50 Students for 50 States: Hawaii
What is your name?
Which state are you from?
Have you lived there your whole life?
Describe your state in three words.
Warm, colorful, and relaxed.
Describe the people in your state in three words.
Loving, hospitable, and passionate.
Are you proud of being from your home state? Why or why not?
I am proud. I think there’s a really neat culture in Hawaii that’s different from anywhere else in the country. And people, even people who don’t know Jesus, just want to embrace their community and bring them into their homes.
How did growing up in your state affect your childhood?
It gave me a deep appreciation for God’s creation and for family. And it makes me love the beach and the water. I just want to hug everybody.
What kind of local tradition did your town have?
Every Christmas or Easter or when a season would end, my church put together a hula dance. We also have a festival called the Merry Monarch. Different hula schools will compete and come together.
Everyone doesn’t surf.
What was the culture like in your home state / town?
It’s very diverse. Because there’s so many different cultures, there’s a lot of different kinds of foods. People sound very different. There’s an overarching Hawaiian culture of cookouts and parties. Big families are typical. People are very warm and very slow. We like to kick back and hang out with family. We love doing things with our loved ones and bringing people into our families.
What kind of relationship did you have with your neighbors?
We’re pretty friendly. We’d have little get-togethers and graduation parties. We’d bring each other gifts and muffins. We wave and say hi. We have long conversations only a couple times a year.
What was your favorite thing to do in your home state / town?
Go to the beach with my family.
Are there any foods that your state is famous for?
- There’s a lot of Hawaiian food. Spam, Kalua pig, poke. We have really good fish. Also, chicken on rice and beef stew.
Is there any slang from your home state that you use frequently?
“Shootzden” means “alright.” We say, “you know the kind” when we’re talking about anything or anyone.
I just want to hug everybody.
Do you have any local celebrities?
Tiffany Thursten. Bretman Rock.
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of your home state?
My favorite part of Hawaii is the beauty of land and people. My least favorite part is that it’s summer all year round. I miss the fall.
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of Colorado?
My favorite part is that there’s so many different things to do here. And I love the different seasons. My least favorite part is the geese. And the lack of color.
What drew you to CCU / Colorado?
I wanted to experience something different from Hawaii because I’d heard the mainland was really different. I looked up Christian universities in Colorado and found CCU.
How has living in Colorado changed your lifestyle?
Finding things to do for fun is a little different because I can’t just drive to a lake or beach to hang out with friends. Also, the food is really different here. Communication is a lot more formal here but I have adapted to it.
There’s a lot of chickens everywhere.
If someone were to visit your home state, what would you recommend they do?
I would recommend they do a sunrise to sunset day. You can chase the sun! You start by hiking on the east side for sunrise, beach hopping, going to different food places, and then go to the west side for sunset.
After graduation, do you plan on staying in Colorado, returning to your home state, or going somewhere else?
Depends on where I go to work and get my Master’s degree. But I would stay here or go back to Hawaii in a heartbeat.
What are the most common stereotypes about your state and are they true?
That we’re slow moving and I think that’s true. Our freeways are slow too. Our language is a little ghetto so the stereotypes about pidgin are true. We don’t talk very professionally. Another stereotype is that everyone surfs. Everyone doesn’t surf.
What is the most common reaction you get when you tell people where you’re from?
They say, “Hawaii! Wow!” Then they take a double take. They comment on how I pronounce Hawaii and then ask if I surf.
What is something surprising about your state that most people don’t know?
I’d say how big my high school was – my graduating class was over 600. The whole school was bigger than CCU. Also, there’s a lot of chickens everywhere.