Greenheart Trips in Hawaii

By: Mieczyslaw, 2016-17 F-1 High School Program Participant

I was waiting for it for such a long time. I’ve heard about the Hawaii trip immediately after I came to the United States. At the beginning, I wasn’t convinced about attending it but my parents told me that it was going to be a wonderful adventure and I’ll enjoy it a lot.  as I later realized, they were right once again. In the past I attended many other camps and I liked them all.  Although I appreciated all of these experiences I was never so in love with them as I was with the Greenheart Trip to Hawaii. It was just a week, but it didn’t matter because it was enough for me to learn so many new things.

At the beginning everyone was a little bit shy and didn’t want to talk much. That changed very quickly. After we were picked up from the airport, we went to our YMCA Camp Erdman on Oahu’s North Shore. It was the first time when I saw the beauty of the Hawaiian landscape. On this trip we’ve done so many amazing things like we went to Papahana Kuaola, It’s a very nice and magic place, As well as, Hanauma Bay Park where we could go snorkeling or if you want you can just lie on the beach and take happiness from the sun. We went to the institute of human services. We’ve learned there about homeless people and how can we help them. That was a very good experience to get a little bit closer to this people and understand what they had to go through. When we had some free time we’ve decided to go hiking! It was amazing. The breathtaking views were amazing.

The thing I personally was waiting the most was the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. It was incredible. After that we went to the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet. It is the best place to buy some awesome souvenirs and ask some sellers about their small businesses.  One whole day we spent it in the Polynesian Cultural Center. We’ve learned so many new things about Hawaiian culture and how they lived in the past. We were even able to see a wonderful spectacle telling us even more about it.

We’ve done so many thing during this week that I would have to write a whole book to tell you everything about it. We liked everything from surfing lessons on Diamondhead Beach through Catamaran cruise where we even saw a sea turtle! We had a little bit of free time in Waikiki which gave us opportunities to experience the life of people living there and we could go shopping or see the part of the city. Unfortunately everything what’s good has to end one day.  Our closing ceremony was out of this world. We sat down in a circle and  talked about everything that we liked and that we will miss. We wrote small notes to everyone so we would have something to read in the plane. It was very emotional. At the end, we had a happy opportunity to celebrate the birthdays of our camp mates. We sang “Happy Birthday” with true smiles on our faces. That was the other moment which I will never forget.

The whole trip was an amazing experience and it had unforgettable moments which none of us will ever forget. We made strong connections of friendship which will last forever.  My friends and I want to thank everyone who somehow helped with organizing this trip for us. We also wanted to thank the people of Hawaii who showed us the beauty of hard work. But especially we wanted to thank two people who created this camp and organized our time in Hawaii. They were teaching us so many new things as well as taking care of us. Ashley and Elyse, because of you, this trip was excellent in every minor detail. You created this trip for us. By making every day so unforgettable. You taught us this small thing which will last in us for ever: “Every day is as good as you are going to make it!” We will try to share this knowledge with others. So once again, thank you for making these six days the best days of our lives!