Regular readers of my blog will know that I decided to move to Hawaii for a few weeks and I unexpectedly completely fell in love with the country. You can read my Aloha! blog series here so it seems fitting to tell you about the non-profit organization in Hawaii I love and support; Ocean Defender Hawaii.
When I returned to the UK my interests in Hawaii stayed with me, and now I’m making a stand and shouting (like only a northern lass can) about my love of the ocean and marine life.
Granted our delightful English weather doesn’t have us hurtling into oceans at the weekends, yet how many of you love being by the beach? Love watersports? Get all excited on holiday when you spot a stunning fish or dolphin? How many of you pay money each year for this, then walk away?
I devote my skills and spare time to help and support causes like Ocean Defender in both Hawaii and England.
The founder of Ocean Defender Hawaii, Oriana Kalama, is mesmerising to listen to; her dedication is evident from the moment you speak to her and what a story she has about how Ocean Defender transpired. She’s a woman after my own values and heart… we got on famously.
Oriana had always been involved with the ocean and was an avid surfer. A car crash saw her being unable to do what she did previously, and during her frustration while in recovery, her sister introduced her to the world of computers and Facebook! At age forty she couldn’t use a computer, didn’t know how to email and social media was nowhere near her radar.
Fast forward four years and she runs a non-profit organisation, an uber-cool name, (I think Ocean Defender is genius) particularly as the name came to her after being knocked out by a wave caused from one of the whales!
She has over 170, 000 ‘likes’ on Facebook and Ocean Defender groups growing in individual countries… here’s the link for England…*Hi Aaron!*
Ocean Defender’s mission is to teach, connect and protect. They want to raise awareness and promote individual responsibility for our oceans and marine life. The oceans need our help and NOW… our lifestyles and lack of knowledge and respect are destroying them and their precious marine life.
I’m sure holidays would be nowhere near what we enjoy from them if we didn’t have the oceans to use and all its creatures to marvel at and seek peace and enjoyment from, irrespective of country.
There are many discussions and problems I could mention here, but my point is that we all need to become aware and start making small differences. Small differences accumulate and cause big change. Oriana welcomes everyone to become an Ocean Defender. Look at her posts on Facebook and her website; it’s fascinating. Here is a link to everyday things anyone can do right now… even in England with our less-than-tropical waters.
Or… Check out the video of the poor turtle whose eyes have rotted away and he can no longer navigate himself around his home the ocean. It’s distressing and something we as humans should not be proud of.
Looking at my snorkel set, boogie boards and surf paraphernalia, all lined up ready for the next trip to what is becoming my second home, I wish more people could experience what I have. I will continue to write blog posts on all this to pay it forward.
Turtles are my favorite by the way… awesome creatures! So there will definitely be more on these. If you want to feel and see REAL Hawaii, take a whale trip with the people who live and breathe this knowledge.
It’s not time to wake up and smell the coffee, it’s just time to WAKE UP, see what is going in our environments, be responsible and LOVE LIFE!
Until next time, Aloha.