Mount Tantalus / Day 23 of 365

Late blog post! Cory and I went driving around Mount Tantalus a couple weeks ago. I was emptying my camera into my computer and noticed that I never posted these photos! It was so beautiful and breezy up there. Sorry about the blurry photos! D:

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Hiking at Waimano Valley / Day 22 of 365

Today I went out hiking with Sarah and Kevin at Waimano Valley!

It was a pretty quick 2 hour hike. The mountains were full of rain and clouds but the trees kept us dry. It was nice to have some cloud coverage; Hawaii has been really hot lately. There were 4 or 5 caves along the trail that were pretty cool to look at. They just went alongside the trail for about 100 feet each time. No idea why they exist.

Overall, it was a nice time to get away and spend some time with friends and the trees. No big fancy words today, just a few pictures. Hope you are all having a wonderful start to your week!

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Nine Years [in pictures]

Lately many of my friends on Facebook have been posting throwback images. I wanted to join in the game by tossing out a picture every year for the last nine years. It’s hard to believe that I started taking pictures almost ten years ago. While each image is taken at a different time of the year, I feel each one summarizes how I looked for that year.

Around 2006, I got a perm and grew out my hair. As the curls faded, I kept the long shaggy look. In 2009, I started doing stuff with my hair again and cleaned it up. I cut it to half of its length and kept a shorter look. Even after the perm was gone my bangs went crazy. Then in 2012 I, for reasons unbeknownst to me, started pulling my hair back. I wore it that way until I got it shaved in 2013. Slowly its come back but it’s been a long process.

What’s interesting is the length of my hair seems to correspond with how open I was. In 2008, I was really shy and awkward. My ears stuck straight out and I covered them with hair. As I got used to them, I cut my hair shorter and shorter. Now I’m less shy and more social. I don’t know if they correspond with each other but it’s interesting to think about.

Also my chubby cheeks faded away and my face narrowed. My face looks oval now because I no longer cover my forehead with hair. I think my eyebrows look like they point higher in the center now (like a reverse angry face). If I spent more time looking, I’m sure I could find images that would be better for a comparison.

Anyways, if you have the time, you should sit down and gather old photos. It’s interesting to see how you’ve physically changed over the years. Putting them side-by-side gives you the opportunity to directly compare how you’ve changed. It’s a fun way to see how you have been marked by time. Who knows what we’ll look like in five or ten years. Maybe then we’ll have to do this again and see how we’ve changed!

Dorm Room #2

While these aren’t fantastic pictures, they’re the first ones I’ve done in months. Occasionally the light hits in a certain way and I can’t stop looking at it. The camera doesn’t capture it perfectly but I felt the need to try and show a piece of it here.

This is where I live now. It’s a small dorm but it’s what I call home. White walls give it a blank feeling, something you can fill in with whatever you want. I covered my walls in maps and my shelves are filled with books. It’s simple and reflects who I am.

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Abandoned Paper Factory; Ea, Basque Country, Spain

There was an abandoned paper plant in the city where I lived in Spain. The buildings were so old that the plants had overtaken and stripped the walls down to stone. The people in the village had grown with the factory and did not see its beauty.

On my first year, I explored and took many pictures. These ones are all unedited and directly off my hard drive. If I ever go back, I think I’ll camp and live there. At the front of that creek is a giant dam and I took pictures with it during my second year. Looking back, it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.

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4/31 Blogtober

 

Traveling in Basque Country: Ea

04561 The festivals in Euskadi are crazy, I’ve written about them before and I’ll share more of them (and other travels) as I dig deeper into my hard-drive. Over the past few months I’ve realized that I have a lot of material that I haven’t shared yet, so over the course of the these next few months, I will be posting more articles on the places I’ve been to.

In Ea, friends of mine wrote and practiced music they would perform in their own village for a fiesta. These people are very prideful of their heritage, so naturally they sang in Basque, instead of Spanish. Last year I posted a video of them practicing, and I guess it’s time that I share the video of them performing.

IMG_2683The Basque people are beautiful because the pride they have for their people. They’re connected to their roots and understand the traditions of the people who came before them. Fifty years ago, speaking or writing Basque was illegal under Spanish law. Books and other Basque material were destroyed by these unfair rules. Its people maintained the language and kept the culture alive.

During WWII, Spain’s ruler bombed its own innocent population (see Picasso’s “Guernica“) in the city of Gernika. If you go there today, you’ll see that the entire city is new – that’s because it was destroyed almost 80 years ago. Everything was rebuilt since then, and the city stands once again.

The city grows as a testament that the Basque people are both resilient and strong. Many people don’t know about the attack during WWII or the persecution of Basques. That is why it is amazing to visit them. Their sense of pride and heritage is so different from the US.

IMG_2705 IMG_2615 The first country I traveled alone to was Basque Country, and I will never forget the hospitality they had for me. Going to Ea I had no idea that I would come back again, nor did I ever realize the impact it would have on my life.

I think another traveler I met summed up Basque Country pretty well; “You never have to worry about violence at the parties here. They’re kind and you’ll never see a bar fight. In fact, when they’re drunk, you’re more likely to get kissed by a Basque than punched in the face.”

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IMG_2642This fiesta lasted all day and consisted of an entire village of people dancing in the center of town. At night, my friends sang while everyone and their brother came out to watch. They all got together to celebrate life and where they came from.

IMG_2732Everywhere you go, you experience a different culture and a new set of people. When I went to Basque Country, I experienced a sense of community and passion for heritage. I learned of the trials of their people and the celebrations they have to honor their history. In short; we drank, we danced to ska, we ran around the town in our underwear, and I learned the joys of community.

If you ever have the opportunity to visit Basque Country, go!

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