A hui hou – Until we meet again!

TRIP REFLECTION, by Thu

Aloha, everybody!

It has almost been one month since we went to Hawaii. It already feels so long ago and I miss it too much. I have learned so many important things during this trip and met wonderful people who have welcomed us with love and smiles on their faces. I will never forget them, especially Payton and her family, I‘ll be forever grateful to you.

My first impression when I got to Hawaii was the weather; it was a lot warmer than the climate in Sweden but many of us got used to it as days went by. One of my biggest impressions during this trip was Punahou School. It was huge and I was really impressed that the school had so many different buildings. Well, most of them were classrooms but they also had an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a gym, a small school shop and a lot more. The students were so polite and nice to hang out with. I also got to met my pen pal that I have had throughout 8th grade and we were both surprised but very happy to see each other. I felt like the atmosphere was very good at the school and I could be myself when I walked around, safe and happy.

As soon as I met Payton’s family they immediately embraced me with kindness and consideration. They took good care of me and always made sure to ask me if I wanted anything or what I would like to do or see in Hawaii. They also knew that English was our second language and something we may struggle with during the trip so they were understandable and didn’t really care if I said something wrong as long as they understood what I said. That made me relax more and they helped me enjoy the visit to Hawaii without thinking about smaller problems.

I can come up with many differences between Sweden and O’ahu but similarities are hard to find. One difference that all of the Swedish students and the Punahou students could find was that the American students were driven by their parents wherever they were going. It was new to me because in Sweden we usually walk, take the bus or bikes to get to places. They were also surprised that we could ask our parents if we could hang out with friends and they would say yes easily (if it’s not a no). Payton told me it was harder to just ask that anytime since they all live very long distances apart.

If I was to give a piece of advice for the next group if they get the chance to travel to Hawaii, I would want them to know that people they are going to meet will know and understand that English is our second language. Don’t be afraid of saying something wrong because they will understand you, also they’re already very impressed that we speak two languages fluently. It’s very important to bring a positive atmosphere to the group so everyone feels safe during the trip and don’t forget to bring a lot of sunscreen. You’re going to feel like a burned potato on the plane back home if you don’t use sunscreen, it’s not fun at all. But one think I know is that this trip is something that will last in your memories forever.
Mahalo, Thu

Thu and Payton

TRIP REFLECTION, by Sigrid

Last year when students from Punahou School came to visit VRS Vasastan they held a presentation about their school and Hawaii. I got completely amazed by how they lived and told my parents about the wonderful place Hawaii. This year, I got the ability to be a part of the exchange-project between VRSV and Punahou. First, we got our pen pals, then students from Punahou came to visit Stockholm in March and about a month ago we went off to Hawaii in May. Ever since I was little I have wanted to go to Hawaii, so I told my parents that I thought we should travel there sometime. The answer I got was not what I wanted to hear, my parents told me that the trip was too long trip for something you can experience somewhere else. Now, after this trip, I have realized, and told my parents, that Hawaii is completely unique and something you can’t experience somewhere else.

One interesting thing about Hawaii is that people come from all over the world which means there are a lot of different cultures. Although there are different cultures most people have welcomed and adapted to the Hawaiian culture and the spirit of aloha. I saw signs that encouraged people to live with aloha at shops, restaurants and even in the streets. The culture is also a big part of the school. Everyone we met was very friendly and welcoming, meeting us with an open mind. I learned that the students at Punahou have a yearly project where they work with different Hawaiian words and values. My guess is that this creates an open environment at the school and brings students together. Another thing I found interesting is that they call adult people, such as teachers, auntie or uncle. In Sweden, those words mean you are a close family member. From my perspective, this is a good example of how people see other people, that everyone means something to them, being a part of their family.

I also got surprised because in Hawaii, school is way more than just different classes and learning. In Sweden, we go to school, have our classes and then we go home.  But after school at Punahou, most students have activities at their school. If we in Sweden want to play an instrument for example, we do that outside of school. I also noticed that they have other classes and more projects than we do. One day we visited outdoor education class which is something we don’t have in Sweden. I have also heard about May Day which, sadly, took place only a couple of days before our arrival. May Day is a big project at Punahou School where the students perform different Hawaiian dances and songs. It seems really fun. Of course, we have some projects at our school but not that big, probably because we don’t have enough time or space.

