Let’s Get Real

So, two months in, we thought we’d try to be a little more real in this post. We’ve been honest about our life here in every other post of course, but we also know that trying to summarize everything means you lose out on a lot of the details of how something truly is. That’s where this post comes in. We want to walk you through what a typical day looks like and show you some images of exactly where we live (not just the pretty stuff). We know we’ve said it’s like living in another country, but you probably haven’t seen the proof in our photos except that it’s nothing like the Midwest.  So here’s a day in our shoes:

6:00 AM – Lindsey wakes up and works out and reads her Bible. It’s not hard to be up that early because everyone gets up early here and you can hear them all around you. The walls are not insulated here because there’s no need and the windows are open 24/7 so you can hear your neighbor’s baby crying, their dog barking, and the washing machine running all at the same time. They’re not being loud, they’re just living life just like you are (they’re probably listening to you brush your teeth and wash your dishes too).

7:00 AM – Simon is up by now and the two of us are puttering around getting ready for work. We give ourselves lots of time to get ready so we can leave early enough to avoid traffic and look presentable when we get there. That sounds crazy because of course you want to look decent for your job, but what you don’t understand is that it’s hot here. You’re trying not to sweat through your shirt as you dry your hair, but when you’re just renting a room you can’t get ready in immodest clothing because other people could come in at any time and that’s not very respectful. And traffic can be crazy because we live by a school and because our town has the worst traffic on the island, so you leave early, take the back roads, and get used to creative driving techniques.

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The main road to our house
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Kapaa town…this doesn’t show the traffic but it does give you a feel for the town.

 8:10 AM – You’re out the door and on the way to work. Simon drops me off at the credit union before 8:30 and then he drives to the north shore to the school he works at. **Side note: I don’t know if we mentioned it on here yet but Simon is a para-professional for a special needs child**

All day we’re using our jobs as an opportunity to learn and grow. We’re getting to know the customs, habits, and lingo of the people who live here. We’re answering questions about ourselves and asking questions about the people around us. Our work is our way of figuring out where God can use us here and how we can be accepted in this place.

2:15 PM – Simon gets out of work and has a couple hours to change, relax and walk on the beach meeting people and winding down after his day, tidy things up at the house, look for a new place to live since we can only be here another month or two, respond to any texts or emails, etc.

Kealia Beach. It's not the best beach for swimming, but it's so close to the house and is our getaway every day after work.
Kealia Beach. It’s not the best beach for swimming, but it’s so close to the house and is our getaway every day after work.

5:30 PM – Simon picks me up from work and we go to Kealia Beach which is just down the hill from our house. We sit on the beach and recap our days while we watch the surfers and fisherman until the sun goes down (which is like 6:15)

6:15 – We work on dinner and sit down together to eat. Sometimes it’s at the dining room table and sometimes it’s in front of the computer depending on if our show is on (we love Survivor, lol).

7:30 – Decide how else to spend our evening. It could be editing photos and videos, watching a movie, just chatting, playing our “Face Game” (check out Simon’s Facebook if you haven’t already), doing the dishes so the ants don’t get to them, and almost always searching for houses and calling on houses.

9:00 – Get ready for bed. There is just not a lot to do here in the dark so we’re in bed around nine most evenings, even the weekends.

That’s just a small glimpse of life here. Our days off and weekends are spent getting groceries and doing laundry. They are also the times when we’re out and about as much as possible. We are always hiking and going to our favorite beaches that are a little farther from home.

On my day off this week I walked into town since Simon had the car. It’s a few miles round trip and I took the bike path along the ocean on my way down. I stopped and grabbed some juice at a local juice place because it was hot and I wanted to sit on the beach for a few minutes. There were chickens everywhere at the beach and some local guys doing drugs said hi as I walked to my spot. Drugs are a big problem here and we’ve seen people day and night, depending on where we’ve been, either doing them or selling them. On my way back an older gentleman wanted to walk with me so we walked a mile together and he asked about why we were here and I learned about how he walks the path every Tuesday and Wednesday and how we have the same days off…he was very nice. Then I stopped at the local “fair” to pick up some things for friends (the fair is where vendors sell their crafts and Hawaiian items). I always get asked where I’m from and how long I’m staying because they think I’m a tourist. You get used to it and they like learning that you live on island…they all consider us very brave for moving all the way here with nothing and no one. Then I trekked back home on the sidewalk instead of the bike path because that’s technically faster. I had to take a shower after that because I was sticky and dirty from all the clay that blows around. But that’s normal too. Paradise is not as clean as the postcards make it look. Then Simon came home and the night went forward as usual. Here’s a visual tour of what that day looked like.

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This is the sidewalk that goes down the hill to the beach and the bike path.
This is the high school. It's on the way down the hill.
This is the high school. It’s on the way down the hill.
We get so excited each time we go down the hill because the ocean is right there....it's literally a thrill every time. We are so blessed!
We get so excited each time we go down the hill because the ocean is right there….it’s literally a thrill every time. We are so blessed!
At the bottom of the hill looking back. The view of the mountains is awesome on this side of the island.
At the bottom of the hill looking back. The view of the mountains is awesome on this side of the island.
The bike path runs from Kapaa town to Anahola and is very nice and kept up.
The bike path runs from Kapaa town to Anahola and is very nice and kept up.
This was my spot on the beach. Just to the right of the frame was the pavilion that housed the gentlemen who were using.
This was my spot on the beach. Just to the right of the frame was the pavilion that housed the gentlemen I mentioned.
This is the shortcut path back home. The hill we live on has two roads that go up it and they meet by the high school (one is further north than the other and town is to the south so this is the side closer to the south...we live on the north side).
This is the shortcut path back home. The hill we live on has two roads that go up it and they meet by the high school (one is further north than the other and town is to the south so this is the side closer to the south…we live on the north side).
This is the hospital that's along the walk home from the south side of the hill.
This is the hospital that’s along the walk home from the south side of the hill.
This is the elementary school right next to the hospital.
This is the elementary school right next to the hospital.
And this is the view from the elementary. If you stay on this main road another mile you get to our house.
And this is the view from the elementary. If you stay on this main road another mile you get to our house.

Sometimes we go to showings on houses if we’re lucky enough to get an invitation. Housing goes so quickly here that it’s pretty rare to even be considered for a house, let alone see it and be a serious candidate. It’s hard to know what to choose because the decisions we make have to be made so quickly. We have to make sure they accept pets, we want an extra room for guests and more importantly to host pastors and their wives who have been burnt out in the church and need a getaway, we have to factor in proximity to jobs and DJ and Rebecca’s future job possibilities, and obviously there’s the cost. To give you perspective, a house in Michigan that costs $220,000 would go for over a million dollars here. So rent is very high, which we knew and were prepared for before we came, but it does play a big role in choosing where to live.  There are a lot of factors that we’re constantly thinking about every day.

So that’s a more detailed look at everyday life here. There are some really sweet stories we can share about God moving and working, and we will share those too, but we wanted people to see that life is life everywhere you go. There is good and bad. There are positives and negatives. Our lives are real lives and they are not easy. We are so blessed to be here and every day we thank God for allowing us to live in such a beautiful, unique place. We are not sharing to complain because we have no need to complain, but we are sharing to offer perspective. Perhaps this will allow you to pray for us in a different way than you’ve prayed before and, who knows, maybe it will compel you to come check it out for yourself 🙂

-Lindsey

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One thought on “Let’s Get Real

  1. Lindsey, Thank You so much for posting updates on your life and experiences in Kauai. It helps give us perspective and knowledge of life “on the island” and what God is doing through you.

    Like

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