One of the highlights of our recent U.S. road trip was stopping at my cousin Elaine’s in Effingham, IL. Her grandson, Keegan, a 2nd grader, is in an elementary school that has for the past 28 years been doing a unit on Hawaii.
Since Barry and I were going to be in town, we were invited to answer their questions about our island home.
1) Since it is so far away from the rest of the United States, why is Hawaii a state?
Hawaii is far away from Mainland U.S. A. – that is true.
- From California to Hawaii is 2,471 miles.
- From Japan to Hawaii is 4,980 miles away.
Before it was a U.S. possession, Hawaii was an independent country. However on Jan. 17, 1893, Hawaii’s monarchy was overthrown by a group of U.S. businessmen and sugar planters (who wanted to make more money). With the help of U.S. military, the business people forced Queen Liliuokalani, the Queen of the Kingdom of Hawaii, to abdicate. She give up her rights and kingdom although she was the rightful leader. She didn’t want her people killed.
Two years later, Hawaii was annexed as a U.S. territory and eventual admitted in 1959 as the 50th state in the union.
2) What races live in Hawaii?
- The state’s overall racial breakdown: white, 22.7%; black or African American, 1.5%; American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.2%; Asian, 37.7%; Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 9.4%. The Hispanic or Latino population, of any race, was 8.9%.
- More Hawaii residents identify as mixed race – USATODAY.comhttp://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/census/2011-02-24-hawaii-census_N.htm
3) Have you seen a volcano erupt?
- Yes, on the Big Island of Hawaii many years ago, Barry and I saw a volcano erupting!
- Lava and steam have been coming up in various places on the Big Island for many years. Johnny and Sigrid were just there in February and were right by extremely hot, slowly flowing lava.
- On Maui, we have two volcanoes – one extinct (dead) and one dormant (sleeping), so we don’t have lava flows now.
- The Hawaiian islands were formed by volcanoes.
Big Island Kilauea Volcano
Go to this link to see molten lava:
4) What are the black sand beaches like?
- Black sand is hot – very hot when the noon sun shines upon it.
- The dark color absorbs the sunlight, so if your feet are bare, you have to run really quickly to get into the water.
- That sand is black because it is fine particles of volcanic rock.
- Most sand in Hawaii is silicon dioxide (quartz) that is white or whitish yellow; it has been broken down from rocks and minerals by wind, rain and freezing/thawing cycles into smaller grains. In a few places, the sand is red.
- Also, sea creatures such as the parrot fish chew up minerals and leave sand behind.
5) What is the weather like?
- Nice – highs are around 87 degrees in June, July, and August and lows of about 64 degrees are in January and February.
- Because temperatures drop about 3.2F (1.3C) every 1,000 feet (305m), the summit of Haleakala is roughly 32F (13C) cooler than the beaches.
- Rainfall is low in Kihei (10 inches a year), but on the east of Maui, is Hana, a rain forest (400 inches a year).
- Hawaii is called a “tropical paradise” because its climate makes people feel comfortable almost every day of the year.
6) Are there a lot of shark sightings?
- No. Sharks do live in the ocean, but they aren’t often seen here in Hawaii. One thousand miles south of the Hawaiian Islands, in the Palmyra Atoll, however, there are about 20 sharks every half mile. So it depends where you are what sea life you’ll find.
- About three shark attacks occur per year in Hawaii. Few shark attacks are fatal. Sharks do not have very good eyesight, so it is best to stay out of the ocean at dawn, dusk, or at times when the water is murky. Sharks are looking for turtles to eat – not humans.
- The Hawaii shark attack rate is surprisingly low considering the thousands of people who swim, surf, and dive in Hawaiian waters every day.
- The most frequently encountered Hawaiian reef sharks are the White Tipped Reef Shark, Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, Tiger Shark, Galapagos Shark, Gray Reef Shark, and the Sandbar Shark.
7) Do people really do the hula?
- Yes, the men and women – and children – dance hula. The Hawaiians have a powerful dance, music, and chant culture!
8) How is Christmas celebrated in Hawaii?
- Over half the people in Hawaii practice Christianity.
- Of those, 18.74% are Catholic; 5.24% are LDS; 3.91% are another Christian faith; 0.06% in Hawaii are Jewish; 5.14% are an eastern faith; 0.05% Islam.
- Barry and I have a Christmas tree, church services, and celebrations with our families. Because the weather is warm, we take food and spend our Christmas Day at the beach with our friends and family.
