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View From Here - Hawaii Travel Blog - Volunteering on Vacation

Total Number of Entries - 23
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  • Contemplating Kukui Trees and What to Pack

    Destination: Kauai

    Napali Coast, Kauai, HawaiiSo, I am sitting here contemplating kukui trees. Mine are weeping. The kukui tree is the official state tree of Hawaii. It was sort of the like the Swiss Army Knife of trees back in old Hawaii. Hawaiians used its leaves, branches, trunks and seeds to make fires, canoes, medicines, fish bait, fish floats, dye, an adhesive, tattoos, cloth and oil for lamps. Today, the kukui is most well-known for its seeds that are strung into lei. You might know it as the candlenut tree. Its scientific name is Aleurites moluccana. What I like about the tree is it embodies my personal philosophy when it comes to landscaping my yard—native and care-free.

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  • Christmas Bird Count 2010

    I wasn't looking forward to today.  We've experienced some pretty hard rains that past few days, causing flash flooding, power outages, rock slides and road closures.  I wasn't too keen on counting birds in the rain.  But it wasn't raining this morning.  It was glorious.  (A tad muddy, though.)  A couple visiting from Whidbey Island in Washington joined us, modeling a creative way to volunteer on vacation.  Here is a slide show from today's bird count at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, one of thousands taking place throughout the country during this time as part of the National Audobon Society's 111th annual Christmas Bird Count.

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  • Celebrate Earth Day on Vacation

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    Happy Earth Day!  Did you know that today is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.  Here are 10 ways to care for our environment even when you’re on vacation.

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  • Counting Hawaii's Humpback Whales

    Destination: Kauai, Maui

    In Hawaii, we take our endangered humpback whales seriously. February is known as Humpback Whale Awareness Month and the last Saturdays of January, February and March are officially known as Whale Count Days for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Hundreds of volunteers across the state brave potentially strong trade winds, pelting rain and searing sun to count humpback whales and record their behavior for four hours, starting at 8:00 a.m. We cancel in case of a tsunami, however, as was the case on Saturday, February 27, 2010, but we dutifully re-schedule, which is how I ended up on Crater Hill this past Saturday.

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  • Happy President's Day

    Destination: Kauai

    Many people wonder, my mother included, why I had to move so far away from home to find my home--from Missouri to Hawaii. A little over a year ago, I sat in my living room on Kauai watching history in the making on TV as Barack Obama was sworn in as President of the United States. President Obama spoke about community service. He spoke about volunteerism.

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  • Marine Debris Clean Up Plan Debuts

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    A few days ago, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced a plan to help remove man-made debris from coastal waters and coral reefs on and near the Hawaiian Islands. It is the first of its kind. A new year's resolution of another kind that I can get behind and shout, "Yes."

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  • Nine for 09

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    In the past few days, I've run across numerous year-end lists:  Just about every media outlet has gathered their top 10 news stories of the year, standout athletes of the decade, best books for 2009 and top-selling movies of the year.  In the same spirit, I've compiled "Nine for 09."  This is a list of our--mine and your--favorite blog posts published on "View from Here" since January.

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  • Multi-Cultural Healing on Kauai

    Destination: Kauai

    For centuries Hawaiians traveled to a healing heiau (sacred site) in Lawai valley. Then, in the late 1800s, Asian immigrants arrived to work on sugar plantations and erected Taoist and Shinto temples. In 1904, a series of eighty-eight small Shingnon shrines--miniature temples with figures of wood and stone--were crafted and set along a path to replicate a traditional temple pilgrimage route of more than 1,000 miles in Shikoku, Japan, that was established more than 1,000 years ago.

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  • Volunteering on Vacation in Hawaii: Here's How

    Destination: Kauai

    Visitor Julie Honnert monitors endangered Hawaiian monk seals on KauaiIf Hawai'i happens to be one of your favorite places--and you wouldn't be reading this blog if it wasn't--the good news is there are plenty of ways to volunteer your time and engery here, from half-day beach clean-ups to week-long adventures. Here's a few. I'll continue to add to this list, as I find more, so you might want to bookmark this page and check back periodically. If you know of other volunteer opportunities good for visitors, please share. And if you've volunteered on vacation here in Hawai'i, please tell us about it--just make a comment.

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  • Volunteer on Vacation and Fall in Love

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    Volunteer on vacation and fall in love?  Seems so.  We’re not talking about falling in love with the vacation place but with a real, live human being.  That’s the take of this recent Time magazine article.

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