Most people want to go to Hawaii to experience the islands and because it is a really nice trip. But our trip is definitely unique because we stayed with host families. I want to thank my host family for making this visit the best. Without you, this once in a lifetime adventure wouldn’t be as great. To stay with a host family makes you experience someone else’s lifestyle and it makes you feel like you actually live in Hawaii, not just visiting as a tourist. It makes you encounter everything. We got to see what it is like to live in Hawaii and of course, we did some typical tourist things as well. My family took me around the island, we went snorkeling, had poké, plantation ice tea and boba which I am extremely grateful for. This made me find my new favorite food, poké. One day we went to school for my host sister’s award. To go there with my host family made me feel like a part of their family even more. It also made me experience another part of school and culture. I loved living in a host family, it made everything a little bit better, funnier and more exciting. It also made me feel very calm and taken care of, especially when I became sick the last day. My family took great care of me, not only when I was sick, they always made sure I was pleased and talked to me a lot. During car rides, which we had a lot of, we talked about everything but mostly differences and similarities between our lives and countries.

Thank you Davina for letting me be such a big part of your life and thank you Alli, uncle Billy and auntie Gail for making me feel like a part of your family. I am forever grateful that I got the chance to be a part of this fantastic project which made me create memories that will last a lifetime.

Mahalo and a hui hou! Sigrid

Sigrid and Davina

TRIP REFLECTION, by Caspar

When I was in seventh grade a group of students from Punahou School visited our school VRS Vasastan. Some of the students had a presentation in my class and I was a little bit confused, my thoughts was like how did they get here and where do they stay? I was very interested by their presentations and thought Hawaii seemed to d´be a beautiful island.

Then in 8th grade, in English class we started our international project by sending a video about typical things in Sweden and they sent a video about things in Hawaii. We also got a pen pal each who we could write to. My pen pal’s name is Ethan (I actually met him in Hawaii, which was so cool) and we wrote to each other about our lives, it turned out that we had a lot in common for exempel that we both play soccer. And later this year I got a great opportunity to be a part of this exchange program between Punahou and VRS. When my mother told me that she had applied for being a host family for a student from Hawaii, I was at first hesitant if I really would be able to do it. But now I’m so very happy that I did!

In March students from Hawaii visited our school and I met Alex for the first time. He was so nice and we had a lot of fun together here in Sweden. We went ice skating and had family dinner with one of my friend’s family and Alex’ sister Elena who was an exchange student who lived in a family here in Sweden. About two months after they were here in Sweden some of the students who where hosts in Sweden got the chance to travel to Hawaii, and I was one of the lucky ones. In the month of May eight students were off to Hawaii. The trip was very long but it was all worth it. When I was younger I didn’t know that Hawaii existed but when I’ve been there I want to go back there again. The first thing I said to my parents was ”Can we travel to Hawaii as a family?” and they answered that we need to make plans when. I believe that was a good answer. 🙂

After a long flight we all met our host families, Alex and his parents Greg and Pia welcomed me so nicely and I’m so grateful that they made me feel like a part of their family. Our first day at Punahou school was fantastic, everyone was friendly and welcomed me and Alex showed me around. They have an incredibly large school. One thing I noticed our first day at school was that many of the students originate from different countries. Many of them are for example half Swedes like Alex. I also noticed that their school had started the project Future City that we worked with in seventh grade. They also have a lot of projects in their school, when we were in Hawaii they worked a lot with one that was called Creation of music. We sadly missed one of their school projects as it was during the week before our arrival. May Day is a big project at Punahou school where students perform different dances and songs. One of the students at Punahou school is a very talented music creator, and on the ”eighth grade dance” we were at, one of his songs was played in the speakers.

