Friday, February 7, 2014

Camp Mekokiko

I really AM working.


I can't help that it's in the tropical paradise known as Hawaii.

For those of you wondering what the heck I'm doing, I've been here at Camp Mekokiko for the last few days, and I SWEAR I've been working.

Camp Mekokiko is the only camp and retreat property owned by the Hawaii District United Methodist Church ("Mekokiko" means "Methodist" in Hawaiian.) The camp is a 36.5-acre mountain site on the lower slopes of Mauna Kea at the northern end of the Hamakua coast on the Big Island. Located on the windward (east) side of the island, the camp is lush and green, with over two miles of walking trails, with an elevation of 1,800 feet.

The main building…we've got five men sleeping here, but it also houses our kitchen and "living room/dining room"….Our central meeting point.

The "duplex" - four small bedrooms, each sleeping two…we have seven ladies here. I think it's the nicest accommodations I've ever had on a mission trip!

Each morning, I have about a half-mile walk from the duplex to the main lodge…but what a beautiful walk it is!!!

We have a group of twelve…from various parts of Missouri (and one Oklahoman - she can't help it)…and we are doing various projects all over the camp. We might be spending any given day weeding the bountiful fruit orchard, or laying new cement, or building new BBQ sites. Surrounded by a virtual tropical rain forest, the work is taxing, but rewarding.

I've always thought the coral flowers were the prettiest flowers EVER. Seriously, if there could only be ONE color of flower in the world, this would be it.

There's fresh avocados in the orchard, but we have to get up early and "race" the wild turkeys to get them. Usually, the turkeys win.

Fresh oranges…

…that we pick right from the tree….

Throw in some Surinam Cherries, and we'd have a delicious fruit salad!!!

Besides being surrounded by tropical plants, foliage and flowers, we are also sharing our camp with a variety of wildlife…including pigs, turkeys and frogs - especially the small-but-loud coqui frog.

When we're not working, we're trying to soak up as much scenery and culture as we can possibly squeeze in…we may drive to the Hilo side of the island, for a visit to the Farmer's Market - or a trip to Volcanos National Park…or we may drive over to western side, to visit church and visit with the locals.

We've visited Pu'ukohola Heiau, a National Historic Site that was extremely fascinating. These are the last major Hawaiian temple ruins, and it was built by King Kamehameha I in 1790.

It's built right by the ocean, and we could spot humpback whales off in the distance, which was pretty cool. In fact, the name of the temple means "Temple on the Hill of the Whale."

I'll add some more photos of our activities on my next post…because it's now time to get back to work!!!



No comments: