Thursday, July 22, 2021
We had an entire day of Hawaiian arts and crafts planned today at Sunset Beach in Oahu, HI. Our first craft was Hawaiian lei making using native plants and flowers. Once we finished stringing our leis together, we drove to Shark’s Cove for some food truck lunches. After our North Shore Tacos lunch, we made these adorable seashell pendants for our keychains. I was able to grab a cute photo with my graduation cap and my two art pieces. We went back to our car for a small break between our last craft of coconut palm basket weaving on the beach.
As we were approaching the road from our parking spot at the Sunset Beach Recreation Center, across the road from the beach access, we noticed a lot of police cars surrounding us. They started running with big semiautomatic weapons, and yelling at us to run from an active shooter in the area. We bolted to the beach path and found our group of crafters on the edge of the forest and beach. As soon as we set our stuff down, four gunshots rang out forcing us to dive behind trees for cover. We were in complete shock, trying to grasp the reality of the situation. Huddled next to trees with a bunch of stray chickens who were wondering what all the commotion was, we were calling family to update them on our situation. After a few minutes of not hearing shots, we decided to run to the coastline where sand dunes were high enough to hide behind. We walked up the beach and then found an officer to ask about our car that was in the middle of the gunfire. They told us it wasn’t safe and we should just find another way out of the area. So, we started walking with whatever we had on us, which was one half empty 40oz hydro flask, and her purse with car keys and a beach blanket. We finished the water and asked a guy if he knew where we could fill up, and he helped lead us to a church where we used the bathroom and filled up our bottle. We walked about three hours total, reporting to all the people stuck in traffic what the hold up was all about. One driver was nice enough to offer us cold water when we drank the rest of our hydro flask. We were able to get a ride back home from her husband who picked us up on the side of the road, three miles from where her car was hostage. Needless to say, I am so happy and grateful we are safe and for all the angels who looked after us on our extreme adventure with Jaime in Hawaii in July.
Thank you for reading and viewing,
Dr. Jaime Brainerd, Ed.D.