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February 8, 2014

Written through the voices of incoming Pacific Quest staff and their stories of arrival…

(Through the lens of Kenny)

As we fly into Hawaii the feeling of nostalgia wouldn’t wear off. I have left my family in the midst of winter to join a group of strangers in the field of troubled youth reform. There are only two buses that run from Hilo to Na’alehu, the base city of Pacific Quest. Just sitting there waiting for the bus in my board shorts, tie dye shirt, and fifty pound backpack I stood out as a “PQ’er”. I met Daniel as he strolled up with his two backpacks and flip flops “slippahs.” We knew that we would be traveling to PQ together.

(Through the lens of Daniel)

Aloha from Hilo! I have arrived. I notice two adventurers, you know the ones that sever all ties to step into the unknown following their heart’s current to an island far away. “Are you going to Pacific Quest?” I asked, as if speaking of a destination and journey in the same proper noun. I could tell Brett and Kenny were fresh off the plane, luggage, smiles, and a clear sense of jet lag from just being uprooted and in process of a transplant to new soils. I spent the two weeks prior severing my own ties. I’m speaking of a severance that mimics the falling leaves in autumn. I graduated in December, quit my job, transferred my leadership roles, and mentally prepared for the next stepping stone. I sent the good news to friends and family, spent the holidays with loved ones, and made intentions for the New Year. A year to be filled with mystery, personal growth, and contributions to this good world only imagined in dreams. A dream come true.

(Through the lens of Brett)

As I walked up to Pacific Quest from the bus stop with a few of my new coworkers we are met by Rae, our new Supervisor. She shows us around the grounds and points out the sweetest orange trees and where to find fresh lilikoi (passion fruit). We settled into the dorms as the staff piled in and out at the end of their evening shift. We hear them joking and laughing as they walked up the stairs. Their camaraderie is evident immediately. We are bombarded with names and questions. Their warm welcome calms my nerves and I smile. A feeling of calm washes over me.

(Through the lens of the new staff team)

For the next few days we are guided by multiple staff Leads and Supervisors. This was our chance to meet people and to tour the camps, cook meals in the camps, orientations, and a new staff training. Our training was comprehensive and our needs were taken care of.

As our transition phase comes to an end, we are filled with questions, curiosities, and dreams. We consider our life, our choices, and reflect on how we arrived here. We consider our role at Pacific Quest and responsibility with ourselves and others. We remember the communities we left behind and consider the new community we are now a part of. We dream of the future and our path towards it.

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