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East meets West on Maui

I stayed outside while Henry cut the large jungle centepede in fours as it scurried around our living room floor.

The last week or so we've gotten a lot of rain which is common on the east side of Maui, and with that came a taste of the jungle type creatures as it brought out tons of insects and geckos. I put extra Cedar oil (an all natural insect repellent) around my bed , nothing goes near me during bed. Nothing. 

Regardless of the rain we've been able to do our share of sight-seeing. On Saturday we drove up to Kula which is a cute town in "up country" towards Haleakala Crater. The temperature was significantly colder but boasted the friendliest farmers market that morning. Vendors chopped fresh coconuts and we tried endless samples and experienced new types of fruit. 

Coming down the mountain we made a last minute decision and took a drive down to Hana, the southern portion of Maui. The scenic road to Hana is driven at about 10-15 miles an hour as the road winds, bends,inclinés and slopes.  I was happy Henry was driving. Along the road the mountains pile high above covered in huge trees, lush greenery and waterfalls. Portions of Jurassic Park were filmed along the stretch of highway.

 

We made it to Wainapapa National Park where we dodged the rain climbing up volcanic rock formations which made way to a black sand beach, the highlight of the park.

Picking up Egg Fruit and seeing Almond trees along the way. We ducked into a Thai Food truck on our way back up the road for some roadside grub. That's when the rain came. It's sporadic and sudden and you never really know how long it's going to last, like bad gas. Not really. It's still pretty. And with rain, I think I've seen more rainbows in a week then I normally would in Canada in a year. 

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Thankful to have made the road to Hana trip. being on Maui we've realized the necesssity of needing a car and just yesterday with our day off we took the work truck and made it all the way to Lahaina.

Up and around the west Maui mountains It turned out to be a picture perfect day. We rode the pickup along the coast where we saw whales spouting in the bay. Being significantly dryer on the West side of the island the sun and the sparkling blue water was just mesmerizing. We spent the morning in Napili sneaking ever so closely through a resort beach and working on the tan, or as my french friends say "bronze". 

Amoung the fact of being at the beach in Hawaii, a highlight of the day was a large man in snorkel gear out in the bay who constantly yelled "turtles man! You gotta get out there. " Every time he came in contact with a large turtle in the reef. We could tell the others on the beach found it hilarious too.  

We earned on our time at the beach and made our way back to Lahaina for the evening. A Hawaiian music concert, acai bowls, and walks along the tourist shops made it one of the best days off so far. 

 

Our work stays busy as it is high season. I'm living on avocados and bananas and as of last week we harvested a bunch of macadamia nuts! 

Thankful for the natural bounty and look forward to what the next week will hold. 

Aloha with love 

Brittany Hayward
Everything is just a little sweeter

I feel I have to constantly remind myself I'm on Maui. Riding in the back of a pickup as the saturated green surrounds me, watching the stars and taking in the endless flow of Palm Trees. Where I live is off the iconic Hana Highway,  I can't get enough of the clean air and fresh breeze that constantly blows through the property. 

The winds are strong on the east side of Maui, as I learn that Maui weather is extremely unpredictable. The storms come off the ocean so very quickly, and each part of the island has differing climates. We’ve made various trips into Kihei, Kahulia, Waliua, Waliema, and find ourselves mostly to the closest tourist town Paia, an antique surf town. 

Highlights this week included a scenic hike up to Twin Falls, done in flip-flops mind you. It was secluded and worth the drive. 

TWIN FALLS 

TWIN FALLS 

Living on Maui can be pricey,  although the island boasts some of the best tasting fruit. Everything tastes sweeter, bananas, grapgerfuirt, tangerine. It’s the real deal. Better to wait for the fruit to fall off the tree than to buy in it the super market! The avocados are delicious, and we jump on the fresh fruit once it’s the slightest bit ripened. 


Our beautiful roommate Li has been living on the islands for over 35 years. She is a wealth of knowledge, a kind soul and willing to tell you anything you may want to know about Hawaiian history, fauna, spirits, produce and language. On top of learning bit of Hawaiian, I’ve been listening to much French! I've learned how to say “Finished Work” in both Hawaiian and French. My Quebec roommates keep my language skills in check.  "Pow Hana" means done work in Hawaiian, I think we all know that well. Our mornings are spent eating breakfast on the balcony overlooking the property. Our dishes range from local organic Hawaiian honey, to smashed avocado and banana smoothies. Many of my friends love the fresh Lilokio (passionfruit) I’m still warming up to it.


I can't complain. We wake up to Palm Trees and the sound of the ocean every morning. I’m thankful for a friendly house and peaceful work load. We have many guests checking in as this is high season, so we are busy cleaning and preparing for arrivals each day. 

