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 October giveaway - stories of aloha
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Admin
Pupule

USA
4521 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2007 :  05:32:58 AM  Show Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage  Send Admin an AOL message  Send Admin an ICQ Message  Send Admin a Yahoo! Message
Any stories of aloha, on island or off, that you'd like to share? No aloha to small. I hope this online community can cultivate the aloha spirit so please share your personal story here and qualify for this month's (2.5 weeks left) drawing for one of a couple CDs.


Herb Ohta Jr. `Ukulele Journey


Donald Kauli`a Sweet Wahine

Good luck!

Andy

wcerto
Ahonui

USA
5052 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2007 :  08:13:25 AM  Show Profile
When we went O`ahu in May, we met a gentleman on the beach at Waikiki. We were sitting on a picnic bench and Paul was playing his dulcimer. The gentleman rode up on an electric mobility cart with a guitar slung over his shoulder. We asked him if he would like to kanikapila, but he said he had to go down the road for a while. I thought that was a polite way of saying "no boddah me". A bit later, he reappeared and came up to us. He introduced himself as Uncle T and proceded to ask Paul about the dulcimer, how it was tuned and how it was played. Then he explained to us that he had suffered a stroke and was using the guitar as therapy to get his hands moving again. He played the beautiful Hapa song "Lei Pikake", performed so slowly, softly, but so beautifully and truly from the heart. Then he and Paul played "Hawai`i Aloha" together, he on the guitar and Paul on the dulcimer. Chicken skin. I just about cried. He had to play so very slowly due to the stroke, and he sang so softly because he no longer had power in his body to get the volume. But he still had power, he had mana. He had a way to touch your soul. He said he stay play not so good, but good enough for me. He played beautifully.

We were sitting on a bench in Kapi`olani Park one day...Lei Day. An Auntie tripped over the roots of a banyan tree and fell. Paul helped her up and helped her over to our bench to sit a while. We helped her with cleaning up the scrpes and gave her a bottle of water. She sat and talked story with us for a good while. We talked about Hawaiian music and she told us tales of her brother and her uncle playing music with Gabby Pahinui back iin the old days. About them coming over late at night and smetimes staying up all night playing music, sometimes playing for several days on end. About fun and music and beer. About being kolohe.

Both these people had no qualms about showing their aloha to us, strangers, obvious haoles from the mainland. They shared the real Hawai`i with us. They touched us. They gave us the gift of memories.

Mahalo Auntie and Uncle.

Me ke aloha
Malama pono,
Wanda

Edited by - wcerto on 10/14/2007 05:22:54 AM
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wdf
Ha`aha`a

USA
1125 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2007 :  08:41:35 AM  Show Profile
When we were in Kyoto, we navigated our way to a small town called Shigaraki to visit the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park. There is a facility for visiting potters and other ceramic artists and a museum and shop where some of the ceramics are sold. It took 2 trains and a country bus (and a great deal of walking) to get there. After we visited the facility, we stopped for lunch at a small cafe. After a while an older gentleman came in. He actually tipped his hat to us.

When we were getting ready to leave, I asked where the restroom was. The waitress couldn't understand me (I was reading from a little phrase cheat sheet). She looked and what I had but it was spelled out phonetically for me and she couldn't read it. The little man understood my plight and could speak a little English. He told me to say "benjo" and they all laughed. Anyway I found it.

When we left, we went to the bus stop and the little man was there. He accompanied us all the way back to Kyoto Station before proceeding on his way. Even though we didn't really need his help finding our way back, it was never the less touching that he would do this for us.

The aloha spirit flourishes in Japan.

Dusty
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markwitz
`Olu`olu

USA
833 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2007 :  09:17:59 AM  Show Profile
On my first trip to Maui in the mid 1980's, I had stopped at the Ke'anae Arboretum, on my way to Hana, to look at all the different types of tropical fruit trees. They said it was OK to pick up any thing that was on the ground. I found some fruit that I had never seen before and wasn't even sure if it was safe to eat but I put it in the car and continued on to Hana. Just before I got to Hana I stopped at a roadside fruit stand to get some mango and papaya. I started talking to the elderly "Uncle" behind the counter, asking him about different types of tropical fruit. I showed him what I had collected at the Arboretum and asked him if he knew what it was. His face lit up in a big smile and he said "Wi fruit!" I gave him one and he started eating it.

So, I started to pay for the mango's and papaya but he refused my money. He said with a big smile, "You give me fruit....I give you fruit". I went back to the same fruit stand about 10 years later. This time there was a woman tending the counter. I told her the story of my last visit and again I started to pay for some fruit, again she wouldn't take any money. She said my story made her happy. She said it was her dad that I had traded fruit with and that he had passed away the year before. Just a simple small act of Aloha but it has stayed with me.