My host family took me to different places on the island. We went to a beach to see fantastic  turtles, we went snorkeling and surfing and went to different restaurants, one where we had nachos and had a kind of ice cream called shave ice. We also paddled kayak and stood on paddle boards. One really early morning Pia, my host mum, took me out on a kayak tour and we went a long way out on the ocean away from our house. It was so beautiful, and one evening me, Isak, Alex and his friend Micah went out on a trip with paddle boards and kayaks, it was great fun. I’m also grateful that my host family took me to a shopping place were I could buy things to bring back to my family in Sweden, but most of all I’m so grateful that my host family let me experience so many things in Hawaii and I’m so glad that I stayed with a host family because it’s so different from being a tourist in another country. It makes you experience someone else’s lifestyle and it’s so cool to see how other people on the other side of the world live their lives. This is for sure a dream come true in every category.

Not only did I get to know so many new friends from Hawaii that I’m still in touch with. I have got a new brother and his name is Alex. Thank you Alex for letting me be a part of your life and introducing me to all of your friends and thank you Pia and Greg for making me feel like a part of your family and becoming like my extra parents. And I’m always going to be grateful that I got this chance to be a part of this big and fantastic project which made me create lifetime memories and friends.

PS: I promise that I’m going to travel to Hawaii again.

Mahalo, Caspar

Alex and Caspar

TRIP REFLECTION, by Vilma

It was about a month since we went to beautiful Hawaii, but I remember it as clearly as if it was yesterday and I am never going to forget because this has been the best trip of my life so far.

To live with a host family was super fun, you get to experience the island in another way than traveling to Hawaii as a tourist. I am very grateful that my host family welcomed me into their family and let me be a part of their daily lives, it was so interesting to find similarities and differences and compare their life with the life I have in Sweden. For example I realized that everyone was much more friendly there than in Sweden. In Sweden everyone is pretty much in their own bubble but in Hawaii they seemed to care for other people than themselves. People were very open minded and welcomed other cultures so it felt like they always thought the best about people. It was like a big family, I think it’s because they live with the word aloha which means so many different things like love, caring for other as well as hi. They also call adults that they know for aunt and uncle which makes it even more like a big family. In school all the students said hi and welcomed us with open hearts, it was really nice and heartwarming to see and experience. I am going to try to bring this caring heartwarming feeling to Sweden and welcome people with an open heart and try to bring some aloha home.

Another thing that really hit me was how much they cared about culture and not just their own culture but also other cultures, which really embraced the thought that everyone is unique and have different opinions. I think that that is because they have a big mix of people from all over the world which influences life in Hawaii. You can see that the food is a mix of American, Japanese and Chinese and also that the people have a mix of cultures and have many different ethnicities, I think it is very nice. At Punahou School they learn a lot about the Hawaiian culture especially in third grade. We got to visita class from third grade and they learned about Hawaiian music. We got to have a little presentation about Sweden’s culture and music and you could really see how interested they were learning about a culture that is from a country so far away from where they live. They really wanted to learn about it and thought it was interesting for real.

I also really liked the school, in the mornings all of the students came to school one hour before first class to hang out with their friends and some of them ate breakfast at school like me and Jodi. It was a good time to meet new people and hang out because no one had anything else they needed to do like sports or something. They always change classes when they have different lessons like we do in high school in Sweden, then you get to know more people which is fun and you get a closer relationship with others in your grade and not just in your class like it is in Sweden.

Another reason to why I liked the school was because it was so big, they had a swimming pool, a big yard with lots of plants and even a fish pond!

I have learned so many things from this trip, being that far away from home made me appreciate the things I have in Sweden, like my family and friends and the life I have here. But at the same time I didn’t want to leave because of the life I had created there. I also feel a lot more comfortable speaking English, I have learned so much by speaking English for a whole week and I hope I have developed a bit of an American/Hawaiian accent know haha:))

My host family showed me what it really was like to live on Oahu and I am truly grateful that they let me be a part of their lives. I miss them a looooot! I just want to thank you and especially you Jodi for everything you did for me, taking care of me and making this trip the best by taking me to so many different and beautiful places and letting me get to know you and be a part of your family. I will always remember the memories we created.

Mahalo and a hui hou. By Vilma

Jodi and Vilma

TRIP REFLECTION, by Isak

When thinking about Hawaii a lot of people usually think about the beaches, palm trees and surfing but after I have been on this trip I have learned that Hawaii is so much more than just that.