 

I’m reminded of how whats in your hand and in your heart is the key to your glorious future. 
 

It’s become the theme of this experience. I’ve held a peace inside that doesn’t ultimately relate to my surroundings, but it’s a peace that happens to be okay with what each day holds. A peace that waits for the future in hope, and a knowing that who and I am and things I long to do are possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At night we hear the chorus of the geckos. We know these little green friends are around and we see them bouncing around quite frequently. They make little squeaking noises and they tend to poop a lot! 

 Yet, the night falls, and I look forward to waking up to these beautiful surroundings. I don't know if anyone could ever tire of them. 

More Maui to come... Aloha 

KAHului at dusk 

KAHului at dusk 

Brittany Hayward
First Blog post from Maui!

Aloha,

Officially touched down here in Maui!  Continuously thankful for all your thoughts and prayers. Only after 2 days of being here I've learned a little Hawaiian, seen the effects of "Vog" (fog created by the Volcano on the neighbouring Island) and visited 2 beaches!

When at Ho'oikipa Beach on the East side of Island we saw large amounts of Sea Turtles, crazy surf, and a visiting seal. We also visited Kihei beach on the West side of the island. I'm very grateful for these opportunities!

I will be doing a work exchange while on Maui where I am sharing a house with 8 others as we maintain the property for a Bed and Breakfast in the Paia area, about 3 miles into the Road to Hana. My list of items to see while here grows and grows! I am scheduled to be here for 7 weeks and off to Oahu for into March. 

A few more blog thoughts below: 

Kihei beach

Kihei beach

PAIA BEACH - spot the turtle! 

PAIA BEACH - spot the turtle! 

There are many ways to look at life, and as much as I’m an advocate for the present, living in the circumference of the present- I want to believe for the future. For the hope of what is to come. Many of us aren’t too pleased the borderlines of our life’s reach. We’d like to do something about it- change it, wish it would be better. I’m here to remind you that hope is always on the horizon- there are so many things yet to be discovered in your life. So many things to uncover and learn about yourself, and perhaps some good habits you need to recover.

Whatever is in front of you, surrounds you, is almost like a circumference. If you were going to draw a chalk line around your bubble of a life, this is your sphere of influence. That is your responsibility right now. Wrapping your mind around these tasks is big enough, and when you add the hurts of the past and the worries of the future, your mind can get pretty full. Whatever is in front of you right now, tend to that. Like a gardener, work on the plants that have already sprouted in your life, not worrying about the ones from last season, or the ones to come.

Within that sphere of living in the present, some things are meant to be unearthed (to go along with the image).

We have the availability, the means at our fingertips to utilize what is lacking or present in our circumstance to bring something new into light. What I’m getting at is, life doesn’t just stop at what you can see. There is hope on the horizon, what is in your hands right now has the potential to bloom and grow bigger! 

Brittany Hayward
This time it's Hawaii

Things are going to get a little green around here! Here is an invite to join my adventure as I depart for Maui on Tuesday morning. There are more details about what is to come, what I will see and photos in the following weeks. I've shared some short thoughts about the timing of things below!  Hold tight to your time, your journey, each one of ours unique. 

Contentment looks good on you they said. I wouldn’t have thought I could wear contentment but there are minutes of the day, hours of the week where I sit pretty content. Very happy with who I am, who I am becoming, where I’ve travelled and the gratitude just flows out of me. Yet, the other minutes of the day, bring me down to this sinking feeling - of utter lostness, wondering my place in the word, where I am going next. I wonder if the big picture will show up, I wonder if I will find my place of bliss and contentment or if it will be always a guessing game, a questioning and learning. Time flows by and I wonder what I’ve gained?  I’ve gained courage, I’ve gained confidence, and through the ups and downs, the wonderings and rollercoasters, I’ve gained contentment with whatever this is. Then I realize. This is it. This is all it is. This is life. Right now. The arms on the clock aren’t what I’m watching for. For time to pass me by, I'm taking back time. The momentary moments in our lives breed significance. We were born into the struggle. We were born into the pain. Yet, we were all born to conquer whatever difficulties have come our way. We were born for scaling heights, becoming limitless, doing great things. 

Waiting is a strength game. Waiting is one of the hardest things we can do. Fate, timing, destiny. It plays a bigger role in our lives than we think. We can blame time for not being on our side, and we can find ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

Esther 4:14 “Who knows? Maybe you were made queen for just such a time as this.”

This is your time, grab it.

 

 

Colorado in 5

This December, myself with friends Leslie and Emma took a flight out to Denver. If you have the chance to step outside the airport walls make sure you hit up these top places.

