Sunday, February 26, 2012


It's amazing.  Just like I thought it would be.  It's more jungly and country than I thought and not nearly as overrun with tourists and resorts as I pictured.

I'm learning a lot and have already realized that I know VERY little about most anything having to do with farming, cooking, or being of nature in any way.  So, I'm soaking things in, asking questions, and trying to let my knowledge grow.

It feels like a vacation so far - we harvest coffee beans on Friday for about 5 hours and then a big rainstorm came through so we called it a day.  Tomorrow will begin a full work week, so I'll get the feel for being a bonified farmer a little more this week. Yay! So far it's felt more like a vacation - went to Pu'uhonua O Honaunau (Place of Refuge) on Saturday and did some snorkling.  AMAZING. Wow. Beautiful coral and fish and turtles.  Wow.

And today we went to a Hookena Beach and it had black sand which is hot hot hot.  We brought the snorkle gear and did some more snorkling, but it wasn't quite as beautiful as the day before (can you believe I can say things like that?).  The sun is my frenemy, so I'm trying to embrace it and let it embrace me without it burning my very pale and freckly skin.

The family is incredible.  So kind and warm and they have 3 nutso kids, but they are sweet and bubbly.  But also intensely wild at the same time.  The littlest one has this curly white blonde hair and the best imagination ever.  He's pretty stinkin' cute.

I'll try to get my head out of the clouds and write more things down to share with you all soon!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chillin' In The Bu

This weekend I went on a last minute camping trip up to the Malibu (affectionately nicknamed The Bu) with my pals Clay and Amy. It was amazing.  I've spent a little time with C and A since I've been in L.A., but I wish it had been more!  They are by far one of my favorite couples.  You know, one of those couples that are individuals, but sweetly affectionate to each other in intentional, not let's-touch-each-other-all-of-the-time-even-when-we-hang-out-with-our-single-friends. Couples take notes from these fine folks.

So went drove up to La Jolla Canyon and camped the night before and then got up the next morning, Amy made some yummy breakfast burritos, and then we set off for our hike up Point Mugu.

Who knew California could get so cold? Brrrr.

Such a gorgeous view from Point Mugu.

At the top!

We left a little "Suckas, we made it!" kind of note.

Mmm, meadows to run through.

I keep endorsing all of my activities, but, seriously, if you make it to L.A. drive north and camp and do this trail.  It's strenuous enough in some places to make you feel like you got a workout, but easy enough in other places to make it enjoyable. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Marking Time

Breathe, Leah, breathe. This time next week you will be in the airport waiting to board your plane to begin your (ugh) 15ish hour journey to Hawaii.  Even though it ain't the prettiest set up of traveling, you'll still be on your way! And one can never complain when I am traversing across an ocean to a tiny island by way of FLIGHT.

In the meantime, I am trying my darnedest to enjoy the here and now.  Which means that I am trying to do "L.A. things" that I've been meaning to do.  On Monday, Marshall and I hopped on the train and rode it North several stops to the city of Watts.  The historic Watts riots happened here, after the Rodney King shooting, so there is a history of racial tension, as well as poverty.  It's improved since then, but still remains as a predominately non-white, lower income neighborhood.

On our way to our destination, Marshall and I saw this rad staircase and as we stopped to take pictures, we definitely got heckled at by some middle school kids.  I laughed cuz I was skeered.  Kids are so mean!

We moseyed on over to the Watts Towers, which was our final destination, and my final "L.A. thing" to see.  The Watts Towers boils down to being beautiful folk art.  The story goes that a man named Simon Rosia, in 1921, began to build these cement sculptures/towers (ordained with reclaimed materials like glass, tile, bottles, rocks, etc.) in his backyard and continued to work on it for 34 years.

He did it all by hand and after he sold the property to a neighbor and it got lost in the shuffle of property exchange, it finally got into the hands of a preservation council and is now considered a historic site!  Pretty badass, huh?

If you ever come to L.A., GO HERE.  Make sure you take a friend, cuz it's kind of sketch, but GO!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Vitamin D and South Bay Pride

Yesterday, I was outside ALL DAY. It was incredible - first, my pal Marshall and I and others went to the Korean Friendship Bell in San Pedro and took in both this view and some Mexican comfort food.  Some of you might know Marshall - he toured for IC and came through Greensboro with his team and hustled down EmJack at a screening, I think? 

Then we traipsed around the rest of South Bay, driving along the coast, exploring little towns and parks that I had never seen before.  Amazing.  Apparently The OC was filmed at some locations in South Bay.  Who knew?!  We also stopped by Torrance High School where Buffy was filmed, along with She's All That, Beverly Hills 90210, and Not Another Teen Movie

Marshall was Mr. Tourist/photographer for the day, so I don't have many pictures, but I'm sure that he filled up his memory card.  You would have thought he had never been to California before...