This was my second time in Hawaii but this trip was so different from the first one. This time I stayed with a host family instead of at a hotel and I did a lot of things that you don’t get to do as a tourist, as an example we got to attend an American school.

One thing I noticed in Hawaii was that the parents are driving their children to school and basically anywhere they want to go. This is very different from here in Sweden where we are more independent. Almost every child in our age in Sweden get to school by themselves by walking or using public transport, such as bus or train.

Punahou school ‘s campus looked big from the pictures I saw before the trip, but it was so much bigger than I imagined in real life. Most of the students in Punahou stay within the school area after the school day to do their sport activities. The school lunch was very different from the food that we have in Swedish schools, in Sweden we can eat how much we want for free while in an American school you had to pay pretty much for a really small portion of food. It was also very different that the American students got to eat candy and snacks to get energy during the lessons.

One thing I learned from this trip is the Aloha spirit. Everyone that we met in school said hello to me and spread positive energy all day long which made a really big impact on me.  I was also surprised how interested everyone was in our culture that we have in Sweden. When we visited Hawaii it was mother’s day which me and my host family celebrated with a smorgasbord, together with other family members. In Sweden we also celebrate mother’s day but we don’t celebrate it as much as they did in Hawaii. I think that the celebration of mother’s day is an example of the Aloha spirit.

I want to thank both schools and mostly Mrs. Andersson at Punahou School and Monica at VRS Vasastan for starting this exchange project. I’ve learned so much from this trip and I won’t forget this experience.

Mahalo, Isak  

Keon and Isak

TRIP REFLECTION, by Christian

Aloha,
The trip to Punahou School in Hawaii was the most exciting trip of my life!

I stayed with Aidan who had stayed with me and my family in Sweden in March. It was nice to meet him again and to meet his mom Cortney, dad Paul, little brother Tristan and their cats Mimi and Cali, their dog Duke and three carps.  My room was on the second floor and it had a bathroom, a snug and a balcony. The door had a cat hole so each night Mimi came in to my room to check on me. Their house was located in Kailua which is on the north-eastern side of O’ahu so to get to school we had to take the car over the mountain to Honolulu. I loved the car rides to school, it was amazing to see the view on the way up and from the top of the mountains. On our way to school we bought breakfast at Starbucks and ate it in the car. In the evenings my host dad Paul made the dinners when we didn’t eat out. The food he made was noodles with chicken and rice, hamburgers, pizza and sushi and it tasted really good. Before dinner Aidan, Tristan and I played games on the Xbox and sometimes we went to the beach.

The biggest differences between Sweden and Hawaii/O’ahu was the nature and the temperature. I have never before experienced that kind of temperatures in my life, so the first days were rough. I love being outdoors and I can’t honestly think of a better place to do so than in O’ahu. Aidan and his family took me to amazing places which I will never forget. One early morning we went down to the beach and saw the sunrise. That was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

I also think that the people of Hawaii seem to be more aware and interested in their history than people seem to be in Sweden. At Punahou school the school spirit felt the same as at Viktor Rydberg School; at home – welcoming and inspiring. They had study halls like we do but in the middle of the day and not in the end of day. All the pupils had lockers like we do and they did not have school uniforms. The classes were about our size and they also had mobile phone rules. So at a first glance it looked much the same as in Sweden but a lot of things were different.

For starters the boys and girls did not have P.E. together. Furthermore they had subjects like Latin and Japanese which we don’t have. They also had different schedules for each day which shifted every week. When they talked to the teachers they called them Mr and Mrs and their surname. Most of the times they ate their school lunch outside the canteen and they never left campus during their lunch breaks.

What surprised me the most about our stay in Hawaii was probably that I had to to go to the clinic and experience American healthcare after hurting my head on a trekking expedition with Aidan’s family. It was nothing serious just a few stitches then we could go home. It was interesting to see an American clinic in real life. I was also surprised that we got the opportunity to go on a school dance which was really fun – just like in the tv-series. Other interesting and new experiences were our excursions to Diamond head, Moana falls, Dole plantation and Pearl Harbor.

