<![CDATA[Through Rose Colored Glasses - Hawai'i]]>Fri, 08 Jan 2016 21:18:47 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Religion Abolished During Dinner]]>Sun, 05 Jan 2014 04:35:02 GMThttp://throughrosecoloredglasses.weebly.com/hawaii/religion-abolished-during-dinnerShortly before the first Christian missionaries ever set foot on Hawai'i, the Hawaiian monarchy abolished its ancient religion in a bloody, historical battle.

Hawaiian religion is based on a system called "kapu" which means "forbidden." It was comprised of various laws and most violations were punished only by death. Hawaiians believed in stringent enforcement for even a single violation was needed because the gods would punish the whole community with natural disasters if they didn't strictly punish the violator. One of the kapu laws was that men and women could not eat together. In fact, it was kapu for women to eat bananas and coconuts just as men were forbidden to eat certain fish. The kapu system originated some time around 1300 and was isntituted by the ali'i. Ali'i means chiefly class. So in other words, the royalty of Hawai'i convinced the rest of the Hawaiians that they were sacred and that everyone had to follow the laws they instituted or the entire people would be punished by the gods. Gee, how many times have we heard that story?

King Kamehameha I (also known as Kamehameha the Great) conquered the islands and formed the Hawaiian nation in 1810. Some believe that he was the promised king, the one whose birth would be announced by a comet. (sound familiar?) History tells us that Halley's comet was visible in Hawai'i in 1758 and Hawaiian history says Kamehameha was born in November of that year. Although, some historians say he was born some twenty years earlier. But that's not the point. The point is, the Hawaiian people thought this was the great king who was going to unify the islands (he did) and establish a kindgom (he did), and so they had much respect for him and esteemed him greatly. That is why no one even though to suggest ending the kapu system while he was alive. 

Captain Cook had arrived on the Big Island in 1778 unaware of the kapu laws and accidently violated many of them. When the island was not devastated by tsnumi, earthquake or other natural disaster, many Hawaiians figured out that the gods were not enforcing the kapu laws. Some historians even suggest that the Hawaiian people started to doubt the gods existed at all.  Fast forward some forty years....

In 1819, Kamehameha the Great died and very shortly after that, his favorite wife Ka'ahumanu and her "sister-wife" Keopuolani convinced King Kamehameha II (son of the Great and Keopuolani) to abolish kapu. Their suggestion was for him to eat publicly with them. And he did. So the message was sent throughout the land that kapu was hereby abolished. Not long after this famous dinner, Kamehameha II had the heiaus (temples) and idols demolished. 

But, as with anything, there were those who were upset about the end of kapu. Kekuaokalani who was Kamehameha II's cousin and heir to the throne should Kamehameha die, objected strongly to the abolition. His cohorts encouraged himt o "seek the throne" or in other words, have the king assasinated.Though he refused to order an assasination, he started a battle.

The battle occured near Kailua-Kona when Kamehameha II's forces went to intercept Kekuao's forces. In battle, Kekuao was wounded. His wife ran out and fell at his side, begging for their lives to be spared. Instead, Kamehameha's forces executed both of them and kapu also died that day. 

About four months later, the first Christian missionaries landed on Hawai'i. Now if that isn't a God-thing, I don't know what is.  I'll tell you more about these first missionaries next Friday.

Sadly, this historic site is in the middle of a resort area as you can tell from the photo. ]]>
<![CDATA[Hawai'i in My Heart]]>Thu, 07 Feb 2013 04:37:44 GMThttp://throughrosecoloredglasses.weebly.com/hawaii/hawaii-in-my-heartPicture
For my birthday, my sister gave me this sweet necklace. As you can see, the heart-shaped pendant has the islands of Hawai'i stamped into it. When I slipped it out of its tiny brown, I thought, "Hawai'i in my heart." As I fingered the pendant, while driving Adam to chemistry class, a poem crawled out of my soul.
Hawai'i in my heart, forever from the start.
Always in my heart, hurts to be apart.
Hawai'i is in my heart.

Islands amidst the sea calling sweetly to me,
"Come be shaded by a tall banyan tree."
Aloha my only plea.

Whispers through the trees floating on the ocean breeze,
Over the mauna and over the seas,
"Come home, come home to me please."

Sweetly scented air, yellow flowers in my hair,
A lei to share, how I want to be there.
Aloha plenty to spare.

I took a sandy stroll and there I left my soul.
Console my heart with the waves' crash and roll
And wash away worry's toll.

