A Letter from Stevie
It’s been hard for me trying to find a good way to start this blog. I have no words that can fully describe how incredibly grateful I am for my co-op experience with Fukuji and Lum. My journey started with a lot of unknowns: where was I going on co-op, who am I going to live with, how do I get to work every day, how was I supposed to move across the globe for 6 months on my own? I was really scared but I knew deep down that I was making a life-changing decision by coming to Hawaii.
As soon as I came to Hawaii I was embraced by everybody I met. I was used to keeping my guard up but over the last 6 months my new Ohana tore the walls down and completely immersed me in the spirit of aloha. I would never have learned as much as I did without the compassion expressed by the staff of Fukuji and Lum. I’ve never been hugged so much in my life as I was by Rachel Hyland. I’ve never laughed as much as I did with Kaleo at the front desk. I’ve never felt as comfortable being unsure about things as I was with Cynthia. The community created by F&L allowed me to be a student just trying to figure things out and learn a lot along the way.
When I wasn’t working I was exploring the islands of Hawaii! My trips to Maui and the Big Island are ones I will never forget. I rode my bike to work every day, all over Kailua and Kaneohe, and used the bus to get around the rest of Oahu. The other students and I went on the most beautiful hikes in the world, chilled on the best beaches ever, and enjoyed the delicious food. On islands so small there was plenty to do. I went skydiving, got my first tattoo (sorry Dad), walked on top of lava, and met so many amazing people from all over the world. I wouldn’t have done any of this if I wasn’t on co-op in Hawaii.
To everyone at F&L, I miss you all so much. Shout out to Grace, Liz, Kyle, and Matt for graciously accepting their surprise fifth co-op. I am so happy to have met all of you and I hope to see you again soon.
Mahalo nui loa,