Today the Zeal team was ready for a new adventure and everyone was extremely excited. Why? Because today was our surf day! Most of us hadn’t surfed before but you cannot come to Hawaii without trying to surf at least once! So there we were, heading to the beach, ready to kill the waves. We all were a little nervous but really excited to experience a new thing on the trip, especially surfing.

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After the land lesson about how to stand on the board, ride a wave, and stay safe, the surf instructors directed us to a good spot and we started surfing! For some of the group, it was easy and they stood up on their first wave. For others, it was a little bit more difficult but at the end, everyone was proud to tell that they had been surfing in Hawaii. Despite our large group, we were all able to surf a bunch of waves and have a really good time. The surf instructor team of very nice guys gave us some great advice and tips to always do better. They were really helpful. When they pushed us into a wave, we would start paddling and then stand up, after gaining speed. We were all really proud of ourselves and wanted to do it again and again! Everyone was giving their best, which was great because we all had a lot of fun together supporting and congratulating each other. At the end, we were all very sad to stop but also very proud of ourselves.

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After surfing, we went to Papa’iloa Beach and spent the rest of the afternoon on the warm sand of the north shore. This beach is less known to tourists than others we’ve been to, so it was much calmer and felt like a secret, with its white sand and transparent sea. As soon as we sat on our towels, we heard a scream! Blake was standing on the shoreline looking at something.

“ Guys come I found one!”

Found what? We all ran into the water and we saw a huge sea turtle swimming peacefully three feet away from us. We stood around it and watched it swim slowly and gracefully. In Hawaii, the law says that touching a sea turtle is forbidden so the best we could do was stare at the cutie whom Fox named Crush. We were so happy to see our first sea turtle!

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We stayed there for about two hours. Some of us were swimming, others were playing cards or simply lying on their towels soaking up the sun. It rained a little bit but nothing can stop the Zeal team!

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On our way home, we made a little stop at the food trucks (an essential place of our trip) for a mid-afternoon snack. Between the group we had fries, shave ice, burgers, and the world’s best fruit smoothies. When we returned home we did laundry, showered, and prepared for our move from Kalani Resort to YMCA Camp Erdman tomorrow.

After an early dinner, we decided to watch the sunset not from the house but directly at the beach. So we went to Sunset Beach and saw an amazing sunset. It was so peaceful that we decided to stay more playing games, having fun, and doing our glums, glows, and gratefuls. This has been a really good day full of emotions. All of us experienced new things, discovered new skills and had a lot of fun! I was really happy to be the leader of the day today because I think this was one of the best days we’ve had so far on the trip! I’m sure it will only get better!

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-Alex