By Kate Yeater
Waking up to our first sunrise in Honolulu, I looked out the hotel window and saw dark foggy clouds in the distance, sandwiched between high-rises. As the morning fog dissipated and I put on my glasses, I realized those weren’t clouds at all but mountains! Since that moment I longed to get out of the tourist-filled city around us and explore the natural wonders of O’ahu. Our busy research schedules at the World Conservation Congress paused for a moment on Thursday, September 8th, as the Congress took a free day. This allowed our team a rejuvenating day away from the Convention Center and exploration of the island. While Savannah, Liz, and Kate H. went to Hanauma Bay to snorkel with sea turtles, fish, and coral, Sarah and I walked to Diamond Head on the southern coast of the island. Diamond Head, known locally as Lēʻahi, is a 300,000-year-old volcanic crater. Sarah and I hiked through tunnels, across the crater, and up stairs to reach the summit, which overlooks the coast and Pacific Ocean beyond.
Our afternoon was spent shopping for gifts for friends and family, laying on the beach, paddle-boarding, and catching up on homework. We ended our day off with a team dinner to share our stories from the day. With just two days left of the Member’s Assembly, the 2016 WCC is quickly coming to an end and our flight back to the mainland will come much too quickly. It was wonderful to spend a day in the fresh air, salty sea, and sunshine here in Honolulu before we begin the last push of this whirlwind research trip.
COP21 Paris 2015 & WCC 2016
Follow our team as we cover international environmental policy making meetings.
Dr. Kimberly R. Marion Suiseeya, Department of Political Science, Northwestern University
Dr. Laura Zanotti, Department of Anthropology, Purdue University
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