Chinese New Year can last 23 days depending on the lunar calendar. The big day was January 25. This is the Year of the Rat. On the Chinese calendar it is 4718. The lion dancers with appropriate fire crackers are often part of the celebration. For good luck people often put money into a special envelope and place it in the lion's mouth where one of the dancers take it from the donor's hand.
Opening Comments from Bob
This Page: We are lucky enough to return again to Maui. Again, there are a third more pictures than usual. Enjoy them, but also please read the other content. The three poems include Facebook Friend, Paradise Lost, and Only if. The vignette speaks to the love I have for Hawaii.
Above and below: Baldwin Beach – A favorite of ours! You are looking from Baby Beach which is protected by a break wall. The beach provides over a mile each way of leisurely walking.
Three Poems this Month
Today, early, the second of a new decade smiles cross my lips as I peer at pics of Facebook friends, many whom I have never met.
Moments of life captured usually at times of joy and fun.
Who really are these persons, smiling in digitized form– all part of this human voyage?
For now, that matters little as my heart shares their moments
Comments: No explanation needed.
When this life appeared on earth no one envisioned that one day she would wander the streets pushing her shopping cart carrying all her worldly possessions.
Tourists wander by looking the other way trying to ignore this bedraggled wretch.
Many such as her flock to this bit of paradise cherishing the warmth seldom available during the harsh winters that blanket the mainland.
What caused this soul’s life journey to end here?
Was it mental illness, drugs, loss of jobs or some other life-changing events?
In this land of milk and honey the nefarious numbers of the lost continue to grow while more look away.
Comments: Every year when we return to Hawaii, we see more and more homelessness.
Seldom in modern life do we take time to observe the theater that unveils before us.
The sounds of the songbirds, yes, even the insects, have their own symphonies to play and entertain.
The sunrises and sunsets cause us to be in awe.
The moon and the myriad of stars appear on stage providing perspective lest we become arrogant.
Beauty and lessons abound, should we take the time.
Comments: In short, take time to "smell the roses". Written in early morning while in Hawaii sitting on the veranda.
Each Thursday the 808 Uke Jam meets. Please see video below.
Jan pointing out to guest Steve an interesting landmark
Small Congregational Church on the Ke'anae Peninsula
Though considered an invasive species, the African Tulip trees are beautiful to view especially on the Road to Hana. They are recognized by their red, yellow, or orange flowers.
808 Uke Jams: Anyone who visits me on Maui are introduced to this fantastic experience.
Over a hundred individuals from all over the world attend every Thursday to celebrate the
Hawaiian heritage. Jarret Delos Santos is the primary creator of this wonderful experience.
Though I don't play well, this is my annual uke time. http://808ukejams.com/
A great walking and sunbathing beach about 100 yards from our condo.
Near Makawao: Field along the side of Haleakala.
Hiking Maui: A beautiful walk on a trail near the Hana Road.
Iao Valley – "Eye of the Needle (Hawaiian: I-ao 'cloud supreme', pronounced similar to 'EE-ow'): In 1790,
the Battle of Kepaniwai took place there in which Kamehameha the Great defeated Kalanik'pule and the Maui
army during his campaign to unify the islands. The battle was said to be so bloody that dead bodies blocked the
Iao Stream, and the battle site was named Kepaniwai ('the damming of the waters')." - Wikipedia For me, this
is a place of great sorrow but also one of great beauty.
Iao Valley: Looking down the valley. You can see the river that was blocked by bodies following the great unification
Vignette this Month: Annual Return
Some ask me, especially my family, why I return to Hawaii regularly, especially Maui year after year. There are the obvious answers including warmth during the winter months and of course great beauty. For me, these two though important, only touch upon my desires to come here at least once yearly. When I first step on the island, I immediately feel a sense of calm. Even if the airport is busy, the warm breezes and scent of the flowers enwrap me in peace. Life slows down with only the honking horns coming mainly from tourists who haven't yet adjusted to "Island Time." I have been here often enough to spot quickly the tourists who rush around thinking they are still on the mainland. One example is the Road to Hana which has become less beautiful and more crowded over time as mainly tourists in their white jeeps ignore the yield signs at the one-lane bridges fouling up the flow of traffic on a winding, narrow road. (I have issued a few choice words at their rudeness and ignorance.) A friend who recently visited became impatient with the slowness of service in a restaurant. I mentioned to him "relax and savor" the food will be here when it arrives. Another attraction is my Thursday ukulele sessions with 808 Uke Jams which attracts uke enthusiasts from around the world to celebrate musically Hawaiian history and its traditions. Even the church services filled with music are different on the Islands. Basically, I always feel "I have come home."
Tai Chi Walk: Those who have followed me over the years will recognize this shot taken this a.m. It is here, we make our daily walk to practice tai chi. We do not stand directly under the palms as coconuts can fall causing injury,
Another view from Upcountry looking down on the Pacific below.
Aunty Sandy's, Ke'anae Peninsula: Gordon Ramsey's TV show
put the location on the map. Its banana bread is the best I have ever
eaten. Even if you don't eat hot dogs, the chili dogs are incredible.
Sadly, the crowds have arrived, but it is still worth taking a short trip
off the Hana Road, just after Mile marker 17.
Over the decades I have recommended numerous places and locations. Click here to see to see them.
Worth a look: Sent to me by subscriber Ron. Incredible! Sadly, I have not been able to trace the originator, including a search of Youtube.
View of the west coast of Maui. Further down are the huge resort hotels along the world famous Kaanapali Beach.
On the west coast a scuba and surfing area. The small dots below are scuba divers and snorkelers.
One of the best whale watches ever! Humpback whales migrate from Alaska to the Islands to mate, give birth, and nurse their young. The female's milk is over 34% butterfat, the highest of any mammal. An average-sized humpback whale will eat 4,400-5,500 pounds of plankton, krill and small, schooling fish each day during the feeding season in cold waters (about 120 days). They eat twice a day.
Whale Festival: This annual event always starts with a parade. As in the past there are plenty of booths and food options.
Keawala'a Congregational Church, Makena, Maui: If you love music, this is the place to attend. Sadly, the Pastor (kahu) Kealahou Alika has retired after 29 years there. His sermons have always spoken to truth and civility. We attended his final service on February 16. There were over 300 people seated in the small sanctuary and outside. As always a humble man, he spoke of his journey and the growth of the church. Many eyes including mine had tears in them. Below are a couple pictures of the crowd in attendance at the Pastor's farewell sermon.
The banyan tree in Lahaina, Maui was planted on April 24, 1873, to mark the 50th anniversary of the arrival
of first American Protestant missionaries. It currently covers over an acre.
The Ke'anae Peninsula is one of the most beautiful locations on Maui. The above and the next two photos were taken there.
Tai Chi Corner
Regular readers of this newsletter know that tai chi plays an important role in my life. Hence, occasional pictures will appear in this section.
Enjoying a bit of tai chi social time.
Lf: Practicing on Baldwin Beach –---------------Rt. Steve, Jan, (Sun 73) and Nancy (Qigong) practicing. Steve ...........................................................................and Nancy visited us for a week.