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First Meeting
My Hawaii Love
Dedicated to Arlene Barnard
Submitted by Kenneth

In 1984 I applied to the HIMB for an internship in cetacean studies. Imagine my surprise when I was one of the four students chosen that quarter.

I had high expectations for the work and for Hawaii. I always pictured myself visiting the island paradise. That I would be working with the giant sea creatures in this wondrous place was more than I could have ever imagined.

I arrived on Coconut Island on December 27. The internship didn’t begin for another week but I wanted to get a feel for the Oahu area. I was walking along the beach, about a mile from my apartment, watching the sun set when I saw her. I knew at that moment I had to meet this girl.

Arlene was beautiful. Golden hair and fiery green eyes. She’d returned to the islands to study coral formations with the Institute after graduating from Cal Tech. When I mentioned I would also be working at the Institute we made an immediate connection.

Over the next three months we spent every available moment together. We explored the beauty of Kauai and the more traveled Wakiki.

One night, standing alone on the beach, we kissed and the sky was filled with a brilliant green flash of light. I knew then, this was a moment in time that would live forever in my soul.

In March my internship ended. Arlene and I never saw each other again but one day I will return to Hawaii and find the love I know lives there.


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