Your story: Was it worth it to move t...

Your story: Was it worth it to move to Hawaii?

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Since: Jan 08

Pocatello, ID

#1 Jan 13, 2008
Aloha,

This question is mainly for mainlanders who moved to Hawaii.

I've been doing as much research as I can lately to try and weigh the pros and cons of moving to Hawaii, and trying to locate a safe place to live. but the most insightful things I've read have come out of online forums, reading what people who live in Hawaii have to say about life there. And to me, it seems as if Hawaii has just as many downsides as it does benefits.

It is beautiful, but expensive. A broad range of people, but also much racism. Not so much violent crime (though it is rising), but among the nation's worst rates of property crime, fueled by the growing Ice problem. A land of Aloha Spirit, but that spirit being broken by those seeking to harm their fellow man. The land is being developed, both for good (jobs, affordable housing), and for bad (overexpansion).

Local governments are said to be corrupt by some, and others say that the local police departments cannot or will not be able to combat rising crime. An air of uncertainty over Hawaii's future looms, and for those planning on raising children in the islands, there are large fears of the growing numbers of gangs, violence in schools, racism among pupils, poor school environments and widely varying test scores.

With so many people voicing so many passionate concerns, does any hope seem in sight that things will start to get better? Can enough voices change things for the better? Or do most of us feel that things will only get worse? Is hawaii truly "safe", is it truly "happy", for you, for your families?

Is it worth it to continue to have the dream of living in Hawaii, even knowing that you may sacrifice your peace of mind, to not know for sure if your car, your home, will be safe from thieves from day to day? To worry about your kids at school, to work multiple jobs just to make ends meet and enjoy your islands only on the weekends?

Can the feeling of Aloha still persevere even after facing all of the above? I would like to know. I love Hawaii, have loved Hawaii all of my life, and in my heart it feels like the one true place I belong. But the Hawaii that I grew up dreaming of didn't contain the fears of crime that are there today. This darker side of Hawaii was something I didn't know of until very recently. But my love of the islands still is strong.

Perhaps things aren't as bad as they seem from outside. Maybe a lot of passion towards preserving Hawaii as a great place to live has made people shout just a little bit louder about problems they might see. But from over here, it seems like the problems are pretty big. I don't want to give up my dream of living there, the thought is heartbreaking, but is the sacrifice worth it?

Tell me your story. I want to hear. When you moved to Hawaii, what was it like for you? What is it like now? Did you adjust easily to the islands? Were you accepted? How will you face the growing problems in the islands? And could they ever cause you to move back to the mainland? What can all of us do to make a better hawaii for our future?

Mahalo,

Brandon
MeiLing

Ewa Beach, HI

#2 Jan 13, 2008
I think that Hawaii ranks lowest in racism in the nation. Race is more celebrated here than almost anywhere. Our differences make each of us unique and exciting.

One of the things I think gives folks cause to think that racism is high: is the thing about Hawaii that is different from every other state. Whites are in a distinct minority here. What that means subconsciously is that it will likely be the first time they've really confronted racism directed towards them and not been able to have that, "I'm white, I must be right!" thought process.

Don't get me wrong, I am a white middle class female who grew up on the east coast, spent summers here from the time I was 9, and then moved here after high school (grad '82).

The myraid of different cultures is something that I love! Especially how it translates into the food!

I've found local people to be quite willing to take you in if you are of a mind to bond with folks.

The bottom line is that if you tend to keep yourself apart in any culture, you'll be apart and not fit in.

I've been living here 25 years now. Don't think I'd ever go back. Sometimes I wish I had never come here in the first place. Then there wouldn't be the struggle. Then I could live on the mainland, make great money and not know what I would be missing!

Since: Jan 08

Pocatello, ID

#5 Jan 13, 2008
MeiLing wrote:
I wish I had never come here in the first place. Then there wouldn't be the struggle. Then I could live on the mainland, make great money and not know what I would be missing!
I kinda know what you mean. My wife was asking me just tonight why I am struggling with these questions so much. She said "if you are so worried about Hawaii's problems, why don't we just visit instead of live there?"

