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Any Brits in Hawaii?

Any Brits in Hawaii?

Old May 17th 2005, 9:48 am
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Default Any Brits in Hawaii?

I know it is a long shot to find a Britsh Expats group here in Hawaii but wondered if there might be the odd one or two Brits here on the island of Oahu who visit this site? I have struggled with making friends here. I knew before I came that the islanders were somewhat resistant to outsiders, but thought I would make a friend or two with other mothers living on the military base. Hasn't happended yet
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Old May 17th 2005, 7:53 pm
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Default Re: Any Brits in Hawaii?

Oh poor you. What nationality are the other people on the base? Can you not dive in and start up a conversation with someone, or have everyone over for coffee. Its not easy making friends so my sympathies go to you.
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Old May 17th 2005, 7:56 pm
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Default Re: Any Brits in Hawaii?

p.s sent you some Karma you sound like you need it. You can always chat to us well be your friend.
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Old May 17th 2005, 8:53 pm
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Default Re: Any Brits in Hawaii?

Originally Posted by yorkshire_lass
I know it is a long shot to find a Britsh Expats group here in Hawaii but wondered if there might be the odd one or two Brits here on the island of Oahu who visit this site? I have struggled with making friends here. I knew before I came that the islanders were somewhat resistant to outsiders, but thought I would make a friend or two with other mothers living on the military base. Hasn't happended yet
Karma from me also to cheer you up, lets chat sometime.
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Old May 18th 2005, 8:36 am
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Default Re: Any Brits in Hawaii?

Thanks for your replies and karma I am actually quite lonely
The military base we live on is American so of course nearly everyone here is American. I have tried a couple of times to get talking to other mothers but it never seems to lead to anything although i have even given my phone number to a couple of women and suggested coffee etc, they never called. Maybe everyone is just too caught up in their own lives and busy with other things, but it does seem to be difficult to make any friends here.

When I married my husband (American in the Airforce) he was living in the UK but I knew we would have to leave the UK eventually. We didn't know where they would send us for his next assignment and we were over the moon when they said we were going to Hawaii. It is really lovely here, but is probably even more of a culture shock than if we had been living on mainland America. I had visions of sitting on the beach everyday calmly getting a nice tan and swimming and getting fit. However, although I love the beaches you can only go so many times before it gets really lonely! I also thought I would join yoga classes and use the gym and tennis courts, squash courts, and swimming pools, but it becomes really demotivating when you have no one to go with. I guess all I need is one friendly person here who would like to go jogging, keep fit, go shopping, play tennis etc.

Maybe things will be better when I find work, I have my work authorization but finding work in Hawaiil when you are blond and white is everything they said it would be! I don't want to say they are prejudiced ....... but will anyway! they are!!! I have had a real eye opener here to find out what it is like to feel like an ethnic minority. On the base the races are mixed of course, they are from all over American with different ethnic back grounds, but once you step off base it is a different story.

When we first arrived here in January I was dreadfully homesick for a couple of months, now it just comes and goes and if i had the choice to leave my life here and my husband (because of course he could not go with me he is tied to the military for another nine years) I would not go. I miss so many things about the UK, but more than anything I simply miss fitting in, being invisible, one of many, not 'the British woman with the kids with odd accents' I miss understanding the simple things like how schools work, how banks work (paying for cheques what's THAT all about!!??) I miss being able to walk around - is it just here or does no one walk anywhere in the US? I miss town centres with little shops, cafes, fish and chips, pubs........ oh god someone gag me!

I think one of the problems with making friends is due to the fact that we do not attend church. Everyone I have met here takes religion so seriously and I am sure you know what I mean when I say that in the UK that is not an issue. Maybe I should just fake it and join a church, a lot of the social activities seem to be attached to one church or another, but on the bright side I have signed my son up for soccer and will go watch his practices and maybe meet some other mothers, and I am going to plunge in and go to yoga classes, we shall see......

Coming on this site and reading others' posts has helped a lot, thanks again for your kind replies. Where in the US are you both? How has it been for you?
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Old May 18th 2005, 12:14 pm
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Default Re: Any Brits in Hawaii?

Why don't you join the PTA at school. Just like in the UK, the US schools like it when mums participate and volunteer in helping to raise money. It may help you get to know the school and how it is run.

Also, is there a local college nearby? Join a class or two of something you enjoy or even ESL. OK, I know you already speak English but American English is different and you would meet other people from foreign lands. Or even learn Hawaiian. Making the effort to learn the local language will help you mix with the locals. They will appreciate your efforts and if they don't, at least you will understand them if the are talking about you If you are going to be there for 9 years, you will find it a benefit if you are working.