- Because we live in Hawaii, we get to enjoy and experience other cultures and religions that our friends and neighbors practice.
On Maui – Santa arrives by canoe
9) Are there any interesting animals on Maui?
- Yes. Many – many – especially sea creatures.
- My favorite one? Humpback whales that come to Hawaii from about December through February.
Humpback Whale Facts:
- Whales are mammals: breathe air, warm blooded, live birth, have hair, & mom’s produce milk.
- Fifty-eight million years ago, whales were land animals. But there was global warming and less land and food, so the whales evolved back into sea creatures.
- Their trip from Alaska to Hawaii (and then back to Alaska) takes whales 5 to 7 weeks at 3 to 8 miles per hour – each way! It’s about 3,000 miles they swim to give birth and mate in our shallow, sandy bottom, warm water.
- A whale calf is 15 foot at birth and drinks about 120 pounds of milk per day.
- Because their throats are about the size of a grapefruit, the Humpback whales don’t eat for about four months here because our fish are too big. The whales have to wait until they get back to Alaska where there is krill, small shrimp and other small cold water fish for them to eat!
- All whales vocalize, but the males “sing.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo2bVbDtiX8
- Life span: 40-80 years
- Length: 35-45 feet
- Weight 35-45 tons ( 1 ton = 2,000 pounds)
- Importance of whales to microscopic beings: Scientists report that when whales feed, often at great depths, and then return to the surface to breathe, they mix up the water column. That spreads nutrients and microorganisms through different marine zones, which can lead to feeding bonanzas for other creatures.
- And the materials in whale urine and excrement, especially iron and nitrogen, serve as effective fertilizers for plankton.
Come visit us to see other animals, birds, and sea life.
10) Do you have turtles in Hawaii?
- Two kinds you’ll find in Hawaii (among others) are the Green Sea turtle and the endangered Hawksbill.
- At Ho’okipa Beach on Maui, you can sometimes see 25 or more turtles, big and small, basking – resting and warming up – on shore every afternoon.
- Thirty years ago, basking seldom happened. But now, turtles are protected. It’s against the law to eat them.
We have other much more common animals:
11) What can you do for fun?
And of course, you must come paddle Hawaiian outrigger canoe with me. Kihei Canoe Club has visitor paddle every Tuesday and Thursday. Be on the beach by 7:15 am. You will learn the basics of paddling, hear a bit of Hawaiian culture (especially if Uncle Kimokea is there), and get to be on the ocean with experienced paddlers. We never know what we will see. http://www.kiheicanoeclub.com/
As for our time in Effingham, Barry and I had a very good time meeting Keegan’s classmates and teachers – and answering their excellent questions.
Cousin Elaine brought juice and made “Hawaiian” cookies with macadamia nuts and coconuts. We all had a good time.
Of course, there is much more to say about the Hawaiian Islands. Come visit and see for yourself.
Since President Abraham Lincoln declared it a national holiday in 1863, those of us in the United States have been celebrating Thanksgiving Day on the final Thursday in November. We give thanks and count our many blessings – and usually eat too much with family and friends.
One important blessing is our many farmers who provide the food we eat.
A way to become more conscious and make more informed choices about the food we have offered is to get to know our local farmers and their concerns.
If you live in Hawaii, a great way to do that is to join the Hawaii Farmers Union United, a vital community group. Whether you are a family farmer, an avid backyard gardener, or just like to know where you can get good local produce, HFUU offers wonderful workshops, informative meetings, and works on important agricultural concerns.
For more information and to join, go to: https://hfuuhi.org/
Current President of Maui Farmers Union United and Vice President of Hawaii State Farmers Union United, Vincent Mina says about the challenges of farming (and everything else),
“If you do anything substantive, it will be hard. Just get on with it.”
Wherever you are in the world, check out what your farmers are doing. “Get on with it.”
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family — and all who provide for you.
For the first time in my life, I’ve been bitten by a dog! I always thought that if I wasn’t afraid of an animal, if I didn’t make eye contact, and just walked away slowly, a barking dog or wild animal wouldn’t bite me (bears or sharks, I realized, might be another story).
This method has worked for me my whole life–even once in Waiehu, an isolated community on Maui, when a pack of dogs came charging up the road as I was walking by. Also several years ago in Ubud, Bali, on Monkey Forest Road, I had an adult wild monkey (that weighed about 25 pounds and could have had rabies) climb up my leg looking for food. I stayed calm; it saw I was carrying a water bottle, not something edible, and climbed back down. I was wearing long pants and had been meditating and doing yoga every day, so I didn’t freak out, and the monkey went on its way.
