I wish I could say these photos were mine, but it would be a sin to to call them my own. These photos are Auntie's, who wanted to share them with you all. She really didn't even want the credit for them. "You could say they're yours if you want", she told me. I didn't dare.
It pains me to write this, and I can't quite believe it, but today is my last day in Hawaii. It's currently 3am, and I have yet to shut my eyes, because I don't want to waste any of that precious time sleeping. (although I suppose I should at some point) My flight leaves the islands at 10:50pm Hawaii time, 3:50am Wednesday East Coast time. My bags are (mostly) packed, my boarding passes are printed, my dresser drawers are cleared out and my laundry is done. I have said goodbye to most of my new Hawaii friends, like Cassidy. I will say "See you later" to my best Hawaii friend, Pai, this morning before she heads off to class. I have said goodbye to all of the wonderful employees at the Oahu SPCA, and of course, the animals, like Blue the cat, and Teddy Bear the dog.
I have waved so long to my favorite bus driver, who has taken me across every inch of the island that he can. I have bid adieu to the schoolkids who ride that same bus, greet me every morning and refer to me as "Auntie" when they tell me all about their adventures in learning. I wish for them to continue to grow and to always be open to new experiences, as I have discovered in the past three months.
Today, my itinerary is cleared. I am doing nothing but finishing my packing, going to the beach, and spending my last day with family and friends. Thank you to everyone who has made my experience possible, especially to you Auntie. Without your guidance, gentle encouragement and support, I don't believe I would have made it as far as I have out here. You have helped find the Katie that I thought was lost, and I don't know how I can repay you for that. The world is at my fingertips once more. I can achieve what I want to achieve, big or small. Thank you also for taking me out to dinner, my trip to Maui and giving up your space to accommodate me. It's not easy to do so, and I want you to know that I appreciate it very much. You will always have a place to stay in my new home, should you ever need to, and you will always have a place in my heart.
I hope that all of you blog friends will stick around here, even though my Hawaii chapter has come to a close. I look forward, with nervousness but excitement, at what awaits for me back home. It's onto the next adventure. Where ever I end up, I'll be sure to write it down.
I confessed to Pai that I didn't want to say goodbye to her, other friends, or the island. "It's not goodbye," Pai said. "Just say 'See you later.'" I have decided to take her advice. And so, I will close here.
See you later Hawaii. It has been an experience I will always treasure.
It's time to go home now.