Black & White Night in Hilo

On November 6, 2009, Hilo held its 9th Annual Black & White celebration. My natural tendency is to avoid events like this. I much prefer to stay home and write or work in my garden. A colleague at the college convinced me that I needed to get out more. Being the “loner” I am, I begrudgingly agreed.

I’m so glad I went! Not only did it give me some good blogging material, but I actually had a good time!

She made reservations at Uncle Billy’s Hotel for us to stay over that night, rather than drive back to our homes several hours away. The hotel receptionist graciously agreed to use my camera to take these photos of the four gals. The background is the patio area of Uncle Billy’s Hotel.

 

While this picture was being made, 87 year-old Uncle Billy himself wandered by. When I first moved to the Big Island thirteen years ago, I often saw him on his bicycle cruising the main drag of Kona. You might enjoy reading this article about the award he received a couple years ago and learn a little more about Uncle Billy (William J. Kimi Jr).

On our way to start the evening with supper, we came across a panda person running down the street, a black and white dog, and a barker dressed in her black and white. Everyone was dressed in black and white – some fancy costuming and some rather plain, but fitting into the black and white theme.

 

We met a fifth friend at Puka Puka Kitchen, a little hole in the wall with outstanding food! I can hardly wait to go back. Each of us chose something different.

 

My plate was a falafel pita and like a pig, I could have eaten two plates of it! What a pleasure!

 

I tried to get a picture of the menu, but the flash kept getting in the way.

 

But I did manage to get a good shot out the door toward the street and ocean.

 

While we were there, I asked someone to take a picture of the newly formed “Black Hat Society” ladies. Need I tell you we attracted quite a lot of attention? (giggling) I’m the one on your left, in case you couldn’t tell.

 

All the stores were open, and most offered some sort of pupu (snack). We wandered in and out, enjoying the merchandise and art work. Here the fifth addition to our foursome is examining these beautiful hand-woven baskets.

 

Here are just a few of the paintings on display (and for sale).

 

There were dresses . . .

 

. . . shorts and more made from rice bags. . .

 

. . . and hand-painted shopping bags. . .

 

. . . and novelty items like coasters made to resemble “slippahs” . . .

 

. . . and lei scarves hand-painted by Maya . . .

 

. . . and turtle sculptures.

 

You could buy any kind of produce . . .

 

. . . and plenty of other homemade goodies that were for sale.

 

My favorite of all the attractions was the number of street musicians everywhere.

 

Believe it or not, this introvert intends to go back again next year! Maybe I’ll see you there? In the meantime, if you’d like to see all these pictures individually, plus others that didn’t make it to the post, check out this slideshow.

http://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf

To see it in full size, click here .

A hui hou!

Wedding at Kikaua Point


Credit: Miko Walczuk (http://www.mikolaj.net)

 

A few weeks ago, I was given the honor of performing a wedding for the grandson of my friends, Peggy and Brian Hewitt. The marriage of Jeremy and Heba Hewitt took place at Kikaua Point Park, one of the most beautiful beaches on the Big Island of Hawaii.

 

Since I’d never been there, even though I live fairly close, it was as fascinating for me as for the guests.

 

There is a new housing area nearby, which may be one reason this particular park has been opened up for people to visit.

 

Because the site is considered sacred and historical, vehicles are not allowed past the gate, but it’s a fairly short walk to the beach itself.

 

The lava has intriguing formations, but the ocean is almost always in view to soften the visual effect.

 

 

When I finally reached the beach area, I had to catch my breath at the beauty!

 

Other friends went down early to set up for the wedding.

 

The wedding party had to traipse across the sand, but they made it!

 

Peggy Hewitt, the grandmother of the groom, took the next few shots. I was busy performing the ceremony so I couldn’t continue to take pictures! Here I am waiting for the wedding party to get there.

 

And then talking with the groom while he waits for his bride.

 

I’m doing the deed . . .

 

. . . then signing the license

 

The newlyweds are off to Vietnam where they will teach English and continue their schooling. What a gorgeous couple!


(Credit: Miko Walczuk (http://www.mikolaj.net)

 

A very special “mahalo” to Miko Walczuk and Peggy Hewitt for permission to use some of their photos.