On the same road another time, when Johnny was eating an open coconut, two juvenile monkeys charged him.
Quickly (and wisely), Johnny tossed the coconut; the monkeys went after it, and he was safe (and they were happy).
However, other people are not so wise. Do NOT mess with wild animals!
Had the monkey who climbed up my leg gotten a treat from someone like this woman?
But whether dogs or monkeys, sometimes, I’ve discovered, what has turned out okay before, doesn’t work.
Last Saturday as a friend and I were walking on the road in a residential neighborhood in Makawao, Upcountry Maui, a yappy, bored little dog jumped through a hole in its fence and came charging. With all the confidence of my past experience, I just ignored it and kept on walking slowly away. I’d already passed her house when the dog came up behind me and bit my left calf – leaving four puncture wounds! Now, six days after the attack, I still can’t go in the ocean because of the wound, and I’ve had to go to the doctor.
After this experience and some research, I have revised my thinking about dog attacks. These links give good advice:
1) This site tells what to do to help prevent an attack and what actions to take if the aggressive behavior escalates: <http://www.wikihow.com/Handle-a-Dog-Attack>
2) This source repeats some of the information, but it’s helpful too. <http://voices.yahoo.com/dog-attacks-confronted-aggressive-8440355.html?cat=7>
3) This site helps you “read” a dog’s body language:<http://moderndogmagazine.com/articles/what-my-dog-trying-tell-me/15185>
And what did I do? My first reaction to the bite–normally rather quiet me who never curses, started screaming: “What the xxxxx! Whose xx## dog is this? Get this ###XX dog off the street! It just bit me!!” I was pissed and more shocked than really hurt, and I’ve obviously not been doing enough meditation lately.
My bloodcurdling yells scared the dog back though the hole into its yard and brought out the next-door neighbor and his young daughter. I learned that this “jewel” of a dog, Ruby, had previously bitten the neighbor on the hand, Ruby’s owners knew about that attack, and the hole in the fence was not new.
I hold Ruby’s owners responsible. That day, they were both at work and had left their two big dogs, who slept through the whole encounter on this hot afternoon, and Ruby, a terrier/chihuahua mix, out in their yard. Cesar Millan, “the dog whisperer” and writer, says that leaving your dog in a fenced yard is for the dog like leaving it in a big cage.
Millan says that most problems with dogs can be solved by walking it for three hours a day! (He charges a lot for that advice if he gives it to you personally). However, if you don’t have that much time to be the alpha person in your dog’s life, he says at least walk the dog a half hour a day (which would be good for you too) – and put the dog on a treadmill! It’s likely that Ruby hasn’t been walked in a long time; the big dogs may be reacting to the neglect by sleeping.
Once I knew this wasn’t Ruby’s first unprovoked attack, I was very clear that I would report the incident–even though Ruby is a little dog and the bite didn’t look like much at first. It’s not as though I make my living as a leggy model, but the wound bled, became swollen and bruised; it hurt. I’ll spare you the gooey visual.
I reported the attack to the Maui Humane Society right away. Although they didn’t have an animal control officer in Makawao that afternoon, they sent an officer the next day to give citations for unleashed dog and dog bite.
The Maui Animal Humane Society website says, ” Maui County Code 6.04.045 outlines special regulations for dangerous dogs. Owners of a dog that has been deemed dangerous face a maximum penalty of $1000 and/or 30 days in jail should they fail to comply with the requirements of owning a dangerous dog.” From: <http://www.mauihumanesociety.org/UserFiles/File/What_We_Do/Field_Operations/Citizens_Guide/Citizens_Guide.pdf> But the owners can avoid the worst of the penalties if they keep Ruby contained and get her training.
When the Maui Humane Society officer called for my report, I said I would of course go to court. If the neighbor had done that when he was first bitten, it’s likely that I wouldn’t have been attacked.
Thankfully Hawaii is rabies free. However, we do have nasty bacteria such as MRSA, (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a strain of staph bacteria that’s become resistant to most antibiotics). Puncture wounds are not good especially in hot climates.
A couple of people, including neighbors open for future Ruby attacks, said to me – “Oh, it’s just a small dog. Are you really going to report it?” Yes! It’s the owners who should be feeling guilty about the attacks and making sure they don’t happen again. Zero tolerance should be the policy here. Besides, Ruby and her owners will need to get training–and everyone is likely to be happier and safer as a result.
