COSMOPOLITAN KAUAI

So many of us on Kauai love this dimension. We are, in truth, a miniature United Nations. A macrocosm of what the world can be. We’ve a large very active Filipino community who add a spicy flavor to the mix. Lots and lots of Japanese. An industrious, often brilliant, people. They’ve contributed so much to the state and the island. We’ve Portuguese, Italian, Brits, irish. We’ve too many newcomers who, mostly, don’t belong. The world has been and comes to Kauai and many of us would like to think we are what the world could become.

The indigenous population, the Hawaiians-few pure Hawaiians  left-struggle with their loss. A writer friend of mine, Jo Anne Lordhal wrote an amazing book, history disguised as fiction, titled Princess Ruth, that tells part of this sad story. Her book, like my humorous piece The Scam, is available through Amazon, listed under Kauai Fiction. Worth the read. Little of Hawaiian culture, their past, their tears and sorrow is out there for folks to know about. It’s one of those ugly American secrets swept under the rug to fall through the cracks in the rotting floor.  Often I think, if I were Hawaiian, I’d be out there with flaming arrows and I’m a dyed in the wool peacenik. In their eyes Hawaii is an occupied country and, when one knows the true story, one can understand.

I know most of the old missionary families and the military- this used to be a sugar-coated fortress, now it’s just a fortress-would prefer to keep this dirty secret to themselves but today word leaks out. In books. On PBS. Look for The Massie Affair on PBS. A  disgraceful event. it’s a bitter mix to the stew but knowing it’s there can help us balance the flavor

I do not write as an Historian. Not even as one who is an advocate of sovereignty. Only as one who has lived on Kauai for over forty years and has seen it-and read about it- through her own eyes. Has watched its transformation. Has a great concern about its future but hopes, with all the hope within her, that she can add that little bit of honey that makes the medicine go down. it’s there, too. Let it blend.

I am also not here as a travel guide. I won’t lead you to the canyon, take you on a hike, a helicopter ride, or tour. There are other books and writers who do that. I’ll just write about the journey. Hit the highs and  lows of a wonderful trip and try to make it interesting and fun…

I’ll tell it as a little girl, a young woman, an old lady. Take you on a road less traveled. Bumps, detours, curves and straight aways alike.

This began as a tale about the wonderful cosmopolitan soup that is  Kauai which many of us-most of us artists and writers-love but I must warn you, I will also tell you some very sad and true tales of those who would take this mix and turn it into a pasteurized, dangerous and  insipid gruel. A concrete-coated  fortress for dim wits, closed and one-dimensional  minds. I’ll try to drag them along, too.

Welcome to my Kauai.

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