Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Greetings from Hawai'i!

I'm feeling hesitant blogging, yet again, mostly because I often feel that blogs are often a way for people to talk about themselves excessively and about things that others don't really care about. That being said, I'm only in Hawai'i for one semester, and suppose I should keep track of all the amazing things I'm doing while keeping friends and family updated. (It's really all for you, Mom.)

So, it's WEDNESDAY morning. I arrived this past Friday, but it already feels like I've been here and settled for ages. I was able to take this awesome picture on the airplane flying over one of the Hawaiian islands:

It was a relief to finally land in Honolulu after 8+ hours of flight, and get to my new home in Frear Hall, which is essentially a hotel-esque dorm. I'm in my own room in a suite with three other women and a shared bathroom. Beats Gummere for sure! This is the view from my 11th floor window:

It has been absolutely wonderful to see the mountains when I wake up every morning. It looks a little gray and cloudy in the picture, but that's only because it was during one of the days periodic "mists." That's right-- it doesn't rain. It just mists.

Sunday was the ASAA (A Semester ALMOST Abroad) orientation. We took a mini-tour of the island and were able to see what Oahu looks like off campus and away from Honolulu. I'm excited to venture out and go back to these beautiful spots during the semester. Some more pictures:

This is the view from the Nuuanu Pali lookout. It was so extremely windy that is was hard to even walk to the lookout to take this picture. Here's an embarassing picture with proof of how windy it was:
I would have worn pants had I known we were going to the windiest tourist attraction on the island!

From there we went to the ocean. These are the places I'd really like to visit again. Luckily, Oahu has an excellent bus system, and my University ID allows me to ride anywhere on the Island for free!
This is the whole ASAA group! Besides getting to see more of the island, the tour was wonderful because it gave me a chance to meet the other people on my program and make some new friends!

In other news, I managed to buy a bike off Craig's List almost immediately, which has been a total life-saver. The IFA (Institute for Astronomy), where two of my classes are, is quite an uphill trek away. Biking there 4 times a week will definitely whip my butt into shape! Speaking of classes, I finally figured out my scheudle for my semester while I'm here. I'm taking:

1. Astrophysical Techniques - A grad-level class at the IFA which teaches the techniques and mechanics of being an astronomer
2. Stellar Interiors - Another grad class at the IFA
3. Volcanology - The class I'm probably most excited for. Not only do we learn the geophysics of Volcanoes, but we also take field trips to actual volcanic sites on Oahu and the Big Island!
4. Women and Revolution - Orignally a backup, but the class now seems extremely interesting. Takes a global view of how Women have participated in Revolution throughout history
5. Hawaiians - A cultural view of the Hawaiian people

Overall, I'm extremely happy with my schedule. Only being two days into school, however, it's hard to tell what my workload will actually be like.

So, that's all for now! I'm having an incredible time, and it's only the beginning! I'm excited to see what adventures this semester will bring!


  1. Thank you for doing this, Maya! I know you were reticent to publish anything that appeared to be "All About MEEEEE," but this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience (actually, for you, probably not even close) and those of us who love you want in on the action. Continue to be a brave and open-hearted explorer, and remember that "not all who wander are lost." LOVE YOU!! Mom

  2. Ah, it's so wonderful to read about your adventures... and I'm looking forward to checking on this blog and reading about everything you're up to. Thanks for posting!! Love, Anna

  3. Your blog is wonderful. I am so happy you are going to be writing about your adventures. I look forward to the next installment.

  4. bababababa youuuu are the cutest star-gazing, crazy math doing, frisbee huckin revolutionary woman ever! MISS YOU, go explode some volcanoes for me....