A Travellerspoint blog

Broken Heart, Lost Identity

Who are you without a name? What are you without your passion?

I am going to fast forward to today, January 10th, 2010 in a moment.

First: Dec. 10th 2009

We slept at the airport waiting for our flight to Hawaii from San Francicso. The night before we stayed at the Travellodge next to the airport where we did our laundry before leaving the continental US. All of my cloths, including underwear and socks were stolen from the dryer. All of Joe's clothes were still there.

Second: Jan. 10th 2009

2 days ago we met Luna from Germany at the Hilo Backpackers Hostel and we agreed that none of us could afford to stay for long there. So the 3 of us got camping permeates and bussed to the park. The next day we hiked to the Akaka Falls. There we got picked up while hitchhiking by a university student and his little sister visiting from Montana. We left our bags in hi car and looked at the waterfall for about 10 minutes. When we got back to the car to get Joe some snacks before the long hike up to the top of the falls, we couldn't find our backpack, Luna's backpack, or Hana's purse. Hana's best friend who drove up separately saw a shady guy in a van, and Guyer (the university student) said that his friend from down the street has had stuff stolen from him as well. We called the police, and it appeared that the guy broke in the back of the truck (that sliding window) and got into the cabin (small guy) and pulled out the bags from there.

Joe and my passports and all our valuables were stolen. Our laptop, passports, credit cards, cash, cell phones, backup hard drive for the laptop, iPod, GPS, everything was taken. I am just so grateful for this blog where we have about 90% of our photos. Unfortunately about 90% of the videos we took are not on the blog, so those are just gone.

I cry about my lost videos and photos now, but I've stopped crying about not being able to make it back to Oahu for Corey and John's wedding because the police gave us signed papers saying who we are so that we can still make our flight on Jan. 23rd. We have not herd back from the police about getting our stuff back, but supposedly they believe that a guy who is addicted to crystal meth was at the waterfalls when we were there, and he has done this sort of thing in the past. Unfortunately he has never been prosecuted for it because of some sort of community thing where white people simply have no place or power, not even the police.

As of right now, I do not hold my breath that any of our things will ever get back to us. Guyer had his mom staying at his place (she was on vacation visiting him). We met her for a bit, and she said that we could mail our birth certificates to his place so we could get our passports. Then Guyer drove us to his friends house where there was more room and we spent the night there. They fed us and gave us beer and smokes. The mom taught us about Mia and Karma and that everything happens for a reason, and to just accept what happens and move forward with our lives. She also said that she would help us write a newspaper article about the incident and how the police aren't doing anything about it, and that we could mail our birth certificates to her too. I liked this idea better since it is just her and her son living there, and Guyer's place is a rental home with 2 levels and 6 or so different people living there all going to university. I know Karen will be responsible for our things, not that college students would loose them, but things happen, and I don't want them to happen to me just now. The next day they drove us to a western union where our parents wired us money, and then to at&t where we have a new prepaid phone with none too many minutes. But here is the number in case anyone really really needs to get in touch with me quickly: (808) 430-1483, but for all other things please email us at vanran@gmail.com or leave a comment on this blog.

Lastly, we will try to finish blogging about California and Hawaii sometime, maybe at the library (now I am on the hostel's computer), but since we don't have the laptop anymore, it will be slower. Also, possibly difficult for me right now because we won't have any pictures from the Big Island to put up on the blog since they are gone. Well, I have to go. We are going to a Hare Krishna shrine to see if we can help out in exchange for a place to stay. We met them last night singing in a bike shop, and they gave us Indian desert and chi.

We will blog again to keep you updated on whats going on with us now, and then slowly start trickling back to the past month's travels.

Posted by - Rain 16:58

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We just need to be grateful that you two are safe, had you taken your purse with you, you might have been attacked personally. We are so sorry this has happened to you, you two definitely did not deserve this. I pray you guys can take to heart the words of St. Francis of Assisi: "Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." I usually can't do this and that is why i am crazy. It's impossible to be vigilant at all times, and you were just unlucky - we love you guys. You are so strong. Things will get better. Try to remember the super great times you had before this, and look forward to those yet to come! We love you!

by georgi r

i called Crimestoppers in Hilo today and they are going to run an ad in the Hawaii Herald Tribune starting Wednesday with a reward for your stuff returned intact and with memory. They are part of the police and were very nice. They said you can print fliers and put them up with the stuff missing listed (not the makes or models) and the date they were 'lost' with $1,250 Reward listed at top,(possibly even more they said) and their phone number if the caller wishes to remain anonymous call: 808-961-8300 in Hilo, or 808-329-8181 in Kona; or call Hilo police at: 808-935-3311. you can also list my cell phone as 'mom' for more info; and the officer said to list the case number: C1000783
let's keep hopin. you never know. love ya.

by georgi r

one more thing, my favorite poem always makes me feel better, so here goes:


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

by georgi r

I can't really add anything to the action plan georgi has started with Crimestoppers (great idea!) and the inspiration available in "Desiderata." If you do decide to write a piece for the newspaper (a letter to the editor?), maybe you could even mention Crimestoppers and the reward, getting out the word to even more people.

But I also hope that you both will keep writing, finding a way to tell your readers how you're dealing with this setback: what it's like trying to live there without your stuff, meeting people in hostels and that community, having to share a computer, and reconnecting with your passion for the journey--whatever turns it may take from this point. I'm sure all your readers would like to know more of your thoughts and plans, not just what happened in the past month or so, but what you're experiencing now. It seems like a crucial part of the story, with lots of suspense (what will they do now? will this be some kind of tipping point?). Don't keep us waiting too long, if you can get to a computer!

by Sheryl S

it is february 5, and i just want to say to vanessa and joe, the old saying goes, if it doesn't kill you it makes you stronger, i would like to say to the universe: "VANESSA AND JOE ARE QUITE STRONG ENOUGH NOW, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!"

by georgi r

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