All posts tagged: Hawaii

Wailoa Reflections

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.

Lava Viewing at Kalapana

Our friend Adrel called me on Saturday to see if I wanted to go with him to take pictures of the lava flow in Kalapana. You may have seen Adrel’s amazing photographs on our Holoholo Girls’ Instagram and being that we’re both recreational photographers, I jumped at the chance. After discussing trekking at night or early morning, we decided on today, Labor Day. We packed up and headed out of Hilo at 4:30 am. Once in Kalapana, we were surprised to see that other people had the same idea, no doubt wanting to see the beautiful glow of the lava in the dark. Getting to the actual viewing site was not that difficult. It’s a 3.5 mile walk/hike on a mostly flat gravel road. Adrel heard that people head out on bikes, so he managed to secure two bikes and we rode toward the site with headlamps. Walking wouldn’t have been bad, but biking was better. People were already situated on the cliffs, cameras out and taking photos of the amazing view. While Adrel moved closer to snap some pics, …

Fish on Top

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!

Looking Up Roots

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 …

Pilihonua Notecards

Movement has always been my creative outlet, but now that I’m back to dancing and we’re doing a lot of it, it was time to turn my attention toward reconnecting with my visual art-sy side. I’m in no way a designer, but I do dabble with this website, photography, and graphics. To thank our hosts in Yurihama, we normally bring makana (gifts), which have historically ranged from chocolate covered macadamia nuts to anything related to Hawaiʻi. This time, instead of heading down to buy calendars, I decided to make one-of-kind cards. No small feat, considering I’ve been incredibly busy. Here’s the end product: I used the following native plants in this batch : Hala (Pandanus) – Most commonly used for weaving and plaiting, the word hala, is also defined as “passing”. Hala lei are still seen at occasions that mark rites of passage like graduation and funerals. Ulu (Breadfruit) – Although other parts of the ulu can be used for its wood, sap, and leaves, the fruit is most known as a food. It was often used as a primary staple in some areas and even …

FUN-employed

Leaving familiarity behind, or so what I thought, was difficult. The forest mist engulfing the native plants and birds, though it does have its invasive and non-native species, it was home. Upon our arrival on Johnston Island, after a three day boat ride on the Kahana, I was pleased to finally see for myself that there were so many familiar things. Greeted with plumeria and hibiscus leis, it was official; we (1 leader and 4 volunteers) were the next Crazy Ant Strike Team (CAST), no turning back! I found myself taking a liking to the Ironwood trees as they are some of the taller trees in great density, creating their own non-native forest of relaxing howling sounds as the wind blows on by. As I explore the nooks and crannies of the island, I find more and more plants that bring me comfort like the Naio, Hala, Hau, ‘Uhaloa, Pōhinahina, ‘Ilima, Naupaka, Pōhuehue and the list goes on. I picked up the Atoll Research Bulletin No. 192 – The Natural History of Johnston Atoll, Central …

Itchy Feet Now in Thailand

I’ve had itchy feet for as long as I can remember.  From road trips around the west coast to flights from Hawaii to the mainland to visit family, I’ve been traveling almost on a somewhat annual basis.  It’s no wonder now that I have itchy feet when I stay in one place for too long but I think my penchant to travel has taken me on a new journey even I didn’t anticipate. Here is my home: Lovely, isn’t it? You may ask why I decided to leave everyone’s definition of ‘paradise’ and I could simply reply, “itchy feet” but I know it’s a bit deeper than that.  I had my first taste of international living when I studied abroad in Japan back in 2008 – another great place to live – and I still say I left a piece of my heart there even till this day.  I don’t think I was as ready as I thought I would be to take that leap outside of my comfort zone, so I had my fill of …

Weekly Small Pleasures (#9)

Merrie Monarch Hilo comes alive during Merrie Monarch week and this year was no different. I went to the free hōʻike night on Wednesday to watch Hālau o Kekuhi, as well as other indigenous dance from Taiwan, Tahiti, and New Zealand. I also watched TV coverage of the competition on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Over the course of the week, I had 3 performances and walked in the parade on Saturday. Below are a few photos, most taken by Maria, from my week. It felt amazing to be dancing again and to be immersed in hula for 7 straight days. Sunday, March 27: Kīpaepae Welina (Welcoming Ceremony)   Tuesday, March 29: UNU Noontime Performance at the Naniloa Hotel     Thursday, March 31: UNU at ʻImiloa Astronomy Center   Saturday, April 2: Merrie Monarch Parade Here are other people’s weeks: A New Life Wandering | Weekly Small Pleasures #82 Find us on social media outlets and get to know the Holoholo Girls better! Facebook  Instagram @holohologirls Twitter

Weekly Small Pleasures (#8)

1. Unulau. I was honored to attend the debut of my hula brother’s new hālau, Unulau, yesterday. They performed at Kaʻauea in Volcanoes National Park, overlooking Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. It was a great day to witness the arrival of a new generation of dancers from our tradition. 2.  Redux. I dusted off my Dinosaur-SLR and started taking photos again. It’s a joy getting back behind the camera, especially since most of my photos have been taken on my iPhone. Nothing wrong with iPhoneography, but it’s comfortingly different behind a camera. I ended up visiting Uwēkahuna, a bluff overlooking Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, and snapped some beautiful shots. 3. Foodie Splurge. I have been packing home lunch for the past year and enjoy knowing how much money I save not eating out, but this past week, I bought lunch twice and it was amazing. The first was at Miyo’s, one of my all-time favorite restaurants, which I enjoyed with colleagues and ate my favorite sesame chicken. The second was lunch bought at the cafeteria on campus, consisting of sautéed veggies, fresh greens, and furikake salmon. 4. Reality Check. I’ve …