Hawai'i in my heart, forever from the start.
Always in my heart, hurts to be apart.
Hawai'i is in my heart.
Mahalo nui loa to my sweet sister for the birthday gift and the sweet inspiration.

<![CDATA[Christmas Eve Luau]]>Thu, 20 Dec 2012 04:46:49 GMThttp://throughrosecoloredglasses.weebly.com/hawaii/christmas-eve-luauAlooooooha! Welcome to Aloha Friday!

Today, I made a stop at Goodwill. It's Gracey's favorite store, and she begs to go there. So today we went to see what we could find.

Alas, I found a treasure. A beautiful red, white and green hibiscus print pareo (wrap) that was brand new. The price? A bargain at $3.50! 

It will make a beautiful covering for the pupus (appetizers) table when we have our annual Christmas Eve Luau this year. 

Our luau begins with a traditional lei greeting with leis the kids and I make together out of ribbon or candy. Then everyone is served maitais and pupus which include macadamia nuts, Maui onion potato chips, egg rolls and spam. Yes, we serve spam.  We talk story (visit) for awhile and last year the four of us entertained our guests by singing Silent Night. Scott played ukelele, Adam played the ipu (hollow gourd used as a rhythm instrument), I played piano and Gracey played a 1950s Hawai'i souvenir tambourine. 

Then it's time to blow the conch shell and call everyone in to supper. Supper consists of  kalua pork, fried rice, mac salad (macaroni salad - island style please), gingered carrots and King's Hawaiian bread. Every year I order in treats from Hawai'i (thank you ABC Store!) such as guava jam and chocolate-covered macadamia nuts to use as favors on the table. I'm telling you right now, there is nothing more comforting than the smell of guava jam and chocolate covered mac nuts. Takes me right back to the islands....

Finding Hawaiian anything in North Dakota is darn near impossible. Things like mai tai mix and guava jam have to be ordered in from the islands or California. Banana and ti leaves are nowhere to be found and they can't be shipped in, well not for a decent price anyway. So when I found my beautiful pareo today, it was an extra blessing on this Aloha Friday.]]>
<![CDATA[Living Aloha]]>Sun, 23 Sep 2012 03:32:43 GMThttp://throughrosecoloredglasses.weebly.com/hawaii/living-alohaEven though I'm a lover of all things Hawai'i and Polynesian, I've often wondered what it meant to "Live Aloha." It wasn't too long ago, while reading a book about the Big Island, that I figured out what that saying meant. Before you can know what "live aloha" means, you need to understand the meaning of aloha and its antithesis haole.

The word aloha though used mostly as a greeting, its literal translation is much deeper than just "hello" or "goodbye."  The word actually "breath of life." Conversely, the derogatory term "haole" means "breathless." Haole (how-lee) is what islanders call white people. When the first white men arrived on the islands, they were dressed in heavy, stiff clothes with tight collars. To the laid back islanders, the white people looked like they were struggling to breathe.

Living aloha means to live and treat each other with love and respect. It means to connect mind and heart in a compassionate, considerate way. It means to spread love around to everyone. 

When I think about "aloha" and "haole", I think about passion. I think of living aloha as meaning living with passion. I think of "haoles" as people who are living life without passion. We all know people who are haoles. They go through life, one day to the next, rather robotic about everything. And when you ask them what they are living for, they look at you blankly. That's a haole. 

Job 33:4 says "For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of Almighty gives me life." 

Aloha means "breath of life" and my Almighty Father breathed life into me, so I strive every day to live with passion, to live with love.]]>
<![CDATA[White Sandy Beaches]]>Sat, 05 May 2012 03:45:01 GMThttp://throughrosecoloredglasses.weebly.com/hawaii/white-sandy-beaches
You already know that my most favorite island of all is Kaua'i. But my second favorite island is Hawai'i also known as the Big Island. We visited the Big Island in 1991 and in 1993. It was the last Hawaiian vacation we took with my grandma, Baba. She died in 1995. Though we've been back to the islands since she died, we haven't gone back to the Big Island. And when I think of Hawai'i (the island not the state), I think of her.

Baba and I were always buddies. I'm sure we put my mom in the middle of a lot of things. (You know the saying: what do grandparents and grandkids have in common? the enemy in the middle) But Baba and I were kindred spirits much like my little Gracey is with my mom, Grammy. But on this particular trip, Baba and I spent a lot of time together.

She liked to play tourist. So do I. She liked to talk story with the locals. So do I. She liked to shop for random junk, kitchy souvenirs and good deals. So do I. And we did a lot of that on this trip. My mom and sister had lost their luggage so the two of them were busy shopping for new clothes, so Baba and I spent a lot of time together.