The thing that touched me the most during my stay in Hawaii was the care that Aidan, his parents and his brother and their pets gave me throughout the week. They made me feel at home and I felt like I was one of the family members. I miss being with them a lot. Hopefully we will meet up when they come to Europe next summer.

Mahalo, Christian

Aidan and Christian

TRIP REFLECTION, by Clara

The trip of my life!
Ever since I heard about this exchange in 7th grade I knew that I wanted to participate in it. If I knew all the wonderful things I would have the opportunity to do a year ago, I would not have believed it.

To go to the other side of the world without my parents was both terrifying and exciting. I think the fact that all of the students from Sweden were being hosted by the same students from Hawaii that visited us in March, played a big part of how well the exchange trip turned out. Since we already knew each other pretty well this trip gave us the opportunity to get even closer.

Hawaii was and still is the most beautiful place I have ever been to. The environment and the people really make the island have a special place in your heart. Being able to experience the life of a teenager on the other side of the world was exciting and I think that the homestay and the school really helped us get the full experience. I loved the homestay and I really enjoyed to get to know the family better. I also really liked to go to Punahou School since I loved to meet all the students and teachers.

During this trip I also discovered a lot of differences and similarities. One of the big differences is that students on Hawaii are more depending on their parents than most of the kids in Sweden are. I remember when we were about to get dropped off and there was a long line of cars waiting to drop the kids off. In Sweden the students seem more independent and pretty much every single one of us get to school by bus or subway. One of the similarities I found was that our life looks pretty much the same. We go to school, after school we go to different activities, we get home and do our homework. I feel like this is what the life of a teenager looks all around the world but I still feel like it might be a little bit different. For example I noticed that they often don’t do things without their parents, if we would go to the mall with some friends the parents would go with us. That was something I never had experienced before.

One thing that surprised me during the stay was how similar but still so different our lives where. We are the same age and do pretty much the same things but our lives are still very different. I feel like this might have something with the climate to do. Because Hawaii has a hot and beautiful climate that allows the students to go surfing during the weekends and after school. I think this whole trip was pretty surprising since I already had an idea about what Hawaii would be like but I experienced that Hawaii was SO much more than that.

The thing that touched me the most during this trip was the wonderful people we had the opportunity to meet. Not only did we get to meet amazing students that are now some of our closest friends, we also had the opportunity to meet amazing parents and teachers. The amazing people we met had an impact on me and I feel like their way to spread the Aloha really made us feel welcome and also taught us a lot. I can truly say that the best people I have ever met I met during this exchange and I think the fact that I now have friends so far away is pretty amazing.

When we are to present our exchange for students and teachers at VRS Vasastan I feel like it’s important to mention all the amazing things we got to experience there. I also feel like we have to talk about the exchange since this exchange gave us friends for life and made us meet so many amazing people on the other side of the world. I also feel like we just have to tell the what an experience this was and how fun and educational it was.

This exchange has been the best thing I´ve so far done in my life and I’m so grateful for this experience. I can’t even describe how much this meant to me and I would like to thank all the people involved and especially my host family for taking care of me so well.

A hui hou and Mahalo!

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Saturday May 18, by Caspar

Saturday May 18, the last day for us in Hawaii, what great days we have had. Saturday morning was no exception, early at 7am when Alex slept me and his mother Pia went out with their two canoes. It was so beautiful to be out on the sea that early. We paddled around for about two hours. When we got back to the house I had a little pain in my arms. Good training! We woke Alex and I started making my breakfast. 

At 10am we went to the family picnic at Kapiolani Beach Park with all of us, students, parents and teachers. The picnic was so much fun, we all had a good time and we met all the other students that visited us in Sweden in March It was really nice to see them again. When we arrived at the picnic we took on our swimwear, I have tried to put on sun lotion every day but today it turned out that I missed a few spots on my shoulders, because I noticed that got a bit burned afterwards 🙂

Anyway, we ran down to the beach. After we had been at the beach for an hour we went up to eat lunch and the food was delicious. Right after me and the other Swedish students had our thank you speeches, it was so emotional and touching so I was almost crying. Then we went back to the beach to swim again.

