War or Peace?
On Saturday, January 13, my husband Barry, our friend Gail from Washington State, and I lounged on our lanai on the warm Maui morning. We watched the birds congregate at our feeder: lots of little red beaked Java sparrows, vibrantly colored love birds, red-headed finches, and an occasional Hawaiian cardinal.
As we sipped our coffee, chatted, and laughed, a warning alert blared from my phone. Usually this means a flash flood warning from rain storms up country or a high-surf advisory. Not at all concerned, I strolled into the kitchen to pick up my phone:
“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
Was this it?
In the three seconds that it took for me to run back outside to where Barry and Gail were chatting, the following thoughts (in abbreviated form) raced through my mind:
1) Where could we take shelter? We live in a house of single-wall construction, with lots of windows, set on posts and pilings attached to volcanic rock. We don’t even have basements in Hawaii let alone bomb shelters. For a short while during the 1960s when everyone in the U.S. was afraid the Russians would attack, my dad – as a part-time job – sold home bomb shelters that could be built in your backyard. But that was in the Midwest and a long time ago. (I don’t think Dad sold many, and we certainly couldn’t afford one). At school, we practiced crouching under our desks as a way to be protected from atomic bombs!! Ridiculous!
2) I’ve read Japanese author Masuji Ibuse’s Black Rain, a dispassionate but memorable novel based on historical records of the devastation caused by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and those who survived. I’ve been to Hiroshima and the Peace Museum there where photos show that people were vaporized by bombs much smaller than the ones available today.
The report from the first Western journalist to enter Hiroshima after the bombing notes –
On September 3, 1945, “Wilfred Graham Burchett entered Hiroshima alone, less than a month after the atomic bombing of the city. He was the first Western journalist — and almost certainly the first Westerner other than prisoners of war — to reach Hiroshima after the bomb and was the only person to get an uncensored story out of Japan. The story which he typed out on his battered Baby Hermes typewriter, sitting among the ruins, remains one of the most important Western eyewitness accounts, and the first attempt to come to terms with the full human and moral consequences of the United States’ initiation of nuclear war. It was published in the London Daily Express on September 5 and appears below . . .:
30th Day in Hiroshima: Those who escaped begin to die, victims of
THE ATOMIC PLAGUE
I write this as a Warning to the World
DOCTORS FALL AS THEY WORK
Poison gas fear: All wear masks
In Hiroshima, 30 days after the 1st atomic bomb destroyed the city and shook the world, people are still dying, mysteriously and horribly — people who were uninjured in the cataclysm from an unknown something which I can only describe as the atomic plague.
Hiroshima does not look like a bombed city. It looks as if a monster steamroller has passed over it and squashed it out of existence. I write these facts as dispassionately as I can in the hope that they will act as a warning to the world.
In this first testing ground of the atomic bomb I have seen the most terrible and frightening desolation in four years of war. It makes a blitzed Pacific island seem like an Eden. The damage is far greater than photographs can show.
When you arrive in Hiroshima you can look around for twenty-five and perhaps thirty square miles and you can see hardly a building. It gives you an empty feeling in the stomach to see such man-made destruction.
I picked my way to a shack used as a temporary police headquarters in the middle of the vanished city. Looking south from there I could see about three miles of reddish rubble. That is all the atomic bomb left of dozens of blocks of city streets, of buildings, homes, factories and human beings.
STILL THEY FAIL
There is just nothing standing except about twenty factory chimneys — chimneys with no factories. A group of half a dozen gutted buildings. And then again, nothing.
The police chief of Hiroshima welcomed me eagerly as the first Allied correspondent to reach the city. With the local manager of Domei, the leading Japanese news agency, he drove me through, or perhaps I should say over, the city. And he took me to hospitals where the victims of the bomb are still being treated.
In these hospitals I found people who, when the bomb fell suffered absolutely no injuries, but now are dying from the uncanny after-effects. For no apparent reason their health began to fail. They lost appetite. Their hair fell out. Bluish spots appeared on their bodies. And then bleeding began from the ears, nose, and mouth. At first, the doctors told me, they thought these were the symptoms of general debility. They gave their patients Vitamin A injections. The results were horrible. The flesh started rotting away from the hole caused by the injection of the needle. And in every case the victim died. That is one of the after-effects of the first atomic bomb man ever dropped and I do not want to see any more examples of it. . . .
Go to the above link for the rest of the article.
In the Oct. 10, 2016, Popular Mechanics article, Jay Bennett writes:
Also, for those surviving the initial bombing, the radiation sickness caused agonizing deaths. (Also, the birth defects that follow the family of the survivors reach into subsequent generations).
