Camping... LOCAL STYLE! Part One

The announcement said, Church Overnighter at Halau Kukui. Bring Food for breakfast and lunch. The theme was Pioneers of the Pacific-- a churchification of the unbelievably long-distance and delicate settling of Polynesia.
Friday I spent the afternoon cleaning the kitchen and then making a huge mess: I made potato bread and salmon croquette sandwiches with chard, and scrambled tofu and boiled eggs and chocolate chip rice crispy squares-- I used every bowl and cutting board and knife in the kitchen. Why couldn't I just pack PB and J? Who knows.
Baby and I jumped in the shower and realized to my horror that I haven't shaved my armpits for-- I donno-- maybe 12 years. And even though I go to the beach all the time and fasten my ponytail and hang my towel with nary a thought of my festooned pits -- suddenly-- at the thought of going to the beach with people I KNOW-- I was ashamed. And so with five minutes to spare, I found a mostly rust-free razor and a very rusty can of shaving cream made my best bloody assault.
At 6:34pm we were in the car-- baby, from her car-seat throne, patted the overstuffed bags of blankets, sleeping bags, tent, tarp, fancified food stuffs, towels, swimsuits. We picked up Matt from Aikido, and made it down to the harbor when it was still light. Through two guard-huts, three barbed-wire topped chainlink fences, across a pitted semi-paved road and across a gravel mine, past the "HAZARD do not enter!" signs, (I'm not making any of this up) a sharp turn at the levy, SLOWLY over the rutted dune road, and finally to the "pavillion." It's a plain-wood platform mid Keawe trees and on the rocky shore. They had lamps invitingly set up around a spread of rice, iceberg salad and chili (mostly meat, no beans, no red, just the way Matt likes it), and the world's best banana cream pie. All the more adventurous of the old church aunties and uncles and young church families and a smattering of their less churchy friends and relatives milled around, kissing hello, recommending the cream pie to each other. Teenagers eyed teenagers, assessed everyone's relative coolness, formed knots, and got out their ukuleles and playing cards. The stars came out-- the milky way gauzy, venus throbbing bright. The Hawaiian constallations guide the navigators-- like Chadd Paishon and his wife Pomai Bertelmann, and her parents. They each spoke a bit-- and Auntie Lani, born in Kawaihae when it was still a community and not just a gravel pit, told us that the correct name for the place was Kukui Hee Nalu-- the place were Alii came to surf. And that if anybody tells you different, just look at her birth certificate, and see what it says. Born in Kawaihae!
We set up our tent a respectful distance from the leaning graffitied sheds and Matson containers, and about 5 feet away from the ocean. Falling asleep I imagined tsunamis and centipedes and B-52 cockroaches. In the middle of the night a horrible growling and screeching woke us up-- we both sat straight up, grabbing at each other and the baby-- making sure whatever nightmare-beast wasn't actually in our tent. Mongoose and feral cats ripping past? I was awake after that, and watched the moon rise and the stars fade.
Just for fun, and to give you sweet dreams:

Banana Pie
Submitted by: Residential Services Division
Organization: Hawaiian Electric Company


     6 cups                   sliced bananas
3/4 cup pineapple juice
pastry for 2 crust pie
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
Soak bananas in pineapple juice for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 9 inch pie plate with pastry. Drain bananas, saving 3 tablespoons of the juice. Place bananas in pie shell. Combine sugar, flour and cinnamon; sprinkle over bananas. Sprinkle with the 3 tablespoons of pineapple junice. Dot with butter, cover with top crust. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until crust is browned. Makes 8 servings.


  1. well, now, I'll tell da trut.....I didn't go camping with the ward campouts. way too crowded and not cleanness practiced...I camped out ALL THE TIME AT MY OWN HOUSE.....we had campouts with young women and also the boyscouts at different times. love your discription of BUGS....laughing.


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