After the picnic me and my family went off to go shopping. After a long shopping tour, we went home to pack and at 8 pm we went to eat at a burger restaurant. They served very good and yummy burgers. At home again I actually fell asleep though I thought it would be difficult. I really did not want to leave Hawaii and my Hawaiian family.

Friday May 15, by Christian

Aloha!
Today has probably been my favorite day so far! It started off with meeting up at team space and then heading to Pearl Harbor. When we came to Pearl Harbor the sun was shining and there were no clouds as far as the eye could see.

We grabbed our audio guides and then we went to the watch an interesting and educational movie about the attack on Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941. I learned a lot from that movie that I didn’t already know. I really liked the movie because it consisted of lots of fact and had a lot of actual footage and films from the attack. It was like the movie “They shall not grow old”

After the movie we went on a boat that took us around the battleship memorial of USS Arizona, It was also very cool to see the big battleship USS Missouri that today is a museum. Looking at the memorials was very moving, to be where thousands of people had died felt kind of strange.

When you were walking around Pearl Harbor National Memorial you got a very special feeling. The feeling is very hard to describe but it was as if the spirits of the people who were there during attack were watching you. There was also a big group of people who were part of a marching band and played a lot of songs. played instruments. I had a dog tag made with my name on which was super fun since I have always wanted to have one since I was little.

After our visit to Pearl Harbor we went to a mall where we had lunch. At the mall I bought two new cases for my phone and they were really cool.

We then continued to Dole Plantation™ where they grow pineapple. In the car we listened to old Swedish songs and we also had a pop quiz about songs from the 70s to the 90s. At Dole Plantation we took a walk around and looked at the different pineapples, some were pink! After looking around for a while we went and tried their signature ice cream Pinepple whip; pineapple ice cream withs sliced pineapple on top. That was REALLY good, you could taste that the pineapples were locally produced since they tasted very fresh. We also fed some ducks in the pond and that was really fun but our hands didn’t smell that good afterwards!

Altogether this has been an amazing day with a lot of new experiences and new memories made
Mahalo!

The battleship USS Missouri watches over USS Arizona Memorial
The USS Arizona Memorial

Thursday May 16, by Leia

This Thursday was great. As usual we woke up at 6:30, got ready and went to school. The car ride is about 20 minutes, if not shorter. Honolulu is very beautiful and Kiley is always so tired in the morning so she often sleeps in the car which gives me time to take some pictures and enjoy the landscape.

Our first class was English with Miss Tomphson. We got to listen to a mock trial which was very interesting and different since it’s not very common that we have that in our school. I was surprised that the students were so professional which made it more intriguing to listen to. 

Our next class was Science where they had sexual education. I got to listen to a presentation about how to prevent pregnancies and stds. We got to look at condoms which freaked everyone out and made some feel uncomfortable. The teacher also showed us contraceptive implants and pills. It takes a lot to teach such a sensitive subject to a class full of eight graders. It was educative and I learned a lot.

We then had lunch and Kourtney bought pizza. She ordered lots of different kinds but I had pepperoni pizza and it was so good. Lastly I went to Latin class and got to listen to presentations about Latin speaking countries or countries that used to use Latin before. It was also very fun to see how different their language classes are to ours in Sweden. They got to speak in a microphone and they brought food from each specific country that we all got to taste, also delicious.

It was a great day, lots of new things and new people. It was one of my favorite days because I got to spend it with my favorite person Kiley!

Me and Kiley

Wednesday May 15, by Sigrid

Today me and Davina started the day by eating fruit and waffles in the car on our way to school. When I looked through the window I saw grey clouds, rain and a rainbow. The traffic was pretty slow so we came to school right on time. It was E-day so we started with “minute to win it” in teamspace, which is a quick game that the students in 8X sometimes do. Today’s game was to get three tennis balls in a can as fast as possible.

