In no specific order…!
1. Sunrise – sunset. Sunrise – sunset
Hawaii is absolutely gorgeous during the day but when the sun disappears or appears over the horizon it becomes absolutely breathtaking! After seeing the first sunrise on our first morning here I loved it so much I told Marcus I wanted to see every sunrise the next 8 months (- it didn’t happen). We love going for evening walks up to the temple when the sun is going down and the sky is bright orange on the mountains.
I love that the life we live here gives Marcus and I so much time to be together. The first 5 months of our marriage we lived in Stockholm. I had a full time job and Marcus a part time along with his studies. This often resulted in me leaving at 7:15am and coming home at 5:45pm and often Marcus would have shifts at work in the evening, so he sometimes wouldn’t be home till 8:30pm. Since we came to Hawaii we have never had this much time together. Even when Marcus has classes I can go with him to campus and we’ll see each other on his breaks. The rest of the day we sit and study together at home or in the library. Life is no rush here like there is living in a city so even if we have a ton of homework the burden doesn’t seem as heavy. It’s absolutely wonderful!
3. The friendly villagers
People smile and say “hi” on the street! You can imagine how hard it is to stay mad, sad or frustrated on a day where you’re out and about. It’s not uncommon to have a short chat with a random person on the street, a student on campus or an employee in a store. A few weeks ago we went to the hardware store to buy a basket for my bike. After we’d paid they even offered to put it on my bike for me. “Sure! Just roll the bike through the store here down to the back!”. So I spent 15 minutes chit-chatting with a very nice woman AND got my bike basket fixed!
Pineapple has become my favorite kind of candy. If you thought you liked pineapple and you haven’t tried it in Hawaii, I’m sorry, you haven’t had the stuff yet.
5. Domino’s Pizza
Yes, one of my favorite things is that we have a local Domino’s. We love Domino’s. Yes, Americans.. I know I probably haven’t tried all there is to try, but I know this is good. We fell like king and queen sitting down at our kitchen counter on our bar stools with a beautiful pizza in front of us after a week of trying to eat healthy. I’m gonna throw in the price too, cause it is slightly cheaper than it is in Scandinavia.
6. The beach
This of course has to be on the list. I can’t express what a difference it makes to your stressful little head to take an hour’s homework break and go to the beach. A quick swim and then drying in the sun on your beach mat. You go home, take a quick shower and get back to your studies. Gonna miss this a lot when we go home!
7. Funny chickens
They are everywhere! On the side of the highway, crossing the road, in people’s yards… running around with their little chicks. There’s even a rooster that seems to have claimed the Foodland parking lot as his territory. He’ll lurk around the tables outside Subway, waiting for you to drop a slice of tomato from your sandwich, and run away from cars backing out. He is very outgoing and is not ashamed to get up and holler a “cock-a-doodle-doo” to his friend on the other side of town.
Example of “pack” of funny chickens –> IMG_2015
8. Inspiring teachers
One thing I simply can’t leave out is the amazing people we have met who teach at BYU. Though I’m not a student I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with a few of Marcus’ teachers and most of the time I walk away feeling uplifted and good ideas and thoughts banging to get out of my head. A special acknowledgement should go to Brother Wilson, a voluntary missionary serving by teaching at BYU, who was the one who first put the idea of starting this blog in my head. He has spent hours and hours teaching both Marcus and I how to best start up and write a blog. Thank you, thank you, thank you Brother Wilson! We owe you big time!
9. Small community
It is really so nice to live somewhere small and everything is close by. We never have to worry about traffic, gas, trains busses or anything cause anywhere is within walking distance. Even campus, which is on the other side of town, takes a 15 minute walk or a 5 minute bike ride. Freedom is to be able to run to Foodland real quick on Friday night at 9pm cause we ran out of ice cream watching a movie.
Oh! Marcus just walked in the door and asked if we could go to the beach now while he has his lunch break. Back in a sec!
(one hour later…)
10. The awesome weather
I know I noted that it was hard for me to get used to the humidity here but I almost hardly think about it anymore (especially after we got bikes). We’ve gotten so used to the temperatures here that I’ve caught myself thinking I was cold when we’ve been out after dinner time, though if I close my eyes and imagine I’m home in Denmark or Sweden I instantly get really excited as if we’re finally having a warm day. When I talk to my family on Skype and they tell about this weeks windy or rainy days and they ask what weather is like here I automatically answer “30 degrees celsius and sunny”. How blessed we are!