What about putting some notices up in local shops, or put an ad in the local paper for a brit meet-up. Or even a brit/australian meet up. Have you asked the local schools if there are any British children attending the schools? I did this when we first moved to Long Island. The first school I asked there happened to be a Scottish girl exactly the same age as my daughter and her mum and dad are great friends.

It is tough moving to a foreign country and it isn't nice being the one that stands out (the number of times I was called the lady with the funny accent, or 'oh yes, your the one'). You walk into a restaurant speaking to your family and everything goes quiet because they are all staring and listening to you speaking. But it does get better. You learn to live with it and hopefully you will laugh it off.
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Old May 18th 2005, 12:21 pm
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Default Re: Any Brits in Hawaii?

Originally Posted by yorkshire_lass
Thanks for your replies and karma I am actually quite lonely
The military base we live on is American so of course nearly everyone here is American. I have tried a couple of times to get talking to other mothers but it never seems to lead to anything although i have even given my phone number to a couple of women and suggested coffee etc, they never called. Maybe everyone is just too caught up in their own lives and busy with other things, but it does seem to be difficult to make any friends here.

When I married my husband (American in the Airforce) he was living in the UK but I knew we would have to leave the UK eventually. We didn't know where they would send us for his next assignment and we were over the moon when they said we were going to Hawaii. It is really lovely here, but is probably even more of a culture shock than if we had been living on mainland America. I had visions of sitting on the beach everyday calmly getting a nice tan and swimming and getting fit. However, although I love the beaches you can only go so many times before it gets really lonely! I also thought I would join yoga classes and use the gym and tennis courts, squash courts, and swimming pools, but it becomes really demotivating when you have no one to go with. I guess all I need is one friendly person here who would like to go jogging, keep fit, go shopping, play tennis etc.

Maybe things will be better when I find work, I have my work authorization but finding work in Hawaiil when you are blond and white is everything they said it would be! I don't want to say they are prejudiced ....... but will anyway! they are!!! I have had a real eye opener here to find out what it is like to feel like an ethnic minority. On the base the races are mixed of course, they are from all over American with different ethnic back grounds, but once you step off base it is a different story.

When we first arrived here in January I was dreadfully homesick for a couple of months, now it just comes and goes and if i had the choice to leave my life here and my husband (because of course he could not go with me he is tied to the military for another nine years) I would not go. I miss so many things about the UK, but more than anything I simply miss fitting in, being invisible, one of many, not 'the British woman with the kids with odd accents' I miss understanding the simple things like how schools work, how banks work (paying for cheques what's THAT all about!!??) I miss being able to walk around - is it just here or does no one walk anywhere in the US? I miss town centres with little shops, cafes, fish and chips, pubs........ oh god someone gag me!

I think one of the problems with making friends is due to the fact that we do not attend church. Everyone I have met here takes religion so seriously and I am sure you know what I mean when I say that in the UK that is not an issue. Maybe I should just fake it and join a church, a lot of the social activities seem to be attached to one church or another, but on the bright side I have signed my son up for soccer and will go watch his practices and maybe meet some other mothers, and I am going to plunge in and go to yoga classes, we shall see......

Coming on this site and reading others' posts has helped a lot, thanks again for your kind replies. Where in the US are you both? How has it been for you?
I have never even been to Hawaii so have no personal experience but friends of ours lived there for a couple of years. He's scottish and she is japanese, she loved living in Hawaii but he wasn't too keen. He says he has never met such narrow minded people and genuinely believes that most Hawaiian people have a low level of intelligence and he has lived in several different countries.

When we arrived here 3 years ago my husband's company paid for all our relocation costs and then just left us to get on with it. We had absolutely nobody to ask for advice and of course I had no idea that this forum existed.
Nobody at my husband's american office had children and so I had to muddle my way through when it came to getting the children in to schools.

I went through exactly the same as you are going through and even considered going to church but then realised that was just a ridiculous idea.
My children go to soccer and swimming and my daughter goes to Brownies so I have met most of the people I am friendly with because of the activities my kids go to. In England whenever I went to the supermarket I would always meet somebody I knew either just to say hello to or have a good gossip with but here I found it strange/upsetting that I didn't know a single person and the only people I spoke to were at the deli counter and the cashier. This has changed now and I usually meet someone I know when I'm out and about. I also get the impression that my neighbours think I am that strange englishwoman who actually walks around the neighbourhood and plays outside with her kids.

