Author Archive

Olivia's dog blog, "Kona, my dog that died"

April 27th, 2015

by Olivia

2015 Mar_Olivia blog_Kona

We buried our dog Kona a couple months ago. This was my blog:, this is Olivia's version, which I transcribed.

We buried Kona, my blonde dog that died.  She was very old.  She got buried on February 16th on Presidents Day.  Her ashes were white.  I almost cried.  I wish she could stay forever.  I loved her very much.  Inca and Kona were best friends when Kona died.  Inca was whimpering to death!  They were like 'bff's' ('best friends forever') sisters!  Forever and ever and ever for life!  I wonder why we buried her in Inca's play yard?! Now they can hang out all the time.

Learn about Divorce, Paternity and Custody Law at Honokaa Library

April 25th, 2015

"Know Your Legal Rights: Divorce, Paternity and Custody Law," a free informational program for parents and married couples interested in legal information about family law, will be presented at Honokaa Public Library on Monday, April 27 at 5:30 p.m.

Ramona Herlihy. Courtesy: Legal Aid Society of Hawaii

Ramona Herlihy. Courtesy: Legal Aid Society of Hawaii

Ramona Herlihy, an AmeriCorps member of the Hilo Legal Aid Office, will provide a general overview of the divorce, paternity, and custody law. Herlihy will introduce participants to the Access to Justice interactive forms and legal information available online. She will also share information about other helpful agencies. A question-and-answer session will be included.

This program is the second of the "Know Your Legal Rights" series conducted statewide by the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii at ten public libraries through the Access to Justice grant.  The Hawaii State Judiciary, State Justice Institute, Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, and the Hawaii State Public Library System are sponsoring this one- hour program.

Contact the Library as soon as possible if a sign language interpreter or other special accommodation is needed.  The program schedule is subject to change.

Honokaa Public Library is located at 45-3380 Mamane Street, Building #3.  For more information, please call the Library at (808) 775-8881.

Smooth Jazz Concert featuring Larry Carlton this weekend

April 23rd, 2015

Apaulo Music Productions, owned by Michael Paulo, presents a Smooth Jazz Concert featuring legendary guitarist Larry Carlton. This concert will be held at The Magic of Polynesia Showroom located in The Holiday Inn Waikiki Beachcomber Resort, 2300 Kalakaua Avenue at 8:45 p.m. on April 25. This concert is part of a very successful series at the showroom which features state-of-the-art lighting and surround sound.

Larry Carlton. Courtesy: Nancy Bernal.

Larry Carlton. Courtesy: Nancy Bernal.

Larry Carlton is a four-time Grammy Award winner and a 19-time Grammy nominee. He is an American jazz, smooth jazz, jazz fusion, blues, pop and rock guitarist and is also a songwriter and producer. His awards for his performances and compositions includes performing on the theme song for the television series Hill Street Blues and Magnum P.I. He has worked with some of the greats in the music industry: Fourplay, Steely Dan, The Crusaders, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand, The Four Tops, Quincy Jones and more.

Joining Larry Carlton onstage for this concert are special guests Gregg Karukas, a chart-topping keyboardist, and Michael Paulo, an internationally acclaimed saxophonist, along with local musicians Garin Poliahu (drummer) and Bruce Hamada (bassist).

This concert will be one night only. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at or (951) 696-0184.

Prices are $75.00 for Orchestra, $70.00 for the Best Reserved Seats, $65.00 for Gold Reserved Seating - Level Two and General Seating - Level Three is $55.00.

The concert starts at 8:45 p.m. on April 25 at The Magic of Polynesia Showroom and doors open at 8 p.m. Table cocktail service is offered. Valet parking is available at The Holiday Inn Waikiki Beachcomber Resort for $6.00 (tip not included) for a four hour flat rate. For more information, visit

To the one I love

April 22nd, 2015

I was recently asked the question Who do you admire? Why?

Claus & Diane

Claus & Diane, 2015

The first and best person I could think of was my husband, Claus. Nobody else really came to mind.

I don't admire him because I'm married to him, but I am lucky that I married someone who I did and still do admire.

He's loving, gentle, constant, committed, generous, kind, caring, intelligent, thoughtful, and consistent. He's dedicated, reliable, focused, determined, and perseverant.