1)    Rocky Mountain National Park:

Our 5 day trip to the Mile-High city brought us to the airport in the early morning which allowed us to journey north for a few hours to Rocky Mountain National Park. We pulled off before the entrance to a local supermarket and picked up the basics: you know, sushi, salsa, guacamole, chips and Peanut Butter. Lasting and satisfying. As we entered the park we were greeted by a herd of Elk. I practically threw down my guacamole as we jumped out of the car for some Instagram-worthy pics. We ventured to this park twice on the trip and made a pit stop in the mountains for Mexican food. 

Being that we were in Denver in the middle of December we were aware that only some roads would be open for driving, which is common all-around the state. Regardless, amazing snow-top views. Tip:  Always wear gloves, eat spicy food and travel with forgiving friends.  

2)    Vail

Save your breath for this one. We took a 3-hour drive from our Air BnB in Denver and found ourselves among mountains that deem some of the best ski resorts in the world. Vail, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain etc. Our 10 min. gondola ride brought us to 11,5000 ft. elevation. I’ve never boarded fresh powder like this before, it was a dream. Some runs were practically untouched as the snow continued to fall lightly. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience or conditions- minus that one run where we were practically engulfed by the powder. Word of the wise: when the snow reaches your knees, don’t stop. The only way down is to unbuckle from your board, and belly down sled to the base of the hill. A few on lookers asked if we were okay. It’s the powder bro, gotta do what ya gotta do.

3)    Great Sand Dunes National Park

Colorado not only boasts great mountains and snow-capped peaks but large amounts of sand! The skinny state has many opportunities to get outside even in December. Great Sand Dunes National Park is about 4 hours south of Denver and has the largest Sand Dunes in North America. Even after reading those info boards at the visitor center I really don’t know how sand ended up in the mountains, but let me tell you they were worth the sight! The sand is packed in so tightly, creating high mounds that blow the sand everywhere. This allowed sand to get in every nook and cranny, but still fun. It’s like we were at the beach, but not. Pro tip: rent sandboards in Denver before making the drive and ride the dunes right. Pro tip #2: give your car keys to friends who are reliable. Just kidding Leslie, we love you, and love you more that you found our lost car keys in the Sahara abyss.

4)    Colorado Springs

Only an hour and a half drive from Denver brings you to Colorado Springs. A smaller city, but home to many training Olympians. You can find yourself in places like Manitou Springs, Garden of the Gods and maybe even some caves. A great area for scenic walks, quaint towns and meeting the locals. We took some icy morning pics at Garden of the Gods, as well as a cave tour through a mountain canyon. We intentionally got lost through some rural towns that took us through a mountain pass. There really wasn’t one road that didn’t look beautiful to our Windsor eyes. We seriously couldn’t go wrong in Colorado.   

 

5)    Denver

With much to see in the surrounding area don’t forget about the main hub. Denver is a beautiful city with arts, drama, theatre, great eats, well-groomed buildings, and that legal green stuff.  We were fortunate enough to hit up a great place called Watercourse Foods as well as Russell's Smoke House as we walked down a beautifully lighted Denver street. Thankful for a stellar Air BnB where we could come home to a warm condo after each days adventure.  

Our vacation consisted of a whole lot of Justin Bieber Christmas, ear-popping, hitch-hiking skiers and a slight 18-hour flight delay by our good friends at Spirit. Instead of a 5-day vacation, this turned into 6, and instead of paying for a high priced lift ticket there were others that preferred to use the main highways and backcountry ski down at their own leisure.

That’s what you get when your flight is cheaper than a day at the ski hill.

Cheers to Colorado, a place where you will never get bored, and if you do, it's time to create your own path. 

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Brittany Hayward
Why I think we need to build more bridges

I read a quote from a Pastor in Toronto through CBC that he is all about building bridges not barriers.

"I don't want to create barriers. I want to create bridges for people ...."

 It made me think of the bridge that lies outside my door. Being in huge proximity to the U.S. I find myself travelling the bridge often for concerts, shopping and friends etc.

Nexus is a program to make the trip to the US, going through borders easier. The Nexus pass gets me over there faster because it knows me better. It's already got a brief history and background of who I am in order to move the process of crossing along.

I think that could be the key to building better bridges with people, simply getting to know them.

Perhaps it's more than the structure, the physical set up of a program or a course, a talk or presentation. Perhaps building bridges across all forms begins with knowing.

Our borders and security are pretty tight, border officers do their best to figure you out before you enter the country. A Nexus provides a way to speed up the knowing before crossing.

If I already know you better- I'm more apt to let you cross. I'm more apt to let you in, to let the relationship be symbiotic.

