Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday musings

OK, this week, not a peep on what is happening in the world but a look at what one can discover by going off the beaten path here in the Sandwich Islands.
We went to a mall in the town of Kahului, the Queen Ka'ahamanu, and while gawking at all the storefronts, spotted a ""pop up " store with its signage proclaiming it to be the Story of Hawaii Museum store.
So of course, in we went.
Totally different experience than one might have anticipated greeted us.
No sooner did we walk in and instead of a dull, solemn atmosphere- we were cheerfully hailed by one of the owners, Bryant J. Neal and he took us in hand and walked us through the wide and storied displays. He recounted not just the usual litany of facts but enlarged upon them and interspersed them with anecdotes of local folklore and personal histories. We journeyed with him thousands of years of Pacific migration with tales of sacrifice and dedication and hardship to the meeting of Captain Cook with the peoples of the Islands to the naming of them as the Sandwich Islands all the way through to Hawaiian royalty and the actual overthrow of the royalty by American businessmen, Pearl Harbour, Pacific strategic war mapping (cartography is his career livelihood) native Japanese internment and eventual statehood.
Truly a fascinating and enjoyable narrative. He has a talent for bringing the past alive and the Museum reflects this passion and in all honesty, should be on a persons' must see list when coming to Maui.
One can purchase momentos from the Museum and they are of a type and quality that can adorn ones' walls and  are indeed fascinating to look at.
A shameless plug here, the Museum's permanent location is in the town of Maalaea and is at 300 Maalaea Harbour shop unit # 2. Their website is
Tell Bryant that flatlander52 suggested seeing them and he will spend some time with you!
We also motored to the small town of Paia and once again encountered a colourful history that is awaiting for all to find. A former "company town" built around a sugar cane mill, it is over 103 years old and has seen a heyday where the population was over 10,000 (20% of Maui's total population) in the 1930's only to shrink to 1,500 with the migration of camp workers to the town of Kahului and the abandonment of the camp housing in order to plant more sugar cane. Now re-discovered by surfers and tourists this town is interesting and vibrant. Another off the beaten path place one should check out.

Local cooking - always a treat to discover. we were walking along the shoreline this morning and our noses encountered the wondrous smell of chicken roasting so we were obligated to find the source. And what a find it was, with a large canopy set up and underneath a trio of tubs with racks of whole chickens and sides of ribs slowly turning over red hot charcoal coals. So being one never to refuse such an opportunity, a chicken was purchased for consumption later. The 1 hour walk along the beach to our place was difficult to say the least as all I wanted to do was devour the wonderful smelling meal!

 So, that is it for this week from the Sandwich Islands,
A hui hou!!!

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