7.09.2016

Looking Like a Tourist / At Waipa



Anini beach, after 10 hours of rain

My son has a gripping fear of "looking like a tourist" - even when he is a tourist
Waimea Canyon
I'm sure I have occasionally made a tourist slur of some sort but I really heard his worry on our recent Hawaii vacation. I asked him (and myself) to examine what exactly is so terrible with "looking like a tourist?" 
I guess it means we are "square" or not cool - heaven forbid that one looks curious.
Yes, a teenager's worst nightmare is being called out; the tall blade of grass gets mowed down. 
But, we really seem to perpetuate that in a few variations. e.g. "Look like you've been here before." Why? You haven't.

It's enriching to experience a new culture. So what that our legs are pasty white and that we don't know where we are going and that we're taking lots of corny pictures! Better to be this way then too cool be to be amazed, as I wildly point to a stunning waterfall. 
Identifying the "tourists," as we love to do in my neck of the woods, when the summer traffic chokes up and out of state plates are meandering through our side streets, really encourages the Us vs. Them, xenophobic mentality. 
Poi making at Waipa service day
Call me a tourist! 
Besides, even the locals aren't "locals.‎"
Hanalei beach - Pine Trees
This recent trip was my tenth time to Hawaii. Kauai is my spirit animal. My family chose to provide some volunteer hours to the amazing group Waipa while there. The culture, the community  - what a learning experience with really sharp people. I encourage you to do the same! Never again will I visit Hawaii without giving back. Read about WAIPA here.

 Nolan, on the left, is an Oregon State Volleyball player, doing his summer internship at Waipa. Kristi, on the right, a UC Santa Cruz graduate, is an impressive wealth of knowledge and ambition. We planted Koa and participated in river restoration (land stewardship is the focus). If they are representative of millenials, I'm in love.


Hawaiian Word of the Day:  PONO 

In the Hawaiian thought, being pono means being in perfect alignment and balance with all things in life. It means one has the perfect relationship with the creative energy of the universe, however you might describe that energy: God, Goddess, prana, mana, chi - whatever that appellation is for you. Your every thought word and deed are in complete harmony with that divine energy. Pono means you are in complete harmony and alignment with your custodial relationship with the earth. That you operate on the earthly plane as one who is the caretaker of the land during your lifetime. That your stewardship of the land leaves it as good or better than you found it so that succeeding generations can enjoy the resources that were gifted to you in your lifetime and during your stewardship. 


Read about current Homelessness in Hawaii - Our Native Peoples