Where’s the Pig or What You Might or Most Likely Not See While Hiking on Oahu.

IMG_6419Koolau Range

Entering the mountains here on Oahu makes me feel immediately at peace. In the past I would go with friends on pig hunts but knew in my heart they would not catch anything. For one thing they always left to late and you had to be in the mountains at the crack of dawn to catch anything worth while. The last thing I wanted to see was a pig getting killed.

DSCN1534 A pig hunter heading down the road with his wild boar trophy on his truck

While hiking I would hear rustling in the bushes. This was most likely a sign of pigs. But I never saw one. But while driving through a rural neighborhood I saw one out on the road checking his mail. At least that is what it looked like as he headed towards a mailbox.

While walking my dog at dusk I could see another dog walking towards us. But his feet seemed so dainty and he seemed so light on them. It turned out to be a young pig taking a walk down the street. He saw us coming towards him and he took off. I’d never seen anything walk so fast in high heels as this little guy. Well once again that is how it looked as his little porky toes click, clacked down the street. But no, I never saw one in the mountain.

As it is I don’t have to go into the mountains to see pigs as they seem to be all around me. I would have to say here though. They are destructive. They tear up all of the native forest and root into the forest floor. So pig hunting is necessary to try to keep the population down and of course for luaus.

3372289796_2c776f7d98_bSo this is the closest I’ve been to a pig even though it’s not alive. This is a pig being dressed for a luau. They will put the hot stones inside of the cuts in the body and then lay him onto hot stones in the ground after he has been wrapped  and then buried with dirt. Can anyone say Kalua Pig?

E Ola Ka Olelo Hawaii The Hawaiian language Shall Live

It took place slowly, over years. It was well-organized and had a very lofty goal in mind. It took schemes that made it look like they were your most trusted friend. In the end it worked. January 17, 1893 Queen Liliuokalani the last reigning monarch of Hawaii had been removed from her throne, the islands of Hawaii had been annexed to the United States and with much sorrow and grieving the Hawaiian flag had been lowered and the Stars and Stripes raised to take its place.

To make sure that the future of Hawaii did not remain Hawaiian the language was banned in 1896. Now this was not to say it was banned at home or the streets but it was banned in the schools. Children were punished if they spoke their native language in class or were caught speaking it on the playground.

Some say the parents refused to speak the Hawaiian language to the children because they wanted them to learn how to become a part of the new society that was taking over the islands. I can only speak from my experience with my parents. My parents spoke Spanish. In the 1950’s there was much prejudice against the Spanish and others in San Francisco where I lived. My parents fear of me experiencing any type of physical backlash for my ethnicity  caused them to only speak Spanish to each other. I was not allowed to talk about anything that was not American, such as what we ate or celebrated. My mother wanted me to be American so that I would be safe.

I believe this would have been true also of the Hawaiian families in the past. One of the drawbacks of doing this is a sense of shame. I felt this all through my younger years because of this ban my mother had put on me and many Hawaiians had felt this too. The Americans were successful in making their way of life to seem the superior.

Through much work a group of Hawaiian people were successful in the 1970’s to get that ban taken off the books. Of course by then there were very few people who spoke the Hawaiian language. But by 1978 it was now made the official language of the state. In 1995 Hawaiian Immersion schools started to spring up. Children started from preschool and now can go all the way into college speaking and learning the language and culture.

I’m very happy to say that two of my grandchildren are in a Hawaiian Immersion school and once a year I look forward to the opportunity to attend what is called  “La Kupuna Day” where all of the elders in the students families are honored. This is in keeping with the Hawaiian tradition that looks on the elders as very valuable educators. The Hawaiians did not look on their older people as doddering old fools or always giving unwanted advise. They looked to them as those who could draw from their years of experience and impart wise advise. Hence La Kupuna Day.

And so the day begins.


In the Valley of Palolo in Honolulu is one of the Hawaiian Immersion schools called Ke Kula Kaiapuni O Anuenue. (Hawaiian Surrounding Environment School of the Rainbow.)

According to the school guidelines; “The school serves two important missions. First is to help the students learn to the best of their ability. Second is to preserve the Hawaiian language and culture and to maintain those things that make Hawai’i, Hawai’i.”

The students are all seated in their chairs outside waiting for their Kupuna to arrive. The program begins with the honoring of the family by giving them leis. Each studentʻs Kupuna is named and the student then goes and gives us leis.

