KAUA’I: THE GARDEN ISLAND
Kaua’i is such a beautiful island. If Hawaii’s islands were compared to the San Juan islands, Kaua’i would be Orcas. A jewel.
We arrived there from Oahu and were greeted by the caressing trade winds that had stopped for a few days on Oahu. The majestic green mountains, rising out of the land with their angles, the multitude of big leafed trees with flowers, the blue sky and the fragrance emanating from the wildness of it all, captured us in every way.
HOW MUCH WOOD…
The first stop was the beach! The 2nd stop our friends Ray and Diane Nitta. Immediately we were given fresh squeezed orange juice from their tree and a conversation on their lovely deck overlooking a stream. We marveled at their deck. The decking was not even stained for protection, yet the wood had no fading or splinters. It was well over 10 years old! He told us it was Ipe wood so hard and tight, that a nail could not be driven through it! Paradise is just too much!
But on to other subjects!
That first day we visited Ray’s enormous wood shop where he has of late taken up lathing. He makes gorgeous wooden bowls, one of which he gave to us. Of course he has made many other things such as his entire house and the furniture inside, the cabinets, the wooden carvings, the artwork. Needless to say, this is one talented man. Diane is a potter and full of talent as well.
We finally settled in for a pasta dinner made by their friend Linda who plays taiko with Ray.
LAWAI’S SACRED PLACE
The next day, after sleeping on the most comfortable bed of the 3 weeks traveling around Hawaii, Ray took us to the lovely green tree’ed hilly Lawai International Center of 30 acres nestled in a sacred valley. There, a very dedicated group of Japanese workers in the 1930s had fashioned a small temple (destroyed by a hurricane a few years ago) and 88 Shingon shrines and several jizos (small carved figures of Bodhisattvas) lining the paths of a hillside. Flash forward to 2002. This area was always known as a healing sanctuary, and now, a small group of dedicated Kaua’ianas have been restoring the shrines and jizos, carving new jizos, and raising enough money to replace the temple.
The visionary plans for this International Center are for it to be a healing and cultural center for all the pilgrims of the world. When we were there, tents were set up to house the newly arrived pieces of the new temple. The day we were to leave, craftsmen from Taiwan, Japan and Korea were arriving to build the temple onto the foundation the group put in. Very exciting!! How they were all going to communicate is a story we have not yet heard! For us then and there, as we sat, the peaceful aura was soothing despite it not being far from a busy road. Being surrounded by green grass, green trees, green hill in a valley bowl had a calming power on our senses. We hope to return to perform for the next pilgrimage!!
FROM THE SALTY SEA
We then were taken to the Salt Pond beach. It is called the Salt Pond, because Hawaiians have used this place for centuries to get their salt. They dig small wells on the land about 500 yards from the beach. The shallow pans fill with the seawater. The sun dries the water. What’s left is the sea salt. And because the soil in Kaua’i (and other islands) are reddish, the salt is a pink color. Ray gave us a huge huge bag of the pink sea salt! Lucky us!
Next we were off to a new treatment that Ray told us about: it’s called Scalar Energy Treatment. Computers are set to give off this energy, how, I can’t begin to describe. The several computers are set across from each other. The room is then filled with this Scalar Energy that is said to be healing. Visions come. A restfulness is gifted. It’s too scientific for us to explain it, so you can look it up as Scalar Field Theory. Anyway, we had visions during the two-hour rest in the room. And then, totally rested, off we went to our first gig on Kaua’i.
POIPU & PRINCEVILLE
This place is very interesting. It seems new. It is very manicured. It is full of haoles, either part-timers, tourists or retirees, and can be compared a bit to Santa Barbara. Shocking prices, you can imagine!
Still, just down in the steep valley floor below, there is a preserve with acres of taro fields, providing a sanctuary for Hawaii’s endangered birds. Thank goodness!
After checking into a lovely resort, we then set up for our performance of spooky tales Halloween night at a Club for those families that have bought an acre and built a house in this 1000-acre ‘hope-to-be-community’. Very posh. Very Santa Barbara. And very interesting.
We performed in the dark outdoors about 6 feet in front of a fire pit and on a stage that had lights that shone up into our faces. We couldn’t even see the edges of the stage. After moving 2 lights to accommodate viewing the edge so that we would not fall into the area where children were suppose to sit. When no one from the Club would leave their dinner plates, and the time of starting had passed 15 minutes ago, Robert went into the Club to round up an audience. A half-hour late, we had a semblance of an audience and began.
Performing outdoors is a very different experience from that inside a tent or inside a theater space, even a library. The energy disburses up into the atmosphere instead of accumulating between the audience and performers. In this situation it was even more difficult as we could not see our audience behind the fire pit and it seemed they didn’t know how to clap. Fortunately, the tech person was wonderful, and the 8 boys who lined up right at the edge of the stage with hands over their ears were a delight to watch as they were totally drawn into the stories.
The next day, we performed in the Princeville Library – a building that looked like their City Hall, their Police Department, and heavens – they even had some preschools in these pinkish beige brick, very stiff and square buildings. But! The library welcomed in the 2nd and 3rd graders of the Kanuikapono Charter School from a nearby town. This school is dedicated to the arts and to teaching Hawaiian history, culture, language, dance, music and the arts as part of their curriculum. With time to spare, the children stood and performed 2 Hawaiian chants for us, a gestured song – all in Hawaiian – and placed leaf leis around our necks.
When adults streamed in and other families, too, we were all ready for our stories. Magic was already in the air, so we merely added to it! As Kanuikapono’s website states:
“Plan for a year- plant Kalo
Plan for ten years- plant Koa
Plan for ONE Hundred Years- TEACH THE CHILDREN”
We were thoroughly impressed by the children, the school and it’s vision and most of all the heart of Mauli Cook! Mahalo, Mauli for the love your express for Kanuikapono School.
And then we had the day to spare. The Cave beaches!!! (Yes, across the road from the beaches are several caves under the mountains). And then one of the teachers of the charter school – Mauli – showed us an old Japanese cemetery, their charter school, and her sweet little cottage with a delicious dinner from Hawaiian foods out of her garden! Taro, kale, onions and … not out of her garden, some vegi-burgers! Yum.
We flew back that night to Oahu, wishing we could have more days on beautiful Kaua’i. Another Aloha…