"The music of the Hawaiians, the most fascinating in the world, is still in my ears and
haunts me sleeping and waking."
Mark Twain

Edited by - markwitz on 10/13/2007 04:54:21 AM
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kaniala5
Akahai

USA
65 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2007 :  06:26:29 AM  Show Profile  Send kaniala5 a Yahoo! Message
I went to Moloka'i with a group of people to give our mana'o (experience) and support while sharing the possibilities of recovery from addiction. The woman that took us was from Moloka'i and her siblings were among the people we hoped to reach. Many times we were moved to tears as we shared and heard stories at the different gatherings we attended. Although we did not see a lot of people at that first gathering, we did plant a seed of hope that has slowly been blossoming and spreading to others in the community that need help. I personnaly continued to go to Moloka'i for the next 3 years and my friend still continues to go there to share her aloha.

Within a two year period, our friend from Moloka'i witnessed the recovery of both of her brothers who are still free of addiction today. That was about 15 years ago.

Look for reasons to be happy rather than excuses to be miserable.
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da_joka
Lokahi

361 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2007 :  8:20:11 PM  Show Profile
I was flying Hawaiian air on my way back to da mainland afta spending a couple weeks home in da islands. I no can sit in da seat da whole time, so I wen go to da back of da plane an started fo talk to one of da stewardesses. (NO, I no was hitting on her, she is about as old as my mom ... ;-P) But anyways, we started fo talk. She was from Oahu, and found out i was from Hilo. We wen talk story long time. Right befo we was goin land, I started fo head back to my seat. Since she already knew dat I no was goin back home long time, she told me, "Eh, you like juice?" I neva even know how fo respond. She jus wen take out one rubbish bag, an wen stuff um wit choke bags of da Hawaiian Air snacks and all da cans of Hawaiian Sun she could fit inside. She told me, no shame. It was so embarrassing carrying dat rubbish bag back to my seat.

Dat aunty was so awesome. I was set fo weeks, snackwise, and had choke cans of hawaiian sun fo enjoy up hea on da mainland. Even mo bettah den dat, I knew all she wanted fo do was make shua dat I had one little bit of home way ova hea on da mainland.

If can, can. If no can, no can.
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salmonella
Lokahi

240 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2007 :  10:22:47 AM  Show Profile
Our last time in Kailua-Kona (earlier this month)is still sweet in my memory from all the aloha we felt. No earth shaking moments but so many small, daily things from the people of Hawaii doing routine tasks but doing them in a way that improves the world around them. From the rental car assistant who insisted (against the advice of her coworker) that she would fix a problem with another company (instead of asking us to do it) to the construction worker who we stopped to chat with while out on a walk. The waitress who shared her "secret" iced tea recipe (because Diane cannot drink caffeine) and the gentleman who, unasked, helped a non-english speaking tourist find their way to their destination (he understood their language and, apparently overheard their discussion of their plight).
Too many to share here and enough to keep me inspired until we return.
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bubba
Akahai

72 Posts

Posted - 10/15/2007 :  4:01:45 PM  Show Profile
A couple of months ago a local kane in the south Kona area apparently had an unfortunate traffic experience and wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper West Hawaii Today. The gentleman recalled the days when vehicles on the main roadway used to stop for vehicles entering from driveways, etc. He felt that the influx of people from the mainland was causing the disappearnce of aloha, not to mention a general increase in prices for everything. What followed were hundreds of responses running the range from "get over it" to "its still there if you look". The tail of those responsescan still be found if you do an internet reading of the above paper.
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RJS
Ha`aha`a

1635 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2007 :  6:36:32 PM  Show Profile
Some time ago when I first wanted to learn slack key I met Ozzie after a concert in San Jose, CA. After an exchange of letters, Ozzie generously agreed to change his entire schedule for a day so that I could get a huge chunk of learning time. During that session, in one of the back rooms at Harry's, Ozzie taught me the basics of playing the guitar, as well as of Slack Key, Taro Patch and the true meaning of Aloha. I have had very few teachers as generous and solicitous, not to mention competant, as Ozzie that Saturday in Kaimuki.
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bbenzel
Lokahi

USA
130 Posts

Posted - 10/19/2007 :  05:18:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit bbenzel's Homepage
How about George Kahumoku Jr. passing his grammy out into the audience so that everyone gets to touch it. I guess it was special to me because I happened to be the guy that ended up with it at intermission and got to hold it for 25 minutes. When I think about the number of people who have touched it I'm in awe. The inspiration here is that George trusts his fellow man enough to put an object of such great sentimental value out there and he knows it'll find its way back to him before the end of the show. Trusting strangers in this world gone crazy where nobody can pick up a hitchhiker. Wow. What a concept!!

Aloha,

Bill
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Julie H
Ha`aha`a

USA
1206 Posts

Posted - 10/19/2007 :  9:06:47 PM  Show Profile
When I lived on the island of Java, where my Dutch parents were educators, the local folks would tell us to "go back where you came from". Then when we went to Holland we were told to "go back where you came from". Once again, back to Java until they permanently kicked us out in 1958, saying "go back to where you came from." Back to Holland, once again "go back where you came from." Then after 2 years of paperwork, we were able to emigrate to America, where we heard "go back where you came from."

