on this experience,
my eyes start to water.
Missing the incredible weather,
the incredible people,
the unmatchable culture.
I am amazingly lucky to have made
to go to this trip
without any expectations
and meet nine people that would
laugh with me,
think of me as that “one friend from Mexico”.
I am immensely grateful for
having the chance of getting to know
Who would be the most fun
while still giving off a sense of authority.
I know I will never forget this
It has taught me that:
People do most things because they are passionate about them.
Good intentions come from the heart.
You can learn from anyone.
Local is better, always.
Small actions originate big change.
My heart will never grow apart from loving and admiring everyone I met.
I will forever feel nostalgic about this little set of islands in the middle of
the Pacific Ocean that everyone tends to call paradise.