Archive for September, 2014

Moloka`i trip, part 2: Kalaupapa hike and tour

By
September 17th, 2014



If a strenuous six mile hike down and then back up a 1,600 foot descent is your idea of fun, then the hike from Topside down into Kalaupapa is for you! My Pacific Century Fellows friends and I certainly enjoyed it.

Trail head. Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

Trail head. Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

Our day started at 8:20 a.m. at the trailhead. There are 26 switchbacks, and while the trail is well-maintained with steps, it's hard on the knees. I might be getting old. Halfway down, my knee started hurting. A walking stick is helpful - for going down as well as up.

Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

It took 90 minutes down and it was not strenuous otherwise. We got lucky - it was drizzling part of the way, so the trail was not hot. Most of the trail is covered with a canopy of trees, anyway.

Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

 

The views are incredible!

You may have to pull over to the side now and then to let the groups on the mules pass. Surprisingly, the mules took just as long as we walkers. I'm actually glad we walked. I liked the exercise.

Once down, we booked a tour with Father Damien Tours. We met the guide and rode around the island with a knowledgeable guide who showed us the main street, the harbor, the old slaughterhouse, several churches, a bookstore, and a shady spot for lunch in Kalawao Valley. Naturally, Father Damien's church and grave played a big role. The tour took four hours. It was worth it.

Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

 

Kalawao. Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

Kalawao. Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

Kalaupapa Peninsula. Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

Kalaupapa Peninsula. Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

 

 

Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

The walk back up looks intimidating when viewed from the ground up, but it's really not that bad. It only took us 80 minutes, and since we were so close, we drove over to see the Phallic Rock at Pala'au State Park. It is immense. It's supposed to bring fertility, so I gave it a wide berth because I'm all done having children.

Molokai_Phallic Rock

All in all, it's a lovely way to spend a day, and left us all feeling more connected to the island and the history of such a tumultuous time in Hawaii's past.

Moloka`i trip, part 1

By
September 15th, 2014



I haven't logged much time in Moloka`i recently. I've been there a few times for work when I was at KHNL, and previous to that, I spent spring break with the Kamehameha Schools Bishop Choir singing our way around churches on Topside.

From the beach at Hotel Moloka`i. Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

From the beach at Hotel Moloka`i. Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

Sunset from hotel. Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

Sunset from hotel. Photo by Ryan Kawamoto.

 

It was about time to revisit the Friendly Isle, so when my group of friends from Pacific Century Fellows (we are all in the current class) wanted to plan a trip, I was all for it.

We stayed for three nights and four days at Hotel Moloka`i, while venturing around just about all parts of the island except the west side.

With houseman Diamond.

With houseman Diamond.

One of the trip highlights was Friday evening entertainment at the hotel. There's a Na Kupuna Aloha Friday jam session in which various members of the community just come over and kanikapila - and this is truly an organic effort, with the occasional server stopping to dance hula for the crowd.

Hotel Molokai: Ina, Ryan, Steph, Tyler, me, Leslie, Tyler, Kalani. Photo by: Ryan Kawamoto

Hotel Molokai: Ina, Ryan, Steph, Tyler, me, Leslie, Tyler, Kalani. Photo by Ryan Kawamoto

What I found lovely about it is the very small-town feel it imparts on visitors - not just those from other states, but even for those from Honolulu. Most music events in Oahu are produced to at least some degree so things billed as kanikapila are not as authentic as the original backyard jam.

My group might have had too much fun because I ended up accidentally getting briefly married to one of the other fellows. But... what happens in Moloka`i can stay in Moloka`i! Ha ha! Love you, Bully!

Diane Dos Santos Tam.

Diane Dos Santos Tam.

Another watering hole so nice we visited it twice was Paddlers Inn, with live entertainment and billiards. Of course, it could be that it's the only bar on the island...

The stars shine brightly on the island, so if you're into stargazing, this is a great place to take in the heavens.

