Elastic Basket for my Peaches

I also have a website: www.lizhightower.com

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The In-Between

I'm in a strange transitional phase right now. At the end of November, I was so ready to go back to Houston that I would daydream about it all the time. I think this was a result of feeling a bit burned out after 9 months of hard-core discipleship of students in DTS and SBFM. I basically had one day and one night off each week and was on-call 24/7. I loved it but it was quite time consuming. About Thanksgiving, I  was feeling the burn-out big time.

Now that I am done with my responsibilities, I no longer feel so anxious to go home. I feel like I am sliding down a big slide to Houston and now I am trying to climb back up the slide. I know I am not supposed to stay on staff with YWAM and I know I am not supposed to live in Maui and get a job. Texas and grad school is where I am supposed to be. But nevertheless, I am  feeling sad about leaving. I realize how extreme this feeling is when I almost got teary-eyed seeing an older Hawaiian man walking into a grocery store carrying a ukulele. I know I won't see that in Texas.

Here are some of the things I will miss about Maui (Just what came to my mind, not an exhaustive list):
The beaches- I definitely didn't go to them everyday but I liked the idea that I could have. And as you might have heard, they are pretty nice.

Local people- There are certain stereotypes about Hawaiians that are just true. They are super family and community oriented and they like any excuse for a party. They also like tattoos all over their bodies with Hawaiian themes, which you don't see much of in Texas- tribal designs, turtles, Hawaiian flowers, sharks, the Hawaiian islands, etc. I will miss hearing them speak pidgin and the way they block the aisles at Wal-Mart and Costco catching up with their old friends. You can't go to one of those stores with a local person and not run into 20+ people they are either friends with or related to.

YWAM Maui- I love my friends in YWAM and the way they love me, pray for me, make me laugh and challenge me to be a better person. I have met some of my best friends in the world here and though some have moved on, I still have plenty of friends here whom I will sorely miss.

The Food- Hawaii has some really good food. I don't like seafood but there are plenty of other good options. I will miss chicken katsu, potato wedges from Minut Stop, steak and rice from Blazin' Steaks, kalua pork, pineapples, haupia, sweet potatoes, cara-macs, and more. I will miss the restaurants in Paia: Fish Market, Milagros, Cafe Des Ami, Flat Bread, Charley's and of course, Anthony's coffee shop.

Paia- Though I have lived in both Haiku and Paia, my heart is in Paia. It's where I have spent most of my YWAM career there. I will miss celebrity sightings, the random hippies roaming the streets among Hawaiian flower print tourists, all the small businesses and living so close to what is probably the easiest, most efficient post office ever. I will miss being able to walk to the beach and riding my bike to Kanaha beach.

Words and phrases that are known only to people familiar to Hawaii-
talking story, spam musubi, Aloha drinks, shoyu, haoles, Aunties and uncles, Zippy's, all pau, pog, tutu, spam in general, no ka oi, kaamaina, keiki, etc

Rainbows and sunsets- There is so much natural beauty here. Gorgeous sunsets occur on a regular basis and rainbows are so frequent that you don't always take notice. In fact, the guy in the following video probably wouldn't survive as he would die of over excitement.

I think there might be some bad language, so I am warning you in advance.

And here is the musical parody:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Playing Tourist

I have lived in Maui for about three of the last seven years. Living in Maui is definitely different than being a tourist in Maui. For one thing, as a missionary, I have never really had the money to do the touristy things on Maui that aren't free or almost free. Thankfully hiking, cliff jumping and hanging out at the beach don't cost any money so I have managed to have a lot of island-style fun in my time off.

Me and Israel enjoying the complimentary beverages
Up until November of this year, the only touristy things I had done were two snorkel cruises I went on for free and a whale watch I went on for free. All the trips were super fun and I definitely recommend them to tourists. That's not a lot of tourist activities for the past 7 years. I've only stayed overnight in a hotel here once and I didn't pay for that either. I am not sure if it's because I am leaving but lately God has blessed me with more free tourist activities. In November, after living in Maui for three years on and off, I got to go to my first luau. It was really fun and tasty. Even though it is stereotypical, I think all tourists should go to a luau. I had seen hula and fire dancing before and I had eaten local food before but never as part of the luau package. My parents are coming in about a week and taking me to my second luau, The Royal Lahaina Luau. It is supposed to be the best. I will tell you if I agree.

Getting Cozy with the Performers
Wil making a new fire dancing friend

On Monday, I got to go on the Flyin' Hawaiian zipline. It has eight ziplines that cover two miles. It was pretty fun and not too scary. You basically started from a ridge that didn't feel too high and then zipped over a valley. The guides were fun and really sarcastic. They played a joke on my friend, Chelsea leaving her dangling about 12 feet from the end of one line. It was pretty hilarious. I went with my friends, Chelsea, Kristy and Shannon. The group was made up of only us and one Indian doctor named Ravi. Along with our three guides, we had a really fun time. I don't know if I would have paid full-price for this activity but free was a great price!
So Scary!

