In order to fully immerse myself in the culture of island life, I appropriately adopted the island pace (well demonstrated by my lack of updates this past week). I am now back on the mainland, so perhaps a bit closer to reality... well as close as I would like to get anyways. My last couple of days at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park were a lot of fun. All the Park Rangers I had the opportunity to work with were very accommodating and more than happy to share their knowledge as we explored the park. It was evident they love what they do. And how couldn't you - the majority of time is spent outside, the people are kind and enjoy being there, and the landscape is incredible with a vastness that is difficult for your eyes to grasp. Ian says that he could see himself as a Park Ranger for a time being in the future, I concur.
I was first emailed by Tammy in October 2007 about the possibility of doing a couple of One Week Jobs in Hawaii. I am happy that she did. I had a great time and am really glad that I went.
Recently, Tammy once again set her sights on pursuing her passions in life. After ignoring them for sometime, she could not be happier she did and credits it to listening to herself. Tammy heard about One Week Job and felt inspired to get involved. One of the reasons she wanted to bring me to Hawaii was that she believes the project symbolizes an important message she wanted Hawaiian youth to hear. As a result, she organized several talks at High Schools in the area.
As the presentations progressed, I felt that I got more comfortable. I thought back to when I was working with Eric Chester, the motivational speaker in Week 44. He had said that the platform is a privilege and you better be giving them something useful. A few times during one of my talks, I thought, "Are they really listening? How can I get through to them? Is all that I am saying trite and just a bunch of rhetoric?"
Sometimes it's difficult to gauge at that age. It's a sea of blank faces staring back at you, though when I finished, many would often come up to meet me and ask more questions. As Tammy said, "when it comes time to make big decisions in their life, if only one in each class remembers your talk and is inspired not to settle, then it was worth it." I sure hope so.