I see it in workplaces, friendships, politics etc. When you know a person personally, you are more apt to like their photo, vote for them, be around them. Sometimes it's regardless of what they are about, if you feel you have a right friendship, they are a person you know first hand and can appreciate them them through their authenticity, you've already built a bridge. You may not agree on everything, but there is the bridge of respect. That is a bridge I hope could be built really big one day. The openesss to see another's point of view, listen to their hearts without giving a responding opinion. The respect to lend a hand, even if you don't understand. I suppose this is the hope of humanity, the hope and need of every person- that we would be there for each other, regardless if you or I see eye to eye or understand where each are coming from. That regardless of my views or opinions on the world we can have a peaceful unity of a friendship because I respect you for who you are and you respect me for how I live my life.

Building bridges doesn’t begin with the person, or the bridge itself. It begins with you. You have to choose, even before the bridge is built that you are going to be the sort of person of acceptance, of love, of compassion. Bridges are made when we put down our differences and find our similiariites.

I have hope for symbiotic relatipships in our generation. I have hope for all colours, hands to be united as one. Peace begins with your decision. 

Sometimes one side progresses before the other.

As a bridge comes together you begin on either sides. I look at the newly started bridge, Detroit - Windsor. Detroit began on their side, Windsor theirs. One is a little further along because they couldn’t keep up with the funding.

Maybe you need to be the person who starts the building. Once you’ve settled in your mind that reconciliation, and differences will be put aside, you need to be the bold step towards connecting.

You may have to loose some pride, some prejudice. (ha nice reference eh). Those things aren't needed when building bridges. 

The art of the bridge build comes with set plans of action in order to make connection possible. Those plans don’t include preference, bias or prejudice but are founded on love.

The all encompassing framework and cement to keep peace and build strong bridges leans on the surpassing ability to reach out and love, no matter what. 


Brittany Hayward
See beyond walls: Put your dreams into action

"To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”

― James Thurber

This quote is taken from the Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a guy who, at the beginning of the movie, only has dreams of adventure in his head. Walter Mitty lives his dream life in his head, but the beauty of the movie, is finally he begins to live the things he day dreams about out in reality. He has a online dating profile in order to get in contact with a girl he works with. One of his friends suggests he just go over and talk to her instead of fearing behind a computer. I suppose it’s the “behind walls” mentality. To see behind walls, the obviousness that things are in your reach, but perhaps we are scared.  In begins in the mind. What’s on your mind? The mind was meant to wander, to explore, to journey.

Manage your mind

An unmanaged mind leads to tension. A managed mind leads to tranquility. An unmanaged mind leads to conflict. A managed mind leads to confidence. An unmanaged mind leads to stress. When you don’t try to control your mind and the way you direct your thoughts, you will have an enormous amount of stress in your life. But a managed mind leads to strength and security and serenity. – Rick Warren

The mind is a mosaic, sometimes it’s not a straight-lane highway. There are so many facets. So complex that I can’t doubt there is a creator. 

 Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions .Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.

Proverbs 4:23-27

Like a good road trip, the route has to be mapped out if you want to end up where you set out to. Like a good recipe, with proper measurements, the instructions set you up for success.

Like travelling, you learn so much on the journey, even before you reach the destination. Especially if you get lost a few times. Life is a journey, where you end up in life may never happen. I thought the other day, I will never know everything. I could never obtain all the knowledge in the world.

Don’t hold back the journey inside you.

Don’t hold back the creativity, the things that inspire you.

Your adventure story is one without borders, without limit. The are lights inside of you; intrinsic plans to get you from A to B. Take time to tap into those plans

We get discouraged because we look at our days and weeks ahead and think: this is it? This is all I can look forward to? This is my life? see behind walls

Dreaming is the first thing, I think we all are really good at dreaming up the outcome, but not sure how to get there. Ask yourself: am I focused on the plan or am I focus on the arrival?

I understand some psychology will promote envisioning yourself receiving the prize, arriving at your destination – for mental hope. Yet, what about the plan rather than the arrival.

If you’ve already figured out what you want in life, it’s now all about the plan.

As the mind was also meant to be mapped and managed, so your dreams can be carefully mapped and managed to obtain the outcome you desire. Your mind becomes free as you take those thoughts out of your brain and put them on paper, talk them out with a friends or actually start researching how you are going to get there.

1)    Dream it up: mind dump your ideas and de-clutter your thoughts. Find out deep down, asking yourself this question: what do I really want? What I am taking control of, shows your deepest wants.

2)    Discipline your thoughts: don’t get ahead of yourself. Let it go, listen to what your wise peers say and about it, and seek wisdom from mentors.

3)    Plan it: create the road map, the life plan, the recipe. Create a plan that leads you to your intended destination- but be open to change. Be open to flexibility.

You're on the road
But you've got no destination
You're in the mud
In the maze of her imagination

-U2

Brittany Hayward