There we go again! Why volunteer work and not just hang out at the beach and enjoy the art of doing nothing?
Because it’s boring! It’s so damn boring to hang out at a beach and relax. You can do it anywhere. I feel like volunteering gets me to experience the country in a different way- it kind of makes me feel like I would actually live there and experience it to be my home. So why not feel home in Hawaii?
I woke up in the plane, a friendly stewardess smiling at me with a pink Hibiscus flower in her hair. I did not feel like smiling, as I was still a bit hung over from Vegas, but I tried my best to move up the corners of my mouth a little. I had to change flights from Honolulu to Hilo– the airport of the “Big Island”.
Yeah that’s the name of the southernmost Hawaiian island. It is the only island with active volcanism on it and it is continuously getting bigger. Just imagine those massive lava flows starting deep down in the center of our earth to then slowly bubble out on the Big Island of Hawaii. Amazing, huh?
I got off the plane in Hilo and walked towards a really tiny street surrounded by palm trees. There was noone at the airport- I guess I had slept in the plane for too long, but seriously – it seemed to be only me walking out of the airport towards the palm trees. Hawaiian music was playing through some speakers and I sat on the ground to wait for my driver to pick me up.
A pickup truck was approaching and a guy that looked like Jack Sparrow parked the car and was walking towards me.
“Yeah- I am being picked up by a pirate!” I told him.
“Arrrr- that’s me!” he replied laughing.
He threw my backpack in the truck and we drove off listening to Kid Cudi. Our hair was blowing in the wind and my hands were out of the window playing with the air- I was happy. After about 30 minutes we arrived at my new to be home: Hedonisia Hawaii, an eco hostel located in Puna/ Pahoa right on top of an old volcanic crater.
The property was huge and surrounded by big banana, papaya and avocado trees. Little tiny wooden cabins were scattered all over the large green meadow and a few chicken and two cats were running around the place. The main house was a wooden barn with an outdoor kitchen and living room.
When you walked a bit further you could see the ocean below.
I loved this place.
I got out of the car and met my new travel family for the next few weeks:
Mojo– the owner of the place. A funny guy, who was always laughing and had the best stories to tell.
Linda– his sweet girlfriend who was always happy.
Joe– A guy who could play music with glass bottles and had the biggest grin you could imagine.
Keyana– a girl with an amazing accent I could never understand and her boyfriend, who had once taken too much LSD and had survived a jump off a twenty meter cliff (no water below).
Patrick– a former body builder and cancer survivor who soon taught me all about health organic food.
Jeff and Darby– a couple that had run away from America hiding from their families on Hawaii.
James– an English guy who loves to take pictures of flowers 😋
Hans– a 40-year-old German dude who spoke a funny English and repaired everything on the property.
Jeremy– The Pirate.
My sleeping place was a tent in the barn, right in the indoor living room, but no-one used it because the outdoor living room was way more exciting. My work consisted of gardening, weeding the baby pineapple plants, cleaning the kitchen and feeding the chicken.
It was three hours a day– the rest was free time. I guessed I could live with that.
By the time the sun went down the pirate handed me a freshly chopped coconut filled with rum inside. I was taught how to chop them open with a machete and then use stems of the papaya leafs as a straw.
Falling asleep in my tent later I could hear the frogs singing outside.
“The next months were going to be amazing”, I thought whilst falling asleep.