Isn’t he adorable? I just had to have his photo

Here he is giving his grandmother a lei

We have just received leis from our grandchildren

Then the children entertained us with dance and music

Even my grandson and his class danced hula for us

The Hawaiian language is everywhere throughout the school. This sign tells the children what is proper when using the bathroom. At the top of the list is to remember to speak Hawaiian.

As well as the language the culture is being revived. This is called a Loʻi. Taro, the main staple of the Hawaiian people is grown here by the children who then make poi from it. And let me tell you, tasting fresh made poi makes all the difference in the world.

The Taro Plant

The taro plant was not just a root that the Hawaiians ate. It was their family. It gave them life. Indeed poi has just about every thing you need to maintain perfect health. The plant was also planted in groupings like a family. When planted in this way the leaves grow big and strong. When planted by itself they are smaller.

It is such an honor to be a part of this “family” in this school. To be thought of so highly and honored this way. My only hope is that these children will be able to bring their culture back. Then and only then will the world know what the “Aloha Spirit” really is.

May these schools thrive and prosper.

For a bit more information on the language and overthrow (http://coffeetimes.com/language.htm)

Touching the Past Kealiiokamalu Church

As you sit on the white sands under the palm you breath a sigh as the ship sails by. Ah, this is a vacation you think to yourself as the sun smiles down on you.

La Marieanna

That evening you decide to go out for dinner and some drinks. You hear about this restaurant and bar called La Mariana. Everyone tells you it’s like stepping back into old Hawaii. The  owner had collected Hawaiian kitsch from famous restaurants as they closed down and then added them to her place. It is a museum of restaurant history.

As you sit at the bar relaxing you hear the couple next to you talking about how they were sorry to have to leave  the islands for home so quickly as they never really got to see what Hawaii was all about. There tan’s showed they probably spent all their time on the beach.

Many tourist go home thinking that Waikiki is Hawaii. They never venture out past Diamond Head until they take the ride back to the airport along the highway past all the industrial area.

They may have found had they driven around the island past the green velvet mountains full with water falls, and clear views of the ocean with uncrowded beaches, that there are so many things tucked away into the little towns. History that can be touched if only they would reach out.

One such place I found as I drove down some back street in Haleiwa was the Kealii O Kamalu Church.

Kealiiokamalu Church (Prince Of Peace)

The doors were wide open. Not many churches now days have their doors unlocked during the week if there is no service at that time. This structure was from the past and that is what drew  me to park and  take a look inside.

Kahu (minister) Kenneth Segawa

Inside the church there was a lot of construction going on. There was a man standing at the front on the porch with a handful of tools.

He was the Kahu or minister of this little community church. The church was under restoration. Though he was busy Kahu Ken invited me in to look around.

Looking from the front to the back of the Church

The  Kahu said that the congregation is very small and casual. He went on to say that it would not be unusal for a little child to be chasing a ball down the middle of the isle while he was conducting a sermon. He said that this was not a problem as he wanted the congregation to be comfortable and not stifled.

The sermon is given in Hawaiian as it was in the past. Part of the mission of this church is to perpetuate the Hawaiian language. The building is a typical example of a rural missionary church.

It has been in it’s present site since 1937 but was in existence long before that. I’m not quite sure but maybe it had been moved there from another site.

In Hawaiian tradition the front doors face makai (ocean) to welcome the bounty of the sea. The rear doors face Mauka (mountain) to welcome the gifts of the land.

Doors facing out to the Ocean

Back door open to the land

Looking around, even though everything was in disarray there was still a coziness to the structure. A Hawaiian community still existed and worshiped in the disappearing culture of the past. It gave one hope for the future.

Then Kahu Ken took me to the front of the church to show me what I took to be quite a significant piece of history. He removed a white cloth to expose an old bible. It was dated 1868. In the bible was recorded the death of  William Henry Tell’s wife.

Her name was Victoria Tell. Later I was to discover that Mrs. Tell was the daughter of Captain Alexander Harris. Not only did Captain Harris sail Kamehameha the Great‘s  cargo ship to china loaded with sandalwood, he was also noted for his part in the making of the controversial Hawaiian Flag.

Hawaiian Bible dated 1868 still used in the sermons of Kahu Ken

I was elated. Not only had I walked in to the past as I toured the little Hawaiian Church, I had actually touched History. I had touched the bible that had been a part of the life of the daughter who’s father was an intricate part of the highest chief of the land, King Kamehameha The Great. Talk about six degrees of Kevin Bacon.

A little side note if you were a fan of Lost. This was the church that was used in one of the episodes. You might enjoy going to this site to see how it was integrated into the story.  Lost

If you would like to attend the church one Sunday, the doors open at 9:30. If you are so inclined and would like to meet some of the people of the community there is a potluck after the Sunday Sermon on the first Sunday of the month.

