From the Desk of Charlaine: Honeymoons and Leis
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From the Desk of Charlaine: Honeymoons and Leis

Aloha! We are back from Hawaii! Do you know why we went? My hubby and I are celebrating our second anniversary-- I mean, honeymoon! You see, because of our backgrounds and why we met in the first place, we have decided not to celebrate anniversaries. We will have a honeymoon every year instead! No computers with us. Nope! Work stayed home. Divorce is heartbreaking. The death of a spouse is also heartbreaking. Our marriage is a treasure to us. We both learned just how fleeting life and love can be. Marriage is one of the most important relationships you can ever have. In face, it outranks parenting and close friendships! This one relationship God called sacred and unbreakable!

Our second honeymoon took us to Oahu and the Big Island. We had an adventure! No one stopped us when we got off the plane to drape flowery leis around our necks or hula to welcome us. I guess they don't do that anymore. We noticed right away that the people on Oahu take pride in their home and their culture. Native Hawaiians seem to have a strong work ethic overall. The airport was clean! We were offered help quite often-- with a smile. The airports had open air spaces even past the security check point. The airport on the Big Island was very open. The luggage claim  opened up to the street with the car rental only covered with a common overhang! There was a gorgeous courtyard in the center of one of the concourses where travellers could go to wait and relax -open air, sunshine, and beauty. On our way home, I was very unimpressed with the airport on Maui, though. The place smelled of mildew, workers were somewhat rude and not as well kept. The same open air areas like the courtyard in Honolulu was filled with junk! We could see pallets scattered, plastic milk crates, and other items that should really be tucked away from guests. How unsightly! Each island has it's differences, I suppose.

We've been told the culture can be experienced by going to luaus. He visited here before, so he wanted to take me to see one, then get on with other things. We almost went to the Polynesian Culture Center, but changed our minds. More about that later. My hubby and I learned more by visiting the historical areas.We are very nerdy! The palaces on the two islands were gorgeous! Their richness paled compared to the amazing and sad history. A proud, good-natured people lost their way of life because of greedy business men. Some blame the missionaries, but it certainly wasn't because of them.They actually helped maintain the Hawaiian way of life while bringing the gospel to them. When they completed their mission of sharing Christ, they left.  The Dole family and a few other business men framed Queen Ioliani for treason to overthrow the monarchy. Today the native Hawaiians want independence and sovereignty. That left us feeling sad for the Hawaiian people.

We also learned they don't want the urbanization to overtake the islands. The windward side of Oahu really spoke loudly with signs in people's yard making bold statements with slogans against the Hoopii Project. You can read more in Peter Apo: Urban Crawl- Is Hawaii Becoming Just Any Place? Pearl City, Honolulu, and Waikiki are all one big city space. We agreed it was quite a testament to greed.

The Pearl Harbor Memorial was actually our first stop. Since my father served in the Pacific Theater during WWII, I wanted to go there. He wasn't at Pearl Harbor during the bombing, but came a year later. It was sad that these men died during a time which should have been peaceful here on US soil. We wondered how the veterans who visited felt as the Japanese tourists came to see the exhibit conducting their own tours with their own version of what happened. Trips like this help history become real.

The beaches? Yes, we walked on a few. We find it a relaxing and amazing view. The most famous is Wakkiki, best known for their surfing. Surfers tested out newly learned skills on smaller waves. We watched them from a dock while the sea gulls fought over their food. Beautiful yellow and blue fish with some trumpet fish with long slender bodies and a long snout were watchfully waiting  for food in the shallow waters. The other beaches were on the lesser traveled routes. From rocks to black sand beaches, we checked them out our first couple of days.Several boats, a couple of cruise ships, a freighter, and several canoes with outriggers speckled the crisp blue water of the ocean. It felt like being in a post card!

Thankfully, the Big Island-aka.Hawaii- is proud of it's natural resources and protect them tenaciously. Good for them! The Parks and Forests Services have set up natural resource protection sites. We were awestruck as we took a 4 mile hike through protected rain forest, then trekked across the Caldera-- the crater of an active volcano on Kilauea. We were blessed to be there at the right time and right place! This hike only happens once a month.Thank you, Lord! The rangers who took us had sulfur dioxide detectors and radios in case we needed an emergency evacuation. We joked about walking on fire! Seriously, though, 80% of the Native birds birds are believed to be extinct.They have been able to maintain a good portion of the flora and fauna of the forest. The influx of man-- from the Polynesians who came by canoes to Europeans and others, the creatures and diseases they inadvertently brought along disrupted paradise.  We were also able to see breath-taking waterfalls and other amazing scenery no one else in the world boasts! Those were our big "pinch me!" moments.

Back to the marriage thing. I think my hubby learned from watching me work through the grief of losing my high school sweetheart, the moments we have must be cherished. I found out he was quietly snapping candid pics of me being the tourist! This was all so new to me. He also took some video of me enjoying the sites and sounds. From waves crashing against rocks jutting out from the coast to the arid starkness of the volcanic desert, he enjoyed watching me take in the wonder of such a place. You see, I have video footage of my first husband preaching and one video of him hosting a Seder feast at the last church where he served as pastor. My hubby has come home a few times to see me with tears streaming down my face as I watched these videos. He told me, "If anything happens to you, I want this to be able to see and hear you again." Little did he know, I was taking pictures of him, too! The divorce rate in America could be cut in half if more couples would learn to value each other instead of taking each other for granted. This is why we will always go on honeymoons instead of anniversary trips.

More details next week as fits with the mission and vision, of Totally Fit 4 Life and and interests you, the readers. Mahalo, thank you for your kind patience while we were away. Blessings to you!

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