But it's not that easy. When you truly have a passion in your heart about Hawaii, it's not just about the "scenery" of the place, it's not about visiting...the islands become the home of your soul in a way. For me not to live in Hawaii would be like never coming home, and yet...I've never lived there. My heart sinks to think of having to give up the idea of living there, but I fear the cost of moving to a place with so much crime trouble.

On the Topix "Hawaii Forum" today I read a thread where haoles and Hawaiians were trading insults with each other and making threats, and it was one of the saddest things to me, because if only we treated each other the way we'd like to be treated, then there'd be less hate and bad feelings all around. But when one idiot says or does rude things, then he makes others that may share his background or race look bad too. It really isn't fair.

still, I'm hoping that somehow things aren't as bad as they seem.

Since: Sep 07

Kihei, HI

#6 Jan 13, 2008
Aloha717200 wrote:
Aloha,
What can all of us do to make a better hawaii for our future?
Mahalo,
Brandon
Stay on the mainland.
Marauder

Kahului, HI

#7 Jan 14, 2008
If you rely on this forum for an accurate picture, you can say that it's like a box of chocolates: sometimes you get nuts. As I said earlier, visit and find out for yourself. I can say that there is no corruption in local government and yet you still have reservations. Some people ranted about this but when I asked for specifics, they couldn't come up with even one. So much for their theories.

Is the passion that you have merely a yearning, or is this "place" and spirit something that you will truly embrace? Will you respect the wishes of the locals and respect the culture or try to turn Hawaii into something you think it should be? I have just about every race represented in my neighborhood and no one is trading insults here.

Be sure to line up your ducks: Employment, housing, and research. It's a big move, make sure it's the right one for you. I would recommend subscribing to local newspapers to see what rents, food, and local issues are.

I've lived on the mainland, overseas, and four islands. There was never any question where I wanted to live. I learned a long time ago that money isn't everything. Let me put it this way: When you watch documentaries about Siberia, do you see any of the residents smiling?

Since: Jan 08

Pocatello, ID

#10 Jan 14, 2008
Marauder wrote:
Is the passion that you have merely a yearning, or is this "place" and spirit something that you will truly embrace?
It's something that's been a part of me for as long as I can remember. When I was very young, I kept having these reoccuring dreams about places I'd never been. Around the same time, my grandfather went on a trip to Hawaii and brought back some souvenirs from the islands, and that sparked an interest in me.

When I was a bit older and started really reading about Hawaii, I opened up this picture book of Hawaii and in there I found photos of all those places I'd been in my dreams as a kid. I know it sounds really weird but it's true. Waipi'o Valley, Kane'ohe, Na Pali, Kalaupapa, all these places were familiar to me, and I still get a strong deja-vu feeling when I look at those photos. I've never been there in person, but I've "been there" in a sense already.

After that I pretty much ate, slept and breathed Hawaii and the south pacific growing up. In high school I always had my nose in a book about Hawaii or the pacific. James Michener became my favorite author, and I started collecting magazines from local travel agencies and hawaiiana from anywhere I could find it, even went to a Hilo Hattie's on a trip to california one year and bought a whole bunch of aloha shirts. Idaho is a cold weather state and yet in the dead of winter I'll still be in my Aloha shirt, because it's who I am.

My wedding ring is engraved with palm leaves, I have leis on my walls and tropical plants growing in the house, even a Bird of Paradise. I have books and videos of everything from Hawaii tourism to Hawaiian culture and history, and I'm also a huge fan of Lilo and Stitch.
the language interests me as well. I think the Hawaiian language is the most beautiful tongue ever spoken. I'm fascinated with the meanings of Hawaiian names of places, even used to write Hawaiian words on desks and such when I was in high school, just for fun.

