Thursday, September 29, 2016

Off and Running

Swimming area Jean frequents
We jump in a white jeep that is now ours for the week. There is something about a jeep in a tropical place that just feels right. With no real threat of rain in the air, we immediately put the top down. I can't remember ever smelling air this clean; quite the contrast from the casino's we've worked in for the past 25 years. It is 2:40 in the afternoon and 79 degrees. My skin instantly soaks up the moisture in the air like a tall drink of water.

Our first step is to get checked into the room we rented for the night, our least expensive place booked at only $39 a night, we are not quite sure what we were going to find. We arrive at the "Renovated Plantation House" that we booked through Airbnb. In the driveway to greet us is Grandma Jean, who runs the house.
Jean and Raghu's home

If I have a preconceived idea of someone from, or at least who has spent the better part of her adult life in Hilo, Jean would be her. In her 70's and not looking a day over 50, she is a strict vegan who doesn't allow meat, eggs, fish or alcohol in the home. She shops the farmer's market just down the street and makes the best ginger-turmeric iced tea I have ever tasted.  She practices Bhakti Yoga several times a week, swims in the ocean and loves her life. 

The home is simple, but very practical. We would have paid $39/night just for the wealth of knowledge received and conversations we had with Jean and her son, Raghu, oh, and the iced tea, of course.

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