My journey with the 9th grade ended with a magical, adventure-filled week on Maui. Grady’s friend Tom invited us to set up camp on his beautiful and secluded land in Kaupo, where we hung sleeping hammocks from trees and cooked in his rustic gazebo kitchen. Each day we set off in our great white van, singing as we drove, stopping between destinations to pick mangos, snap photos, or take short spontaneous hikes. What a gift it was to experience Maui with these children!
Together, we swam beneath thundering waterfalls, hiked through bamboo forests, made lavender wands at the high-elevation Kula Lavender Farm,
climbed redwoods, weeded taro at the Kahanu ethno-botanical gardens, cavorted in the waters off black sand and pebble beaches, explored above the lush valleys of West Maui, played in the Olivine Pools, cliff jumped at Venus Polls, poked around historical Lahaina, and successfully completed an 11.3 mile hike amid the changing colors and luminous silverswords of Haleakela. Though the children now move on to other adventures, we will all remember this time spent together with gratitude and awe.