I am really proud of myself that I have managed to deal with more or less everything that has been thrown at me over here and I have had to do most of it on my own because of the nature of my husband's job.

I am sure you will make some friends and start to adjust to life in the USA. I think everybody who moves to a new country goes through exactly what you are going through but it does get better eventually. Homesickness comes and goes even to people who have been here a while, I am on a downer with the US at the moment but I know I'll be OK again soon.

Good luck and I'll send you some Karma even though I don't really understand what it's all about.
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Old May 18th 2005, 1:05 pm
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Default Re: Any Brits in Hawaii?

I know how you feel.However living on base should be easier to meet people.There must be a British wive's group meet up somewhere.Go to the family support centre see if they have any info.We moved here from New Jersey and there were loads of Brits on base .Now we are living off-base and it is harder to meet people.I know quite a few people but no real friends yet.That is what i miss a good chinwag.Have you checked the base paper?Might be something in there .There are always brits around the base somewhere so many of us end up marrying and coming back here.
Get involved in the school and any sport activities that your children do.I have a friend in Arizona who put an ad in the paper and got a lot of replies from that.I'm not as daring as that.Maybe i should take my own advice.
I know what you mean about the accent as soon as i open my mouth i have everyone's undivided attention.Hope things get better for you .
karma sent
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Old May 18th 2005, 3:35 pm
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Default Re: Any Brits in Hawaii?

Hi Yorkshire lass,

Interested in your story because my wife went through a similar thing, only in reverse - her being from Florida and me being in the British Army.

I met her whilst I was based over here in the US. I was then posted to Cyprus, we got married and she left the US and came with me. Although she'd been to Europe a few times on holiday, she hadn't ever lived outside of Tampa before, so it was a bit of an adventure for her.

By the sounds of it, I think she had a bit of easier time of it being on a British base - a lot of my friends wives often popped round for a cuppa (does not seem to happen in the states, sadly), and took her out shopping, to the gym, beach, waterpark etc. I worked in quite a small close knit unit, and we were forever having bbqs etc - does your husband not have a lot of friends and their wives and doesn't everybody hang out together at weekends, etc?

After the initial excitement of it had worn off, she did go through a phase of homesickness, and she also wanted to make some of her own friends outside of the work group - if you are not used to it, the military life can get quite claustrophobic at times. She did shortly after get a little part time job on the base and this helped her branch out and meet some other people I did not know, and she got a lot happier again.

I had put my notice in to leave the army shortly after we'd got to Cyprus because I'd always said if I got married I'd leave, and so we spent one year there total. But by the end of it, my wife was quite enjoying it and in some ways was wishing we could have stayed a bit longer. We did plenty of sightseeing, popped over to Northern Cyprus, Egypt to see the pyramids etc, and she made some really good friends by the end of it all, who she's still in touch with.

Maybe you could perhaps find a part time job on the base once you get your permit sorted, it might help you meet some more people? What about joining any watersports etc clubs on the base, join them with your husband and kids then you should get to meet people that way. Perhaps take up a new hobby like scuba diving etc.

The best way to look at it is you are living in a fantastic place, with lots to see and do, make the best of it. Eventually, I'm sure you'll meet more like minded people and you'll start to have fun. I know from experience the US military way of doing things is a bit different to the British (Americans go to church - Brits go to the pub/round each others houses and a lot of life revolves around boozin and having social do's!), but even when I was living here in the US first time round as part of the forces, I met a lot of good American friends on the base and had a really good time.

I'm sure in time you'll start to enjoy it! Do keep us posted as to how you're getting on
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Old May 18th 2005, 3:39 pm
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Default Re: Any Brits in Hawaii?

It is really tough when you emmigrate and things crop up as issues that you never can expect before you leave. We have all been in your shoes rest assured on that one. Life does pick up and normally when you start meeting other people. I cant believe how you are not meeting women at the base, is that a cultural thing? My cousin married a guy in the british army and is now in Germany living on a base. She loves it she has made loads of friends there. Are the American women more shy or something or are they involved in their own lives. Have you thought about Volunteer work?

I have lived in the mid west for over two years and it took me ages to feel settled. I have friends here now but no one that I am really close too, when I see women at the mall shopping and laughing together it still makes me feel a little sad at what I left at home. Believe me many people on this forum can identify with you. I just wish you were here...I would be your friend
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Old May 18th 2005, 3:42 pm
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Default Re: Any Brits in Hawaii?

forget that dont come here...I'll come there..Hawaii vs Mid West...no contest
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