With one week together officially under our belts, the Zeal Team finally reunited to adventure off to Waimea Valley, a short walking distance from the hostel, in order to help plant indigenous plants and get rid of invasive ones. The only problem was that the plants were on top of a ridge, which we had to hike up. While hiking, the few complaints about the hot weather and steep terrain were quickly diminished by the great views and positive vibes. At the top, we learned all about the valley’s ecosystem and how it’s important to stop the invasive plant species from taking control. In the end, after a quick lunch break and a few hours of hard work, we ended up planting over 200 native plants! Besides that, the Zeal Team also worked hard at getting rid of the invasive species by (safely) cutting down some trees and shrubs with handsaws and garden clippers.

After descending down the ridge, we cooled off with some Hawaiian shave ice and a dip into a waterfall. The day ended with the team heading to Laniakea beach, where we saw three Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles basking in the sun and learned about them and endangered Monk Seals in preparation to teach tourists about the turtles ourselves tomorrow! After taking pictures on the beach of the sunset and a few wrestling matches in the sand, we headed back to the hostel exhausted, happy, and full of wonderful memories! Cant wait for tomorrow! 😉

Garret “G Man” Rofheart