Hi everyone! Please excuse my tardiness in sending out a blog since Hawaii – I have been wonderfully busy since returning and am finally all caught up! Going on a vacation or a work trip is an incredible experience filled with many unforgettable memories and important lessons learned. These are the experiences that don’t come around everyday, and we are so lucky to experience them. But once we return home, it is always a challenge to catch up with everything we have missed, while simultaneously moving forward with everyone else! But catching up and then getting ahead of our work is always such a gratifying feeling!!!
It’s great to be back in Colorado, however, my week in Hawaii was truly extraordinary. I met some of the most gracious, kind-hearted children and teenagers who have left a lasting impact on me. As I mentioned in my previous blog, the Youth Clinic Cheerleaders and Players traveled to a different island of Hawaii each day, visiting several schools in the mornings, and hosting a cheerleading/football camps at the end of each school day. Since I have been back in Colorado, I have shared my experiences with friends, family, and some schoolmates as well. A common theme that has emerged as I’ve shared my experiences is a general unawareness of the economic situation in much of Hawaii. When we think of Hawaii, beautiful beaches, endless sunshine, and complete relaxation comes to mind – basically, the perfect vacation spot. In reality, this is only a tiny portion of Hawaii; much of the population struggles to make ends meet and is living with very low-incomes. We traveled to nearly all of the islands, and had the privilege of working with many of the underprivileged kids living there. And these kids are some of the most remarkable people I have come across. They are so grateful for the smallest gesture; a simple “good job” from a football player or cheerleader means the absolute world to them. They are so kind, giving, and excited to have you share a day with them.