If you have a dog, be a responsible owner. Of the almost 5 million dog attacks in the U.S. each year (and many involve family pets), half of those injured are children. So train your dog. Train your children (and yourself) about what to do. I know now that it’s not enough to be unafraid; dogs like Ruby will bite.
— Be calm and don’t make eye contact is just the first step in reacting to an aggressive animal. That’s usually enough to avoid a bite, but not always.
— Be ready to back away (I won’t turn my back on a barking dog again), command “No” (in the language of the land), throw something to distract it if possible, and if necessary, be ready to fight if attacked.
— And get medical treatment right away for a puncture wound. A tetanus shot lasts 10 years, I’ve learned, unless you actually get a puncture wound, and then it’s good for only five years.
A dog can be “Man’s best friend,”
But some dogs are bored, neurotic, neglected, and/or nasty. Be aware — stay safe.
Even before dawn, the ocean is beautiful. Paddling in a six-person outrigger canoe, as I do, I ‘m often in a boat to see the sun rise over Haleakala. Now that it is whale season, we sometimes get to see humpbacks too.
Although endangered, humpbacks can be found in all oceans, and they migrate annually from summer feeding grounds near the poles to warmer winter breeding waters closer to the Equator. Our humpback whales come to Hawaii during the winter months to give birth and mate before making the journey back to Alaskan waters, about a 6,000 mile round-trip, about 30 days each way.
According to Earth Trust, humpback whales feed only during the summer months when they are in cold, nutrient rich waters. Opening their mouths bring in about 500 gallons of water at a time. They have no teeth, but their baleen plates serve as a strainer to filter out small fish such as herring and mackerel. They consume 2,000 to 9,000 pounds of fish and krill a day! Approximately 25% of what they eat during the summer is stored as blubber and used for energy and insulation for the winter–when they come to Hawaii. They can lose one-third their weight before they eat again! (<http://earthtrust.org/wlcurric/whales.html>).
The Maui News (2/1/13) reports, “NOAA’s last official full whale survey six years ago found 10,000 whales in Hawaiian waters, with the numbers growing.”
It’s illegal to chase whales or to approach within 100 yards (the length of a football field); however, we can let them come up near us. Adult humpbacks grow to 38-48 feet long and weigh about a ton a foot—so although they are gentle giants, I get nervous when we are really close. It’s thrilling, actually.
We hold our paddles up when we are close to a whale so that vacationing condo dwellers with binoculars don’t report us to the Coast Guard for chasing whales.
Humpback whales become reproductively mature between 4 and 8 years old. Gestation is eleven to twelve months, so when she returns to Hawaii, the mother gives birth to a single calf, which is approximately 13 feet long and two tons! The mother feeds her newborn about 100 pounds of milk, which is 55% fat, each day.
NOAA says, “Underwater nursing poses unique challenges, which are overcome in a number of ways. First, nursing occurs in short bursts. Second, the mammary gland is triggered by direct pressure, so the calf can insert a rolled tongue into the mammary gland and trigger the flow of milk. Third, the consistency of the milk is thick, and much closer to what we would call yogurt, this helps the milk stay together rather than dispersing into the surrounding water”<http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/ABL/Humpback/AboutHumpbacks.htm>.
The calf nurses for five to seven months until back in nutrient-rich waters of the North; then the calf is weaned. By then, the calf has doubled its length and has increased its weight five times to about 27 feet and 10 tons. It will continue growing until about ten years old. Usually, a female humpback will bear one calf every two or three years, which is one reason they are an endangered species. Although no one yet knows for certain, the average life span of humpbacks in the wild is estimated to be between 30 and 40 years.
Last Thursday going out even earlier than normal, we were on the water at 5:30am in the dark with a cloud-covered sky, so we didn’t even have starlight. We came up upon a whale that may have been sleeping. The first indication was when we heard it breathe. We were so close I could have touched it with my paddle! That’s too close. Remember even the newborns are at least two tons.
The humpbacks are in Hawaii from about November until May, but the peak part of the season is from January to March. There is still time for you to see humpbacks here this year. Come visit.
* Unless otherwise noted, photos by me
Hawaii is one of the most racially diverse places in the world; no one group holds a majority. We are Hawaiian, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Caucasian, Japanese, Pacific Islanders, Mexican, and other. According to the 2010 census, 23% of the residents of Hawaii claim multi-ethnic origins; no other U.S. state comes close to this percentage. This “mixed plate” of mingling traditions and cultures enriches our Hawaiian islands—and we get visitors from around the world too. Maui is a wonderful place to people watch.