I remember going with her down Ali'i Drive to a farmer's market. And we went on a submarine ride which was totally hokey but so much fun. We learned about parrotfish on that ride. And we took tons of pictures of the Painted Church. And she and I wondered around Pu'uhonua O Honaunau (you say that like this: poo-oo-hoh-new-uh oh hoh-now-now) together, taking in the peaceful beauty of this historical site.

But what I remember most was trying to teach her to swim. She had this adorable floral print swimsuit, the only swimsuit I ever remember her wearing, and she looked so cute in it. She always was at ease standing in the pool or sitting in the hot tub, but she couldn't swim. So we'd hold hands and she'd kick her feet while I walked backwards around the pool. We'd giggle like school girls.

There's an Iz song that makes me think of Baba and Hawai'i. Of course, I cry whenever I listen to it. (Are you understanding that I cry easily?) You  can check it out here.

<![CDATA[Hawaii Superman]]>Sat, 21 Apr 2012 03:41:52 GMThttp://throughrosecoloredglasses.weebly.com/hawaii/hawaii-supermanPicture
I was barely two the first time my family visited Hawai'i. My dad had lived there as a boy and again when he was in the army and had finally convinced my mom to give it a try. Our family was hooked instantly. 

We went to Maui that year. Maui is the second most popular island for tourists with O'ahu being the first.  It's also the number one honeymoon destination. And it has much to offer weary travelers like amazing swimming beaches, upscale resorts, amazing golf courses (not that I golf), the Haleakala crater, Iao Needle and of course my personal favorite, The Road to Hana and the Seven Sacred Pools. 

Personally, I don't like the island except for Hana, but the legend is pretty interesting.

Maui was the youngest son and horribly hated by his brothers. See, Maui's father was never known yet his mother adored and favored him above her other sons. So of course, they became jealous of him, beat and rejected him. They were fishermen but refused to let him fish with them, so he snuck into their boat and surprised them out at sea.  They still wouldn't let him fish so he broke his nose, put the blood on a hook and caught the biggest fish of all. Maui eventually earned admiration of his brothers by capturing the sun so his mother's kapa (Hawiian tapestries/cloths) would dry out and unlocking the secret of fire  so future generations could have light and warmth. 

If you've read the Old Testament, the Legend of Maui should sound familiar. There are many similiarities to the story of Joseph. Joseph too was the favored child, was hated by his brothers and cruelly treated by them. Maui was said to have "magical" powers while Joseph had the God-given gift of dream interpretation. Joseph's gift empowered him to change his status and eventually spare his family from famine while Maui's "magical" feats made his mother's work easier and provided for future generations. 

Of course, Maui is just a legend while Joseph really lived, but it's interesting nonetheless. Listen to this fun Iz song about Maui. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHaMgCbO8PI

<![CDATA[Hele on to Kauai]]>Sat, 14 Apr 2012 03:45:45 GMThttp://throughrosecoloredglasses.weebly.com/hawaii/hele-on-to-kauaiI won't lie. I miss Hawai'i horribly. Some days I miss it more than others and since we watched "Soul Surfer" again last week, I've been daydreaming a lot about my "home." By the way, if you haven't watched "Soul Surfer", you really should. It's an amazing tale of faith and triumph. I cry like a baby from the opening song to the closing credits. 

This week, I am particularly missing Kaua'i. Perhaps it's because the movie is set in Kaua'i or perhaps it's just because it's my most favorite island.

On this rainy Aloha Friday, I want to share with you what I wrote in my journal when we last visited Kaua'i:
The humidity embraces my weary body as I step off the plane. My soul sighs with relief and I begin to weep. I don't even like Honolulu with its skyrise htoels and crowded beaches, but elation drips out of me.

"Welcome home," the thick hot air whispers in my ear. I spin around looking for the voice, but there's no one. Still my heart is overcome and I whisper back, "Thank you. I am home."On our next flight from Honolulu to Lihu'e, Kaua'i i wonder if going home to Our Lord will feel this same way. Will my soul sigh and finally feel like it can breathe? Will He whisper, "welcome home?"Scott kisses my cheek and rushes to get the rental car. I realize we are still earthbound. 

I sit and wait. For much of my life, I realize, I've been sitting and waiting. Waiting for my soul to breathe. Waiting to hear from God what He has for me. Waiting to know my life's purpose....
So sit back a moment, and take a quick trip with me to my heartland. Take a trip with me to Kaua'i. Click the link below and let's hele on to Kaua'i....