The address of Kealii O Ka Malu is: 66-362 Halieiwa Road & Keahipaka St.

( the directions are in the “Lost” website above.)

Christmas at the Moana Surfrider Hotel in Waikiki

December in Waikiki

The rain is shining  the leaves with small crystal drops. The temperiture is probably down in the low 60’s and I’m sitting in my yard with my sweat jacket and shorts on. Ka Mea is wrapped in a blanket and Max has his fur to keep him warm. After all he is a sheep dog and Quite comfortable in this cooler climate.

It was uncomfortably warm last week when I went to Waikiki to take these photos. More of a typical winter day. So I continue on with Christmas in Paradise and how some of the hotels put on their displays or lack there of.

The Moana Hotel

The Moana Surfrider and the Royal Hawaiian are really the only two hotels that have any beauty to them from the outside. They are the oldest hotels in Waikiki also and were built before the cement jungle set in.

This tree is in the main lobby right as you walk in. It did not seem to have a Hawaiian theme to it. I went in surch of more Holiday decorations but only found a Palm tree.

This was their Hawaiian theme. A palm tree Christmas tree.

As I searched around for more Christmas decorations this is what I saw. A closet where they hang the leis to greet the guest. Hopefully they are from the islands but most of the orchids now used in leis come from Thailand . (http://www.amysorchids.com/) The flowers are to expensive here. But somehow that just does not seem right to me. Plumeria leis which have a wonderful scent to them grow so easily here and really seem more Hawaiian would make a nice alternative and support the local growers. Why do they use orchids?

But then I guess orchids are synonymous with Hawaii too. But none of it is Hawaiian anyway. You might want to try a Maile lei or for your head put on a Haku. Now those are Hawaiian. Maile Lei or Haku Head Bands

And once again I find the obligatory Hawaiian real or fake artifacts on display in the Moana’s lobby. I tried to find the information on what they had here but I must have missed it. From appearances it looks like a gourd, an Umeke and a piece of Kapa. If you want to know all about these items you should try to take a trip to the Bishop Museum where they have many on display and tell you all about their uses and how they were made. An Umeke is a bowl that is made of wood and Kapa is the cloth that the Hawaiians made from the bark of trees. Gourds were more commonly used by the everyday Hawaiian for carrying things in or maybe for bowls for food or to eat out of. The umeke would more likely be used by the upper class or Alii.


If you are fortunate enough to be able to stay at the Moana this is a fine way to spend a winters day thinking about all your pals back home fighting the elements as you dream away in the 80 degree weather.

As we leave the Moana Hotel I head down Kalakaua Ave. This is the main drag in Waikiki and is more what Waikiki looks like. No ocean view, all the Palms and beaches have  been dug up to put in imported trees and brick sidewalks to try to fancy up the place and detract from all the cement buildings  that surround you. However their still is the nice weather.

My next post will be at the Princess Kaiulani where they put up a huge display of gingerbread. I think it is time I get back to posting about the museum. Very little Christmas there but lots of the real thing as far as Hawaii goes.


IpuʻAina Refuse Bowl & Kalaipahoa

Hawaiians had a way of demeaning their enemy even into their enemies grave!

To protect the bones and teeth from being taken from their chiefs, the Hawaiians hid them away after their Alii Died. ( High Chiefs) In part this was to protect them from ending up in a bowl like the one seen above.

The above bowl was inlaid with the teeth of this particular chiefs enemies (ipu ʻaina) in order to desecrate and shame the fallen enemy  even after death. Now that is what I call revenge.

But if that doesn’t work for you how about a little extra fibber in your enemies food?


The above god was called Kalaipahoa and was made from the Kalaipahoa tree that can be found on the island of Molokai. The tree is considered to be quite poisonous. Just a few shavings into your food could kill you. The Kalaipahoa seen here is a female.
When giving tours to the teens at the museum it never fails that some of the boys will start rolling thier eyes and yawning. The girls will have intelligent questions about things that I point out but very seldom will the boys.
When this happens I like to take them to look at the above poison god. There is nothing like a little murder and mayhem to get their attention. And of course they love the fact that the bones and teeth of someones enemies were put into a bowl to spit in.
The museum has something for everyone. But I donʻt always find something to keep the kids interest  as can be seen by the photo below.
These small children were watching their classmates below as I was talking about a display. I turned around and found I had lost my audience. They have a way of humbling me.