After the game the Swedish students met up to go to Manoa Heritage center. When we came to the center they welcomed us with hibiscus tea, it was good and refreshing. They brought us on a tour around the garden where we learned about Hawaiian plants and culture. The guide told us about the kukui tree and its nuts and that they were used to make light, that’s why they are also called the candlenut. During the tour we also made an offering where we placed flowers and kukui nuts by an old heiau, an old Hawaiian temple. On our way back I spotted a green frog jumping which made everyone search for it because they wanted to see it.

When we came back to the center after the tour they taught us how to make a lei. The lei we created was made out of tea leaves. We cut the leave in halves and microwaved them so the leaves became softer and easier to work with. Then we used our toe to hold the leaves in place and began twisting them in different directions to create the lei. We also learned how to make roses which was pretty hard. After lei-making it was lunch time. Everyone had brought packed lunch, for me it was a sandwich, a banana and some biscuits. The center was fantastic and really nice!

After lunch we were off to Manoa falls for a hike. Luckily enough it had stopped raining but we thought it was going to be slippery and muddy. The hike turned out to be unbelievably beautiful and it felt like we were in a movie.

Muddy and wet we went back to the cars and drove back to school. We had more than an hour until we were supposed to meet our hosts so me and Vilma went to the bookstore. I didn’t end up buying anything since I already have a Punahou hoodie. We went back to team space where I met Davina. At four o’clock auntie Gail picked us up to get some snacks, poke bowl and tea, and then she drove us to Uncle Billy’s shop. After that we just went home for dinner. Today auntie had cooked chicken, rice and salad. It was really good, I liked the chicken a lot! We had mango for dessert that we had bought in Chinatown, the mango was delicious. Now it is time to go to bed. Good night!

Tuesday May 14, by Thu

We have already spent five days in Hawaii and even though we have a lot more to experience you still feel that it would be fun to stay longer. So now it is Tuesday and another day of fun and amazing experiences awaits!

This day we, the Swedish students, went to two different language classes in the morning, Japanese and Hawaiian. Although we didn’t understand much since they were talking Japanese and Hawaiian during the lessons it was so much fun. We took part in different activities in order to get to know the students, communicating in different languages. In Hawaiian class we got to learn how to say a chant, an Oli and a sitting hula. The teachers were very sweet and I would like to thank them for their kind welcoming and wonderful lessons. All of us are now really proud to be able to say something in Japanese and Hawaiian.

Japanese class with Mori Sensei

After languages classes we went up to Rocky Hill, the highest point of campus. It had a great view over the campus and Honolulu. We met two teachers and two students who told us about Punahou School’s outdoor education. We got to do a lot up there, visit the chickens and fishes, rinse seeds and was served a delicious BBQ-lunch.

Outdoor education at Rocky Hill

After our visit to Rocky Hill we met a class of 6th graders and together we did some garden work. After that hard work we had to have something fun to do, right? So we played really fun games with the kids, and we all loved it! When it was time to say goodbye to the 6th graders we headed to a class of 3rd graders. They performed a song with Hawaiian instruments and we were so impressed. Being able to play those instruments while singing (in a language we hardly can understand) and being so young really made an impression on us.
We had a presentation about Swedish traditional music and instruments and got to know the kids by talking with them in groups for a while.

Playing with the 6th graders, so fun!

At our last stop we made something called Kapa which are Hawaiian prints where you cut out patterns and then use ink to make prints on for example paper. We made cards with these prints on. We only had about 30 mins though which was sad because it was fun! That was the end of our exciting Tuesday. It was hot, cold, delicious food, fun and wonderful! We really had a good day!

Monday May 13, by Isak

This Monday was one of the best in a real long time. My day started with breakfast where we had pancakes with maple syrup. After breakfast Keon and I packed our things to go to school. When we came to Punahou school we went to a building called Twigg-Smith where the orchestra and the choir have their concerts together where we got to listen to the 8th grade concert. Keon was in the orchestra and the concert was so good!

After the concert it was time for us, the Swedish students to have our presentations about Sweden for the four classes that belong to team 8X. After each presentation they had prepared fun and interesting activities for us. We learned how to sing a Hawaiian song, tried to hula, play the ukulele, played different Hawaiian games and we also got to try different Hawaiian food during a scavanger hunt.

