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14 AN AMERICAN GIRL 2 FIRST IMPRESSIONS August 29–October 26, 1890 August 29, 1890, Kawaiahao Seminary My Own Darling, Let me see if I can begin to remember all the new things—the banana trees, every house has them, there are whole plantations of them out toward the ocean, some continue growing, year in and out, while others simply spring up, bear a bunch, and die. The palms were the next most noticeable —some they say are 200 years old. They seem to have peculiar charm for me with their tall trunks and plumy tops. I learned to distinguish the coconut palm from the date palm, the royal, fan and wine palm. I know too the Algarroba tree, fine like smilax and the monkey pod tree. These last are very large and they go to sleep at night. There is a fine large one near my window. I saw the banyan tree, the fig tree and the famous traveler tree. Charlie, the hibiscus hedge is something wonderful, full you know of scarlet blossoms—then too the great Kawaiaha‘o Female Seminary, 1893. FIRST IMPRESSIONS 15 trees with blossoms the color of nasturtiums. Oh darling, I am filled with despair, I am so afraid I shall never write it all to you as I want to—it is so wonderful. Now you see I have taken you right into the middle and told you no “first impressions” of how we packed in a hurry and were out on deck. On one side were the mountains of Oahu and out the other, Molokai. It seemed well named “The Paradise of the Pacific” just on account of the color, a lovely seagreen . There is only one narrow path way for vessels through the reef to the wharf. At last we were at the wharf and there was a rush both ways. We stood still and let ourselves be found, the Waterhouse girls were there and kissed me like old friends. Mr. Atherton got our baggage through without inspection, and soon we were in the carriage and started home. My Own Darling: It was after I had been here a while and had been shown to my room and had lain down awhile on my bed with eyes closed—trying to calm my excited nerves and adjust myself mentally to my new surroundings, that I opened your letter and read it. I want to tell you how much good it did me. Wednesday night was prayer meeting and I attended. Friday morning I went out about two miles east to visit the Kamehameha School for Boys. I learned a great deal that I know will be helpful to me. We stayed to lunch and met all the teachers. Miss Hight is the only lady teacher though several of the men have their wives there. I think I prefer our school. Waikīkī Beach and Diamond Head. Photo by Lilla Estelle Appleton. 16 AN AMERICAN GIRL In the afternoon I went down to Waikiki and took my first ocean bath. It was very invigorating and it seems to me now that I shall go there as often as I get a chance. Yesterday was a great day for the Waterhouse girls gave an Oberlin picnic in the park down toward Waikiki. We had a good time but I was most too tired to enjoy it. I liked the guava jelly and luscious bananas, pickled pineapple and mangoes. How do you like to hear me speak of those things with such familiarity my Charlie? When we started back, some of us stopped at Waikiki for a bath. I had more fun this time for all the girls sat in a row on the beach holding hands and then when the big waves came in such fun!! They would turn us right over a somersault almost and then on the way back drag us into the water again. You should have heard the screaming and laughing. I just thought of you and what fun if you were only there. Why, boy, I know I should die to see you. We would have a great time! I feel that I shall have plenty occasions to write about these places and you will soon be quite familiar with them. Of course we have come to the end of the vacation and the idleness now. My work is to be teaching 3 hours a day and sewing class, 1 1/2 hours with the care of the dormitory...


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