The first time I went to Hawai'i, I heard "Aloha, welcome."

I'm home!!

Julie
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GUke
Lokahi

188 Posts

Posted - 10/20/2007 :  05:11:09 AM  Show Profile
On my last visit, I stayed with a former co-worker in their home in Kaneohe. Not only did they open their home to me, but they also allowed me use the spare truck for my week plus stay.
My visits of Koaloha Ukulele and Kanilea Ukulele were enriched with the personal tours of the respective shops by Ben (Koaloha) and Bill (Kanilea). I was able to talke story with the owners of both shops, too. Joe Souza played and sang falsetto. And whenever I strum one my Kanilea ukuleles or my Koaloha ukulele I think of the aloha built into them.

Genaro

Should I? Itʻs only $, and where Iʻm going itʻll burn or melt.
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Leonard
Lokahi

USA
124 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2007 :  04:22:54 AM  Show Profile  Visit Leonard's Homepage
Thanks for starting this thread. I've been feeling a little down about my work (criminal prosecutor); you can imagine the police reports I read daily - it eventually gets to one. So reading these stories of aloha spirit really helped me this morning. I guess my story of aloha is that Andy started a thread that made me feel better. (Kind of like mirrors within mirrors . . .) Thanks, Andy. No need to include me in the drawing. LRR

Be the change that you wish to see in the world. M. Gandhi
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Lawrence
Ha`aha`a

USA
1576 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2007 :  09:37:55 AM  Show Profile
I want to share two stories.

Reading the one about George a few posts up got me thinking...

(I do not think George will mind me also sharing these tidbits)

The first time I went to George's workshop the first event was a kanilapila by the pool (this was the Thursday Mauian welcome party). I had just arrived that evening and took my guitar out of the case and proceeded to tune it up. Well, it would not tune up, kept going flat. When I looked closely the headstock was bending forward each time I tightened the strings. It had been broken at the nut, courtesy of United Airlines! Immediately, George sent someone into his room and fetched me one of his guitars, which he then lent me free of charge for the rest of the workshop.

A few years later, at the June workshop again, and at the evening kanikapila again, an older lady approached the circle asking if anyone was a doctor. Her husband was running a high fever, but she did not want to go to the emergency room, they had already been there earlier and "they didn't do anything for him" (and he had already taken fever reducing medicine hours before). George had Keoke take over guiding the kanikapila and went to help the man. I went as well, but really George did not need me. He got the man into the shower (and himself too, to hold him up) and used luke-warm and then colder water to cool him off for about ten minutes, then put him back on the couch. Then he got some large Ti leaves and cooled them off in the shower and used them as "cooling blankets" to help cool him down. He stayed with the man till his fever had broken, about an hour. These people were NOT Workshop Attendees, they were just regular Mauian Hotel visitors. The next night these folks attended the kanikapila as audience members. The man who had had the fever identified himself as a retired manager at JPL (Jet Propulsion Lab) in Pasadena. I don't remember his name from that time, but Dr. William Pickering (who was the head of JPL for 30 years) sounds right, and older pictures of him look right, but why he would be at the Mauian is a bit of a puzzle. Dr. Pickering died in 2004 at the age of 93 which also fits.


Mahope Kakou...
...El Lorenzo de Onda Sonora

Edited by - Lawrence on 10/22/2007 10:07:00 AM
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wcerto
Ahonui

USA
5052 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2007 :  10:27:57 AM  Show Profile
Swell stories, Larence. You know that old saying...love isn't love 'til you give it away.

Thank you, George, for sharing your aloha so generously.

Me ke aloha
Malama pono,
Wanda
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Hula Rider
Lokahi

USA
215 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2007 :  12:12:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit Hula Rider's Homepage
One night I had finished a gig in South Kona and was coming home to Hilo through Volcano to go to my other job.

People often tailgate motorcycles at night, not realizing that the two big bright headlamps of a car or truck wash out the motorcycle's one lamp, blinding the rider who is now driving down a pitch-black tunnel with brilliant gold light searing his or her peripheral vision. There is no way to see the road, where the edge is, or any branches or whatnot in the roadway. (If you can see the biker's shadow thrown ahead of him or her, the biker is likely blinded by your lights). All the person can do is gradually slow down, and pray that you will pass before he or she goes off the road or hits something. It is the same effect that causes deer and other wildlife to run straight ahead of your car.

Anyway, this one night, cars would tail-gate a few miles up the twisting road, and then pass, disappearing into the fog of Volcano. Heading down into Hilo, the fog thickened. A truck came up behind me. I was trying to judge where a safe spot to pull over might be when the truck passed me. Instead of speeding off into the night, the truck slowed to a safe speed and stayed in front of me, lighting the road with those wonderful big lamps, until we reached Mt. View and were out of the fog. The driver turned left into the closed lot of the gas station, and headed back up towards Volcano.

Every time I ride that section of road, I say a prayer of thanksgiving for that driver.

malama pono,
Leilehua
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