We had lunch at Punahou’s lunch cafeteria. I had chili con carne with rice which costed $4. The chili con carne tasted good but it was a really small portion of it. When I am back in Sweden I will definitely appreciate that our school lunches are free and that you can take as much as you want.

After lunch students from 12th grade at Punahou brought us on a campus tour where we got to see the outdoor crafts, their huge track and field and football field, libraries and other school buildings. They even have an olympic sized swimming pool! There are about 3700 students at Punahou, being a K-12 school, so their campus is huge. While we were going on the tour we also went to the book store that sells Punahou clothes.

My weekend with Kiley and her family, by Leia

I had a great weekend with Kiley. We went to Kahala beach just me and her and it was so relaxing. I got a bit sunburned but it was worth it. 

We later went to the eight grade dance which was so much fun, I had the time of my life. Everyone was so nice and inviting. It was also my first time getting my hair done at a salon. It was super hot and sweaty at the dance and they didn’t play any songs that I really knew but it was still great. 

On Sunday morning, we went to a restaurant for brunch to celebrate auntie Wendy since it was Mother’s day. The food was super good and I think she also was happy with our morning together. We went surfing later that day and that was very cool. I have had had two lessons before but I still couldn’t  surf as good as Kiley and Brady. We spotted a sea turtle on the beach on our way home, that was very cool but we didn’t have time to stop and get a closer look.  In the evening we went to see the movie Endgame. I had already seen it but I wanted to see it again! I had a very good weekend, hope you all did too.

My weekend with Kourtney and her family, by Clara

Saturday 11 May
The first thing we did this day was to go to the farmer’s market, at the market I had pineapple, corn, bread and probably the best lemonade I have ever tasted. Then we went home and packed our things since we were going to stay at the Sheraton for one night after the school dance. We checked in and then we spent the whole day by the pool. We later went to Kourtney’s friend Mehana’s house to get ready for the 8th grade school dance. The dance was probably one of the best things I have ever done and I had an amazing time. 

Sunday 12 May
On Sunday we went to a swap meet where you can buy all kinds of things. I think it was really fun to go there and you could find a lot of cool stuff. We continued to the North shore where we stopped at some stores but also tried Acai bowls. The acai bowls were amazing! In the evening we had BBQ dinner with Kourtney’s grandma, aunt och her cousin Asher.

Acai bowl

My weekend with Jodi and her family, by Vilma

This weekend has been so great. On Saturday we first went to Jodi’s cousins. We took the Likelike highway to get there and the view was amazing, the mountains on the side of the road were so big, steep and green. At Jodi’s cousins’ house we had oranges and I learned a lot about a fish pond that they have, it was interesting and it was also fun to hang out with her cousins.

We then went to different beaches, lookout places and visited the Polynesian culture center. There you could learn about the culture in Hawaii and other Islands in the Pacific ocean. I also learned how to make a fire in Hawaiian way and how to play different Hawaiian games. We also got to taste different kinds of food like fresh coconut, which tasted very good.

After that we went home to get dressed for the eight grade dance. The dance was so much fun but it was also very varm on the dance floor and outside too.

Sunday was a beach day, we spent almost the whole day on the beach. On one of the beaches we visited we went boggie boarding which I have tried before but it was still so much fun. The waves were not that big l so we didn’t stay there for so long. We continued to a park where there was an old sacrifice temple where they used to sacrice humans to the gods a long time ago. From up there I got to se dolphins swimming and jumping in the ocean, that was so cool! We also went hiking at Waimea falls which had a big waterfall. I swam underneath the waterfall with Jodi and her brother, the water was cold but it felt good after the hike.

When we had finished the hike we went to Waimea bay where we met Davina, Sigrid and Kyra who also were there so we spent the rest of the day at the beach with them. At the beach we jumped off a cliff which was a bit scary because of the height but the thrill is what makes it fun! We also went snorkeling and we got to see some sea turtles. They were so cool and the water was so clear so you could see them clearly and sometimes they came up to breathe. That really made my day.

For dinner we went to a Mexican restaurant where I tried a vegetarian wrap which was good, we also met Caspar and Alex there. After dinner we had some ice cream and then we went home after a long day

At the Polynesian Culture Center