Intensive English Program

Aloha! This is a 2nd blog with the topic of “What they enjoy about studying in Hawaii”. Hawaii Community College shares the University of Hawaii at Hilo facilities so IEP students go to the UHH campus at least once a week. This blog is about how the UHH campus is like. Enjoy!

My initial impression of the University of Hawaii at Hilo campus during my recent visit there was how green and lush it was. I felt as if I was at a park rather than at a college campus, which is commonly surrounded by brick buildings and concrete pavements. There wasn’t a lot of pedestrian traffic, which was a refreshing relief. I guess most of the students were in the class at the time.

I was supposed to meet up with some of my classmates for our tour of the campus. After we had a short tour at the library, our guide took us to a campus office to get our student ID. She then showed us the cafeteria, the gym, the computer room and the student union. I found that the students here were more laid back in contrast to the “hustle and bustle” in many college communities on the mainland. People walking around the campus seemed to have good eye contact and smiled at one another. Some of them even said, “Hi” to me – a perfect stranger.

After the tour of the campus, we went our separate ways. I, somehow, got lost. I couldn’t find the parking lot where my car was parked. So, I asked one of the students to help me. A nice young man showed me the way. He even walked with me almost halfway to where I was supposed to go. I could feel the “aloha spirit,” indeed. As I was passing along a wooded area toward the parking lot for my car, I noticed a mother hen with her little chicks roaming the field. It was a delightful site to see. Where else, except here in Hawaii, can you find wild chickens roaming freely? Most of the chickens that I’d seen on the mainland had white feathers. In contrast, chickens in Hawaii come in all ranges of exotic colors; especially the roosters, which reminded me of a peacock because of their beautiful feathers.

I continued through a lush green wooded area. I couldn’t help but noticed countless beautiful wildflowers are dotted throughout the field. On the mainland, a typical landscape around most campuses is usually covered in manicured lawns with a few sporadic flowers displayed in a formal and constrained style, which makes the free and wild landscapes in Hawaii much more exciting to me. In addition to the natural beauty, the sounds of birds chirping and singing a harmonic ballad. I especially noticed there were a vast variety of exotic birds with magnificent colored feathers in bright yellow, red and green, and blue, just to name a few. They were hypnotic to look at.

Under the canopy of a huge ancient tree, there was a makeshift little shack covered with an old rusted metal, which added a certain charm to the surrounding landscape. The one thing missing was a bench where I wished I could sit quietly to appreciate the tranquility of this glorious spring afternoon day. With a regretful feeling, I moved on toward the parking lot to reach my car. Regardless, it turned out to be a splendid day after so many days of persistent rain. I love the rain, especially the warm tropical rain. I get a feeling of Deja vu from a long time ago, when I was a young girl in Vietnam, where I could hear the raindrops on the tin roof during the monsoon season. It was a good feeling!