Last Saturday, on April 24, I was one of many who volunteered at the Earth and Ocean Fair at the Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort and Kahalu`u Beach, a county park that adjoins the hotel. I even took part in the raffle fun, which consisted of getting your card stamped at specific displays. This card was then entered into a drawing! (I didn’t win anything.)
I was told that this fair began about ten years ago as Coral Awareness Day in an effort to let people know how to protect our fragile reef. It is still one of the primary features of this fair. Volunteers train to monitor the reef that is forming around the Big Island.
Information about the Big Island Reef Fund was available.
Everyone was there several hours early getting set up for their displays.
All the displays gave information on how to protect our natural surroundings here in Hawai`i, especially our giant sea turtles.
This display of debris found in our ocean is eye-opening.
A Mini Cooper and a sailboat were on display. I never did find out if they were being given away or just for show. Both are economical ways to travel.
This is just one of several displays of solar power businesses.
Someone walked around inside this humuhumunukunukuapua`a (our state fish), reminding people to protect our ocean life. I’ll bet you can’t say that name fast (unless you live here on the Big Island)!
I couldn’t resist getting a shot of the tide pools and beach area. What a beautiful and restful place to have a gathering of environmental folks.
Several culinary students from our West Hawaii campus, led by Chef Betty, prepared a variety of meals so we wouldn’t starve. They offered regular chili, vegetarian chili, chicken Caesar salad, and more.
One of the insects that plague us here is the fire ant.
Groups of young people who are committed to saving our earth and ocean put up several displays.
We take so much for granted. Here is a cost analysis of what our Natural Resource Management puts out to protect plants and animals, and control the weeds and invasive species of plants.
A colleague, Betsy Morrigan, volunteered at the “Fish for Knowledge” booth.
Much of the work done to protect and monitor the waters that surround our island state is funded through Hawai`i Sea Grant.
One area of the hotel was available for local crafts. I love the hand-woven baskets.
Several of the local “aunties” were demonstrating how to do the Lauhala weaving. I want one of their hats!
I accepted a cup of kava and started to sip it. One of the men standing by said to just knock it down in one gulp – so I did! I can’t say it’s delicious stuff, and it would take me a long time to deliberately include it in my diet.
Another Hawai`ian traditional food is poi, or pounded taro. This is another of those “delicacies” for which I haven’t acquired a taste yet. One of my students used to bring fried poi balls to class occasionally, however, and they were absolutely wonderful!
These taro roots are ready to be made into poi. In the background, this mother is feeding her child a bit of poi.
There were plenty of crafts for children. Betsy is holding a fish for them to add their colored thumbprint to the fish.
This is only a sampling of the many local crafts on display.
I was delighted (and proud) to see a former student, Ruth, representing the National Park Service.
Of course, no Hawai`ian festival is complete without a band and hula dancers.
It is nearly impossible to show you all the displays. I hope I was able to capture a feel for the day. You might Google this event because there were articles in the newspaper and other places. I love living in Hawai`i. Please do what you can to help preserve this Paradise!
A hui hou!