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View From Here - Outrigger Travel Blog - Volunteering on Vacation

Total Number of Entries - 24
  • A Weekend on Napali: Part One

    Destination: Kauai

    nualolo valley wide shot of reefThe sky was dark when we met at Kīkīaola Harbor on Kaua‘i’s west side, a pile of yellow, blue, green and red dry bags gathering on the dock as each member of our work party arrived at the rude hour of 5:00 a.m. We said our groggy hellos, sharing breath in the traditional Hawaiian greeting known as honi and with the more common pecks on the cheek. A sky full of diamonds sparkled overhead.

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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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