 

http://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf

 

If you would like to see these in a larger slide show, click here.

A hui hou!

Honokohau Harbor

 

Five years of my life were spent living on my 37’ O’Day sloop-rigged sailboat. It was something I’d dreamed of ever since I was a young girl. I remember reading many books about sailing and people living on boats, even though I’d never really been on a boat.

 

There are a few stories of my life of being a “liveaboard” on an old blog of mine. I sold that boat just a few years before I moved to Hawai`i, and I still miss it!

 

So when Judy Jones asked me to do a memorial service at sea for her husband, Bob, I jumped at the chance. Judy is a close friend, as well, and I assisted with the organization of a beautiful send-off out of the Honokohau Harbor here on the Kona side of the Big Island. Bob suffered a fatal heart attack while he was fishing on Christmas Island.

Here are a few pictures I took of that trip out into the Pacific Ocean when I wasn’t busy officiating. This first one shows some of the boats in the harbor as we pulled out.

 

This was the first time I’d seen Honokohau Harbor from the ocean side of the entrance. There is a mountain behind all that mist. We’d had small craft warnings all week. Then on the day of the service, it was calm and beautiful.

 

Here are a few more shots of the harbor from the ocean side. I probably should have put these into a collage, but I prefer looking at the bigger pictures of the ocean!

 

 

 

 

Friends joined us on their boats. When we were about five miles out, we had the ceremony and tossed leis into the water. The boats circled the leis several times, then headed back to the harbor. A beautiful Hawai`ian ritual! I wasn’t able to get a picture of that because I was in the process of officiating. I’ll need to leave that part to your imagination.

 

 

 

The skipper of the boat I was on had been Bob’s fishing partner on Christmas Island when Bob had his heart attack. He helped with the funeral the local Christmas Islanders held for Bob, and he placed Bob’s trusty fishing pole on top of the casket.

 

When we got back to shore, there was a huge potluck feast for everyone. It was a moving and yet joyous celebration of Bob’s life. He was well-loved by many.

A hui hou, Bob! You were well-loved by all!

 

From Coffee Bean to Coffee Cup

COFFEE SEEDLINGS
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COFFEE SEEDLINGS

In spite of bad press in the past, coffee is now coming into its own as a beverage that has healthy properties. I’m one of those who is ecstatic over the latest scientific findings.

On the other hand, as an instructor in substance abuse counseling, I know it to be a stimulant that can be abused. What we call “uppers,” are a natural way of life for the majority of the population.

Consider our love affair with coffee, tea, sodas, chocolate! Oh my!!!! Still, we love these items, and with careful use, they can add so much to our lives.

I don’t have a coffee estate, by any means, and I’m struggling to keep my few coffee trees alive. Like most other plants I try to grow, my coffee trees don’t grow very fast. I hope to eventually get a cup of coffee out of what I have.

Above, you can see the seedlings I started from raw beans. That picture was taken in June, 2006. Here is the largest of my trees, photo taken in December, 2008.

SMALL COFFEE TREE
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SMALL COFFEE TREE

Soon, I plan to do a longer post on my friend, Lori Obra. She has a coffee farm and I showed her at the Na`alehu Farmers Market holding up a bag of “Rusty’s Coffee.”

Any guesses as to when I’ll get that first cup of coffee from my own trees?

A Healing Circle

HONU`APO BEACH
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HONU`APO BEACH

There is a little beach in our district of Ka’u that most of our visitors to the island don’t know about. I’ll take you to that beach in another post, but this time, I want to tell you of a gathering of friends at that beach recently. We came together to create a healing circle for a woman who is a dear friend to us all.

The celebration came on the first full moon of 2009. We each brought food to share – and what a feast that was! In addition to that, we each wrote something about how much she means to us. Later in the evening, in a circle of candlelight, each person read their piece. These were given to her later to be put into an album.

These are flowers brought from someone’s back yard.

BOUQUET OF LOCAL FLOWERS
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BOUQUET OF LOCAL FLOWERS

What a beautiful way to offer healing to a dear friend!

Olakino maika`i! (Good health!)

