Category Archives: Student Posts

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A New Perspective

Coming to Hawaii has given me a new perspective on college, life, and culture. I’ve lived in Massachusetts my whole life, and escaped to nearby Rhode Island for college at Roger Williams University. Needless to say, I’m used to that east coast lifestyle – go, go, go; efficiency, efficiency, efficiency. Here in Hawaii, everyone is very laid back and slow, a very different lifestyle. This is one of the biggest things I’ve noticed about the culture here.

It surely is a different environment for me in several different ways. One of the most obvious being the warm climate, but also a huge mix of people from so many different backgrounds. Coming from a college that is 97% white, it is a big change, but a good one. I have really enjoyed learning about the different cultures that coexist here, especially the Hawaiian culture.

Being an RA here has given me a little bit of an inside look at Hawaiian culture. During RA training we have done several sessions on culture and diversity. We all submitted private questions that we had about each other – about hawaiians, mainlanders, and international students. One of the questions gave insight to why so many local students go home on the weekends here – to help out their families, do laundry, etc. Hawaiians are very family oriented people.

I think I may be one of the first, if not THE first, semester only student to become an RA here at UH. It has been an interesting journey. Being an RA here has allowed me to meet a lot of really cool, really nice people. It has given me the chance to speak with a lot of local people here at many of the other RA’s are from Hawaii. However, being an RA here is a lot of work; more work than being an RA at Roger Williams University. But the benefits are good – free room and board and a weekly stipend.

Now the good stuff – the island. The beaches here are great. So far I’ve been able to explore a lot of the island going to Waikiki of course, Waimea Bay and Turtle Bay (the resort) on the North Shore, as well as many of the beaches on the eastern shore.

My friends and I also had the chance to visit the island of Kauai. I must say, Kauai is absolutely gorgeous. Its a lot different than Oahu, most of it is like a jungle. Many films, like Jurassic park, have been filmed there. We had the chance to hike down the beautiful Na Pali coast which led us to a beautiful beach with virtually no one on it. We also had the chance to swim up to a huge waterfall and jump off another waterfall that was about 30 feet high.

We spend most weekends going to the beach, usually ones that are over an hour bus ride away. We’ve moved on from Waikiki beaches and the touristy areas. I’d say we usually go to the beach between 2-4 times per week which is pretty nice. If we have time, we’ll head over to Ala Moana beach park during the weekdays after classes to relax. Ala Moana provides a peaceful environment with a very calm bay to swim in. Mostly locals are at this beach as opposed to the beaches in Waikiki.

We’ve been able to see a lot of really cool sea creatures while snorkeling as well. We’ve swam with sea turtles, tons of tropical fish. I’ve also seen a couple eels and a shark (a small friendly one!)

All three of us (myself, Kenny, and Keith from RWU) are now scuba certified. Kenny and I finished our scuba class a couple weeks ago and are excited to go on a dive trip.

This weekend, we’re going to Maui and I’m really excited. This trip is going to be more relaxing than anything else. We also have plans to visit the Big Island in the beginning of December. I’ll keep you posted!


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Photo Blog

Hawaii so far in a few photos….

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FIVE-O!

Aloha! Maya here, Haverford College class of 2012 and Semester in Hawai’i student for fall 2010! We’ve only been here three weeks or so, but Hawai’i already feels like home. Every day has been a new adventure, and it has been such a gift to live in such a beautiful place. An example of a great adventure:

Last night was the premiere of the re-make of “Hawaii Five-O,” screened in Kapiolani Park on Waikiki Beach. And yes, this picture is real:

That’s right! That IS me with Daniel Dae Kim, STAR of “Hawaii Five-0” and “Lost” AND Haverford College class of 1990!! Haverford, being a school of only 1200, is very proud of our small number of celebrities, and so I simply had to get a picture with him at this premiere!

I can’t say it was easy to get to this point. We were already running late when we missed our no. 4 bus to Waikiki. I was sitting at the bus with the other Haverford kids (Rudy, Isaac and Aubrey), feeling sad that we had to wait for the next one, when we get a call from the one and only ANNA WOMACK, program director of A Semester in Hawai’i and woman extraordinaire! She had just driven by our sad faces at the bus stop, and was now offering us a ride! Honestly, and I’m not just saying this because this is the program blog, but Anna is REALLY the best.

By the time we got to the premiere, every man, woman, child and tourist on the island of O’ahu was on that beach, trying to get a good spot to watch the premiere. I ended up watching behind the screen where there was more room, and where I knew the VIPs and celebrities had to pass to make their way out. After the show, (which was AWESOME, by the way), I yelled out to Daniel Dae Kim saying “DANIEL! I’m a Haverford Student! Please can I get a picture with you?” He was nice enough to stop and say cheese.

Overall, it was a great night and a wonderful experience! And what a catchy theme song!