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Aloha! That's how you say hello in Hawaiian. In a few minutes our planewill be landing at the airport in Hilo, Hawaii!
It's the first week of summer vacation and I'm on a school trip with some of my classmates from the White Oak Academy for Girls. White Oak is the boarding school in New Hampshire that I go to with my twin sister, Ashley. We're First Formers there (that means seventh-graders).
I can see long beaches and tall palm trees from the window of the plane. They're totally different from the green hills of New Hampshire. This trip is going to be awesome. Lots of my friends are here!
First there's, Ashley's roommate, Phoebe Cahill, and my roommate and best bud, Campbell Smith (who's sitting next to me). There's also Julia Langstrom, Summer Sorenson, and Elise Van Hook.
Dana Woletsky is here, too. I kind of wish she wasn't here. She's a superpopular First Former and she's never been nice to Ashley or me. I hope I won't have to spend time with her on this trip!
Our group isn't just all girls. The Harrington School for Boys is down the road from White Oak, and they sent some of the guys to Hawaii, too! Grant Marino, Hans Jensen, Seth Samuels, and Devon Benjamin all came along. And I can't forget my cousin-dearest, Jeremy. He is so annoying! Diary, the only thing Ashley and I have in common with Jeremy is a last name.
"Hey, Mary-Kate," Jeremy said, walking up the aisle."Hold this for a second, will you?"
I held out my hand. "Eeek!" I shrieked when he dropped something wiggly in my palm. Then I realized it was only a rubber spider.
Jeremy slapped his leg. "Ha! Gets 'em every time."
I threw the spider back at Jeremy.
I hope he doesn't play practical jokes the whole time we're here. This trip is going to be a real challenge and practical jokes are the last thing we need!
We're going to Hawaii for four whole weeks. For the first half of our vacation we're participating in Wild Hawaii -- a once-in-a-lifetime wilderness adventure, where we live off the land for twelve whole days. Imagine it, Diary -- gathering food, building shelter, surviving on our own! Wow, it sounds even cooler now than when Ashley read me the description from the brochure!
For the second half of our vacation, we're off to an island resort, where our only responsibilities will be to relax and have fun!
Campbell elbowed me. "Did you know that certain kinds of flowers are edible?" she said. She was reading from a book called The Outdoor Survival Guide. Before we left for vacation, Campbell and I had gone to the school library to take out books on camping in Hawaii. We wanted to make sure we were ready for anything!
I shook my head. "Nope. What else have you learned?"
Campbell jabbed her finger at another page. "That you can use the leaves of the aloe plant to treat minor burns and cuts."
I took a sip of the pineapple juice that the flight attendant had passed out. "Excellent! We'll totally be able to use all that information. Can I look through the books tonight?"
Campbell grinned. "Sure. After we finish reading these, we'll be experts at living in the wild."
It's a little scary to think that we'll be living the way people did zillions of years ago, without electricity and Ben and Jerry's ice cream. (just kidding about the ice cream, Diary.) But we'll have a Wild Hawaii guide to tell us what to do and to take us to cool places on the island. I can't wait!
"Ms. Clare, will there be someone to carry our suitcases at the airport?" Summer asked from across the aisle.
Ms. Clare is the assistant headmistress of White Oak. She's really nice. Mr. Turnbull, the assistant headmaster of Harrington, is here, too. When we first met him, he was really mean and scary -- but these days he's much more laid-back. Right now he's sitting a few rows in front of me trying to play the ukulele!
"Why do you ask?" Ms. Clare replied.
Summer flipped her long blond hair over her shoulders. "Because I brought, like, five or six suitcases."
Elise gasped. "Summer, Ms. Clare told us to pack light!"
Summer shrugged. "I thought I was packing light. Five suitcases isn't a lot of clothing."
Dana leaned across Summer and flashed me a smile. "Speaking of clothing, that is such a cute sundress, Mary-Kate."
"Um, thanks," I said slowly. Dana giving me a compliment? Unbelievable, I thought.
"It really hides those extra pounds," she added.
I took a deep breath and counted to ten. I didn't want to say anything that would get me in trouble.
"Mary-Kate! Smile and say something for the camera!"
I glanced up. Phoebe's head popped over the seat in front of me. She was holding a video camera. I could tell by the blinking red light near the lens that she was recording.
"Hey, everyone!" I said with a big wave. "Wish you were here!"
Phoebe has the coolest job on this vacation. She will be camping on the beach with us, but she's not part of the Wild Hawaii challenge. She's here to capture all the action on video. The footage will be shown at a special school assembly this fall. (I hope she doesn't catch me doing anything stupid!)
"Attention, passengers," the pilot announced over the loudspeaker. "Please fasten your seat belts."
Yay! We're almost ready to land. Hello, Hilo!
I am now officially a wilderness girl. And I have to tell you, it's...Two of a Kind #23: Island Girls. Copyright © by Mary-Kate & Ash Olsen. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.