My time on Molokai is coming to an end. I’ve got less than a month left before I push off and head across the channel to Honolulu.
I will certainly miss the people and the place – but I’m also looking forward to the change of pace that the big city will provide.
In my remaining time, I will be camping at La’au, trying my hand at canoe paddling and trying not to kill myself surfing these winter swells.
I will also be working a on series of films to promote the paper I’ve been working for and the island.
Next week I travel to Honolulu to cover the High School State Basketball Tourney, of which Molokai’s team – The Farmers -will be represented.
And then it’s a few more weeks here and back to Honolulu for good to make a go of it in the film industry there.
Wish me Luck.
Oh, I almost forgot, last chance to get your coconut orders in (see previous post)
Ah Hui Ho!
Here’s the deal – I’m trying to get to DC at the end of this month to cover a supreme court case concerning land that may or may not belong to the State of Hawaii. The governor and her AG have appealed a Hawaii State supreme court decision that said the State did not have jurisdiction to sell the land because of a federal apology that said the overthrow of the independent Hawaii Nation in 1893 was illegal. It’s pretty tricky stuff, here’s my recent article about it – “Hawaii in Legal Spotlight”.
The problem is my paper can’t afford the plane ticket to get me out there – so I’m looking for outside funding from legal/media types.
This case has been called the most important in the upcoming suprememe court session and it will have implications for all native people in America.
So – who’s got those connections to get me there? All I need is about $1000.
Ok – I’ve got a website for my film.
Prompted by my inclusion in the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival, I put something up. My boss, Todd is super good at this sort of stuff and we banged it out pretty quickly.
I’m hoping to get some video clips up shortly. In the meantime, if anyone has the ability to set up screenings or leads on distribution that would be greatly appreciated.
I’m working on inclusion in a few east coast festivals for you cold weather brethren.
A Hui Ho,
Finally made it down to Kalauapapa. This is the place where lepers (now called Hansen Disease) were sent for more than 100 years. It is one of the most isolated places imaginable. The only way to access it is by plane, boat or via a 3 mile hiking trail that switchbacks the highest sea cliffs in the world. It is truly a stunning place.
My parents and I stayed there for 2 nights. It is only possible to stay the night if you are invited by a resident and we just happen to have an old friend from Maui who is in charge of the food service.
Today about 15 patients still live there. The area is run jointly by the State Dept. of Health and the National Park Service. About 100 people live there.
We toured the entire peninsula and saw amazing, remote places – caves, craters and abandoned structures. We also drank at the only bar and played in the weekly volleyball game.
A rollicking good time and then we hiked out the trail.
A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of filming The Master Blaster 2008 – a paddling race that combines two of life’s greatest pursuits – drinking and paddling. This year more than 25 teams competed, with every Hawaiian Island represented. Molokai had the 3 time defending champs, but Oahu brought some ringers and took the top prize.
The costumes were also awesome – police, eskimos and Indians – to name a few.
And all this took place in the pouring rain.
I made a short video of the event and it’s now up on YouTube: .
Let me know what you think.
Molokai pays some of the highest prices for gasoline in the country – right now gas is $3.59 for regular. There are only 2 stations on the island and like everywhere in Hawaii (but Oahu) the gas has to travel here on a barge.
Consequently the price only changes once a month or so – it was more than $4 for the first 3 weeks I was here.
Some people think there’s something fishy going on, but it’s likely just a supply and demand deal and the fact that we live on an Island.
In any event – I wrote a story to see if I could uncover a vast conspiracy – or something like that.
Now don’t you feel better about how much you’re paying?
There are a lot of strange things here on Molokai, but this has got to be right up there. Basically, you take a coconut and write on it – message, address and all. And this post office – and only this post office – will send it anywhere in the world. AS IS. No box or bag or anything, just the coconut traveling through the ether.
On a recent Friday afternoon, I happened by said post office as it was about to close. At least a dozen people were standing in line waiting to ‘post -their – nut’. And there was probably another 50 or so coconuts behind the counter that were ready to go. And somehow I was the one getting funny looks for dropping off newspapers.
Yes, I will send you a coconut. But only if you send me food.
I’m learning a lot about the Native Hawaiian movement. Molokai is at the center of Native Hawaiians preserving their traditions and some of them want to see a Hawaiian nation established. This is certainly not the majority, but I see the bumper stickers and t-shirts all over the place. Like many things in Hawaii, Kau Inoa does not receive much attention on the mainland.
There are also some very interesting parallels to the Native American Movement. Much of the recent activity can be traced to the 1970’s when Native Hawaiians, influenced by Native American acts at Wounded Knee and Alcatraz, made claims the Island of Kaho’olwe. Once a bombing site for the military, Native groups from all the islands have been gradually bringing the Island’s ecosystem back.
Most of you know I was born on Maui and so this is my attempt to figure out if Hawaii is in my future, not just my past.
I’ve spent the last few months jumping from couch to couch and coast to coast. I was substitute teaching at my old high school in Massachusetts and promoting my film about great white sharks.
Hopefully I’ll be staying in one place for more than a few weeks.
In the meantime, here are a few pics of my new home.