Aloha means “joyful sharing of life energy.” Hawaiian words and phrases are woven into everyday life in the islands, so here are a few words to frame our story of 2 months on O’ahu, Maui and Hawai’i.
‘Ohana (oh ha nah), Family, including adopted or chosen family
We began in O’ahu with friends Carol, Bill, Andrew and Gail. Our ‘ohana Christmas celebration resulted in beach time, beer pong and Aloha Spirit.
Nani (nah-knee), Beautiful
Hawaiian life shows deep respect for nature: Aina (land), U’i (sun); Lani (sky).
Mauka (Mow-ka), Towards the Mountain
On Maui we visited the craters at the summit of Haleakala and rode bikes down the twisty 26 mile road to the beach town of Paia.
On the Island of Hawai’i (Big Island) we drove to the summit of Mauna Kea where the telescopes sit at 13,000 feet altitude, then watched sunset.
Maui – We found the less traveled northwest shore road – cliff edge driving!
Maui – ‘Iao Needle (used as a lookout by warriors) and O’ahu – Ko’olau mountain.
Makai (Mah-ka-ee), Towards the Sea
- Noi’a, Dolphins. Our neighbors were 6 male dolphins at Kahala Resort
- Honu, Turtle. We sought them out on numerous beaches.
- Kohala, Whale. Humpback whales arrive in January to give birth. We saw a mother and 2-week old baby. She breached 5 times in front of our little boat.
- Hihimanu, Manta Ray. I followed a little manta in my kayak. After I took its picture, it turned around and followed me.
Mahalo! – A Deep Sense of Gratitude, Admiration, Respect
Heiau (Temple). Pu’uhonua a Honaundu. This ancient place of refuge was the destination of people seeking asylum from death penalties imposed by breaking kapu (sacred) laws. Sanctuary was guaranteed if they made it inside the 10-foot walls.
Byodo-In, a replica of a Buddhist temple in Japan outside of Honolulu. Ring a giant bell with a soft wooden log to ask for happiness, blessings, and a long life.
Maui Tibetian Buddhist Dhama Center. A stupa is a symbol of hope. Walk clockwise turning a large prayer wheel. With each round, a gong sounds and millions of prayers are released from the wheel.
A’oia! – There You Have It!
For an excellent blog and recommendations on O’ahu, I invite you to click into a blog called Just Passing Through by Carol D. Use the bulleted links to learn more about O’ahu.