The Beauty of Molokai Remains
Posted in the Maunaloa Forum
#1 Sep 21, 2010
Mahalo to your beautiful island and people. We enjoyed all of your smiles, kind guidance and knowledge, and patience for our many silly haole questions during our visit two years ago.
I've been visiting the posts in these forums to see what you've been up to. Some changes I'm sad with, especially with Molokai Ranch closing and folks not being able to work. People had good and bad things to say and I know this is hard. I wanted to remind myself of your beauty.
Molokai was very gracious, something I took home and practiced in our Ohana. I hope you diodn't mind! We learned the spirit of many things: Ha, Ohana, Aloha, Mahalo, Keiki, and Kupuna-- and many other good things--of your island.
We learned the story of Mau, the great Master Navigator, and Nainoa Thompson, his sailing student, at the Kulani Oiwi. What a brave and smart man. Thank you to the families that helped put on this presentation and the delicious treats of poi and sweet potato you made. I was amazed and inspired by his great story- and your kindness of family, even though this was two years ago. It is still with me.
We learned of Kalaupapa, its tragedies, hope, and blessings. A special thank you to the people of Kalawao County for having us as your guests, and to 'Laki' who was sure-footed along the way and carried me carefully when I could not do so myself. It was quite an education.
We learned how to swim again - how good that felt. The sea and sun and air and mountains felt good. We stopped by many churches, all beautiful.
We walked a lot. We saw the many activities for your children-- paddling, learning to swim in the harbor, young men jogging with the coach/teacher of the canoe club (he was jogging with a baby in a stroller, too!), the library, many games of baseball and soccer on your playing field during the day and night, a skateboard park, and healthy kids simply playing outside
Everyone was happy, healthy, and strong. I saw very few people, if any, smoking. I'm glad you don't have downtown bars or stoplights, too. Family was everywhere. I saw great respect for elders. The Native Spirit and the people of Molokai are very strong as far as I can see.
A big shout-out goes to Rose, Janelle, Carol Harms, Buzzy and Crew, Shawn the once pro-surfer working the Condo at the East end, and the Cookhouse Crew, and also to all of the shopkeepers, the Visitors Association, and residents for your kokua and kindness, and smiles. You know who you are. Please say hello to these folks for us! Mahalo.
Also, mahalo to your newspaper which kept us informed about Molokai Ranch and La`au Pt. We support Native sovereignty and rights and hope these issues will be resolved as the native people who live on Molokai decide their fate. We hope Molokai remains Molokai. I remember visiting as a young boy in 1969 and the beauty and love of your people and islands remain.
Times are tough now. Molokai will always get by as it always has. Please don't lose your spirit and love you have always had. I hope you can develop those fish farms and ponds, agriculture, cultural tourism, somehow have pineapple and sugar cane come back, or whatever may be good for you to sustain locally. It is good to teach how to fish and hunt for families especially in tough times, and knowing how to grow food to feed everyone on the island so you don't have to bring everything in. Our rural county is the same way, struggling, just like you. We get by. Stay strong and in good spirits.
I hope Maui County and the 'political folks' help you if yu need it. I don't think building all those giant houses and using water on the East end, making land expensive for locals, and following the 'almighty dollar'(the term I heard here) is a good way to go for the future, but I'm an outsider. The people of Molokai know best.
The beauty of you and Molokai remains. We wish you and family the best from Humboldt County, 2,000 miles East across the Pacific.
Aloha Nui Loa,
Steve and Linda
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