Monday, June 21, 2010

Living Aloha

E Komo mai........Welcome!

Today's "talk story" has been rumbling around in my thoughts for awhile. I'm not sure how it's going to roll out because I'll be exploring a way of life rather than sharing a place, or art form or particular event.

Award winning Maui author Jill Engledow has done a wonderful job sharing the many nuances of life in Hawaii in her book called Island Life 101: A Newcomers Guide to Hawaii. This is not one of the guide books that causes island folks to wrinkle their noses. Instead, Jill's book is a rich tapestry woven with lessons on Hawaiian language, fascinating history, music and dance, cultural diversity, current and environmental issues. The information is presented in an entertaining fashion geared towards folks who want to make Hawaii their new home. It is also a great read for guests who are visiting with a desire to have a deeper understanding of Hawaii, a sense of place.

Looking back to when I moved to Hawaii 36 years ago, I felt a little a little like a foreigner in a another land. However, I was thoroughly smitten the first time a child in the grocery store called me "Auntie" and asked if I would help her reach something. I knew this was the place I wanted to raise my family, where people were warm and friendly, and the children had a sense of relationship to the adults around them. Growing up, we often shared our home with exchange students from other nations. I guess my desire to learn about other cultures had it's early beginnings in our family home.

It's been a remarkable journey of exploration of self, and how I can contribute to my community. Visitor industry involvement has always been very satisfying. I feel content when guests enjoy their stay, taking home great memories of their experiences in our island home. If you are interested in giving back to the place you are visiting, check out my Volunteer on Vacation in Hawaii site for more information.

I love to travel, and when I meet friendly and helpful people out in the world, I am inspired to do the same for our visitors.

Jill devotes a section in Island Life 101 to a calendar of events that will enrich all of our lives, kama'aina and visitors alike. The Maui Calendar of Events is also available on line and keeps up to date on all the wonderful festivals, lectures, activities and traditional ceremonies happening.

Be sure to check this out if you want a taste of authentic Hawaii.

Many events are associated with fund raising for charities through silent auctions. If you are fortunate enough to find yourself at one of these events, do check out all the gifts, packages and possibilities available to bid on. This is a great way for visitors and local folks to give back to the community. You might even been able to bid on a night or two stay at Hale Ho'okipa!

Live Aloha, and treat all with respect, we are all guests in someone's home at one time or another. Let's be mindful of how we visit a place, of how we live on this land.....

The main thing I have learned in all my years of welcoming visitors into my home, is to be open to see who walks through the door, and to know they have something valuable to share.

If we keep our eyes, ears and hearts open ...the journey will be the reward!

A hui hou....