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my blood cells turn into butterflies

Yesterday it rained. More than it ever has here. It was like Florida in a tropical storm. I LOVED it! It was good incentive to stay indoors and study, even though studying is no fun :(
Work last night was pretty much a disaster. The rain really changes the way we do things at the PCC which is a mostly outdoor place. Think Disney....minus the indoor buildings. Haha. We get to work at 4 to start setting up for the luau. It usually takes us til 5, at which point we let the guests in. If it's drizzling, we try to let them in at 4:45 so that they can get some shelter for the rain, but we really try not to do that because it makes things too complicated. Yesterday we started letting guests in at 4:25. It wasn't pretty. When the guests come in, they give their tickets at the entrance, receive a lei from an attractive brown man without a shirt on, takes a picture with two attractive brown people (the girl always has a shirt on) and then waits in a line to be seated. All of this happens in the walkway where there's no overhead covering. Which means that all of that had to be done inside, more than half an hour too early. The photo poly chain moved inside (there are usually three or four pairs of polys to take pictures with) onto the stage. That was a good idea. The senior missionaries that volunteer to take tickets also moved inside to take tickets as people walked on stage. That was also a good idea. We moved all the seaters to the far side of the stage so that they could seat people after they came off the stage. Another good idea. Things were running smoothly. And then....looking back I realize that it's completely the Photo Poly manager's fault. Which is nice to know...it's nice to blame it on someone other than my co-workers :) He decided to send one photo poly couple outside to the usual spot to make things go faster. Which put them out in the rain again (?) and would still require people to wait in line to walk across the stage to be seated. Which also mean that no one would be there to take tickets. Which means that people could (and did) walk in without a ticket and receive a lei which signifies that you've already given your ticket. I decided to punch the photo polys in the face. Okay I didn't. I just told them it was a dumb idea. So they went back on stage and got sent away by James (manager) again. So I helped them create a second line that veered away from the stage and I started taking tickets and dragging people over to seat the guests. Then it started raining harder and people started pushing inside like crazy and people came in without tickets and people with tickets didn't have seats and people with seats didn't have leis and it was crazy. Usually everyone is seated by 5:45, 6 at the latest. It only took us til 6:30 to have everyone seated with leis and tickets taken, which was a total of two hours seating people. Not exactly our best day. But once that calmed down things were better. Except for that one time when I almost dumped two cups of hot tea on that one lady. But it was pretty smooth after that. Matt (the 16 year old with a pointed interest in being my friend) brought me cookies and also some odd jelly cake. Also a guy left his number on my table! It was the most love I've seen at the PCC, including my one time lover. Overall a good day. Tonight is my last night of work! I guarantee, I'm going to get soaked just like I did on my birthday.
Last night was my work Christmas party. I decided to go an hour late. I was honestly dreading going because it didn't sound like fun, plus I had to brave the monsoon outside and try to make it there as dry as possible. I was hesitating to go until the Tongan girls came by my room to bring me with, and they always make everything fun. The rain wasn't too bad getting there....it was pretty bad though. It stopped raining as soon as we got there. Go figure. Upon arrival we were asked to be in the choir of angels in the nativity story. We agreed, and proceeded to join the most sorry band of angels I've ever heard. The good thing is that we got a lot of laughs. The only problem was that we weren't aiming for laughter. But oh well. They gave out door prizes and turned on some music and we started eating dinner. Actually the Tongan girls and I were asked to serve the food (since that was our job at work and clearly we wanted to do more of our job when we're off the clock....). Meanwhile it'd started pouring again. The event took place in the area where we have the luau. It's an outdoor theater, so there's covering over most of it. So we weren't feeling the rain but it cooled off a lot. We sat down to eat and right as we did it thundered! It NEVER thunders in Hawaii. Ever. It rains a lot, and sometimes there's lightning, but there's never thunder. It sounded like a gunshot. Everyone screamed and panicked for fifteen seconds and then went back to enjoying their food. As I was sitting there by Ana, Ana, and Eza, all of us eating with our hands because forks are useless, listening to Ke$ha being played over and over, listening to the rain and the thunder, watching the older Polynesians dancing to Your Love is my Drug, listening to people laugh and talk, I just felt so peaceful and happy. I am in such a wonderful place, and it's perfect for me :)
We left the party early in efforts to make it back through a break in the rain. Yeah, didn't happen. We had umbrellas and we ran as fast as we could and we still got back looking like we'd gone swimming. My jeans were drenched and they still aren't dry! When I got back to my hale I was planning on taking a hot shower and going to sleep, but then I looked outside at the rain and the way it looked like there were waterfalls coming off of the roofs and how the raindrops were the size of quarters and I decided I wasn't ready to be inside. I changed into shorts and a t-shirt and ran through the pouring rain to the game center where Mary was just getting off work. It took zero persuasion for her to want to play in the rain. She put her stuff down and we ran around campus like children running through the runoff and splashing in the puddles, all the while trying to push our hair out of our faces because the rain was coming down so hard. We got to the Little Circle
(which is basically just a circular field in front of the school

...and it also happens to have flags from every country surrounding it) and there were tons of people there with skim boards and body boards and rugby balls playing and sliding and wrestling and splashing each other. Evidently we weren't the only ones with this idea. We dove right in, splashing people we didn't know and wrestling boys to the ground and trying to slide on the boards on our stomachs (which ended up being sliding on our faces and getting mouthfuls of grass) and interfering with rugby games. It was dark and the only light was from the giant Christmas tree across the road. Occasionally lightning would strike and for a minute everything would light up and you could look around and see who was around you. Everyone would freeze and I would try to scan as many faces as I could. It was like watching in slow motion. Then it got dark again and everyone screamed and resumed their activities. We stayed until it stopped raining and a little bit after. We were probably the first ones to leave, even though it was well after midnight. As I was coming back I saw that there were men in the girl's hale, which is NOT allowed. So something must have been going on. I went over and saw that it had started to flood! There were warnings of flash floods but no one took them seriously. Also I had to google that because I've never heard of them. Anyway. Then men were draining water and putting sand bags at the doors and all kinds of exciting things.
After that I finally took a hot shower and put on sweats and crawled into bed under my warm blanket to watch an episode of Psych :) It is still dark and rainy outside. I am so very happy. I'm in bed with my blanket and my laptop listening to stereo love which will never get old. It's definitely not a day I ever pictured happening in Hawaii, but it reminds me of home and therefore I love it. Ha.
I want to note that Alyssa and I wrestle (Or "wrassle", as we sometimes pronounce it). It started when I pretty much attacked her out of nowhere, but it's developed into something we do frequently, for fun or for...not fun. There are no limitations to when or where. When one person wants to wrestle, the battle is on. We've been known to wrestle in the cafeteria on a few occasions. We're becoming pretty well known. And we're gettin' reeeeeeeeal good at it too.
Also Irish (my roommate) and I pushed our beds together so that the foot of my bed is at the foot of hers, making one long bed. It makes jumping on the bed much more fun, which is good because jumping on the bed DOES happen often. Most especially when we're frustrated about finals or giddy because a boy winked at us.

[Title from Love Don't Cost a Thing by Joshua Khane]

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