“We each have the opportunity to live our lives consciously in spite of all the soporific influences, to act even when we know how complex the prospect of doing so truly is.
Our charge is not to “save the world,” after all; it is to live in it, flawed and fierce, loving and humble. As children of the eighties and nineties [and those of us of earlier generations – and those later], we are uniquely positioned to fail. The bureaucracy we face, the scale of our challenges, the intractable nature of so many of our most unjust international institutions and systems—all these add up to colossal potential for disappointment.
[Recently on Maui:
Anti-corporate and pro-labor and environment organizations demonstrated against the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) during trade talks on Maui.
No matter [whether what we do succeeds or not].
We must strive to make the world better anyway. We must struggle to make our friendships, our families, our neighborhoods, our cities, and our nation more dignified, knowing that it might not work and struggling anyway.
We must dedicate ourselves each and every morning to being the most kind, thoughtful, courageous human beings who have ever walked the earth, and know that it still won’t be enough. We must do it anyway” (190).
- from Courtney E. Martin’s Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists, Beacon Press, 2010.
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