Of the about 157,000 residents on our three-island (Maui, Molokai, and Lanai) Maui County, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders now comprise only 10.5% of the population (http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/15/15009.html).
According to Sam L. No’eau Warner in “The Movement to Revitalize Hawaiian Language and Culture,” ” The Hawaiian people thrived for 1,000 years after migrating to Hawai’i in the eighth century (Beechert 1985). They had developed highly organized social systems, and upon contact with Europeans in 1778, the Hawaiian population was estimated to be 800,000 (Stannard 1989). . . . By 1878, only 47,5000 Hawaiians still remained (Schmitt 1968). . . .
Hawaiians were economically self-sufficient. They also had a highly developed religious system, which, together with their understanding of the natural environment, nurtured and protected the natural resources . . . Although unwritten, Hawaiian at that time was a sophisticated language with a long and rich tradition of oral literature. . . .
Initially, contact with Westerners resulted in the death of 80% [growing to 94%] of the Hawaiian population through introduced diseases (Stannard 1989).
The present ethnic mix of Maui is the result of migrant sugarcane and pineapple workers especially during the mid-to-late 1800s.” Even today, immigrants come to work in the fields and seek a better life for their children; now most are from other Pacific islands and from Mexico. Children of immigrants lead our Maui businesses and government, and Maui faces show the rich ethnic diversity of its people.
Then there is Little Beach. Go on a Sunday night for drummers and more.
Come enjoy the ethnic diversity you’ll find on Maui.
*All photos by me
You too may have seen Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in Spring Green or Chicago, but did you know that Frank Lloyd Wright also designed a house for Marilyn Monroe–and that it is on Maui?
Although Marilyn Monroe never had the house built, the plans were used to create the clubhouse for what is now The Kamehameha Golf Club.
The men’s spa is much bigger than the women’s because, they say, more men are members.
According to an article by Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi in a Special to the Star-Bulletin, “If circumstances had been different, the imposing rose-colored structure that stands in Waikapu, in the foothills of the West Maui Mountains, would have wound up as a vacation home for Marilyn Monroe and her playwright-husband Arthur Miller — instead of the clubhouse that’s the centerpiece of The King Kamehameha Golf Club.
In 1957, the jet-setting couple asked renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright to design an escape for them near rustic Roxbury, Connecticut . . . [that included], among other features, a cinema with a film vault, a nursery and a swimming pool with a gentle slope leading to a running brook.
When the couple’s marriage dissolved in 1958, however, so did their dream of building the 10,000- to 14,000-square-foot country estate. Wright died the following year, and for the next 30 years, the blueprints were tucked away in the archives of Taliesin West, an architectural firm in Scottsdale, Ariz., that grew from Wright’s practice.
In 1988, Wright’s design was reborn after Hawaii entrepreneurs Howard Hamamoto and Masaru “Pundy” Yokouchi and their Tokyo business partner, Takeshi Sekiguchi, visited Taliesin West.” (from <http://archives.starbulletin.com/2006/07/03/features/story01.html>.
Come to Maui; you’ll discover other surprises.
* photos by me
When you drive past Hana to the back side of Maui, where the car rental agencies don’t want you to go, the narrow, rough roads allow you to see rocky coasts, steep drop-offs, pounding waves, Charles Lindbergh’s grave, cattle, only a few people–and in Kaupo, one of Maui’s oldest churches. For nearly 100 years, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, established in 1862, served a thriving community of Native Hawaiians, ranchers, fishermen, and farmers.
According to Friends of St. Joseph, missionary Catholic priests evangelized on Maui beginning in the mid-1800s. Making use of local building materials, residents dove for coral and ground it into cement. Even today, this cement holds together the original stones of St. Joseph.
Bishop Louis Maigret blessed St. Joseph Church on June 29, 1862.
When the Kaupo population dwindled to only a few families in the 1970s, St. Joseph closed and fell into disrepair. However, during the late 1980s and early 1990s, church members restored St. Joseph and rededicated it on July 6, 1991.
In 2011, Friends of St. Joseph celebrated the 150 year anniversary of St. Joseph Church.
Whenever there is a fifth Sunday in a month and you are in Kaupo, be there by noon if you would like to participate in a St. Joseph mass, which is followed by fellowship–and a potluck. March 31, 2013, should be the next mass and celebration–but check with the Catholic church in Hana before driving all the way to Kaupo.
