Okay so first of all work last Thursday was super fun, they set us interns loose in an area I've never been before, some patches of dry forest on the Hōlei Pali, where we scrambled around on sharp, precarious ‘a‘a flows (redundant) on a very steep slope, collecting tissue from a rare plant for a genetics project and seed-collecting. It was a really cool area with a really neat plant community and FANTASTIC views of the coastal plains. If I ever have time to, like, take two breaths I will maybe post pictures.
Friday morning I went to Maui Party, and. I just. Oh my god. SOME OF THE BEST FUN I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. ...I spent all day Friday in a Blues workshop which was really awesome, we got exposed to a different style of Blues than we'd been exposed to before and learned some really cool stuff, and we got to know our fellow students really well which was great, because then we had sort of a posse for the rest of the party, people we already sort-of knew and were on good terms with and had danced with.
First party Friday night was at MAPA (Maui Academy for the Performing Arts, or something like that), and we got to meet the rest of the Party-goers, from Maui and O‘ahu and all over the Mainland and a few foreign countries. There were like a dozen Aussies, which was fun, because Aussies are always fun and these guys were amazing fast Lindyers. We had an impromptu Shim Sham battle, which was also fun.
Friday late night party was at Jason's house... Jason is a major figure in the Maui dance scene and one of the main organizers of Maui Party. His house is RIDICULOUS. It's this old mansion from the Thirties, up on a hill where it's got a view out the front and the back, and he's got a nice big dance floor and a jukebox and a nice sound system and a massive kitchen and a foosball table on his porch and a collection of party hats and an inflatable remote-control shark. And we danced until our feet fell off and then cut out around two a.m. and went to our friends' house and I passed out until one in the afternoon.
Mom and I had a lovely hike up Waihe‘e Ridge, and then it was off to Kīhei for the Saturday night parties. The first party was at some charter school; and then for late night we bought out a bar called Sharkey's, where a handful of the Party-goers put a jam-band together and played live music, and we proceeded to make the bartenders' week. Like, seriously, as we were leaving they were all starry-eyed at us, because we were dancing like badasses. Aww yeah. Then I got invited on the illicit skinny-dipping sekrit beach party, which was super fun. It was a gorgeous fucking night and we all had glow-bracelets and we body-surfed naked in the moonlight, and I accidentally punched Shep in the ball sack, which was the funniest thing all weekend aside from his mirror-ball pants. Everyone else got out and put their clothes back on and put some music on and started dancing on the sand; I got out long enough to swipe some vodka sweet tea, decided I wasn't done being naked yet, and ended up sharing a boogie board with a drunken Shep who waxed effusive about how happy he was and said nice things about my following. I caught a ride back to Wailuku Heights and grabbed some five hours sleep.
Sunday Mom and I hooked up with Greg to go hiking again, this time in a forest reserve above Olinda, which was super chill. Then we headed back to Kīhei for the official beach party. Potluck barbecue, touch football, learning a hula, whale watching, watching the sunset, and dancing barefoot in the grass. Just... awesome. Also Eric informed me that he and Shep had talked it over, and they agreed that I'm, like, the only person they know who actually looks better with my clothes off. ...In context it was absolutely not sketchy, you're just going to have trust me on this. I was intensely flattered. ...Anyway. The final dance party was at Lulu's, another bar, and we danced, and the Aussie's did some mad crazy aerial stunts, and at some point they all put on midriff shirts, and we danced until we couldn't stand anymore and we went back to Wailuku Heights and caught another five hours of sleep before catching our plane back to Hilo this morning.
I just... there's no way to convey in words how much fun Maui Party was. I met so many amazing people, and they were all such amazing dancers, and by the end of the Party we were all friends like we've always known each other, hugging and kissing and smiling, and I felt really good about myself because I had some good steals in the stealing jams and people liked to dance with me, and I wasn't anything near the best Lindy-Hop follow there (that would be, like, ALL the Aussie ladies) but based on compliments I think I might actually have been one of the best Blues follows, so that made my ego feel pretty good.
...Anyway, I need to be ASLEEP, I've gotta be up in... less than five hours, now, because I am going up to Hakalau for a couple days after all, to learn how to put up mist nets and handle tiny birdies and take their blood. And then Thursday will be my last day with NPS, and then I somehow got roped into teaching the Blues mini-lesson at the Lounge, and Thomas and Joaquin from Maui Party are expected to show up which is AWESOME because Thomas was one of my very favorite dance partners and vice-versa; both of them, really, are amazing leads, and. Friday night is Jazz Mele at the Hilo Town Tavern, and Saturday night is Island Swing Orchestra at the Elk's Lodge, and my new internship starts on Monday and I really can't think about the rest of the month yet, it's just too exhausting OH GOD WHAT IS MY LIFE.
IT'S WONDERFUL, THAT'S WHAT.