Lest you think all we did was play - and you would be forgiven for thinking so - we also stopped at Ka Honua Momona for a tour of this ancient fishpond. Caretakers explained the difficulty of managing this resource but also talked about the joys and benefits of keeping a cultural touchstone alive.

 

The fishpond.

The fishpond.

Ka Honua Momona's mission is to be a model of sustainability mauka a makai (from the mountains to the sea). It seeks to foster connections between all aspects of the island ecosystem, including the people and culture, and firmly believes that Molokai can again return to abundance and become a self-sufficient model for others.

Dr. Emmett Aluli.

Dr. Emmett Aluli.

Dr. Emmett Aluli, Co-Medical Executive Director of Moloka`i General Hospital, was kind enough to give us a tour of the facility and to talk about the challenges and positives of rural healthcare. Most interesting - there are only three doctors on the island, so if one needs specialized care, one needs to fly to Oahu. I've long been aware of this issue, but being there and hearing it drove the point home.

Rob Stephenson from the Moloka`i Chamber of Commerce - and a PCF alumnus - graced us with his presence for a couple days, and set up a business panel for us to hear from community leaders on the particularities of doing business on the island. The concerns are extremely different from those one might hear in Honolulu or a larger island.

Tyler, excited for wi fi.

Tyler, excited for wi fi.

One other thing: internet connection (wireless or otherwise) is sketchy, so any visit to Coffees of Hawaii generated much excitement for the group. It may take us longer than a four day trip to want to disconnect from our electronic umbilical cords.

That, and if you think gas is expensive on Oahu, look at what it costs on Moloka`i:

Molokai_gas

Team Moloka`i! Ina, Leslie, Ryan, Kalani, Tyler, me, Ina

Team Moloka`i! Ina, Leslie, Ryan, Kalani, Tyler, me, Ina. Photo by Steph Hsu.

Those are just some of the recaps of the quick visit - and in the blogs ahead, I'll detail some of the more extensive day trips we took - which you might enjoy, too.

Local non-profit sends books to Micronesia

By
September 10th, 2014



A Hawaii non-profit organization is working to help those less fortunate in Micronesia. REPAC, an acronym for Reach Out Pacific, was founded by State Senator Glenn Wakai (D- 15).

Recently, REPAC filled a container of surplus books and shipped it to Pohnpei, Micronesia. "In Micronesia, communities are lucky to have a library. If they do, the government only provides the building and staff. Everything inside is donated. They often get a bunch of romance novels and not much else. Over the years, REPAC has sent more than a hundred thousand dollars worth of book shelves and library books to the region," explained Senator Wakai, who is also the Honorary Consul for Palau, which is part of the island group of Micronesia.

Volunteers assembling donated bookshelves. Courtesy: REPAC

Volunteers assembling donated bookshelves. Courtesy: REPAC

The books are headed to the Pohnpei Library. In June, UH Manoa's William S. Richardon School of Law donated book shelves. "Our shipment will put thousands of books on those shelves," said Wakai.

Bookshelves in Pohnepi Library. Courtesy: REPAC

Bookshelves in Pohnepi Library. Courtesy: REPAC

REPAC sends out a container every other month. If you would like to donate gently used books, please contact  reachoutpacific@gmail.com.

Care for Orphan Kittens

By
September 8th, 2014



I just love little kitties! It's always breeding season for cats in Hawaii, so what should you do if you find an orphaned kitten? I talked to Dr. Richard Fujie from The King Street Pet Hospital for some advice.

Me holding a five day old kitten!

Me holding a five day old kitten!

He explained that feral cats sometimes abandon their newborn kittens due to poor nutrition and other stresses, which is why The Oahu SPCA and the Hawaiian Humane Society often have a need for foster parents for orphan kittens.

Dr. Fujie says if you find a litter of kittens crying in your garage, you may want to wait and watch since the mother cat, technically known as a queen, may be nearby and will come back to feed and care for her kittens. The milk from the queen in the first 24 hours contains the antibodies and the protection for many diseases are transferred to the kittens in that colostrum.

