Back in March, I had the chance to shoot the HPIC (Hawaiian Pacific Islanders Club) Luau. It was the 41st annual luau at Gonzaga, and I am proud to say that I have been at the past three of them. As usual, I had a blast working with HPIC and I loved every minute of it! Even though the Luau doesn’t start until 6pm, many members of HPIC and the other multicultural clubs on campus – such as FASU and ISU – donate their time to help get the whole thing up and running. When I came by in the morning, the dancers were doing a final rehearsal and a multitude of other people were helping cook food back in the kitchens. The Luau is much more than just a show. At 6pm, the doors open, and the lines are usually long. The tables have been set, and people are served delicious Hawaiian food that I can’t even try to pronounce but I love every bite of it!Each year, the luau has a country store and some fun games that they play with the crowd. The MCs ask questions about Hawaii, give out prizes, and people eat a lot of food. Then, the dancing starts. Since the Luau is all about having fun, the first dance this year was a Tahitian dance, and the dancers then invited some audience members up on stage to try it out. After this, the dancing – and the stories that accompany each dance – begin. This is my favorite part, because for a while, I am no longer sitting on the floor of a gym at Gonzaga University, but I am off in Hawaii, a place I dream of visiting someday.
In January, I scored 4 tickets to the exhibition show of the US Figure Skating Nationals, and we were mere rows from the ice. Sweet! I was able to snag a good shot of Evan Lysacek, who would win the Men’s Figure Skating Olympic Gold Medal less than a month later. No Big Deal, right? 🙂
high pressure. thunderstorms.
the taste of rain in the morning. the smell of fall.
sunny Saturdays. flip flops and cardigans. skirts. the breeze. windblown hair. smiles. slow songs. high heels.
downtown. Raw. sushi. German Riesling. cool, crisp wine. late night laughter. low lights. smiles. candles. cupcakes.
the park. the river. dreams. surprises. birthdays. dreams. baking. bike rides.
croissants. memories of Berlin. Prague. Vienna.
barefoot frisbee. soccer games. camera in hand. the crunch of fresh leaves.
new friends. old friends. dancing. barefoot. in the kitchen. skype dates. a child’s smile.
doing dishes. lazy Sunday mornings. St Al’s bells. Thirst. reunions.
lots and lots of hugs.
dreams. reading. realizations. questions. old plans. new plans. winter dreams.
hot tea in the morning. iced in the afternoon.
addendum: 10pm mass. the lord’s prayer. CS Lewis.
faith. atheism. finding yourself. joy. love. understanding. true knowledge.
more cookies. campus at night. friends. family. acceptance.
the past. the future. this moment.
Gonzaga. Fall 2009.
Sometimes a photo can’t sum it all up, but neither can these words. I just want to soak up my last fall at Gonzaga, before winter comes. Before spring when we all go our own ways.
Thanksgiving is Thursday, and studying abroad makes you realize all the things (both big and small) that you’re thankful for. So, here’s a small list of things that I’m thankful for, and some things are serious, some are not so serious, but I really am thankful for all of them.
10 Things I’m Thankful For: The 2008 Edition
1. My Family: Not just my biological family(whom I love – even when they drive me crazy!), but those people who over time have become my family, who have embraced me as a sister, a daughter, a friend. These are the people who make my life worth living, the people on my speed-dial – if you will – and the people I miss dearly. I’d list them all, but it’d be too long a list. They have given me everything: a shoulder to cry on, undying support, and constant love. My family, my friends, and my boyfriend. They would do anything from me, and I would be lost without them, and without…
2. My Faith and Dreams: When I think back on the past year, I am (first off) in awe of all the things that have happened and (secondly) grateful. They have been good and bad, but through it all I’ve learned that I have a deeper and stronger faith than I knew – which a year ago, I’d all but lost. And now, living 5,000 miles from home, it’s my faith that keeps me from total homesickness and insanity. As for my dreams, I think it’s our dreams and aspirations which make us push for things in life. Lately, I’ve been mulling over my dreams and contemplating the future. I’ve been blessed to fulfill so many of my dreams already, and to have people around me who encourage me to follow my dreams.
3. Hugs & Smiles: Something I miss right now, because it seems that Czechs don’t exactly hug or smile. But I love hugs, and I am thankful for friends who hug me for no reason. I’m thankful for the smiles that brighten my day, and the warmth and compassion that smiles convey. Actions do speak louder than words.
4. This Semester: It hasn’t been easy. Rarely a day goes by when I don’t miss home to some degree, but I am thankful for it. Having a second chance to study abroad, and to see the Czech Republic through older and more experienced eyes has been an experience in itself. I’ve learned things about Europe and CZ that I never noticed before. To learn – and not just in class – what the world is trying to teach me, is a great gift.
5. Photography: Without my photography, I’d be lost. It’s a challenge, a job, a dream, a passion, and a way to show the world what I see.
6. The rain that is almost snow outside my window: I’m hoping for a beautiful white Christmas.
7. The Internet & Skype: Being 5,000 miles from home, I am ever so thankful for the technology that allows me to hear and see the people I love.
8. Letters: While instant communication is great, I’m thankful for being able to send postcards and receive letters. It’s nice to have something tangible in my hands, however “old-fashioned” it may be.
9. The Rise of the Dollar: I am very thankful that the dollar is strong so that I can afford to eat and live here right now.
10. My Health: Besides the cold I’ve had for the past few days, I’ve been fairly healthy lately, and I’m glad to be over all the sickness I had last year.