In the meantime, you may wander the grounds whenever you get to Kaupo.
* photos by me
The holidays make me think of family, so finally, I’ll report on the rest of our trip on the U.S. Mainland, an important part of which was getting to visit relatives.
On the way to Loveland, near Cincinnati, to see Paul, my oldest nephew, and his great family, we first spent several days with Servas hosts. The first was a wonderful Servas family outside Philadelphia; they welcomed us on very short notice. We first met them in a park to listen to a great concert!
And then our surprise was Pittsburgh–no more steel mills but a wonderful city of rivers, bridges, museums, and music! The incline, which is what used to take workers to the steel mills, is now a tourist cable/trolley car ride.
Then on to Loveland.
Then on to Bloomington, Indiana (home of basketball — Indiana University) to see cousins Vanessa, Ryan, Ashlyn, and Carsyn.
Then back to St. Louis in time for fireworks.
Cousin Elaine has been researching our family history with the help of a Wisconsin cousin and Vanessa. They found we are related to Mary Laney Backensto Moreland whose grave is in the Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis. One hot summer day, my sister, cousin, and I ventured out to see what we could discover. Established in 1857, Bellefontaine Cemetery has numerous historic and extravagant tombstones and mausoleums for prominent local and state politicians, as well as soldiers of the American Civil War.
Mary Laney Backenstoe Moreland’s will was executed in 1864 in St. Louis City. [When Elaine first wrote to me about Mary, I read that she was executed in 1864, which makes a very interesting twist–but not true]. Mary was married to Hanson Moreland a businessman and wagon builder who built the first fire engine for St. Louis and owned land in the city. Hanson died on 6/9/1863. Those buried in this same plot include Mary D. 4/3/1863, Wm. H. Nelson 4/3/1863; Mary Backenstoe 4/3/1863, Virginia T. Moreland 4/3/1863; Lloyd H. Moreland 4/3/1863, Mary L. Moreland 3/22/1864, Fred Fursch 2/20/1867; Mary A. Moxham 6/11/1878. We don’t yet know why five of them, including Mary Backenstoe, have their date of death as 4/3/1863. My grandmother, on my father’s side, was a Backenstoe, and my dad’s middle name was Moreland.
The graveyard contains those known and unknown:
Some of the prominent people buried there include William S Burroughs (writer), Adolphus Busch (founder of Anheuser-Busch), William Clark (of Lewis and Clark), and Thomas Hart Benton (the politician).
Elaine, Trish, and I had fun wandering among the graves in this beautiful old St. Louis cemetery.
As a family, we also celebrated birthdays and being together.
We’re particularly proud of Mark who besides being a great dad and husband, works in a challenging career, coaches elementary school basketball teams, and has been continuing his education–for years. He recently graduated with about 160 credits to earn his B.A. Yeah, Mark!
Our next stop was Las Vegas where Barry has family–and according to him–you can get the cheapest flights between the Mainland and Maui.
Then on to Honolulu to visit friends Jamie, Jeremy, and Lilia:
And we’re back to our son and friends …
and turtles . . .
and the whales are now back for the winter.
Although it is great to be on the road, it’s wonderful to be back home.
*Except where noted, photos by me.
Flat Stanley, according to the book, is a resourceful boy. After a bulletin board hung over his bed falls and unfortunately flattens him, Stanley started traveling the world (since he can easily fit in an envelop, which saves a lot on air fare). He makes the best of his difficult situation.
My great-nephew, Bryce, who is in 4th grade, mailed Flat Stanley to me, and I have been showing him Maui.
Here is Flat Stanley’s report to Bryce and his class.
One of the first places Flat Stanley saw was Tasty Crust.
Not too far away from Tasty Crust is Iao Valley. Locals go to Iao to swim in the cold water; tourists go to see the waterfalls and replica houses of the many ethnic groups who live here on Maui: Hawaiian, Filipino, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, and Western missionary.
Hiking is great on Maui.
Of course, you probably know that Maui is famous for its beaches. Maui has been voted “Best Island in the World” by Conte Nash Traveler readers for 17 years, so of course, Flat Stanley wanted to see the Pacific Ocean. Maui is about 3,000 miles from any continent, so there is a lot of ocean around it. Look on a map to see how far Hawaii is from the rest of the U.S. mainland and from Asia too.
Of course, Flat Stanley wanted to see a Maui sunset.
On another day, we rode upcountry (up the side of Haleakala, the volcano) and saw ranches and farms.