3) I would not want to survive an atomic blast.
4) Even if I did somehow survive the blast, there would be huge problems in Hawaii. Although the Hawaiians were self-sustaining for thousands of years, now “modern” Hawaii imports 90-95% of its food and energy. We are one of the most food vulnerable places on Earth. If there were a catastrophe, we would soon be out of food and fuel. Puerto Rico is still not getting needed help from the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017.
In a December 21, 2017 article for Esquire magazine,
Holms reports, It’s been “three months since Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, unleashing the full force of a Category 4 storm on the American territory. The intensity of the 155 mile-per-hour winds and the ferocity of the rainfall led the island’s residents to believe they had encountered something not of this world. . .
The troubles were never going to recede with the storm. The recovery was always going to be long, hard, and frustrating. But reports on the ground in the ensuing weeks quickly made it clear that the federal government’s effort was unacceptably slow and perilously inept. One month after the storm, one million Puerto Ricans—American citizens—were without water. Three million were without power.”
Puerto Rico is much closer to the Mainland U.S. than we are; we aren’t likely to get much help from our current administration.
5) Where was President Trump – and what was he doing with his “bigger button”?
Such terrifying thoughts raced through my mind as I ran back outside to alert Barry and Gail.
Gail, being the smart Microsoft contractor that she is, immediately opened her computer and checked The New York Times. Lead stories included one on the U.S. economy and one on gay rights. There was nothing about missiles headed toward Hawaii. Barry, the always great researcher, ran to the kitchen and turned on the radio. There was nothing on any channel. There were no continuing disaster sirens.
We decided the alert had been a hoax or a hack.
Besides, we were with people we loved, watching birds, and drinking coffee. Our neighbor came up with his cup of coffee. Our other lovely neighbor was off paddling in the ocean. Our son and his little family were on the U.S. Mainland. If we were to go, it would be quick – and besides the crisis didn’t seem real.
Another alarm signal came 38 minutes later saying the first had been a mistake. Later we learned that our president had been playing golf in Florida, so he didn’t overreact to the “news.” The whole situation reminded us that we must check our sources, but it also reminded us that we haven’t really worried about nuclear threats since the early 60s.
At home on our lanai, our little gathering did have a heightened sense of appreciation for the beautiful day, our relationships, our lives, and we poured another round of coffee.
A few days later, the following letter (written by my friend Melinda whom I’ve known for about 20 years) was published in The Maui News:
Nuclear war is neither acceptable nor inevitable
As an interviewer and researcher who lived in Hiroshima for over 10 years, I learned that any survival is a fluke. The small bombs that were detonated in Japan vaporized people in an instant, leaving only their shadows. Skin melted off, neighborhoods disappeared, people who were in shelters were sucked out by an intense force and those who survived for a while died horrific deaths from radiation poisoning.
The warning signal is a cruel lie. Nuclear war is neither acceptable nor inevitable.
Did you know that in 1929 a law was passed making war illegal? It’s called the Kellogg Brian Pact. It was put forth by our secretary of state, Frank B. Kellogg, and his French counterpart, Aristide Briand.
Did you also know that Hawaii is the first state to recognize the KBP law thanks to Mayor Alan Arakawa’s signing a proclamation making Aug. 27 KBP day? And that Gov. David Ige recognized KBP in a Peace Day proclamation at the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center in September?
Instead of sirens we need to find a way to de-escalate the path toward nuclear war. Could it be through legal action such as fines for incitement since KBP outlaws war?
If the Koreas and USA can negotiate a cease-fire, surely we citizens of aloha can find a way to prepare for “No More War.”
Surely, we can all work for peace and toward peace.
Religious leaders of all faiths advise peace and love:
Prophet Muhammad, said : “None of you have faith until you love for your neighbor what you love for yourself” (Sahih Muslim)
The wise words of Buddha from the Dhammapada further reminds us where we could be putting our thoughts – and actions:
The thought manifests as the word;
The word manifests as the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And habit hardens into character.
So watch the thought and its way with care and let it spring from
love, born out of concern for all beings.”
Gandhi said, “The real love is to love them that hate you, to love your neighbor even though you distrust him. Non-violence requires a double faith, faith in God and also faith in man. I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent. . . .
And what did Jesus say? “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Let’s put our focus and energy on understanding and loving everyone. Our survival and that of the Earth depends on it.
Banner photo: Birds in the papaya tree off our lanai
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