To think of myself in Hawaii brings me an inner joy that feels like coming home...even though I've never lived there. It doesn't matter where I am in the world, or what the temperature is outside, inside of me is always a Hawaiian scene, something to hope for, aspire to one day being there.

I know it's unusual, but it's who I am, who I've been for a very long time. I've just never had the chance to go to Hawaii until now. And it just so happens that Hawaii is facing some troubles. And I fear somewhat that if I lived my life without ever having lived in Hawaii, accomplished that lifelong dream, that a huge part of my past will have been wasted.

But I also don't want to arrive in Hawaii to find that there's no way I'd be accepted or fit in, or come home one day to find that all my posessions had been stolen. I want a safe home, but I also want...perhaps need...to accomplish that dream I've held for so long.

Since: Jan 08

Pocatello, ID

#11 Jan 14, 2008
Marauder wrote:
Will you respect the wishes of the locals and respect the culture or try to turn Hawaii into something you think it should be? I have just about every race represented in my neighborhood and no one is trading insults here.
It depends on the issues. When it comes to things like lowering crime or improving the quality of life on the islands...yeah...I'd be involved, because I'd care about my community enough to want to contribute towards a common goal.

I don't view things as "white issues" and "local issues", I view issues by what they are. Things that affect all of us. If you like, you can ask me a few questions about some of the issues and I'll tell you how I feel about them. but when it comes to culture...man...I want my kids to be taught the Hawaiian language right alongside their english classes. I want to see the Hawaiian culture respected and preserved, and I want the various cultures and businesses in Hawaii to be able to peacefully co-exist and cooperate with that culture and history. It must never be erased. It's a beautiful culture. It's only being soured as of late because of how narrow-minded some people can be.

I can work with and get along with people of other races and cultures as well. My prevous job, I was one of only 5 white people and all the rest were hispanics that spoke almost no english. But we all got along, and I learned a few things from them and even tried to learn a little of their language to break the ice.
Marauder wrote:
Be sure to line up your ducks: Employment, housing, and research. It's a big move, make sure it's the right one for you. I would recommend subscribing to local newspapers to see what rents, food, and local issues are.
Currently registered for the online versions of Hon-Ad, Star Bulletin, Maui News, and West Hawaii Today. Read them every morning.:)
Marauder wrote:
I've lived on the mainland, overseas, and four islands. There was never any question where I wanted to live. I learned a long time ago that money isn't everything. Let me put it this way: When you watch documentaries about Siberia, do you see any of the residents smiling?
My heart knows where it wants to be. My head worries about the issues.
MauiDrummer

Honolulu, HI

#12 Jan 14, 2008
My wife and I moved here 4 years ago. We live in a predominantly haole neighborhood in Kihei, Maui.

We are lucky: we have no kids and no debt and are both skilled. We planned our move meticulously for years before actually doing it. We researched neighborhoods and watched the classifieds for years.

In the 4 years, every one of our neighbors has moved. Rental units in our building have been a revolving door. We've counted: 17 people have come and gone just in our small building while we've been here.

Property values are outrageous. Unless you are independantly wealthy, don't expect to be able to buy a house. Period.

Do not move here if you have kids. The public school system is atrocious and your kids will have an immediate and permanent disadvantage. Special Ed kids are not segregated - they're right in there with the regular classes, dragging them down.

Do not move here unless you and your spouse have multiple skills in varying fields. There's no guarantee you'll get a job in your preferred field. Realistically, unless you luck out and get a good-paying full-time job, you're going to end up with 2 part-time jobs.

Do not carry ANY debt with you.

Bottom line: unless you are really lucky, the chances you will make it here are pretty low. Hawaii is beautiful, but it can chew you up and spit you out if you are not prepared. You may want to think about just visiting...