Me zippin' along

Our whole group
Yesterday I got to play tourist again and go on the Atlantis submarine. My Maui dad, Jim Walsh is the general manager of the submarine and got us free tickets. There's nothing better than being a tourist with hook-ups! His daughter, Shannon has been on the submarine about a 100 times and never seen a shark. Before we left, she said she really wanted to see one and we totally did! There was a reef shark just chillin at the bottom of the ocean. Pretty cool! We saw lots of cool fish and I found the schools of fish to be the most interesting. There were so many of them in such tight formations. The whole dive made me want to snorkel really bad so I could get closer to the fish. It was cool to see what happens at the bottom of the ocean. I recommend it to tourists, for sure. It's also good for people who might not be physically fit enough for snorkeling as you get to see the fish without swimming. 

I feel really blessed by all the free tourist things I have gotten to do lately. I couldn't afford to do any of these if I had to pay. If any of you are interested in discount Maui activities, you should check out my friends' website. They are former YWAMers who've started a business where you can buy all your activities in one place for a discount. 
Click here. if you are interested.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Children's Theater

I am a bit of a children's theater connoisseur. Well, I am not sure if that's actually true but I like the way it sounds. Last night, I went to the preschool children's program at Doris Todd, a local Christian school. Our base director's son, Elias was in the program along with Selah Kim, whose parents used to be on staff with YWAM and Owen Stewart, the son of the owners of Anthony's- Maui's best coffee shop. With such an all-star cast, how could I resist?

Elias- top left green shirt, Selah- left black and white dress, Owen- center red vest
We arrived at the school a little early to secure good seats. Seeing all the kids and being in a school definitely made me miss teaching. However I was thankful that I was not the one in charge of the whole thing. It definitely brought back memories of the Christmas programs I participated in during my two years as an Elementary School teacher. The last year I was a part of it, there was a real pony in the nativity scene. It was interesting that we were allowed to have both a live pony and Jesus in a public school Christmas program.

Elias hamming it up

Shannon, Joey and I settled in our seats after saying hello to some of the people we knew in the audience. The show started a little late since some of the kids had not arrived yet. There were many underage siblings in the audience  so the overall atmosphere was pretty crazy. The whole program was a study in chaos. The teachers tried to instill order overall but we are talking about two dozen preschoolers so there is a certain level of chaos that is unavoidable. The kids sang songs and then helped participate in a story-telling time. As a whole, they seemed most excited about performing "Jingle Bells" since they actually got to use real jingle bells during the song. I couldn't hear many of the words but I am sure those kids were having fun!
As for the three performers we came to watch, their attitudes to the show varied greatly. Selah was one of a couple of children who crumbled under the pressure. Within minutes of the start of the first song, she had dissolved into tears. Her mom later said she thought it was because Selah forgot some of the hand motions to the song and can be a bit of a perfectionist. She spent the remainder of the performance on stage but wearing a somber face and sitting on a teacher's lap. Her younger sister on the other hand, was not even in the performance but kept sneaking onto the stage to be part of the action.

Elias, my boss's son, was going for the class clown approach. He jumped and gyrated himself to his place on the stage and spent most of the performance making faces. He is such a contrast to his serious, more introverted older brother that it is hard to believe that they are related sometimes. Elias seemed to relish his time in the spotlight even if he was sharing it with his classmates.

Owen is one of the youngest kids in the class so his parents were a bit nervous about how he would do. Like Elias, he seemed to enjoy the attention. Instead of making faces though, he kept standing up in the middle of his seated classmates. Sometimes he waved to mom and other times he seemed to be just standing there. He seemed oblivious to the fact that he was the only one standing. It was pretty hilarious.

The program was followed by pupus (Hawaiian for snacks/appetizers.) I didn't know there would be food and it made me feel properly rewarded for my patronage of the Children's theater. I got pigs in a blanket and jello jigglers! What more could I ask for? It was a great ending to a fun night.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Impacting the Spheres: YWAMer in Hollywood

The school I am staffing in Maui is called the SBFM (School of Biblical Foundations in Missions). The main purposes of the school are to prepare students for missionary work, help them to develop a Biblical worldview and to learn how to impact the spheres of society. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade and Loren Cunningham, founder of YWAM developed a system to break down society, which they called "mind molders." They divided all of society into 7 spheres of influence: Family, Church, Education, Media, Government, Business, and the Arts and Entertainment.

Personally I have always felt drawn to the education sphere and this has definitely influenced my decision to return to school to get my masters in school counseling. Our base focuses on this concept even in our entry-level school of YWAM, the DTS. One of the DTS students from our Summer 2009 school has begun to make an impact in Hollywood. I only met her briefly when she returned from outreach to Indonesia. Nevertheless, I am really excited that she's impacting Hollywood. She is currently playing a homeless woman on "The Bold and the Beautiful" and will be in an upcoming episode of "Lie to Me."

Here's an article about her: http://michaelfairmansoaps.com/news/bbs-brad-bell-kristolyn-lloyd-speak-on-the-homeless-story/2010/11/01/ Please pray that she will have a positive and powerful influence on the Arts and Entertainment Sphere.
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