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Last month we celebrated the first birthday of the daughter of one our dear friends on Maui, Anuhea.  The first birthday is a cause for celebration in traditional Hawaiian culture, accompanied by an ahaaina palala which has evolved into the modern day “baby luau“.  Part of the palala includes gifts (pule), chants (mele) and dances (hula) by friends and family to express their aloha for the child (see The Polynesian Family System in Ka u, Hawaii by ES Craighill Handy & Mary Kawena Pukui).

As our pule to Anuhea, my wife and I composed the following “name chant”, or mele inoa.  It was modeled from the mele inoa written for Barack Obama, “Hiki Maila Ke Ali‘i Ho‘oulu” by (Kumu Hula) Manu Ikaika.  The child’s first name, Anuhea, means cool, gentle rain, so part of our mele refers to her as the gentle rain that nourishes our hearts and outlasts even the strongest storms.  Her second name, Pomaikai, means wisdom, good fortune and prosperity, which we of course wish for her in her life ahead.

If anyone could help translate this completely (and properly!) into Hawaiian, we’d be very grateful!

Kaikamahine o Maui (Daughter of Maui)

Look at our daughter, gentle and soothing
A child who brings joy to all around her

A gentle rain that nourishes the land
And helps the seed of love spread in our hearts

Her voice is a sweet melody that lifts the spirit
Her strength is her gentle way

Oh child of the land
Allow the goodness in your heart to flourish

Take courage even as the tempests come
Knowing they too return to the gentle rain

May you grow to be a wise, joyful and creative woman
Infused with the love of your ohana

E ola mai
Ka pono o ke ao
E aloha e
He inoa no Anuhea Po
maikai Fortune

Pe'ahi

Nature laid a huge Christmas present under Maui’s collective trees on December 25th: a 23-foot NW swell that was just big enough to power the local break Pe’ahi, commonly known as Jaws.  While “small” compared to the up to 70-foot waves Pe’ahi is famous for, the swell was still big enough to tap the deep reef offshore and produce some massive, fast-moving breakers, and the off-shore/cross-shore winds stood the waves up just a bit more and provided a nice rainbow breeze. Because of the speed of the wave (up to 30 mph), generally only tow-in surfers tackle Pe’ahi (see why on this video).

Thanks to an off-roading lift from our friends Carl and Ivy, we got down to the lookout above Pe’ahi and took some video footage that you can see in the YouTube clip below.  I strongly recommend watching this while looping “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)” by the Ramones.

BTW, this is the second time Pe’ahi has broken this month, the last being December 7-8.

Makawao parade

Today, at the age of 34, I walked in my first parade.

Specifically, the Makawao Paniolo Parade in Makawao, Maui, a 4th of July event that’s popular enough to shut down traffic flow around Makawao and bring in both kama’ainas and visitors; keikis, aunties and titas; and of course animals and motorized vehicles of all varieties. About 50 floats, bands and other groups follow a 1/2 mile route from Veteran’s Cemetery up Baldwin Avenue, right on Makawao Avenue and ending at Eddie Tam Center. It’s all part of the 3-day Makawao Rodeo, a staple event in upcountry Maui.

How did I get in to such a presitigious parade? Easy, I crashed it with my dogs. Read the rest of this entry »

CFLLast week I had the pleasure of helping out with a 5 minute TV segment on light bulb exchange and going carbon neutral. It was for a local cable-access show called Maui Daily, produced at the Akaku Maui Community TV station (a great local resource!) and our dear friend, local artist and all-around super-chick Stephanie Sachs. The idea sprung from a session of brainstorming we had about coming up with good guerilla environmental tactics – no, not vandalizing Hummers, but rather replacing all of the incandescent light bulbs in the big hotel and condo complexes around Maui with compact fluorescent (CFL) ones. It turns out that about 93% of Hawaii’s electricity comes from burning diesel oil, which isn’t the cleanest source of energy (hey, better than petroleum tar). CFLs are far more efficient than incandescents, using 25% of the electricity for the same brightness. They have also gotten super cheap ($1.50/bulb) and are available in COSTCO-esque bulk quantities. And given that electricity rates are above $.30/kWh on Maui, this might be a good way to save building owners a little cash too (guerrilla niceness tactics!). So why not?

Read the rest of this entry »

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