Hubby, 2015

Hubby, 2015

He's a loyal husband, a patient father. He's a man of his word. He's a good provider, a stable presence. He is this and so much more.

Together, we raise a sweet child, and we share a life. He supports me when I struggle, he celebrates with me when I succeed. He is a good, good man.

I admire him for all the things he isn't, as well. If he has flaws, they are minor ones.

I think him beautiful inside and out. I always find him the handsomest man in the room.

I know all this - I carry it in me all the time. Yet putting it into words, being asked the question, reminds me of my truth.

This person I admire has a birthday today and I am luckier for it. Happy birthday, Husband.

Caregiver Tapaita Salakielu dedicates life to helping others

April 20th, 2015

When 59-year-old Tapaita Salakielu started her adult life, she never imagined she would be a professional caregiver. "I liked retail sales, and I had jobs, some as a manager, at Hartfield's, Woolworths, and 7-Eleven," she recounts.

That was two decades ago, when she had first moved to Hawaii in 1980 from her native Tonga. Her husband, William, relocated them here because he was finishing his education.

In 1993, however, her mother's health declined from diabetes, and she was needed at home. She left her three children and husband on Oahu, and flew back to Tonga to care for her mother for three months. Salakielu has siblings, but all but one of them lived outside of Tonga, and her father had died years before.

After her mother's health stabilized, Salakielu returned to Oahu to be with her immediate family, but always with intentions of splitting her time between the two islands, so she could be with her mother.

That was not to be; the day Salakielu arrived on Oahu, she got a phone call that her mother had passed. "I didn't think she would die that soon," she recalls with tears in her eyes, "but I was happy that I had that time with her."

Her mother's death came with a revelation, though. "I decided to dedicate the rest of my life to helping others in need," she says.   "The first time I ever had to clean my mother's incontinence, I felt uncomfortable. I had never done that for anyone but a child, but now here I was wiping my mother's bottom after she soiled herself. Then I realized, if I wasn't here to do this, who would? How much could I trust outside help? Would they really care for my loved one the way I would?"

It sparked her desire to open her own care home. "I didn't realize this kind of work was needed, until I needed it," she says. Salakielu started by training as a certified nursing assistant and working at a large Kaneohe care home, then after four years, left that job to work at an agency that placed caregivers. Finally, she felt she had enough experience and a network to strike out on her own.

In 1999, Salakielu opened Salafina Adult Residential Care Home, a licensed adult residential care home on a quiet street in Kailua, directly across Castle Medical Center. Even the business name honors her parents: Sala is half of her last name. Fina is part of her maiden name, which is Finau. "This is dedicated to my heritage," she explains.

She and her family live in one house, and her care home is located next door on another house on the lot. The work is round-the-clock, as one might imagine. Her days are nonstop and full.

She rises early to prepare breakfast for her clients, makes sure all medications are properly administered, drives her clients around town to various medical appointments, and will even pick up drugs at the store for the clients.

She or her small staff prepare lunch and dinner. One day a week, she takes her patients on a social outing for some variety and stimulation. She stays up all night with clients if necessary. She's even literally run a patient across the street to the hospital's emergency room because it would be faster than calling for the ambulance.

On top of all this, for five years, she cared for her ailing husband as his health declined from diabetes. He was blind, incontinent, and could not walk. She cries as she tells me William died on June 20, 2014. "That was the single hardest thing I've ever faced in my life," she says. "We were married for 32 years. I miss him every day."

Salakielu has a big heart, though, and her compassion is not only for the elderly and disabled. She has three biological children and five more hanai kids she cares for. The eight children in her house range in age from 14 to 19.

The foster children are all relatives, and the task is not always easy. One boy, she says, came to her from a troubled home. "He just needed love. So we love him, and he's changed since he moved in," Salakielu says with characteristic patience. "You can turn lives around with love."

This is her life. She says she is happy. The work is not always easy, but she is constantly rewarded knowing she is helping the patients. "It can be something as simple as taking a shower. I know how I feel when I have a nice, hot shower. If someone can't do that for themselves, and I can provide that, then I feel good," she expresses. "I care for all my clients as if they are my parents."

She balances her life by attending the First Tongan United Methodist Church every Sunday. "It's the one thing I do for me," she smiles.

Salafina Adult Residential Care Home
(808) 261-8732
665 A Ulukahiki Street
Kailua HI 96734

Posted in family | 3 Comments »