The Travels of Cypris – Maui Wowie

We flew over the brilliant blue sea and into a land full of sugar cane and palm trees.  It had been raining in LA when I left, so I was still layered in a couple coats, pants, leg warmers.  The childhood image of being greeted with a lei was turned into the reality of lei vending machines.  I was picked up by my aunt and uncle and we went to Mama’s, a beach side fresh and local fish house.  I had my first tropical drink, umbrella included then feasted on asparagus soup, poi, lightly fried calamari steak sand, crab stuffed mahi-mahi.  I was made fun of by my post-meal cabby for having too many layers and not having flip flops yet.

I arrived to a mostly empty house and was able to set up a little nest out back in the screened hut. DJ’s began to arrive from all over theUSand soon the house was overrun with laptops and head phones.  I was feeling really jet lagged so I called it an early night while the group had a night beach adventure.

 We did our burner preparatory trip to Wal-Mart.  I was very surprised by how commercial everything is there.  I had this image ofMauias an untouched island with all business being local and full of flavor.  Which, when you go into the mountains, there are areas like this, but most of the inhabited places include lots of strip malls and chain restaurants.

We began our climb up the winding mountains.  Theses were 1.5 – 1 lane road passing through waterfalls, high cliff views of the water, and small bridges.  The horns were used only to warn other cars you were coming.  It had been raining for a few days and the streams were ballooned into raging brown rapids.

We reached theCampKeanaejust in time for the staff meeting.  I met my co-lead and jumped in as much as possible.  The rain was relentless.  Ditches were being dug to re-rout the water.  There were short hour breaks between down pours, but this was rain like I have never seen before; rhythmically pelting everything in sight, soaking you within minutes.  The beat of the down pour helped make sleeping in the bunk house easier.  I had a third level bunk that was precarious to climb into, being careful not to tip the whole bed or wobble myself off.

Gate work began at dinner, checking everyone that had been working in, getting lists submitted for entry, and parking.  The gate experience at SOURCE was a good one.  I did find that it is much much easier to be the gate keeper at a festival where you know most of the people.  I spent a lot of time asking for this and that person and radioing here and there.

I love how small our world is.  No matter how far you are away, there always will be something familiar.  I ran into a friend fromNorth Carolinathat I had not scene or heard from in years. She immediately adopted me and invited me to stay with her.  I was overwhelmed with comfort and gratitude.

The festival carried on despite the ankle deep mud.  Walking from camp to camp was a slow process of either trudging through the field or carefully picking your way across the pallet walkways.  I had a great night of fire spinning and enjoyed dancing on the OPS porch while running the fire tool inspection station.  Monday morning brought the closing ceremony.  We all stood in a circle and held hands.  We blessed the land, each other, and thanked the universe.  The scene was very moving; a native Hawaiian woman sang chants, warming our hearts with her songs.

I spent a couple days on the northshoreofMaui, realizing very early on that the waves are not to be messed with.  I had secretly asked the universe to be swooped off to a place with a pool, hot tub, and beach view, not thinking it was actually possible.  To my surprise, that is exactly where I ended up, staying as one of the few permanent residents at a time share community in Kihei. The next week was spent with new and old friends circumnavigating the island.  We camped overlooking the water, hiked through a bamboo forest to get to a400 footwater fall, stopped along the way at art galleries, ate at a top chef restaurant, visited a mostly deserted island, and went snorkeling in lava fields.

Even when you are running on the chilled out slowed down island time, it goes too quickly.  My last moments were spent gazing at the sun set, enjoying gelato, and taking in a magic show at a pirate bar.  Which, at the point, meant that I had visited a pirate bar at all of my travel stops a long the way!

Hawaiiwas a time of rejuvenation and sunshine induced tranquility.  Many thanks for all of the adventures and island love!

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