Sunday, January 13, 2013

Day 11 - Kona, Coffee & BBQ!

I really love these Calvin College students!  Today was another spectacular day in Hawaii and certainly was the hottest we experienced on the islands at a scorching 84 degrees (sorry 'bout that Michigan).

We were able to sleep in a little on this beautiful Sunday on the Big Island. Many of us caught some of the football which began at 8:00AM Hawaii time. Others read and wrote reflections in their travel journal that everyone is keeping.

In Kona, right on the shoreline, Professor VanHorn gave the devotional talk today and talked about 1Peter 5:7 and inviting Jesus to be Lord over all aspects of your life. Then we walked across the street to attend worship at the very first church in the Hawaiian chain, started in 1824.

Mokuaikaua Church in Kailua-Kona
While there we met a couple of Calvin alumni who attended the school in the late 1950's. It was such a wonderful time as Professor VanHorn was able to have lunch with them and get to know them a little while they too were visiting Kona from the Mainland (Mainland is what the Hawaiian's call the continental USA).

Once a month on Sunday the city shuts down traffic to the main street and various street vendors line up on the ocean side street in Kona and sell their wares. Here you can see several shots (note the church steeple in the shots for orientation):

Kona, looking south
Kona, looking north
Traditional dancers along the way
The bay, looking south
After lunch in Kona, we traveled down to a state park, where several people snorkeled and saw some wonderful sea life! Photos below of the sea are thanks to Eric again. Thanks Eric!

Moorish Idol
Raccoon Butterflyfish
An Orangeband Surgeonfish between two beautiful Threadfin Butterflyfish
The state fish of Hawaii - humuhumu-nukunuku-apua´a  OR the Reef Triggerfish (almost all of can now pronounce the state fish correctly in Hawaiian!)

Hawksbill Sea Turtle
Four Calvin men and a Sea Turtle
After a while, several of us went to see a tour of the largest organic coffee growers operation on the island, Mountain Thunder coffee. While there we learned more about the coffee growing process, about the types of geography that make it possible to grow the greatest coffee in the world (except maybe Ethiopian coffee - but hey I am biased), and all things coffee.

Coffee trees at Mountain Thunder
The flowers of the coffee trees, which will turn to coffee beans to be harvested
Steven enjoying the aroma of the flower - it was one of nicest scents from a flower I have smelled
From the left - beans initially with their husk on that have gone through the drying process once out of the fruit. In the middle are beans that have been cleaned of the husk and are ready to be roasted. On the right are roasted coffee beans ready for a brew. WHERE IS MY COFFEE MAKER??
Coffee is big business these days as the second most traded commodity next to oil. Kona coffee from Hawaii is rare and unique. To label Kona coffee as 100% Kona Coffee requires legally now that all the coffee be from Kona, Hawaii. Most labels these days are 10% Kona Coffee, which means the company has bought coffee beans from others around the world and mixed it with the Kona Coffee, making it 90% not Kona Coffee. Mountain Thunder is 100% Kona Coffee and the cost for this amazing coffee is some of the highest in the world, over $50 per pound. I only bought half a pound. :)

To celebrate our last night on the Big Island, we had a BBQ at the hostel. Several went shopping for the goods and Professor VanHorn grilled up the brats, hamburgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, Butterflyfish, peppers and even two steaks from two women from Montreal who wanted to use the grill. We had loads of salad, chips, and lively conversation. What beautiful people these students are!

The Grill Master
Tomorrow we head to Maui for some amazing hikes to see the landscape and geology.

Miles Hiked today: 1
Miles Hiked in Hawaii: 32.4 miles
Miles on the car: 954 miles
Number of U-Turns: 16
Number of camera shots of that sea turtle: enough to fill a 4GB memory card


Just today we are having a special guest update of some previous days shots! Enjoy!

Professor's VanKooten! (from Jan)
Professor VanHorn capturing a spider on the Pahoehoe (from Jan)
God Bless all of our Service Men and Women (from Jason)

On Mauna Kea - WOW! (from Alex G)
The distant moon (from Alex G)
The night sky from Mauna Kea - see I told you it was the best place to stargaze (from Alex G)
The heavens declare the glory of God; the sky's proclaim the work of his hands Psalm 19:1 NIV  (from Alex G)

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