Since: Sep 07

Kihei, HI

#14 Jan 14, 2008
Aloha717200 wrote:
<quoted text>
It depends on the issues. When it comes to things like lowering crime or improving the quality of life on the islands...yeah...I'd be involved, because I'd care about my community enough to want to contribute towards a common goal.
Listen, you sound like a nice guy, but seriously, stay on the mainland, unless you want to be seriously disillusioned. Even your comment above. Get real. First, there is no common goal in Hawaii. It's like saying there is a common goal in texas. Second, even if there were a common goal, for the first 20 years you are here, no one would listen to you anyway, because you are a haole, and a malahini. If you were Filipino, fresh off the boat from the Philippines and didn't speak english you would be listened to more than a haole. Even if you moved, say, to whitebread transplant Kihei, the white people who moved here five years ago wouldn't even listen to you, as they see themselves as "local" and look down on malahini (although everyone else sees them for what they are, white transplants). And the people like myself who were actually born and raised here? Doesn't matter how good your ideas are. Doesn't matter how good of a person you are. That is the way it is. Any idea will be dismissed with one of the following rejoinders:
- Maybe that's how they do it on the mainland, but this is Hawaii.
- This isn't the mainland.
- How long have you been here?
- Don't rock the boat.
- Shut up, haole.
- Go home, haole.
I'm not joking. I have seen so many people with exactly your attitude come here with stars in their eyes and the spirit of Aloha in their hearts leave in a year or two, bitter, disillusioned and newly racist to boot. It sucks, but the single most important important fact of your existence in Hawaii is the color of your skin, and yours is the wrong color.

Since: Jan 08

Pocatello, ID

#16 Jan 14, 2008
How can people allow themselves to be so narrow minded, and racist, especially in this day of age?

People should be judged by who they are, not the color of their skin or how long they've been in the islands. How exactly does the color of your skin make you more or less intelligent or respectful? Cant people accept that there can be good people in all races?

Did a haole harm you in some way that caused you to feel bitter to the whole race? I'm sure there are a lot of white jerks out there, just as I'm sure there are a lot of jerks from every race, it doesn't mean everyone is that way.
ohaiboy

Hoolehua, HI

#17 Jan 14, 2008
look at it this way...all states have problems with the government, crime, schools and population issues. all states have rising housing costs and inflation. all states have people who want to help and people who want to just complain about it. bottom line: i sat on the beach saturday, 1/12 and got a tan, swam and saw turtles, watched whales jump offshore and had a great time with friends and family. then i went home. that is the only reason people should love hawaii...the great weather, scenery and variety of things to do that cost nothing more than the gas to get there. but if you are unsure, don't come...only dedicated people need to come here, we have enough undecideds as is.
Blondie

Peabody, MA

#19 Jan 14, 2008
MeiLing wrote:
I think that Hawaii ranks lowest in racism in the nation. Race is more celebrated here than almost anywhere. Our differences make each of us unique and exciting.
One of the things I think gives folks cause to think that racism is high: is the thing about Hawaii that is different from every other state. Whites are in a distinct minority here. What that means subconsciously is that it will likely be the first time they've really confronted racism directed towards them and not been able to have that, "I'm white, I must be right!" thought process.
Don't get me wrong, I am a white middle class female who grew up on the east coast, spent summers here from the time I was 9, and then moved here after high school (grad '82).
The myraid of different cultures is something that I love! Especially how it translates into the food!
I've found local people to be quite willing to take you in if you are of a mind to bond with folks.
The bottom line is that if you tend to keep yourself apart in any culture, you'll be apart and not fit in.
I've been living here 25 years now. Don't think I'd ever go back. Sometimes I wish I had never come here in the first place. Then there wouldn't be the struggle. Then I could live on the mainland, make great money and not know what I would be missing!
Iam also white, middle class and I am living on the east coast. My spouse ( have been seperated for 6 years) has been living out there for almost 2 years. From the conversations I've had from him by phone, he seems to have fitted in well and seemed very happy. Unfortunately he got into a critical accident recently and they wish to med flight him back. I,m torn about that because he felt like he was at home there. You are right in what you saidThe bottom line is that if you tend to keep yourself apart in any culture, you'll be apart and not fit in. As for things on the east coast....I love it and wouldn't want to live any where else,( the change in the seasons ). We are having a snow storm as I speak....I had no work today! Take care.
Blondie

