• Hawaiian Summer Camp

    Hiking in Haleakala National Park

    In which I hike 7 miles in 6 hours with 1 water bottle. Not one of my smarter decisions. You know how I recently updated my header tagline to read “travel, tea, misadventures”? This is a misadventure. Back in early March, I found myself with a weekend off from farm work and nothing to do. Another woman working at Hana Farms, let’s call her Alaska (because prior to arriving on Maui, she was living in Alaska), also had the weekend off and suggested we use our free time to go camping and hiking in Haleakala National Park. We had heard from the other farmies that the cool thing to do…

  • Close to Home,  Tea Tuesday

    Tea Tuesday: Home From Hawai’i

    You may have noticed on the sidebar that my current location has changed. This time last week, E and I said our goodbyes to Maui, and returned to New England. It was an interesting first week back: Monday night we slept on a beach in Hawai’i, Tuesday night we slept on a bench in the San Diego airport, and Wednesday night, after more than 24 hours of traveling, we slept in a bed at E’s parents’ house in New Hampshire. It was our first time sleeping in a real bed in two months! After just one day of recovering from our jet lag, we were off again! Luckily, we were…

  • Hawaiian Summer Camp

    Apparently, I’m an optimist

    I think it’s time for a little meta-blogging. By which I mean, this post is about blogging and also my feelings, but don’t let that scare you away because it also includes funny anecdotes! While this is a travel blog, not a personal blog, I can write about no one’s experiences but my own, and I hope you find the narrative of my life mildly interesting. Two weeks ago, a friend commented on my post about how Krakow was a turning point when I was backpacking Europe. She said: “Nice to hear about the real feelings… you are usually so upbeat that the tough times make you seem more approachable.…

  • Hawaiian Summer Camp,  Tea Tuesday

    Tea Tuesday: Mamaki Tea

    Remember this plant? The one that’s growing in the tea garden, and I took a nice photo of, but didn’t know its name, but I liked the photo, so I still put it on the internet in a previous blog post? It turns out this is Mamaki, a plant that is only native to Hawai’i and is known for its medicinal qualities. Mamaki is commonly made into a cleansing herbal tea, which is good for digestion and general relaxation. (That sounds like code for “a laxative that will get you high,” but it’s not.) I was told by some of the other farmies (folks who work here) that just a…

  • Hawaiian Summer Camp

    One Month in “Paradise”

    Thursday marked one month that E and I have been living and working on Maui. He works at the farm stand selling banana bread that’s baked fresh every morning. I work in the kitchen making candy and hot sauces that we also sell at the stand. We both work in the vegetable garden and around the rest of the property, pulling weeds, clearing space for more beds, spreading mulch. We sleep and store our things in a cabin without electricity. One of the farm cats likes to hang around the cabin, and sneaks in to sleep by our feet at night; her name is Munchkin. I’m not much of a…

  • Hawaiian Summer Camp,  Tea Tuesday

    Tea Tuesday: Where Your Red Zinger Comes From

    If you live in the US, you’ve probably seen Celestial Seasonings’ “Red Zinger” tea in your local grocery store. But what exactly is a “red zinger”? I’d never really thought about it until I was being shown around the vegetable garden at Hana Farms, and someone pointed to a thin bush saying, “that’s hibiscus, you know, red zinger, you can make tea from it.” If you can make tea from it, my interest is peaked, so I decided to try it out. After some internet research, I discovered that this wasn’t going to be as easy as I’d expected. Most recipes for hibiscus or red zinger tea suggest that you…

  • Hawaiian Summer Camp

    Today I’m giving the people what they want…

    …photos of Maui’s beautiful beaches. Thus far, most of my posts about Hawai’i have centered on my experiences living and working on an organic farm, but, never fear, I do occasionally stop gardening and go to the beach. There are three well-known beaches near Hana — Waianapanapa State Park, Red Sands, and Hamoa — as well as a smattering of more secret beaches (including one that the people on the farm actually refer to as “Secret Beach”) that I have yet to visit. I should probably let the photos speak for themselves, but I’m terrible at that, so you’re all stuck with my usual witty commentary. Waianapanapa (or Waianaps, as…

  • Hawaiian Summer Camp

    Guest Post: First Time Flying

    (For this week’s Weekly Travel Inspiration, I decided to do something a little different and asked my boyfriend E to write a guest post about our flight to Hawai’i. I hope you enjoy it; I think he has a pretty amusing take on the experience.) When I mentioned to my folks that my trip to Hawai’i was going to be my first time on a commercial airliner, even they were shocked. The only planes I’ve ever been on were small 2- or 4-person Cessnas, and those only brought me on quick loops around the airport. This fact always seemed to shock people, and has made me particularly good at games…

  • Hawaiian Summer Camp

    I actually just write a gardening blog now

    I spent seven hours doing farm work in a white shirt today. There’s dirt under my fingernails and mosquito bites all along my arms, but I feel better than I did after working the same shift last Thursday. Last week, I was too tired to blog, and too grumpy to cook dinner. This week, the hot water in the shower isn’t working, and I’m not even dreading the cold shower that awaits me when I’m done writing this post. We planted sweet potatoes today. A few weeks ago, some of the workers cleared out all the unwanted plants from a papaya grove, and today we went through and started rebuilding…

  • Hawaiian Summer Camp,  Tea Tuesday

    Tea Tuesday: The Tea Garden

    I mentioned in my last Tea Tuesday post that Hana Farms grows many plants that can be made into herbal tea. They’re also working on making a designated tea garden, which is a number of stepped beds located beside the farm’s communal buildings. Apparently, this area was entirely overgrown just a few weeks before I got here, but E’s sister started clearing the land and uncovered some forgotten stepped beds. The tea garden has become her pet project, and she has been rebuilding the rock walls out of the farm’s plentiful lava rocks, turning the soil, and planting. So far, there aren’t a lot of plants growing, although there is…