In response to this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge, Mirror, I’m sharing this photograph taken at Wailoa State Park. It was one of the first photos I took shortly after moving to Hilo and when I decided I would start pursuing photography with some level of seriousness and commitment. Mind you, I never really dabbled in photography before moving to Hilo, but I thought, “Why not?”. It was a creative way to orient myself to my new home and to engage in something I’d always wanted to try. This photo was captured moments before sunset and I thought the scene looked almost haunting. The fuzzy reflections are my favorite part of the photo.
This weekʻs Weekly Photo Challenge, Cherry On Top, came at a great time. Poke is sold at most local grocery stores in Hawaiʻi, with lots of different varieties to choose from. I usually buy a tiny bit, whether it’s ahi (tuna) or salmon, made spicy or with some delicious condiment like shoyu (soy sauce) or inamona. Some grocery stores here actually sell poke bowls, which are fresh raw fish, topping a bowl of rice for lunch or dinner. I prefer just buying the fish and making my own poke bowl, or making my own poke, like when I make mushroom poke. After eating a few pieces of my poke, I’m usually left with a few chunks that have passed the raw “expiration” date, so I flash fry it in a non-stick pan to give it new culinary purpose. Once it’s done, I transfer it into a small bowl and onto some rice and voila! We have a modified poke bowl. This week’s poke leftovers was also tossed with onions and fresh, local limu (seaweed). Absolutely delicious!
On my recent trip to Maui, I stopped off at Ali’i Kula Lavender farm for a tour. After learning about the process of growing and harvesting lavender as well as the many varieties of lavender that are grown on the grounds, I also learned about different plants on the farm. If you go, you’ll see fruit and olive trees, flowers of all kinds, even a few spaces for corn and kale. What a special place! Waiting for the tour, I noticed these little succulents that were growing in a cluster on the side of a little hill. I’ve always loved succulents for their pretty patterns. Living in Hawaiʻi my entire life, I have never seen a protea that was still growing. Most of the time, I see these flowers in arrangements or being sold at farmers’ markets. Seeing one in “real life” made me appreciate every detail of the protea’s beauty. Nature is truly, an amazing artist. Details
For two days, Maui has been my playground. Lingering clouds, majestic mountains, tall trees swaying in the breeze, one can’t help but look up, especially in a place that is unfamiliar. I’ve been to Maui before, but only for day trips and minutes from the airport. This time, I decided to do a last minute getaway, hoping to cure myself of jetlag from my recent trip to Japan, but also to reconnect with my genealogy. Using frequent flyer miles and taking advantage of last minute deals for lodging and ground transportation, I was on a plane yesterday morning, excited to develop a different relationship with Maui. My Native Hawaiian great-grandmother hails from Makawao. More specifically, she was born and raised in Ulupalakua. Each time I’ve spent time in Maui, I never left the Kahului city limits, so this time, I strayed off the beaten path to spend most of my time here in Makawao and to find ways to reconnect to her. You see, I know very little about my great-grandmother. She passed away the year my dad was born …
Growing up as an only child, I’ve never known what it’s like to be a sibling. My two cats are from the same litter and watching them grow up, yet remaining in sync with each other has been amazing. Partners
I am an only child to young parents. They were barely 20 years old when they had me, which led to an extended family living situation so I grew up beside them, while my grandparents served as my second pair of parents until I went to boarding school at the young age of 13. Before my ʻūniki 1.5 years ago, my mom called me in tears. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer and she was scared. Over the course of the next 6 months, I would fly up to Honolulu, meeting my parents halfway, to attend the slew of doctors’ appointments, which coincided with her chemotherapy treatments. After chemotherapy, she underwent a double mastectomy and a stint of radiation. When she came through everything, we were told to hang tight for 6 months to make sure she was was out of the woods and being that my mom has been an avid runner for a long time, we were optimistic, but during recent check-ups, tests revealed that cancer had shown up in her liver and this time, there was less to …
From both sides of the family my son comes from long line of cockfighting. As many would view this as cruel and a blood sport my upbringing showed me otherwise. These animals were cared for and trained like professional athletes. Much pride came with raising chickens. So for my son you could say its in his bloodline. Future Find us on social media outlets and get to know the Holoholo Girls better! Facebook Instagram @holohologirls Twitter
Taken at one of Kainoa’s hula performances with her hālau family, Unukupukupu, during the week of Merrie Monarch. This year’s festival is scheduled from March 27 to April 2. … in response to Dance
On a hike to Sanbutsu-ji Temple, the cliff temple, I took this picture of my hula brother at a rest stop. Our hula tradition is based upon the concept of environmental kinship, so as he looked out at the mountains and the trees in foreign Japan, I could tell that he wasnʻt just resting and admiring the beautiful view, but that he was syncing himself and connecting to the environment around him. His breathing steadied, his body relaxed, and he would occasionally close his eyes to feel the gentle breeze on his skin and once, he was in harmony with his surroundings, he inhaled deeply and turned to me and smiled.
Lately, I’ve wondered if the hopes and dreams that my ancestors may have had for me are manifesting. Is my life what they had envisioned for me? Am I living up to their expectations? Would they be proud of me if they were still alive? I see myself in this banyan tree, laden with ema plaques filled with wishes. My grandparents once pinned their hopes on me that I might live well, while my roots extend deeper into the earth. Above all else, they probably would’ve wanted me to be happy, and that, I most certainly am, thanks to them. In response to: State of Mind
Yurihama is the sister city of Hilo and I was incredibly blessed to dance at the annual Hawaiian Festival one summer. On that trip, after meeting with government officials, we were whisked away to a beach and participated in an umibiraki ceremony. The ceremony was led by a Shinto priest tasked with declaring the sea “open and safe for swimming”. School children were then led by their teachers down to the ocean for a dip, officially kicking off the swimming season. Most Japanese adhere to the swimming season, so it was lovely to witness a formal ritual for something we take for granted in Hawaiʻi, where swimming season is year-round. Lately, I’ve been feeling like the world around me is so much more casual than I’m used to and it’s probably because there is not enough ritual in my life. For me, transitions marked by ritual, give me necessary pause. They allow for reflection on what has transpired and for visioning on how to progress into a next phase, so if I’m feeling like marked transitions are necessary for my own well-being, then perhaps incorporating ritual more intentionally in my life is a good …
Beneath the canopy of a lauhala (pandanus) grove in Panaʻewa, Hilo, Hawaiʻi, a lauhala mat, made in Micronesia, is gathered and worn to produce textured angles and shadows, while captured in hula movement. in response to Life Imitates Art