Peabody, MA

#20 Jan 14, 2008
p.s.- ( 83 grad)
Warrior in Cali

United States

#21 Jan 14, 2008
Though I don't agree with everything Empire has to say, he has given you a pretty dead-on and honest appraisal of what to expect should you choose to move to Hawaii. Having lived in the South as a non-white for 4 years made me realize that as best as one can try to fit in at best you realize that you'll be TOLERATED but never quite ACCEPTED. So too will it be for you as a non-local in Hawaii. It will only be folly to believe that TOURIST courtesy by locals will also be extended to you by locals who don't work in that capacity. Also, if you have kids or plan to have some, be prepared for the tears they will shed coming home the first time they experience "Beat up Haole Day". Sad, but true.
Aloha717200 wrote:
How can people allow themselves to be so narrow minded, and racist, especially in this day of age?
People should be judged by who they are, not the color of their skin or how long they've been in the islands. How exactly does the color of your skin make you more or less intelligent or respectful? Cant people accept that there can be good people in all races?
Did a haole harm you in some way that caused you to feel bitter to the whole race? I'm sure there are a lot of white jerks out there, just as I'm sure there are a lot of jerks from every race, it doesn't mean everyone is that way.

“All Die, Not All Really Live!”

Since: Jan 08

Oahu, Hawaii

#22 Jan 14, 2008
I love Hawaii and have 2 wonderful sons. The older one is 5 and is attending public school and the younger one is 2 and we are getting ready to send him to preschool. I believe that education is what you make of it. My wife and I spend a great deal of time to supplement our son’s education. I attended public school in Hawaii my whole life and was in the National Honor Society, made Eagle Scout, have 7 varsity letters in sports, etc. I also was accepted to UCLA, USC, Loyola Marymount, UW, and others in the field of electrical engineering. I hope that I don’t sound like I’m bragging because that is NOT my intent. I just believe that educating your children is a task that too many parents rely solely on the system. I also think that by not actively participating in your child’s education and extracurricular activities is also the way that he/she can get into trouble with drugs and crime. This is also the reason my wife and I joined the PTO so that we can help the school raise enough funds to provide the tools necessary for a better education. I wouldn’t want my children raised anywhere else.

I think that racism exists to a certain degree everywhere in the world. If you are thinking of coming to Hawaii to get away from that then you should stay where you are. I have lived in different parts of the mainland and have been told,“I remember Pearl Harbor!” or “Hmm.. Today feels a lot like Pearl Harbor, there’s a nip in the air!” or “You’re from Hawaii? That insignificant little dot in the Pacific?” Unfortunately many of the local people have come across many “haole” people that have an extremely condescending attitude towards them. People who speak Pigeon English may sound like they are not intelligent and perhaps that is where this attitude comes from. Many Hawaiians hold white people responsible for the decimation of their race with the introduction of disease and that almost all of the lands were taken away. Their thoughts are probably not much different that the Native American Indians. I can assure you that not ALL “locals” feel this way. I would say that almost all the people I know are very much filled with the spirit of Aloha and are very warm and caring. You unfortunately will find people who still have a lot of anger and hatred within them and these are the incidents that you probably end up reading about in the news. I find that if you are just willing to walk away these incidents do not escalate to the point of violence.

I hope that this may give you some insight on your thoughts of moving to “paradise” and here are a few more things to consider:

1. Yes it’s very expensive to live here but I wouldn’t think of living anywhere else!

2. No snakes, alligators, crocodiles, or any other dangerous animals like poisonous insects or arachnids.(The only thing you have to worry about is sharks but they can be avoided by not going too deep into the water. LOL)

3. We are not on a major fault line so rarely do we have earthquakes. There are volcanic tremors from time to time but they rarely affect the other islands.

