It’s been a very exciting couple of weeks for the RTG Crew. Lots of shooting. Lots of traveling. From open ocean kayaking, down at Kealakekua Bay, to night shooting at the summit of Kilauea Volcano, and everything in between. We don’t want anyone to feel out of the loop, so here is a quick rundown of everything that we have been doing!
We did a short night hike to Kilauea Volcano, and “You never really experience the absolute beauty of the volcano until you go at night. You see the beauty that is Pele the volcano goddess, and why the Hawaiian people revere her in such a way,” according to Viviana Rivera. It was quite a different experience to be able to see the volcano for what it really is, not just the puffs of smoke that fly from her during the day. Various people came and went. Some spoke softly amongst themselves and others remained silent. Sometime during the night a traveler pulled out his guitar and played softly on the edge of the overlook wall.
Another great stop was to the Paauilo School Garden, at the Paauilo Elementary and Intermediate School in Paauilo, on the Big Island. The school garden is the longest running school garden program on the island. Donna Mitts is the coordinator, and has done wonders for the school, but most importantly, the children she works with. Not only did we witness the milking of a goat, we also got the opportunity to see young children excited about planting and harvesting! It’s great to see where the cycle begins.
The next leg of our trip took us to Akaka Falls State Park, just north of Hilo. The park featured a short 1/2 mile hike around a lush rainforest filled with orchids and bamboo groves. We were rewarded for our efforts with a 442 foot waterfall known as Akaka Falls. Akaka means “A rent, split, chink, separation; to crack, split, scale” in Hawaiian, and this mighty beast is located at the edge of Kolekole stream.
We then had the chance to travel up to our dear friend Koh Ming Wei’s house in Waimea, and speak with Chad Eckert about his journey from Michigan to Hawaii. “I went out to the infinite abyss without wings. Didn’t know how to fly, but I learned on the way down,” he says about his decision to leave. It’s a compelling story, that might find a place within our film.
To top off our incredibly productive week, we were invited to attend the Kohala ‘Aina Festival put on by the Hawai’i Institute of Pacific Agriculture and North Kohala Eat Locally Grown. The event included; workshops on vegetable fermentation and the best way to plant sweet potatoes, bamboo building hosted by Sebastian Collet, a graduation ceremony for the fall course students, Lu’au feast, and a performance by Medicine for the People. The community atmosphere was indescribable, everyone was willing to lend a hand and do their job, even when the rain became a torrential downpour.
Overall, it was a great week for us here on the RTG Crew. Please feel free to check out some more photos taken by Aaron Schmidt during his travels with us.
Have a great day, and stay posted for more updates!