A day in the sun was just what I needed to get a boost of energy and not feel so jaded about not doing much during this period of limbo.  I think I'm ready for spectacular views every day.  Hawaii, get here already!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Artsy Fartsy

This weekend I went into L.A. to meet up with my current roommate, Angel.  After making one Spanish speaking friend on the train, being utterly confused and nervously overwhelmed on the bus, and making a big dent in the book I was reading ("Pigs in Heaven" by Barbara Kingsolver), I made it to the L.A. County Museum of Art.  It had some pretty cool exhibits set up and I was able to sneak into a couple of them.

 This is Angel.  She's a walking piece of beautiful art herself.

Those beautiful lights right outside the museum are one of my favorite spots in L.A. 
Iconic and beautiful in both the light and dark. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Oh, You Know, Just Another ADVENTURE!

First, go way back and read this post from January of 2010.

You've read it? Okay, awesome.  So, now you're caught up.  Approximately two years ago, I was at a crossroads in life.  What to do next?  I vividly remember writing that post laying in what was once my bedroom and I only saw two options, so I informed my small, but mighty blog audience about them.  But there was secretly a third option that dropped in my lap at the last minute and that became exactly what I've been doing for the last 2 years.  North Korea focused.  Solid, solid times of activism, growth, introspection, and change for the North Korean people.  And, in completely superficial terms, I think I got to accomplish a little bit of that Zooey that I wanted.  I was able to spruce up my wardrobe, wear skirts and cute thrifted threads on the reg.

Two years later, yet another crossroad.  It's a trend in my life.  If you know me, then you know that.  And now I'm going to accomplish a little bit of Dennis.  That's right, folks.  I am going to WWOOF in Hawaii come the end of this month!  Bucket list. Check.

The short long-ish story: last April I purchased a WWOOF-USA membership on a whim, because it was something I always wanted to do and I hate putting my money to waste, so I knew that if I bought it, I would HAVE to use it.  In the mean time, I'm the biggest poser of a WWOOF spokesperson out there - every time someone talks about traveling, I'm like, OMG have you ever thought of WWOOFing? Gab, gab, gab, and I pretend to know all about it, even though I'd never done it and never met anyone who had.

Then it was December and I was finishing my time with LiNK.  My talks of WWOOFing over the last year was mainly for me - to plant those seeds inside my own head so that I would actually follow up on something that I knew, deep down, I wanted to do.  I initially wanted to go to New Zealand.  Who doesn't?  BUT airfare alone let me know that now is not the time. And I had my handy-dandy WWOOF-USA membership which included Hawaii and I decided that wouldn't be a terrible place to go in the winter time, right?

Mmm, don't you feel warmer just looking at it?

So, at the end of December, I started reaching out to some pals who I thought would be good travel buddies and emailing some farms.  Farmers have emails?  Yes.  I know, ironic.

I would do it in waves.  I would read a farm's profile in my directory, decide if I dug it, then email them.  I emailed my favorites first and then my second favorites the next week and so on and so forth.  Some farms led me on in the meanest online-dating sense of the phrase.  So much hope and so much let down.  That happened a few times and was unfortunate. I wanted to go so bad.

So, finally, after my friend from college, Josh, got on board to come, one of the farms I emailed initially wants us! Josh has got all the labor-skills that farmers want and I've got the ability to write a classy email that causes intrigue.  It's a dynamic duo, of sorts.  At least until we get to the farm and the owners realize that I burn easy and can't carry 10 pounds for more than a few feet.  Kidding (sort of - the daily push ups start now).

What they don't know, won't hurt them, until it's too late!  And I will be leaving in a few weeks to live near Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii for at least a couple of months, volunteering on a farm (in exchange for room and board), living with a seemingly precious family (husband, wife, 3 young kids), learning how to farm organically and living off the grid.

Aloha, my friends!

Single and Ready to Mingle...

with my turkey/cheese/hummus sandwich and butternut squash soup!  And mingle we did.  Or, rather, I scarfed them down in less than 4 minutes. So, tell me, my friends that live thousands of miles away from me (AND those that don't), what did YOU have for lunch?

Is my blog becoming an Instagram for the iPhoneless?  Sigh, I need some more content.  I've been thinking a lot about this silly idea of love and attachment lately, so maybe, juuust maybe, I'll share those thoughts later :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Thrift stores are my mecca and retail therapy is a very real and healthy way to resolve life. Doctor recommended. So I took the 61 bus down the street to be in my home away from home.