They’re here! Our new ASH students have arrived for Fall Semester 2011 and are raring to go. Many have visited the islands before on vacations, and the siren call of warm waters, bright sunshine, and lush mountain sides was too much to ignore. They have now returned to study at UH and enjoy the beauty and aloha spirit of Hawai‘i.
On Sunday, our mini-tour of Oahu took us through the center of town, across the Pali (cliffs) to the Windward side, around the coastal East Ring, and then back to the university. Of all the sites, my favorite is the Halona Beach Cove. It’s gorgeous, and I never get tired of looking at it. The famous kiss-on-the-beach-scene from the 1953 movie, “From Here to Eternity” was filmed there. But it’s the color of the water, the waves crashing on the beach, the wind in my hair, and the interesting curvature of the rocks that does it for me, not the Hollywood history. Of course Hana‘uma Bay is also breathtaking, and most of the students have planned to return here at soon as possible for snorkeling, swimming, and relaxing.
Classes began yesterday, and the buzz on campus is infectious. Everyone is excited with the anticipation of a new year and new adventures. In the ASH program we have geology, psychology, anthropology, dance, biology, digital media, and animal sciences majors. Our other students have not yet declared a major but have enrolled in classes as diverse as architecture, painting, and hula.
Every semester I am excited to be a part of this study away program as the new students arrive and begin to soak up the one-of-a-kind place that is the University of Hawaii and the Hawaiian Islands.