4. Hurricanes and Tsunamis are about the only things we have to worry about. I live in the mountains so that eliminates one of the threats. You normally have a couple of weeks notice when a hurricane comes so you have plenty of time to seek shelter and prepare. Tornadoes are extremely rare which you would only have minutes to react to.

5. One of the few places where you could live outside every day of the year and the weather won’t kill you.

There are pros and cons everywhere you go so you have to ask yourself what would make you happy!
Marauder

Kahului, HI

#25 Jan 14, 2008
As far as public schools go, the success of the student depends on the student and parental support. Our public school graduates are currently enrolled in the best universities in the country including MIT, Harvard and service academies.

As far as special ed, many SPED students are mainstreamed, just like classes on the mainland. There are classes for gifted and talented so kids can grow and learn.

Don't believe for a minute that some of the racial rantings that go on over these forums represent the "pulse" of the community. Again I say, come visit and see for yourself. Taking a short trip over will be worth the airfare because you will be able to ascertain the truth for yourself.

Here's another source for you:

http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt

Whites comprise the largest ethnic group in Maui County with over 60,000 in a population of 138,000. Since Maui is the place where people want to be, it's going to be expensive. People born and raised here don't have sticker shock, we've lived with the cost of living and adjusted to our situation. If you try to purchase a house in the SF bay area, you run into the same situation.

Learn as much as you can, then make an informed decision. If, after weighing the pros and cons, you decide to try living in Hawaii, give it your best shot. You don't want to live your life thinking what could have been.

Roger

Sherman Oaks, CA

#26 Jan 14, 2008
Toobs, Dubes and Boobs! Hell yeh it was worth it!!!!!!!

Since: Jan 08

Honolulu

#27 Jan 14, 2008
Kenshiro 86 wrote:
I think that racism exists to a certain degree everywhere in the world. If you are thinking of coming to Hawaii to get away from that then you should stay where you are. I have lived in different parts of the mainland and have been told,“I remember Pearl Harbor!” or “Hmm.. Today feels a lot like Pearl Harbor, there’s a nip in the air!” or “You’re from Hawaii? That insignificant little dot in the Pacific?” Unfortunately many of the local people have come across many “haole” people that have an extremely condescending attitude towards them. People who speak Pigeon English may sound like they are not intelligent and perhaps that is where this attitude comes from. Many Hawaiians hold white people responsible for the decimation of their race with the introduction of disease and that almost all of the lands were taken away. Their thoughts are probably not much different that the Native American Indians. I can assure you that not ALL “locals” feel this way. I would say that almost all the people I know are very much filled with the spirit of Aloha and are very warm and caring. You unfortunately will find people who still have a lot of anger and hatred within them and these are the incidents that you probably end up reading about in the news. I find that if you are just willing to walk away these incidents do not escalate to the point of violence.
I hope that this may give you some insight on your thoughts of moving to “paradise” and here are a few more things to consider:
1. Yes it’s very expensive to live here but I wouldn’t think of living anywhere else!
2. No snakes, alligators, crocodiles, or any other dangerous animals like poisonous insects or arachnids.(The only thing you have to worry about is sharks but they can be avoided by not going too deep into the water. LOL)
3. We are not on a major fault line so rarely do we have earthquakes. There are volcanic tremors from time to time but they rarely affect the other islands.
4. Hurricanes and Tsunamis are about the only things we have to worry about. I live in the mountains so that eliminates one of the threats. You normally have a couple of weeks notice when a hurricane comes so you have plenty of time to seek shelter and prepare. Tornadoes are extremely rare which you would only have minutes to react to.
5. One of the few places where you could live outside every day of the year and the weather won’t kill you.
There are pros and cons everywhere you go so you have to ask yourself what would make you happy!
I think that you are absolutely correct in all that you have said. I am married to a local and I am the blond white person, if you want to call me that. I have never had any trouble with anykind of racism over here. My husband and I have lived all over the world and we have gotten a lot of strange looks around the world....and sometimes we get a second look in Hawaii. The people of Hawaii are the most wonderful people I know and the world should take a lesson.....a mixed society that takes everyone for who they are and not what they look like.....
Life is what you make of it. If you look at everything--the pros and cons and feel that you can handle the financial cost of living here....then go for it. I can assure you that life will be the same here as it is at your home.....work...go home...work...go home...take out the garbage...etc. Life in Hawaii or Florida or anywhere is a "routine" not a vacation. When we lived in Florida....we rarely went to the beach as we had other things that NEEDED to be done. We actually lived 2 blocks from the Gulf of Mexico. Make sure that you realize that every day will be just another day on the job, just like it would be anywhere else. Yes the weather is the greatest.....but when you are in the office..the weather does not matter.

