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Showing posts from September, 2008

Malihini 101

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If I ever have the chance, I want to have a community education class for recent transplants to the island, whether they're from Oahu or Oakland or Oklahoma. It would introduce them to basics about the island, culture, daily life, and history-- and hopefully make them better able to integrate themselves into the community with as little friction as possible. I'd get long-time locals and successfully-integrated malihini to come and teach each session, and have lots of discussion. And food. Plenny food.

How about this for some topics:

History of the island: pre-contact, Hawaiian Kingdom, plantation, annexation, ww2, statehood, Hawaiian Renaissance and the presentLocal ghost stories (Obake stories!)
State of the island: an overview of local politics-- introducing politicians and major issues and summarizing all (hah) points of view.
Language: Intro to pidgin (what it's okay for Malihini to say, like pau, piko, howzit, and what it's not okay: cuz! Brah! Imua!!! When in doubt, …

Two creepy things:

Number one:
Riding my bike down one of the back roads in Hawaiian homes one afternoon, I smell an overwhelming stink. I keep riding and it gets worse and worse. Then I notice a skull-- then another skull-- then a ribcage scaffolding out of the dirt-- and I realize that all up and down the roadside are goat carcasses. Some of them have been pulled out of black trash bags, some are just pearly white bones. The jaws have pulled open, and the mouths gape in impossible yawns. And it really, really reeks.

Number two:
I stopped to fill up my gas in Hilo (for some reason 20 cents cheaper over there). I unscrewed the cap on the gas tank, and went to put the nozzle in when I noticed hundreds of tiny yellow spiders pouring out of the tank, all over the side of the car. They were so small and slow it was almost like watching dust move in your eye-- but, blink, blink-- they don't disappear.

Creepy times in paradise!

The Good, the Bad, and the Gorgeous

North of Kona, lava rock stretches like a crumpled black cloth for 60 miles. It's so open and endless it's dizzying-- like the long empty drive through Nevada or the Salt Flats. Acacia trees, thorny kiawe scrub, and patches of yellow grass grow crackling and dry on the older lava flows.
Interrupting the black savannah, down by the beach, the resorts gleam in smooth green golf-grass oases.

Are they good or bad?

On the good side, sure, lots of locals work there-- I have friends who go down there, watering and trimming the lawns, distributing the towels, printing the paychecks, vacuuming, patrolling the grounds, clearing the buffet plates, watching the pool. Tourists come to the island to stay at these places and be spoiled and entertained and tanned and soothed-- and along the way they rent cars, eat dinner, buy souvenirs from other places where other local people work. So the tourist economy is doing a little trickling: tourists come, spend money, your boss makes money, so you get…

A Fond Fareweel, or The Best of the Big Island!

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Well, we're leaving the Big Island for a job on Kaua'i in less than a month.
It's very exciting and very sad.
But the good part is we have one month to go do all of our favorite BI stuffs one "last" time.
So here's my list for my Best of Waimea:
Hiking up behind the Mormon church, past the reservoirs, through Parker Ranch, over the Puus and up all the way to the top of misty lush Waipio Valley. The Farmer's market on Saturdays (the Haole fishbowl as Uncle Rudy called it) with herb stands and crepes and popsicles and fresh strawberries and mushrooms and beautiful spinach and lettuce...The Aloha festival parade with the chanters followed immediately and completely drowned out by the loudest marching band ever.The Christmas mac truck big rig paradethe rodeos-- cowboys and cowgirls in aloha-print western shirts and dense haku-leis on their cowboy hats, and singing Hawaii Ponoi with the national anthem and that "stand up next to me" song.Island Style Caf…