Hannah Wallace says living in Kansas prepared her well for crazy weather patterns. Her family has a farm in rural Butler County.
Wallace graduated last week from the University of Hawaii at Hilo with an education degree. She agreed her last few weeks on the island were interesting as the Kilauea volcano has been erupting and causing massive earthquakes, as well as spewing ash in the air.
“To watch people have to leave their homes and then watch their homes being taken by lava was definitely sad. But you know, Aloha is really big over there so everybody was helping everybody out,” Wallace said.
Aloha is the Hawaiian term for love.
Wallace lived in Hilo on the big island, a city that sits at a high enough elevation that it did not have to evacuate as other surrounding towns did. Hilo is about an hour from Kilauea. But, she says she could smell the sulfur in the air and see some ash on the horizon.
“It was weird because you couldn’t see it coming. You just heard it on the news one day and it’s not like in Kansas when there’s a tornado and you can obviously see it but…you don’t know it’s there until it’s there,” Wallace said.
For her graduation ceremony, Wallace’s mother flew in, and Wallace admits she did not divulge the full extent of the volcanic eruptions for fear her mom wouldn’t want to make the trip.
“For her it really hit at the beginning of graduation, they gave a speech on what to do if there was an earthquake over the volcano and she said she had never heard that at a graduation before so that was kind of surreal for my family to experience,” Wallace said.
For now, Wallace is back safely home in Butler County. At least safe from volcanic eruptions.
“I mean if I can do a volcano and a hurricane and you know a fake missile attack, I think I can handle a tornado