In the airplane, for hours over the Pacific, I felt a little like Schrodinger's traveler. I both knew where I was going and didn’t at the same time, I knew I would get there and wouldn’t.
I arrived in Hawaii yesterday after wading through a million challenges, that all turned out to be very easy.
I found a ride to Mikaya's house, 2 hours away, with an odd but decent guy, whose car slipped out of gear regularly and whose front window had been broken out.
He took me to a grocery store to get food because I literally didn’t have any and it’s 5 miles away by bike.
I made it past a military blockaide to get into my neighborhood nearby the volcano.
Everyone was away, so I got to acquaint myself with the property without running into anyone.
I found my cabin, figured out how to give it electricity, hunted down the wifi, did some work and at 7 pm I went to bed.
But the island doesn’t sleep much.
The birds were just as active at 2 AM as 2 PM. Storms rolled in one after another sending buckets of rain onto my tin roof. And the red glow from Pele down the road looked like a wildfire moving towards me.
One thing about being somewhere where you don’t know anyone is that you can feel really out of the loop. I had no idea what to expect from Pele or if what I was seeing was normal. Maybe no one else was on the property because they knew better and left? I comforted myself with the fact that the dogs were still here.
This morning I was relieved to meet one of the women. It was nice to put a face to a name, but I don’t think in the scheme of things they will be much help — which means a lot of figuring out everything on my own.
Today I have to:
Figure out how to get my placard pass back into my neighborhood
Contact some people about renting a car, I’m being hit with the harsh reality of what it’s like not having one.
Buy real groceries and bug spray (really wishing I had thought to pack my tea tree oil)
Keep cleaning the soot off all my surfaces.
It’s surprising to me how much like Ecuador this whole experience is so far. The land looks like Ecuador, the air is thick and heavy and smells like Ecuador, the volcano is greeting me like in Ecuador. But unlike Ecuador, I can see the difference 20+ counties and 8 years has given me. I'm overwhelmed by what I have to get accomplished but it's not undoable. I know it will be done.
Mostly though, I'm tired. Everything feels like more of a challenge when you're tired, so I'm trying to take it easy and breathe through these first few days without a lot of expectations.