Recieving a warm aloha (hello) and e komo mai (welcome) to Hawai’i!
Most people travel to Hawai’i to tan on beaches and have the best experiences of their lives. My journey here is similar, except that I’m tanning from long hikes across old lava flows and the volcanic caldera floor.
My name is MyLynn Phan and I am a student at UC Davis, pursuing a B.S. degree in Community and Regional Development with minors in Education and Religious Studies. I am passionate about promoting education on sustainability and environmental justice, as well as issues on social inequities and inequality. This summer, I am thrilled to be working at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park as a Science Communication Assistant, where I am developing new K-12 curricula on Kīlauea’s 2018 volcanic eruption.
Flying across the Pacific Ocean from sunny California to rainforest Hawai’i was a dramatic change. When I arrived, I was greeted by my future supervisor, Jody Anastasio, who received me with a beautiful lei. The air was extremely humid and sticky in the outdoor airport and even moreso the further I got from AC. Luckily for me, Jody informed me that the park was located at 4,000 ft altitude — high enough to escape the humidity.
My first shock came when we decided to grocery shop before driving back to the park. I guess living on an isolated island in the ocean has pros and cons, and one of those cons is outrageous grocery prices. I almost booked my flight back home when I saw that white nectarines (my favorite fruit ever) were listed at $4.99/lb. Did you know that the average price of nectarines in America was $1.88 per pound in 2016, according to USDA? Well, Jody convinced me to stay and ever since then, my journey has been relatively stable.
After arriving home late at night, I was finally able to rest and unpack. In the future, I would soon meet my housemates, John and Susan, meet the rest of the park rangers, and also fall in love with Hawai’i. Stick around to read more on my paradise adventure!