Sunday, May 01, 2005

Finally finding a place in the sun.

April 24, 2005

So, I shall finally make another entry into my blog. I have been very remiss in this effort. I have been feeling somewhat disconnected from this island and needed to fully understand what I was feeling in order to express it. So, here it is. Here is my issue.

In Lahaina I lived on Luakini Street, the historic place of the ancient Hawaiian temples. Here I live on Eha Street, which in English means 4th Street. Lahaina means “Land of the merciless sun,” and was the vacation spot for Hawaiian royalty for generations, while the “Ewa” in “Ewa Beach” simply means “west.” My neighbors in Lahaina were all locals, and I became part of that community, eating, talking story, and attending church with them. My landlady, Margie, who has since passed away, was a Portagee woman with a sharp tongue and a big heart. I better pay my rent on time and never wear my slippers in her house, but she brought me mangoes because she knew I loved them. I could ride my bike to the store and walk downtown. Though I was alone the whole time I lived there, I never felt lonesome. While my neighbors here have been wonderful, helping me unload and even mowing our grass, they are transient, military families, with a very temporary sense of community. The church we attend has a lot of military families so people are coming and going continually. And our house in Ewa Beach is miles from any store or library so before my car got here I was very dependant on my wonderful nieces for everything. I knew it would not be Maui, but I didn't prepare myself for so much military culture or for the isolation of being on a military facility, passing a checkpoint to come home.

In addition to all this, I did not find a job as quickly as I had hoped. My life seemed to revolve around writing and rewriting my resume and cover letters, sending them out, hand delivering them, filling out applications, and reading want ads and online postings religiously. Since my final paycheck from State Farm was the middle of March, I have been living off my sweet “sugar daddy” who is still on the mainland. My husband is one of the most generous people I know and loves to help me out, but being the independent woman that I am, I have a hard time not having an income.

Do I sound unhappy? I am not, really. I still am still very elated to be here. But, adventures can be lonely experiences and, though I thrive on variety, adjusting to change is never easy. I now have a Hawaiian drivers license and my car finally arrived, though it still has Washington plates, so the locals are able to see clearly why I get lost so much. I have finished my substitute teachers training, and my certificate arrived in the mail yesterday.

I interviewed for a job with State Farm in Mililani and was both disappointed and relieved when I didn't get it. But something far better was in store for me. I had been online the night before I heard from State Farm checking out the website for Kamahamaha Schools on Oahu. One of my dreams when I lived on Maui was to return to Washington for my degree and go back to teach at Kamahamaha. This school was set up with a trust fund from King Kamahamaha's great granddaughter, Princess Bernice Pauahi, in the late 1800s for the benefit of Hawaiian students. The trust has grown into a 6 billion dollar trust so the school is now well funded. It is the largest private school system in the United States, with the original school here on Oahu and two other schools on Maui and the Big Island. You can check it out on www.ksbe.edu.
To make a long story even longer, I called the staffing agency I had been working with to tell them that I would not be going to work for State Farm, and did they have anything at all. “Well,” said Sarah, my staffing person, “there is a temporary position through June at Kamahamaha High School. Would that be something you would be interested in?” “I might be,” I understated. She submitted my resume for consideration and, because of my background in education; I was chosen over three other people with Hawaiian names. I now officially have my foot in the Kamahamaha door and have been working there for a week now. I am even more impressed with the school system now that I see it from the inside. I plan to apply to substitute teach there in the fall and will work towards a permanent position. Though the commute is an hour of traffic, I am happy to be making it. I also have a job at a local restaurant, so sometimes it is a very, very long day, and my husband will tell you that sometimes I bitch and moan, (Or maybe he won't. He's very gracious about it). But, on the whole, I am blessed beyond belief, and still happy to be here.

Yesterday I spent the day with Tamara and her friend on the beach and today I went hiking and was happy to be tromping through the jungle. I came home tired and bitten by mosquitoes and ready for a new week. It's so nice to have a job so I can have a weekend.

23 Comments:

Blogger Jenni said...

Congratulations auntie!!! That sounds wonderful :) So good to hear from you, and to hear you are getting settled! Isn't it nice to have people to lean on a bit when you are in the middle of getting settled :) Love you so much and miss you!

Jenniwren

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So wonderful to finally hear from you again! And it will be even more wonderful to SEE you next month! Saw your silly husband at Mom's Sunday, and he chewed me out for not calling him to tell him I was going to Oahu! I can hardly wait!!

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guess I should have signed that, but you know it was your sister Judi, though some might not!

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our Boni lies over the ocean, our Boni lies over the sea! I loved your poem you sent to Mom! Sam took it home, scanned it, and printed 11 copies so we could each have one! I wish I had your gift of poetry! Thanks for the Mother's Day call. See you in a little over a month! Love, Judi

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Shimechero PHD, OBE, LLD, said...

I am looking out of my window over Lake Union with the bay bobbing with sail boats. The bridge is just opening and there is a long yacht snaking it's way past curios on lookers.

Its sunny and warm and just a hint of the clouds we had this morning lingering on.

I can hear muffled telephone convesations in the other offices blended with white noise. I become aware of my typing speed when it gets quite and so to make me sound better, I open up an empty document and rattle away. Any jibberish will do, just make it fast with no backspacing. I stop to listen. Is any one else paying attention to that amazing display? Probably not.

I have just been to the bathroom, so I can't get up and go again. Let me stand and stretch. That way I can see who is still in their cube. Are they working, or are they on the phone. No one plays around here. My, what a lot of women we have here!

There is this BIG BIG woman on the other side of my cube, don't know her name. She is HUUUGE, tall. She has a head that reminds me of a Mastif, lips that remind me of inner tubes on the lake. Her chest alone must weigh, oh I would say 10 pounds a piece. When she laughs, it is like that fog horn the draw bridge sounds when it is about to open and let a boat through. And she goes...HAW HAW HAW, SNORT!

Wonder what she thinks of me. I wonder if I ever doze off to sleep at my desk and start snoring.I don't think she is listening. Maybe.

Got here at 5 this morning and it is now 3:30, probably time to head home.

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