If it is obvious the kittens are in trouble and need help, the most important is to keep them warm and start feeding  them.  You can purchase kitten milk replacer (KMR) and a feeding bottle from pet store or animal hospitals.  You can find recipes for emergency formulas on the internet if it is late at night.

"A heating pad under one side of the box and set to low is sufficient. Cover only one side with the heating pad. This way the kittens can move if it is too warm. You may want to take the kittens to a veterinarian for an exam and instruction on how to tube feed the kittens using a syringe and correct size tubing. Bottle feeding is more natural but tube feeding is faster if you have a large litter to care for.  For newborns, you should be feeding every two to three hours. Have a kitchen scale and weigh them twice a day," continues Dr. Fujie.

Overfeeding can cause vomiting, aspiration pneumonia, or even death. Dr. Fujie warns, "You should never tube feed unless you get one-on-one instructions from a vet." If you are bottle feeding the kittens, after every feeding, hold them upright with their belly to your shoulder  and gently pat them until they burp - like a child.

If you lack kitten milk replacer, try not to use cow milk. "Evaporated milk cause less bloating and diarrhea then fresh whole milk. Again, there are emergency kitten milk recipes on the internet," he reminds.

When they're born, kittens' eyes are closed. Usually the eyes will open in one to 14 days, with the average being about a week. "Never force the eyelids open. Some neonates will have purulent eye infections and the stickiness will seal the eyelids shut," Dr. Fujie advises.

You can remove the heating pad after a month, but if the nights are cool, he suggests to keep it on for longer.

 

Posted in pets | 1 Comment »

KHON2's Wake Up 2Day on Legacy of Life Hawai‘i DMV poster

By
September 5th, 2014



Would you donate your organs after death, to help another person? For years, I have checked the box to indicate yes on my driver's license. So has my friend and co-anchor Ron Mizutani.

Courtesy: Legacy of Life Hawai`i

Ron & Di. Courtesy: Legacy of Life Hawai`i

We're set to help promote this cause by appearing in a poster produced by Legacy of Life Hawai‘i (LLH), in a campaign to encourage organ donation. The first posters went up this week at the Dillingham DMV, but will eventually be on the walls at all County Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) locations across the state.

"The campaign targets both new and renewing licensed drivers, and features rotating posters of Hawai‘i’s movers and shakers prominently displayed at Oahu DMV locations in Ft. Street Mall, Wahiawa, Dillingham, Kapolei and Ko`olau, as well as neighbor island DMVs (Kauai, Maui County locations, and Hilo on Hawaii Island)," according to the LLH press release.

photo 3

Ron and I are honored to join other colleagues and community leaders, including:

• KHON2 News Anchor Joe Moore
• Bishop Larry Silva, Honolulu Roman Catholic Diocese
• Vocalist/Musician Raiatea Helm
• US Senator Brian Schatz
• KSSK Radio personalities Michael W. Perry and Larry Price
• UH Men’s Basketball Coach Gib Arnold
• World Champion Surfer Carissa Moore
• UH Women’s Volleyball Coach Dave Shoji

Silly stuff

Silly stuff

More silliness: Pretending it's prom.

More silliness: Pretending it's prom.

 

While our photo shoot veered into the fun and silly at times, the cause is serious and worthy. Nationally, 134,430 patients- including 448 in Hawai‘i - are in end-stage organ failure, and waiting for a life-saving organ. Thousands more can benefit from life-restorative tissue and bones.

Through community outreach and education, Legacy of Life Hawai’i is working to significantly increase the number of registered organ donors throughout the state. Founded in 1987, Legacy of Life Hawai’i is the only federally designated organization authorized to recover organs and tissue for transplant in Hawaii. Legacy of Life Hawai’i encourages donation through professional and public education, while honoring those who have left a legacy of life.

 

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