Rather than go on a rant about how amazing everything here is, I thought I’d try making a list of stuff I’ve done (and definitely encourage all future ASH students to do) in hopes of keeping this from being a novel.
Places to Go
fun fact: your student ID acts as a Hawaiian residence card, always ask for student prices!
1. Waikiki Aquarium and Honolulu Zoo
Overall your typical zoo and aquarium, but still awesome specimens to check out!
2. Manoa Falls Hike
Easy hike to the falls and a bit more of an adventurous incline after it.
3. Sea Life Park
They have a Wholphin! Whale+Dolphin! I’m a bit obsessed with it.
4. Halona Cove
This cove is one of the locations they used for the mermaid scene in Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides. The waves were a bit intense when we went, but we still managed to take a dip. Not to mention it is beautiful.
Things to Do
1. Hula and/or Tahitian Dance
I think I learned more Hawaiian culture, language, history and dance in my Hula classes than I ever would have in a classroom. The Hula teacher is an amazing woman who loves to share stories of her childhood and culture. I didn’t do too much Tahitian, but from what I did, it’s extremely exciting (be warned, it’s quite a workout!!).
Crystal, my roomie, and I are going to be preforming with our Hula II class this week. One of the songs is a fun take on “twas the night before Christmas” called “Christmas Luau.” Wish me luck!
2. Sunset Cruise
My amazing friend, roomie and fellow ASHer and I went on a catamaran and got to see the amazing Hawaiian sunset, Waikiki fireworks (that they have every friday), and a little Pacific Island dance showcase. Very touristy, but so much fun!
I took one outing through the leisure center on campus to Shark’s Cove and then later went to Hanauma Bay (free entry with ID). Snorkling is pretty much amazing everywhere here because the water is so clear and warm. Or, if you want to get even deeper, may I suggest…
I again took this class through the leisure center. You get SCUBA certification at the end and 3 open water dives. I got to swim beside a turtle, or honu rather, and take a peep at a sleeping shark (reef shark, they’re non-aggressive). Breathtaking out there.
5. Enjoy the Beach
Waikiki is only a bus ride away! With the sun shining nearly everyday, there is nothing more refreshing than a dip in the ocean! Go as often as possible, all your stresses wash away. I dare say the water is magical!
5. Eat Pineapple!
The pineapple here is the sweetest, juiciest, most delicious pineapple I have ever indulged in. Make it a staple in your diet.
I hope among I am inspiring you to apply for ASH or making you future ASHers even more excited to fly on over! Take every opportunity and adventure that comes your way, and there will be plenty. Enjoy every moment, because it flys by too quickly! I can’t express how amazing this adventure is and I’ll be very sad to say aloha in a few weeks.
I wish you all many amazing experiences!