Flat Stanley spotted a very creative mailbox.
Flat Stanley has come with us, of course, to celebrate a few holidays. As usual, for instance, we went to the beach for our Thanksgiving dinner with friends.
Another day, we hiked the Maui Coastal Land Trust preserve. http://www.mauicoastallandtrust.org/ourwork.php
When we drove upcountry one Sunday to join our Quaker Friends in Eve’s Sacred Garden, Flat Stanley came too.
Flat Stanley comes to gatherings with friends.
Although 90% of our food and energy are imported from at least 3,000 miles away–so we really need to work on sustainability–we do have good locally grown fresh food.
Because the temperatures are very moderate on Maui, we feel it is winter when it rains–especially in Kihei where we live.
Since you go to a Catholic school, you might be interested in the churches here on Maui. The missionaries had a big impact on the culture and religion of the Hawaiians.
The church was the only Keanae building to survive the devastating tsunami of April 1, 1946.
Another interesting church is the octagon-sided Holy Ghost Catholic Church upcountry in Kula; it was built in 1875 by Portuguese immigrants who had come to work on the Maui sugar cane plantations.
Stanley wanted to see more of Maui, so we drove to Hana with friends. The road crosses 52 one-lane bridges through rain forests. The area is one of the wettest places on Earth.
Many tourists rush to get to Hana, but as with life, it is the journey that is important. We stopped to eat lunch and hike at Waikamoi Ridge, saw Keanae, took breaks to see waterfalls, and had a good time on our trip. We stayed in cabins at Wainapanapa State Park.
Although it rained a bit (we were in a rain forest), we got to hike, talk–and eat well. John was our excellent cook 🙂
Flat Stanley, Barry, and I got to spend another night. The next day we went to Hamoa Bay.
There’s windsurfing at Ho’okipa.
There’s much more to do on Maui. Hiking in Haleakala, paddling outrigger canoe, watching whales, going zip-lining . . . What do you like to do? Come do it here on Maui.
Come visit us.
Aloha, Flat Stanley and Aunt Renée
Recently, University of Hawaii Maui College colleagues came to visit Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University here in Lin’an, China.
The ZAFU and UHMC discussions explored several ideas of how our schools could become more closely linked.
We discussed both predictable but also innovative possibilities. For instance, an important opportunity for U.S. students wanting to learn Chinese is to come here to ZAFU; it is a good and an affordable choice. Students receive six hours of classroom instruction four days a week in small classes with students from around the world. Those coming to study Mandarin are on the ZAFU campus with 22,000 Chinese speaking students. So there is plenty of opportunity to practice this complex and increasingly useful language and become familiar with the Chinese culture. Tuition is about $2,500 a year. See http://school.cucas.edu.cn/HomePage/159/ for more information.
Other possible connections include:
Sustainability projects – Maui and Zhejiang have the bamboo. The Bamboo Foundation http://www.bamboocentral.org/ and the Green School http://www.greenschool.org/ are good models of what has already been done to use bamboo in building and more. On Maui, David Sands has already gotten approval and built five model bamboo houses. He is involved with the International Bamboo Foundation: P.O. 790716 Paia, HI phone: 808-572-8129. See the website at http://www.bamboocentral.org/hawaii.html. It seems like our colleges could and should get involved in this essential path for sustainable for the future.
Tea Culture Promotion – ZAFU is the only university in China that has a tea culture major. Tea is an essential element of Chinese culture (as well as for the Japanese). Both have made tea an art. Students training in tea culture here at ZAFU give performances in Lin’an, Hangzhou and beyond.
These rich cultural experiences could, for instance, be brought to Maui for presentations at high-end hotels such as The Makena Resort: http://www.makenaresortmaui.com/ . Lois Greenwood, wouldn’t an authentic tea ceremony be a wonderful addition for the guests at The Makena Resort? The ZAFU tea culture majors could also teach VITEC classes to the residents of Maui http://www.ocet.org/. Since Maui has a large Asian population, many residents are likely to be interested in learning about their culture. Japanese visitors may be curious about how the Chinese tea presentation differs from their own. Others are likely just to be interested. A beginning with a focus on Chinese tea culture could also lead to calligraphy and other Chinese arts. The Maui Arts and Culture Center could showcase the tea culture performances <http://www.mauiarts.org/>.
