Nov 20, 2005

Darkness, come take me away.

I'm not sure yet but I think today sucked.

I did somehow manage to rise at 7 in the morning and make it down to the campus bookstore by 8, only to have to wait 40 minutes in the icky morning sunlight for our van to leave for Waipio Valley. Yes, today was the day of my field trip from... well, I shouldn't say hell, but it was indeed characterised by much lameness.

I was feeling disoriented the entire way over, longing for a pillow and a sleeping pill. Naturally, I had only gotten three hours of sleep at most. There is no more awkward time for me to be up and about than 7 to 11 in the morning. Experiences like these remind me just what a luxury it is to be able to sleep through half the day.

I suppose one of the things that bothered me most about the trip was that there was simply too much sun, too much brightness, too much daylight. Too much. It lasted way longer that I am used to. Waking up at 7 as opposed to 12 equates to having to deal with five hours more of daylight, and today, I found that terribly disquieting. My preference for nighttime was completely violated.

I still care very little for being exposed to direct sunlight on warm days, anyway. Sunlight makes my hair itch, my skin feel dirty, and generally gives me an unpleasant feeling of uncleanliness. I feel it's extremely overrated. Same with tans (tanning parlors anyone? Pft.) Of course, it's different up in the mountains, where the cool, dry air actually leaves sunlight to be desired at times. This helps explain why I am such a nocturnal creature. I'll take basking in the moonlight over hanging out in the sunlight any day.

I believe I am quite over-sensitive to light, which is why I had made such a big fuss over installing blackout curtains in my den, and tend to have an evening-oriented schedule. It's also part of the reason I live in Hilo. It was bright and sunny at Waipio the entire time we were there, and also along the entire Hamakua coast. By the time we got back into the Hilo district, though, it was pleasantly overcast as usual. I found that fairly relieving.

Once we arrived at the lookout, they had us walk all the way down that steep, winding road. By the time I reached the valley floor, I had to train myself to walk without leaning back at a 45 degree angle again. That was tough on the legs. The cultural interpreter took us along a rugged trail through the wilderness up to a taro-growing site. Then, he put us all to work, making us fix up a little rock dam which provided irrigation to the taro plots. My job was to be part of a chain where everyone passed rocks to the next person over until they reached the dam. What fun.

To be honest, my instincts compelled me to suddenly break away from the pack and simply do my own thing. I have never been one for such organised group activities. Besides, I knew that not far up the stream, there was a magnificent towering waterfall plunging into a cold, deep pool. I wanted nothing more than to scurry away from everyone and be alone to do some meditating up there.

Unfortunately, I didn't. We just ended up walking back, having lunch, then climbing back up the hill the hot sunlight. By the time I got three quarters of the way, my leg muscles and lungs were on fire and I was a sweaty mess. Did I ever feel disgusting. Not that I am one to complain, and I beat everyone else to the top by a fairly large margin.

The van ride back was ... not particularly entertaining. I was feeling exhausted, not only physically but also of having to be around people for so long. I felt terribly claustrophobic packed inside that van of 13 other students. And when some of the 'guys' started having 'in-depth' conversations about the "nice implants" of some of the "hot chicks" in their classes, I simply shook my head, shrugged my shoulders, plugged in my ear buds, and powered up my music player. **Kisses his iPod** I think it may have just preserved my sanity today, again.

Presently, I just feel strange. Almost jet-lagged. I slept for a good three hours on the floor. Though, I do feel a little more together than I was when I started this entry. I think a little walk or bike ride outside soon might make me feel a little more 'normal' again, and that is what I need... especially if I am going to get myself together enough to do this damn recall assignment the teacher gave us as we were leaving. It is, of course, due tomorrow.

The things I put up with to get an A. Going to a place as beautiful and spiritual as Waipio Valley just isn't the same when I am not free to do as a I please and I feel like I am being guided around on a track. Fortunately, I think this has been my one and only field trip of the semester. Next time I go there, I'm sure I will have tons more fun.

Thank whatever divine gargoyle it's going to be a short week.

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