Rant & Rave

By Bopha Cheng

Tuesday, July 20, 1999

Ready to face
new life in Hawaii

A year ago, my life was turned upside down and words couldn't describe my feelings or thoughts. I was filled with anger, melancholy and anxiety. To live in one place all your life, and suddenly move away, made me realize what I had and how much I'd miss it. But in life, some things turn out better than one expects.


It was June, 1998. Time had flown by so fast and we were late for the airport. It was already 10 a.m. and we had a two-hour drive to the airport before the six-hour flight that would take us to Hawaii.

While checking in at the airport, I was annoyed by the passenger agent, who was taking her sweet time processing my family's tickets. We asked her to hurry, but she moved like a snail. When she finally finished, we rushed to the gate.

These were my last, hectic moments spent in Washington state.

I had held in my tears until I saw my best friend, Dana, sitting at the waiting area with a gift for me in her lap.

Dana and I have been friends since age 4 and have shared so many memories together. With my flight delayed another 30 minutes, Dana and I decided to walk around the airport to create one last memory.

Finally, it was time to leave. I felt mixed emotions, but looked straight ahead and tried to be strong.

I reluctantly pulled myself in line and began to cry again. I couldn't help it. The moment I stood in line I knew I was leaving for good. I could hear my brother snickering at me, saying how stupid I looked.

I could feel people staring at me -- their words muffled and scattered through my head -- but their confused looks didn't make me ashamed of my outburst.

I knew they were thinking, "What's wrong with you? You're going to Hawaii, be happy!" But I wasn't.


"Ladies and gentlemen, the current temperature in Hawaii is in the high 80s. We will be arriving at the Honolulu International Airport in a couple of minutes. Please stay seated until we come to a complete stop," announced the pilot, and in what seemed like only a short interisland flight, I was exiting the plane.

It took three cars to load all our belongings, and 45 minutes to get to Aunt Ny's house in Waialua. The scenery was beautiful en route to the North Shore.

The view was stunning as we drove down Kamehameha Highway.

Soon, the vivid blue of the Pacific and the town of Waialua, my new home, came into view. My heart was racing to explore this area.


A year has passed, and I still have some doubts about living in a new town, a new state, and adjusting to the country life.

Waialua is a small community, and during the first two months after moving here, I was a zombie, moping around the house and taking no interest in anything around me.

When I started at Waialua High School, I realized my life hadn't ended in Washington. I made new friends, adjusted to the lifestyle and new cultures. I even learned to enjoy Spam, which, believe me, is not the preferred meal in Washington.

Although Hawaii isn't what I'm accustomed to, the move opened me up to a new and broader world. I stopped acting as if the world revolved around me, and I am determined to make the most out of my new life in Hawaii.

Bopha Cheng will be a sophomore at
Waialua High School in the fall.

Rant & Rave is a Tuesday Star-Bulletin feature
allowing those 12 to 22 to serve up fresh perspectives.
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