“Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s when you’ve had everything to do, and you’ve done it.” – Margaret Thatcher
As you probably know, Plant a Wish headquarters is on the island of Maui, in the Hawaiian Islands. So it probably comes to no surprise to you that things got quite hairy when – within 24 hours of our scheduled departure for the next Plant a Wish tour – Maui was given a tsunami warning.
Our home office is located at 3,000 feet above sea level, so we weren’t in danger of injury or damage. However, Joe is actively involved in running and maintaining a beautiful sailboat that docks in Lahaina Harbor, so he had no choice but to leave for the harbor once the tsunami warning was given, to take the boat out to sea to protect it and the harbor itself from potential damage.
Many people we tell this to think he’s crazy, but far from shore on a boat is actually the safest place to be in a tsunami. So Joe and his friend left around 11pm to take the boat out of the harbor to ride out the tsunami and then await the “all clear” message from local authorities.
Meanwhile, Sara was back at home left with the organizing and packing duties – quite the daunting task, considering this tour is a 53-day journey requiring specific camera equipment, various types of clothing and gear, and it all needed to pack nicely into just a few bags to avoid extra fees at the airport check-in.
Since Sara’s the “mediaphile” that she is, she immediately took to Twitter (@spectekula) to help relay communications to her followers and help the world learn in real-time what was going on in Hawaii. (Hashtag: #hitsunami) This meant that – along with Joe – she was up all night.
The night came and went, and reports of damage to the harbor were coming in. Joe and Sara periodically exchanged text messages, and it was becoming apparent by noon the following day that the boaters who had left the harbor would be there for a while. It got pretty nerve-wracking until Joe commandeered a ride with a man in a dinghy and was able to make it back to shore. It wasn’t until then that he saw what the tsunami had done. A large portion of the dock had been ripped away because a few boats never left harbor during the 9 foot surges of this long-lasting tsunami.
Sara and Joe made it to the airport in the nick of time, landed at LAX after a red-eye flight, and settled in to begin prep for the Tour Launch fundraiser at the Viceroy Hotel, held for about 20 friends and supporters last night.
Today is the official “launch” of the tour, and we first head to Tucson, Arizona, where Sara and Joe have coordinated a very special “Plant a Wish” event with representatives of Pima County as a memorial tree planting to honor the victims of the January 8th tragedy. Click here to see the details on our Facebook invite. While in Tucson, we’ll also be visiting the Laboratory of Tree Ring Research at the University of Arizona and the Native Seeds S.E.A.R.C.H., also in town.
If you’re not already, we recommend following Plant a Wish on Facebook and Twitter so you can receive up-to-the-minute stories from the road! We leave you – for now – with a few photos from the past two whirlwind days….now we’re off for Arizona! (Special thanks to Sara’s family for putting us up for a few days as we prepared to depart!)