2.26.2007

Hawaii - Moloka'i

I'm heading to Hawaii on Wednesday for the State Wrestling Tournament. Actually, this is one of many reasons why I'm going.

When I first arrived on Moloka'i, it was rough, it was a new place and I only knew two people (a relatively high percentage considering there are only 7,000 on the entire island). Here's a brief snapshot of Moloka'i.....There are two gas stations, Subway is the fastest food, no stoplights, has a leper colony, one highway, there's no building taller than a palm tree, and tourism...what's that??? Through a bizarre turn of events, many things came a tumbling down. A relationship - over, Finances - GONE, a foreign place, new culture, and the emotional swings of being a first year teacher. I'm tellin' ya, it was RIDICULOUS!! As I look back in hindsight, I can see God's hand along each step of the way, and I'm grateful for ALL of those hard times. Having seen the depths, it makes the heights that much sweeter!!

Well, with few options in a new place, I needed to stay occupied...Seriously, I couldn't sleep well, I didn't have ANY money..... I needed to dive into something for sanity's sake. I started helping at Moloka'i High School as an assistant wrestling coach. Practice each day of the week, a core group of guys (and two girls, Hawaii has girls wrestling too) who wanted to get better, the sport I love, and off-island travel on weekends, It really did help me battle through some hard times. That first assisting position led to a head coaching position for the following two years as well as lots of blood, sweat, and tears invested in teaching students a great sport which I am particularly fond of, but also a sport that most often times pits you against yourself, teaches you not to give up when you are one your back, and puts you in matches where you are facing a highly favored opponent, but you enter anyway to fight. That particular group of freshmen students (whom I first started coaching) are now seniors, and they will be competing in their final State tournament this upcoming weekend. It's very important to me to support them. I'm willing to put school on the back burner for a short time.

Alright, so a week-and-a-half is a long time to spend at a wrestling tournament right?

After the tournament (on Oahu) I'll be heading to Moloka'i for a week to visit friends, my old church family, and.....S U R F!
Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrf!!!
Baby, I can't even wait. Surfing on the Oregon coast doesn't even come close.

I hope to keep the blog updated each day with the latest pics and some stories...for all four of you that read this blog once a week.

E olelo au ia oe i'ka la'apo'po

7 comments:

Kalani said...

How on earth did you choose Molokai? Anyway, I give you credit for trying something new and struggle to survive there. I left there 22 yrs. ago....many of my relatives are there so I go back occasionally.

Chris said...

Aloha, Mr. Smalls! I want surfing pictures, many, many surfing pictures.

Matt said...

Godspeed, Jonny. Post some pics when you have the chance. When you get back...the recording blitz begins.

Jon said...

Moloka'i chose me. It wasn't a matter of me looking around for the right or wrong place to be. I think it was a part of the bigger picture of spiritual maturity, that God actually led me there. Mahalos!

Terry said...

yeah i want to see some pics of you kicking some A$$ in the tournament and the waves kicking your A$$.

Ashby said...

hey I read your blog too. So that makes four of us.

Paulos said...

Make that five