KAPAA – Each day she works, Lashiya Divan puts her feet to the test.
Good thing the 2008 Kauai High School graduate loves working out.
“I’m more of a physical person,” said Divan, who uses her endurance every day in her server job at the largest single-level pool in Hawaii – the Kauai Marriott Resort in Lihue.
“My co-workers have tracked it and on a slow day, we can walk an average of two miles a day and on a busy day – four to five miles,” she said.
But it is not just a leisurely stroll when you’re carrying a heavy load around a 26,000-square-foot pool.
“My co-workers help out a lot, every day,” Divan said. “Sometimes I’ll have 12 drinks and 10 baskets of food and somehow my food gets delivered.”
She said it’s her generous co-workers who make the staff’s teamwork click — a characteristic that ranked the hotel No. 1 in Hawaii among all the Marriott’s food and beverage departments.
But working in the sun at a scenic hotspot isn’t always a walk in the, well, sun. It can be hard work, though her warm smile can mask occasional stress.
“In the morning, before our shift starts, we never know how busy it is going to be,” Divan said. “We never know how long the guests are going to be willing to wait while we walk around our entire section.”
Sometimes Divan’s section can be filled with 40 to 50 people, especially on the island portion of the pool. Occasionally, a guest can lose their patience while waiting for a meal or drink.
“I try to change how I respond to a negative, if I get one, and just be really positive,” Divan explained. “I kill them with kindness.”
Then she gives them one of her stress-melting smiles — fitting, because she her high school class nominated for best smile while in high school. She didn’t win that nomination actually, but did earn best surfer.
“It’s so relaxing to be on the water,” Divan said. “I don’t think so much about catching a wave. I think more about what is under me. I love seeing all that creation on the bottom with the fish. Surfing is my way to enjoy and appreciate the island I live on.”
Her husband, Cody, knows the wear and tear Divan puts on her feet lugging trays. After really busy days, he’s there with a foot rub.
“I love how unified we are as a family,” Divan said. “It’s my most treasured thing.”
When she’s not riding or working, she likes to dance in public with two of her siblings who still live on the island. And while she is not Tahitian by heritage, she has danced Tahitian, specifically Aparima, since she was a young girl. It’s a long-cherished physical activity learned from her Hawaiian-Japanese mother.
Nicknamed, “The Brown Tornado,” she laughs thinking about the meaning.
“I got the name because of how dark I am and how fast I move,” Divan said.
A pace she marks with pride on the dance floor and around the pool serving her guests.
This is a reoccurring weekly feature in The Garden Island. It focuses on everyday people who reflect the spirit that makes Kauai the place it is today. If you know of somebody you’d like to see featured, email features and education reporter Lisa Ann Capozzi at email@example.com