Yesterday was a travel day. Hilo to Honolulu and then to Portland.
We will expect rain and temps in the mid 30′s as we transition from island life. Christmas songs sound different when the temps are low. We grew up with Christmas in winter so that is how it should be.
Portland has been getting clobbered with rain and floods. We won’t be getting the sunny skies we experienced a couple of weeks ago. We’ll deal with it like the locals.
Today we are leaving the luxury of Kona and heading to the east side of The Big Island in and around Hilo. Karen has found a place for us through AirBnb. I’ve heard the term Veranda mentioned and I’m sure it will be interesting. Not camping, not indoors but perhaps a couple of walls and a roof of sorts.
We will cross the island on the Saddle Rd which has been improved over the years and is now approved for rental vehicles. On our first trip here every car rental contract had a warning to not use this road.
Island life is special. Every day is summer and the only question is how hot. Every day has been about the same with high temps about 82 in the day and about 72 at night. I heard that it was quite hot this summer with temps frequently around 100 or above.
We have been staying on the resort coast and now heading to a more local economy. I’m ready. I’m done with resorts. We have been here for a week and prior to that on O’ahu for 4 days or so.
All it takes is a trip into the water around a Hawaiian Island and look under the water to see there is a world of life we don’t normally see. It would be unskilled to think it is there for our viewing pleasure.
Much of the world is treated as a playground and investment opportunity. Resources are acquired and consumed for profit without thought. Us humans behave badly when it comes to taking care of our planet.
This is a human problem and not an earth problem. The earth will continue in some fashion. It may need a rinse cycle. It may run hot for enough years to reduce human impact. Freezing for a thousands of years would also be effective.
In the meantime we can learn a few things if we are so motivated.
For three mornings we have watched various workers keep the golf course clean and cut. We have seen no one golfing. We have no interest in golf. We are here because of location and convenience and scheduling. Why anyone would play golf when they could go snorkeling or swimming or watching the water is beyond me.
The weather is perfect. The sky is blue. The water is clear and full of life with bright color. We come and visit and stay in nice places. A 65 year old man of asian descent pulls up on a golf cart to clean the grill I used last night.
My habit now is to make a blog entry in the morning at about 6 am Hawaii time. That is 11 am EST.
Hawaii makes me think about life cycles. Life cycles of islands made from volcanoes, people, planets and a universe. Living and dying is constant. We have within ourselves living and dying cells. Change is constant. The islands were formed when conditions were right. They will be gone when conditions are no longer right.
The earth was formed when conditions were right. Life… humans… when conditions were right. The news in Bejing about a black out from pollution is a reminder we will all be gone when conditions are no longer right for human life. That day will come. We should not hurry it.
We are on the west coast of island with volcanic mountains so the sunrise is an hour or more away. Light is coming up. I know where there are some sea turtles about 5 minutes away so I’m going there to visit while Karen sleeps a couple more hours. We are on different schedules.
Yesterday we arrived on The Big Island of Hawaii. Not far from where we are staying we watched some sea turtles munching away on aquatic salad growing on the rocks lining the shore. They did not seem to be concerned about us or anything else in the world except feeding.
Later I went grocery shopping. Prices are much higher here in Hawaii as many products have to be imported at higher cost than the mainland. I addition, we are located in a resort town so that likely adds more to the cost. Despite this there was a big mix of locals and tourists in the store which had a more diverse offering than anything we have at home. As we travel we are again reminded of the limited variety of food we have on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. It is not supply and demand. It is demand and ability to pay. We live in a very poor county and although there are many wealthy people and hence a large wealth gap, there are not enough consumers of the diverse organic fare we see on the west coast and in Hawaii.
While the west coast of O’ahu is inhabited by locals, the west coast of The Big Island is crawling with tourists. Hawaii brings out the best in people and it is much appreciated.
The sun has been up for 5 hours on the East Coast and now the light is on us. The birds are singing in the palms and the surfers are already looking for a wave.
This morning most of my batteries were Low. My iPad at 16 %, my iphone near dead and my camera batteries were only 50%. Karen has a computer that is 100% and a phone and her camera and they all have chargers scattered about the room. There is an external hard drive for storing the many gigs of pictures but that runs off the computer power when plugged in.
While detoxing from work is in progress, I have not detoxed from devices. Planning on outlets and chargers and looking at power continues.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could manage other aspects of life like we do our devices!
In our travels we find many places that seem to be in “another world”. They are all very much in this world. As we build our visual vocabulary it becomes more familiar.
The wealth gap is huge and palpable this trip. At home it seems less so because we are used to it. On O’ahu which is the most populated of the islands homes worth millions are next to shacks with tarps. Resort areas can build and remove from sight the people of lower wealth but they have to bus them in to staff the playgrounds for the high wealth people. I don’t like the term poor because not everyone without money is poor. I think someone once said, “they are so poor, all they have is money”.
Today we are venturing into Honolulu and walk around Chinatown and other places. As usual we have no real plan.
For the curious and those few who read this, the motorcycle is the centerpiece of a memorial. There is a picture of Charlie and the surrounding decorations change with the season and currently updated for Christmas. Memorials like this are found throughout the islands. We like to stop and visit them. They all have something to offer regardless of where you are on your journey.
The flght from Portland to O’ahu is about 6 hours with all but 15 minutes or less over water. The only directions to go are forward, backward or down deep. On the jet today were about 300 people of all sizes and age.
When the announcement interupted everyones movie time, Karen nudged me and removed any thoughts of not getting up and going to the designated isle.
There isn’t much one can do on a plane but I tended to a woman who had an unresponsive episode but was now talking and moving and looking only a little sick. I sat next to her and checked a pulse and blood pressure and asked her questions. (I had to talk and look at her as I had no documentation to do!) There was no need for oxygen or an AED which is what the crew could offer. They had some IV supplies but no drugs.
I had to fill out some forms for the airline which was quite easy. I suggested that she would be OK and that she should seek medical attention when we landed (instead of getting on a connecting flight to Kona)
I’ve thought on many a flight what I’d do if there was a true emergency. It would be tough to deal with a difficult airway, cardiac arrest, a baby not breathing or a breech delivery. Fortunately this was easy.
I was reminded that doctors are assigned special powers especcially on a plane with no options almost 3 hours from any possible landing. There were no diversions or emergency landings possible.
She walked off the plane and all was well. We are now 11 floors up in a resort on O’ahu listening to the echo’s of an overpriced luau somewhere down below. I’m looking forward to the morning to escape the resort for the day and find some real fun.
Today is a travel day and we will be leaving Oregon. We will be back this way in a couple of weeks.
We spent the night in a nice house we found through Airbnb. In the fireplace kindling was placed and plenty of wood was handy. It was a one match proposition. The kitchen had everything (including a bean grinder and french press). A mile away was one of the nicest grocery stores imaginable. All this for less than the average price of a nice motel room in Portland. We are hooked on Airbnb! (look it up)
Our problems today are only first world problems. Therefore, they are only conceptual issues most of us have in this country. (oh my… the flight is going to be so long.. six hours.. I’ll be so tired of flying.. oh my..)
It has been 8 days since my last work day and I’m just about now getting detoxed from the world of health care. Soon I may start to feel “normal”. My internal clock is still on East Coast time however, but again, first world problems.
I’ll add Oregon to the places I could live and never run out of things to see.