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Maui – Day 3 – ‘Iao Park

29 Jul

One of the good things about the Banana Bungalow Hostel (apart from the fact that they are really nice people, if a little crazy, and the cool cats) is that they run free tours.  So today we leapt into a couple of vans and took a trip up to ‘Ilao Park a few minutes away from the hostel.

Our tour guide, Matt, took us up barefoot (him, not us).  He took this photo while holding 20 cameras when all of us wanted a picture at the top.

We started out at the heritage park, commemorating Hawaii’s cultural heritage.  The park has a Filipino home, a Japanese temple, a Polynesian home and more – it’s also a bit of a peace garden – remember that after Pearl Harbor the part of the US population of Japanese origin were herded into concentration camps.

Then, after leaping over a barrier, we took the hike up the mountain.  We were confronted with the foul smelling noni fruit (think gorgonzola only worse) as well as waterfalls of stunning beauty.  I managed to bounce my head of various tree branches – which at least alerted the girl behind me to their presence.  Wailuku means ‘Damned Waters’ – a huge battle there left so many bodies that the waters overflowed.  It’s actually a very fertile region because of the four rivers that flow there.  The valley is actually created by erosion of the volcanic crater.  At the top, a harder rock has been left as a pinnacle, said to be the phallic representation of Kanaloa, Hawaiian god of the ocean. The peak, known as Kuka`emoku, is the secret burial place of many of the ancient Hawai’ian kings (the kings would be buried in anonymous and hidden graves.  Unlucky for those chosen to bury them, as they were often killed so they couldn’t reveal their whereabouts.

A quiet afternoon in the coffee shop catching up with some stuff….

Huna

Pono – effectiveness is the measure of truth

Kahuna (keepers of the huna principles) have a saying ‘if it works, it’s Huna’.  So if we do something and it works, then that is a measure of its effectiveness.  Cause and effect isn’t quite the same out here…. And also, we truly measure something is true or not by how well it works.  If it doesn’t work it isn’t true – at least at that moment.

And a bonus thought.  The word ‘Aloha’ is used for both ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ in Hawai’ian.  Its deeper meaning is ‘love’.  But the root ‘alo’ means both ‘to be present with’ and ‘to be with’ – so our love is based on how we are present with one another – how much attention we pay each other.  Food for thought….

Maui – Day 2 (Wailaku) – eating it up Hawai’ian style

27 Jul

I thought I might mention Hawai’ian culture and food here…

There’s a lot of lovely seafood and all the American staples… historically they would eat a lot of poi (mashed taro, which for them is a spiritual staple.  And very purple).  They also used to farm yams.  The traditional diet was greatly changed by the arrival of westerners and then the immigration of the Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean and Polynesians to work in the sugar cane fields.

There are some oddities though – for example the high incidence of SPAM based meals including Spam Musubi (apparently the best is in Nagasako Okazu-ya).  Fortunately, as a vegetarian I don’t need to test it.

I came across the local free paper – which, incredibly, has a 3D ‘Best of Maui’ edition this week.  Reading it without the glasses makes me feel as if I’ve had a bad night out on the town.

I could go and see the stage version of ‘The Wedding Singer’ at the local theatre… or attend a traditional leiau with lots of hula, drums and more.  And, before you ask – no, I have not been tempted to dance the hula…. although those of you who are expecting male equivalent to have lots of swaying might find it compares more to the Maori Haka

Some more Huna

Mana – all power comes from within

So, the universe is infinite.  Which means that all its power is at every point…. including you.  They might even go so far as to consider that if the world is a dream, then the only place power CAN be is inside you. You do, in fact, have all the power you need to achieve whatever you want.  And what’s more, no-one has power over you.  No-one can make you unhappy, no-one can make you feel small, no-one can do anything to your internal world – unless you choose for them to.  So, let your power out today.  Speak with confidence, act with authority – energize the power that is within you.

Maui – Day 2 – Saw the whole thing, dude. First you were all like “whoa”, and we were like “whoa”, and you were like “whoa…”

26 Jul

First full day in Maui… set off for the beach and got sidetracked by New Hope church in Wailaku.  Great service, really very different from the UK.  We even broke in the middle for breakfast.  Now THAT’S what I call ‘breaking bread’.

It turns out that the hostel is in the shadow of two huge volcanic peaks of Maui Komohana, often wreathed in cloud and the occasional rainfall…

Once I finally got going, hopped a couple of buses to the old whaling town of Lahaina in search of sea and the beach.

Unfortunately, due to a huge planning error I had forgotten my goggles.  So I just had to hire instead (what, miss an opportunity?). Had a wonderful half hour watching the fish on the reef while trying to avoid getting dive bombed by kids jumping off the cliff.  Once I’d tired of that I sat around on the beach for a bit, soaking up a few rays, before deciding to have one last swim before heading home.  Which was one of the best decisions EVER.  Was just testing out how fast I could swim in flippers when I had to throw the swim into reverse as I nearly collided with two majestic honu, the green sea turtle.

Last time I’d met one of these guys the water was murky and I lost him pretty quickly.. but this time the water was clear and we swam together for at least half an hour, just swimming around, following, .. I just felt incredible calm and at peace…as if I was in the presence of something incredibly old and wise, a being that was completely at peace being itself.  Eventually I had to tear myself away from the connection with my new friends and return my snorkel…

And to end what seemed like a perfect day, dinner (yes, my budget includes one dinner out a week!) as the sun went down over the harbour at Aloha Mixed Plates (a tradition from the days when the Polynesians, Chinese, Japanese and anyone else who was around shared their lunch… although it’s now settled down into rice, macaroni salad and protein of some form.

A mad dash to catch the last bus to Wailuku… and time to write this.

PS in case you were wondering… the quote is from ‘Finding Nemo’ – Crush the turtle commenting on Marlin’s escapade with the jellyfish (apparently there were some portuguese men’o’war in the area but fortunately not on my bit of beach!

Huna

Aloha – Love is to be happy with.

There are so many applications of this – but really, all of our reactions come out of only two places – love, or fear.  When we come from love we move forward, we open up, we expand.  When we come from fear we close up, contract.  It’s our choice whether we love what is happening – accept it, allow it, rather than fight it.  Our huna teacher has a saying ‘Everything is Working Out Perfectly’ (EWOP)…

And so with people – do we choose to be happy with who someone is, or do we look for the things that are ‘wrong’.  It’s been demonstrated that rather than criticising what’s wrong (or give feedback on what didn’t go right), if we praise what people get right then they do more of that… and less of the rest.

And since our ku (unconscious mind, if you like) doesn’t know the difference between an external event and an internal event, then it tends to take all criticism personally anyway.  So why not spread a little more ‘aloha’ around today??

Maui – Day 1

25 Jul

So, it’s aloha ‘oe to Hawaii (ahoui hou kakou), and aloha to Maui.  I’m staying in Banana Bungalow in Kahului – towering over us are the twin volcanic peaks of Mauna Kahalawai… so after walking in to town, getting a very distant glimpse of endangered birds, and catching a bit of the local reggae festival… I’m off to bed!

(and, on the upside, I’ve got a new charger cable for my phone!)

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