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Total Number of Articles - 72
  • A Weekend on Napali: Part Five

    alapii point from nualolo kaiI walked to the nearby picnic area and introduced myself to a man with an easy smile and a beautiful weathered face as radiant and warm as any of the sunsets we had witnessed over the past four nights along Nāpali Coast. “Sit. Sit,” he said to me and patted the bench next to him. He had spent the night here, in the open air, making the table his bed. I sat, and he buttered a Saloon Pilot cracker, careful to spread the butter evenly. He offered the buttered cracker to me, “Like?” A portable radio played Hawaiian music. Steam rose from his instant coffee in the plastic cap of an old thermos. Read More
  • A Weekend on Napali: Part Four

    sunset from nualolo kaiMike & Natalia caught a late afternoon boat ride back to Kīkīaola and civilization with Captain Andy’s Raft Expeditions, one of three boat tour operators permitted to land at Nu‘alolo Kai and take their passengers on a guided tour through the valley, and that left me with time on my hands to do some real work. Read More
  • A Weekend on Napali: Part Three

    rare hedyotis plant on kauaiThe camp kitchen had been set up. My tent was barely pitched and not a grain of sand had yet found its way into my sleeping bag when the two botanists geared up, both in long sleeved shirts, long pants and hats, and both toting bulging backpacks. Both, too, wearing studded tabi boots, a kind of Japanese fishing sock meets golf shoe that, apparently, is footwear de rigueur for botanists. I would soon learn why. Read More
  • 10 Years Ago

    It was Tuesday. I paddled on Tuesdays. In Hawaii, half a world away, I wondered if all my paddling friends had heard the news. Some live here expressly to get away from the bombardment of fear and negativity on which mass media seem to thrive. Others had already called and invited me to prayer vigils that very evening. My choice, it seemed, on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, was spiritual or physical.
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  • A Weekend on Napali: Part Two

    nualolo kai cliff wall with xYesterday, I wrote about my arrival at Nu‘alolo Kai along Kaua‘i’s Nāpali Coast State Park. Today, I share some of the earliest written accounts of Nāpali and Nu‘alolo--all by non-Hawaiians. Hiram Bingham and his entourage first arrived in Hawaii in 1820, on behalf of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. In 1821, he voyaged along Nāpali Coast in a double-hulled canoe. Here is a snippet of his arrival at Nu‘alolo Kai. Read More
  • A Weekend on Napali: Part One

    nualolo valley wide shot of reefThe sky was dark when we met at Kīkīaola Harbor on Kaua‘i’s west side, a pile of yellow, blue, green and red dry bags gathering on the dock as each member of our work party arrived at the rude hour of 5:00 a.m. We said our groggy hellos, sharing breath in the traditional Hawaiian greeting known as honi and with the more common pecks on the cheek. A sky full of diamonds sparkled overhead. Read More
  • Contemplating Kukui Trees and What to Pack

    Napali Coast, Kauai, HawaiiSo, I am sitting here contemplating kukui trees. Mine are weeping. The kukui tree is the official state tree of Hawaii. It was sort of the like the Swiss Army Knife of trees back in old Hawaii. Hawaiians used its leaves, branches, trunks and seeds to make fires, canoes, medicines, fish bait, fish floats, dye, an adhesive, tattoos, cloth and oil for lamps. Today, the kukui is most well-known for its seeds that are strung into lei. You might know it as the candlenut tree. Its scientific name is Aleurites moluccana. What I like about the tree is it embodies my personal philosophy when it comes to landscaping my yard—native and care-free. Read More
  • The Quiet Force Behind Lawai International Center

    lawai international center, kauai, shrineThere are some people blessed with the poise of the Dalai Lama. They go through life exuding peace, not even Hurricane Irene could ruffle their feathers. I know two people, both women, like this. Whenever I think about adopting a more peaceful demeanor in my life, I think of Helen and Lynn. Read More
  • Book Lovers Day. Hooray.

    So, today is Book Lovers Day. Who knew? In honor, I am sharing my latest finds. They’ve got a theme, you’ll see. It’s Hawaii. I hunted around Google to find the origins of Book Lovers Day, with no success. Not that I need an excuse to read a book. But why August, I wondered? But, really, why not? August is a popular vacation month. Vacations are a great time to read.

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  • What Is Life?

    Laysan albatross adult flying into sceneOn the inside wrapper of my new bar of Indigenous Soap, my "Soap of Fortune" by the Blackfoot warrior and orator Crowfoot reads: "What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset."

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