Since: Sep 07

Kihei, HI

#28 Jan 14, 2008
Marauder wrote:
Don't believe for a minute that some of the racial rantings that go on over these forums represent the "pulse" of the community.
Where are you from again? Seriously -- if you are denying there are serious racial problems in Hawaii you either 1) didn't grow up here or 2) smoked too much pakalolo growing up.

I realize I am painting a dire picture about racism here but I am just sharing what I have experienced as a Caucasian for the last 30+ years here. And actually, it never really bothered me until I left Hawaii. I went to college on the mainland then I lived several years in a gang-infested 90+ percent latino neighborhood on the mainland. You would think I would have all sorts of stories about the racism there. Guess what. I don't. Not a single one.

- No one yelling "f**** haole" from car windows for no reason when you are jogging there.
- No boss telling me how most haoles are "no good" but "you're alright, you're our haole"
- No parents of "local" girlfriends refusing to speak to me because I am haole (no this wasn't my imagination, she told me so)
- No general feeling of what another person here posted as "being tolerated but not accepted"
- No one looking at your in-state ID and then asking you "so what hotel are you staying at?"

So yes, make up your own mind. You live in Boise Idaho. You are white. You will not experience racism in Hawaii every day, or even every month. But you will often enough. And when you do, it will make you feel as if you have no home -- no where to go that you belong. Because no matter what you do, no matter how you try to fit in, no matter how many local friends you have, no matter how many of your kids were born here, etc, you will always be made to feel like an outsider, in ways both obvious and subtle, because of your skin color.
Kamapuaa Hawaii

United States

#29 Jan 14, 2008
Kenishiro 86:
Your comments are exactly "right on!"

Although my ID says I'm from CA, I actually live in Hilo, commuting back and forth to Oahu every week. I am Kanaka Maoli (native Hawaiian). I spent about 25 years living and travelling around the world and have seen and been a part of many different cultures. I have found something positive everywhere I have lived. I did not go to these places thinking that I had to "change" things to suit my lifestyle. I adapted to the host culture. I learned to speak Icelandic (sort of) when I was in Iceland. I learned to eat red chili's in New Mexico. I learned how to ride Euro-rail in Europe. These are just small examples. And that's the key to being happy wherever one ends up. The problem in Hawaii is that everyone visits, loves it here, comes back to live full time then wants to change the environment to suit their lifestyle that they just left. Those of us who are already here resent the fact that people want to constanty change what we have here in the name of "progress".
Hawaiians have always been an inclusive people. Unfortunately, we have also been susceptible to abuse. That has caused some mistrust towards strangers until we see whether or not they are trustworthy. We have been abused so consistently that our first default is to distrust. Sad but true. We're not perfect by any stretch and we have many issues that we have to resolve within our own culture that is "self inflicted".
My dear friend Jim is haole. He came here years ago. Lives in Waipio Valley. He started growing taro for poi. He asked his neighbors who were long time taro farmers to educate him on the culture before he asked them to help him with his lo`i. Another friend, Steve, is haole. He owns one of the largest nurseries in the Pacific Rim. He recently acquired 900 acres of prime natural forest and land (ahapua`a). Before deciding what to do with the property he spoke with the elders (Kupuna) in the area about what their feelings about what should be done before deciding to look at eco-tourism development. These are extreme examples but you get my point.

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