The Southernmost Market in the USA

The image people seem to have of Hawai`i is one of luxurious living that is mostly out of the reach of most mainlanders – not just to buy a home, but to even visit for a short vacation.

The truth is that much of Hawai`i would be considered more like a third world state by some standards. I remember asking my brother about getting something printed. He nonchalantly said, “Just take it down to Kinko’s.” When I said we have no Kinko’s, he was in utter shock.

What?? No Kinko’s?

It may come as a surprise to many of our friends on the mainland and in other parts of the world that until recently, we had no Borders, no Costco, no Kmart (and more). I hear we will be getting a Target sometime next year! There are new stop lights where none existed ten years ago. Many dirt roads are just now getting paved

When I was a pastor in Pahala and Na`alehu, two plantation villages near my present home, I invited a work team of students from a mainland university to come during Spring Break. They had no idea what they were running into, and people in their home towns scoffed at the notion of these students doing volunteer work for needy people in Hawai`i. Most thought they were coming over here to surf and have fun. A group of changed students carried a different message back home at the end of their week.

Things are different down in our isolated district of Ka’u (two syllables – Kah-oo). The area of Ka’u is larger than the county (island) of Oahu, and much of it is lava, just like my acre. Many people live “off the grid,” and have no electricity or phone service. I have already written about the need for living on catchment, which means catching our own rain water. That’s not an economic necessity, but just the way it is in this part of the island.

As a result, “buying locally” isn’t simply a trendy thing to do here. For us here it is another of those necessities. Take a walk with me down the paths between vendors and see what you can buy.

I don’t grow corn, but others bring corn to the market – so beautiful and delicious! I am eating one right now, as I write this blog. Don’t mind the butter dripping on your screen.

Albert and Lily Ledergerber have a stand here several times a month, but not this week. He came to do their week’s groceries, however, and he showed me the fresh corn

Another friend (Lorie Obra) grows, picks, processes and roasts her own coffee from her estate. Personally, I think that Ka’u grown coffee is much richer and more consistent than Kona coffee, but don’t tell anyone I said that.

The first stop I make at the market is to Lorie’s stand for a cup to sip while I do my shopping for the week’s vegetables and fruits. She always bakes some sort of pastry to accompany it.

The seasons vary but some things are available year-round.

You can buy local honey, Japanese eggplant, several varieties of lettuce, fresh vine-ripened tomatoes, homemade breads, local mac nuts (macadamia), and so much more.

One loaf of whole wheat bread was over $6.00 at one of the chain groceries in Kona this past week. Is it any wonder most of us either buy from “the breadman” or make our own?

I doubt if there are too many of these being sold in the mainland markets – Artocarpus heterophyllus. We call this “jackfruit.” They can get bigger than this, but here you can compare the fruit to the basket. Be sure to click on the link to see what it looks like inside.

There are too many good things to get pictures of them all. Eventually, I will feature more of the individual vendors. Today is just an overview

I do a lot of wishful thinking around the plants that are for sale

Artisans bring handmade garments, gourds and more

The jewelry here was all created by one woman. I plan to do a feature on her soon. She has made some of the most beautiful jewelery I’ve ever coveted. This shot is only one small end of what she displays on her table.

You can even buy locally made soaps and scents.

Marge and Dennis Elwell of Na`alehu Main Street said this market was begun with four farmers getting together in order to sell their produce. It has gradually grown to the size it is now. Marge and Dennis proudly wear their “Ka’u Farmers’ Market” t-shirts

The Na`alehu Farmer’s Market is held on the front lot of the Ace Hardware store every Wednesday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and on Saturdays from 8:00 am until to noon. At certain times of the year, the buying is more skimpy, but there is nearly always something to be found.

There are other farmer’s markets on the island, and bigger ones, but none has quite the hometown cozy feel of the one in Na`alehu. If there is someone you need to talk with, you can almost count on them being there

This is an area of the Big Island that most tourists know nothing about. If you are a visitor to our island and you just happen to be driving on Highway 11 through Na`alehu in the District of Ka’u, please stop and see what the excitement is about. You will be treated to some of our local fare

Here’s summer squash, fresh from our Na`alehu Farmers’ Market. I’ll have it for supper with a warm whole wheat tortilla I just made. Join me?