Transition of Chinese students to top U.S. universities: Many Chinese students want to study abroad. One question Barry and I get here in China is, “What is the most famous university in the U.S.?” For the Chinese, going to a prestigious school is extremely important. Before we try to answer a student, we want to know what he or she will be studying since the quality of programs vary within each school and we consider their English fluency. Some of the Chinese students have what we see as an unrealistic view of their their own capabilities. In general, although they do have discipline, and they do know how to work hard, U.S. universities, especially the top ones, are very competitive. A student must be excellent to survive. According to a 2005 report issued by The Education Trust, approximately 35 percent of students who enter US colleges will drop out during the first year — and those are often native English speakers. ( http://www.brighthub.com/education/college/articles/82378.aspx#ixzz1RDLlKMV3 A
The Chinese students going to the University of Indiana, for instance, will pay about $30,000 just for tuition. Add books, food, and housing costs, that fee rises to $43,351. They also need the airfare to get to the school. <http://admit.indiana.edu/cost/international/index.shtml> However, the average annual salary of urban employees in China’s non-private sector rose to 37,147 yuan (or about $5,600) in 2010 according to a May 5, 2011 People’s Daily report.
Because her spoken English was very limited, we struggled to understand one student who told us money for school was not an issue for her family. Her parents, however, may disagree when she likely flunks out of her first year when she is competing with native English speakers. So Barry and I see a real need to have transition programs for many of the Chinese students. Just as U.S. students often start at community colleges for their core courses and then transfer to universities to complete BA or graduate studies, many Chinese students, we think could (and should) do the same. At UHMC, we have the excellent Maui Language Institute <http://www.mauilanguageinstitute.com/index.php> for those students who do not yet qualify for U.S. universities. For those who do, they may be wise to start at a school such as UHMC <http://maui.hawaii.edu/> to acclimate to a US school, one with small classes and with experienced teachers instead of the huge freshman classes of major universities, ones often taught by T.A.s. Once the students have built their skills and gained transferable credits, they can move on to top universities that specialize in their fields of study–and they are likely to do very well. ZAFU and UHMC could set up transition programs for Chinese students wanting to do well in American universities.
Our schools could trade medical knowledge and expertise. In the U.S., there is a growing recognition and interest in Oriental medicine. A friend on Oahu has just enrolled in a four-year program there to become a doctor of Oriental medicine. Perhaps our UHMC could make good use of the training ZAFU graduates receive to promote special semester or summer Oriental medicine classes on Maui. In exchange, our UHMC Dental Hygenist program faculty and students could send representatives here to ZAFU. There is a huge opportunity to share what we know in the U.S. about dental hygiene. Our UHMC Dental Program leaders, Joyce Yamada and Rosie Vierra could offer their knowledge and expertise to develop a program at ZAFU. See our UHMC site <http://maui.hawaii.edu/?s=dental>. ZAFU could offer a dental hygienist program here that could be a model for China. The possibilities are vast.
Of course, an obvious connection is teacher and student exchanges. Right now, ZAFU is actively recruiting faculty who speak Mandarin and English to teach in almost all programs at this campus in China. If you or someone you know was born in China but emigrated to another country, ZAFU wants their skills at this university. Those interested should contact Mr. Bao Haiyong (Bob) <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
As for the ZAFU Foreign Languages Department, it often searches for qualified native English speakers. UHMC could be an excellent source. Besides our regular tenured faculty, UHMC has a pool of very well-educated and experienced instructors. Lecturers in the UHMC English Department, for instance, have at least a Masters Degree, are professional, and have experience teaching on the college level. Most love teaching; they would be very capable in teaching English classes here at ZAFU; for themselves, they would gain valuable new classroom and Chinese cultural experience. Barry and I have had an incredible year here and recommend the experience. Those interested can apply to Ms. Vickie Ge, ZAFU Administrator & Coordinator of Foreign Teachers/Experts at her e-mail address–<Vickiedangdang@gmail.com>.
We hope to expand and grow in connections between our two schools. We look forward to bright futures for our students and our communities. Our ideas can make that happen.
On the morning our UHMC group headed into Hangzhou and then back to Shanghai, we got to meet the ZAFU official, Dean Yu, who with our UHMC Liping and Vice-Chancellor Suzette started the sister school relationship between our two institutions several years. Liping kept referring to him as Dean Fish Head, which I though was rather surprising (and a bit rude) especially since Liping is always very professional. But no, Liping uses “Fish Head” as an affectionate title. “Yu” means fish in Mandarin, and as dean, he is the head of his department, thus “Fish head.”
May our relationships continue to grow and our ideas flourish.
Zài Jiàn and Aloha, Renée