24 hours from now I will be boarding flight HA7 in route to Honolulu, Hawai’i. There definitely was divine inspiration involved in getting me to this point. I have had a desire to live in Hawai’i since I experienced my first Rexburg winter in 2005. I tried several times, once by applying to BYU-Hawai’i for fall of 2006 and again in 2008 when I was convinced that I was going to drop out of college, move to Hawai’i, and attend massage therapy school. I figured my dream of living in Hawai’i was a little far fetched and I should probably just stick to the mainland. Imagine my surprise when 4 years after my first attempt to relocate I find myself given the opportunity to live in Hawaii! As of tomorrow I can now cross off the second line my Bucket List, “Live in Hawai’i.” Some may call the sequence of events a coincidence, however I call them tender mercies from the Lord.
It started in January when I began looking for internships. Having no idea what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go it became very difficult to narrow down the options. Having 5 years experience with community recreation (thanks to another series of tender mercies) I knew that I should do a clinical internship so that I am more marketable in the future, however I had not ruled out community internships. Since 99% of all therapeutic recreation internships are not paid finances would also be a factor that I would weigh in on my decision. After taking everything into account the top spots I was looking at were The Children’s Hospital in Aurora, Colorado, Craig Hospital in Colorado, a hospital for spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries, a community inclusion program in Colorado, and The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Please notice that Hawai’i was not even on the list!! Then one day I was talking about internships to one of my TR friends who casually mentioned that the Shriner’s hospital in Hawai’i accepts interns. As I was days away from sending in my applications to those 4 locations I decided to call Shriner’s hospital on a whim. I was slightly disappointed to find out that they would not be able to take interns from BYU-Idaho. Before I ended the conversation I asked if there was anybody else on the island that did accept TR interns. She gave me the number for Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific and the rest is history, I filled out the application and waited patiently to find out if I was accepted.
During this time I received an e-mail stating that there was an opening for a student secretary in the recreation management office so I applied. It actually wasn’t much of an application, it was more of an e-mail stating I was interested and a “when can you start” with Scott (oh how I love that man!). I really was not planning on getting a job, and still do not know why I did it other than it was a tender mercy from the Lord, because without it I would not have been able to come to Hawai’i. It was the last day of the winter semester when Kari approached me and asked what my plans were for the fall. (This is probably a good place to say that Kari usually invites a couple students each semester to go live with her mother in Kailua, Hawai’i). I told Kari that I was looking at an internship in Honolulu, and she said, “well if you do you are more than welcome to stay with my mom. I’ve been wondering who to get for the fall and your name kept popping in my head.” Tender mercy… I think so!
Things just fell into place from there, I got the internship, I had a place to live, and I had the finances to take care of myself (let me point out that I had no clue I was going to go to Hawaii when I took the job, but the Lord knew). That just showed me to never give up on a dream, even when I don’t think it will ever come true. It reminds me of this song.
So here’s my list of top ten things I hope to do in Hawai’i
1. Go to the Polynesian Culture Center
2. Learn to Hula.
3. Go to the Laie temple
4. Go to the Pearl Harbor memorial (completed 8/14/2010)
5. Black Sand Beach
6. Attend a Luau
7. Hike Mauniwili Falls
8. Fall in love with a hot Polynesian man
9. Honolulu Aquarium
10. Hike to the lighthouse and whale watch