Skyline Hawaii had a paid service day in the Waikamoi Preserve on January 20, 2018. Skyline Hawaii tour guide, Mike Fitzgerald, shares his insight on why he enjoys being a member of the Skyline Hawaii team below in his article titled, "Why I'm Here." The human realm is a world defined by preoccupation and chaos– and the advent of technology, though helpful when properly applied, seems in many ways to have only made matters worse. Fortunately though, now and then fate will intervene, allowing the chance for us to step beyond the subjectivity of daily life and remind ourselves of what truly matters most to all or any of us. A couple of weeks ago I took advantage of just such an opportunity and was wholeheartedly reminded of one of my truest passions, of what matters most to me- the reason I’m here in this life. It was a day of forest management, Himalayan Ginger eradication to be specific, at Waikamoi Preserve – a remote, limited access forest tract on Mt. Haleakalā's west slope. The event was sponsored by The Nature Conservancy and directed by one of its dedicated members – Kerry Fay. Of the dozen or so enthusiastic participants, I was the only one fortunate enough to be taking advantage of a paid service day from my employer. But to me, the greater value was certainly the access to an exclusive environment and event. In the process of being hired and trained with Skyline EcoTours, there were many elements of value that caught my attention and facilitated the course of my commitment. Though admittedly, the prospect of volunteering for elite, environmental events made that process of commitment a virtual “no-brainer”. The event at Waikamoi Preserve was a day of toil, sweat, and enchantment spent with kindred souls including one very well-informed, wonderfully eccentric bird watcher (who may have pulled a little less ginger than the rest of us but, made up for it with his avian stewardship). Kerry, of The Nature Conservancy, proved to be the perfect host – seamlessly straddling the roles of biology professor and camp counselor. Being granted access to a remote, “native” forest and caring for it as best we could was valuable enough on its own. The element of introductory compensation merely added a heightened level of privilege to the experience. Personally, in the future I hope to take advantage of as many of these valuable volunteer opportunities as my schedule will allow. About the Author: Skyline Hawai’i is committed to the preservation of Hawaii’s landscape and culture, and we want as many people as possible to experience the natural wonder of the Hawaiian Islands. Learn more about our conservation efforts: www.skylinehawaii.com.