My Co-Op Experience Part Two – by Ariel H.
It’s hard to believe that my experience in Hawaii has already come and gone. Living in Kaneohe for six months was an incredible, life changing experience. Five thousand miles is a long way to move from home, but at Fukuji and Lum I had my own family.
Working at the Fukuji and Lum clinic brought new adventures every day. At work I was paired with my own mentor who would teach me about weekly topics of my choice. I was never given the answer, but instead guided along the way to discover the answers on my own. In the gym, the PTAs welcomed me as a student and soon trusted me to work with patients on my own. The positive energy in the gym made it hard not to keep a smile on, and I soon adopted the nickname “Giggles.” Before work once a week, a group of our coworkers would meet for the Thursday WOD (Workout of the Day). We would come up with a group workout and motivate each other as a team. At these weekly sweat sessions, I learned how to push myself to new limits and discovered how much my body is capable of. At the end of the day, I left work feeling so accomplished. The team at Fukuji and Lum became not only my coworkers, but also my friends.
Outside the clinic, I explored as much as I possibly could in the short 6 months I had. Oahu has so much to offer, I spent my weekends hiking, boating, kayaking, cliff jumping, and exploring. With my best friend Jessica and the new friends we made on Oahu, we had no problem adopting the “Aloha” lifestyle. I hiked 3,000 steps to the top of the Stairway to Heaven, watched the sunrise from 10,000 feet at Haleakala, and listened to Jack Johnson play in his hometown. The beauty that Hawaii has to offer is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Not a day goes by that I don’t imagine myself back at Kaneohe Bay. I can say with certainty that my experience with Fukuji and Lum made me a better person. For now my time in Hawaii is over, but the friends and memories I made will stay with me forever.