“Here”, Hannah handed me a parallelogram shaped blade with a duct tape wrapped handle. One side is smooth and the other side has a hook at the end. Hannah said, “this is a machete, and we are going to…” Just landed in Keauhou Kona 7 hours ago, my mind simple could not process what she said after machete. All I could think of was: I am holding a machete. A machete. A M-A-C-H-E-T-E!!!
First of all, where would you even buy a machete? Knife Shop? Costco? Home Depot?
I don’t even know where to buy one let alone use one.
Clearly, holding a machete on the first day of work really set the tone for my Hawaii experience – this is not a lay by the beach vacation, or like any of my other travel experiences. I am here to really contribute to this land, as long as I don’t contribute any of my body parts.
Still in shock, I walked up with Hannah to the 3-arce coffee farmland. I felt like a cave-person coming out from the gloomy Seattle into a world filled with sunshine. I was surprised I didn’t even pass out.
At the edge of the 3-arce, I turned around and scanned this land I will call home for the next 2 months. The greenery literately punched me in the face and sent me into another wave of shock. There were rows after rows of green coffee trees; among them were avocado, banana, papaya, orange, tangerines and grapefruit trees. North Pacific Ocean was in the distance, a bit grey due to the volcano pollution. The air smelled like the earth and the chickens.
My job was to grab dead coffee bean branches, and chop off the small branches with the machete. After I chop it like it’s hot for about an hour, the initial excitement of using a machete faded. Millions of ass-hole mosquitoes were eating me for lunch. The sun was burning me like an egg on the hot cement.
I looked up to what are ahead – tangled branches to chop and opportunities to chop my toes off. I got frustrated. I sat down on the uneven rocky slope and drank my lukewarm water. A quote suddenly came to mind:
Every project started as a mess”
It is exhausting to look at a tangled project. The hardest part is to find where to start, which can lead to procrastination, then frustration and then throwing two hands up in the air and say Fuck This! I am gonna go back watching Modern Family. (Evident #1: the process of writing all my essays in college)
Of course, this unproductive behavior should be terminated long time ago. “So what should I do instead?” I asked myself. I stood up and picked up the machete, walked up to the biggest branch messed up situation I have ever seen, examined it a bit, found a decent place to start, then I started chopping. After that, I moved on to the next branch, and the next one until this whole mess got fixed.
The power of this quote is that it gives you comfort knowing that everything will be sorted out at the end. You trust your own ability to fix a mess and turn it into something amazing. Then take your first step.
On my first day in Hawaii, I have come to term to accept that things are messy, but the messiness should not stop me from making progress. The machete did set a more farm-ish vibe for this trip, but this experience helped determine what I need to accomplish and improve as an individual. Its surprising what travel can do for your mind. 🙂
Don’t worrying about the difficulties ahead for now. For now, look at where is the next chop, and hopefully is not your big toe.
– 18 mosquito bits less than 30 min
– 1 bruised knuckle from the machete
– Successfully made pooched eggs (adulating 101)
– Pet 3 cats.
– Attempted to pick up a kitty 5 times (he was not very impressed)
– Befriended the dogs
– Didn’t chop off my feet, hands or face with the machete
This week’s goal:
– Learn how to hold a cat properly