March 9, 2014

Are We In Paradise? Hawaii is Very Close.

Happy to be distanced from The Big Chill in the northeast. Nine-degrees and the sound of barren trees crackling in the wind has been replaced by the gentle swish of palm trees swaying in a tropical breeze. (I'll choose Door #2, thank you.)

I'm in Hawaii to visit my darling daughter who is a corps member with Teach for America on Oahu.  Her two-year commitment to teach 6th graders math and science at the middle school on Wheeler Air Force Base is no easy task for this new college graduate. She teaches six classes a day, 30 students per class. And as one of my sassy friends commented, "I admire  any woman who can put up with six periods a day."

Before I bubble over about the joy, pride and love that I have for my 23-year old, let me take you to my first stop on the Bonni Hawaii Tour.  Daughter got a lift to school with one of her roommates so that I could borrow the car. Funny … there was no gas in the tank.  (Hey, what are mother's visiting from out of town for?  Fill 'er up, please).

And with GPS, the world is your oyster. Pick a place. Any place. This techno-path finder will get you practically anywhere on earth. My first stop was  Hawaii's Plantation Village in historic Waipahu.

Starting in the 1800s, immigrants seeking work on the sugar plantations came to the Islands. One of the lures?  $5 a month on a 3-year contract. Plus housing. 

Terrific tour by Lorene, a native Hawaiian who filled the two hours with such interesting anecdotes as:

. She attended high school in Honolulu with Bette Midler, whose mother named her three daughters after movie stars:  Bette (Davis), Judy (Garland) and Susan (Hayward.)

. Leaves from the Noni tree soothe aches and pains. Noni also comes in balm form that is available at GNC should you have no Noni trees in sight.

. When children reached their 1-year birthday in the 1800s,  they were feted with a "Baby Luau." Parents were so happy that their baby hadn't died in its first year that they threw a whooping mini-version of the grownup luaus.

Good night! [Pō maika`i. (PO my-KAI-ee)].

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