Spirit of Aloha

Spirit of Aloha

Aloha !

Not very clever to procrastinate when it comes to write a newsletter (if you procrastinate too, I invite you to watch this great TedX on procrastination) ! So here am I dissecting the stack of stories piling up in the sink for over a month !

Nothing on TV !?

But that’s just great ! Come on, I’ll take you to Maui, one of the islands of the Hawaiian Archipelago . Remember, I arrived on December 29th on this volcanic island at Phil’s – the Ironman guy ! – where I had been working until January 12th.

One night, on New Year’s Eve, I came across K. and deviated towards Maui Southwest coast, in Kihei. For over a month, K. alone had been a huge pile of cannabis troubles, music, songs from all over the world, yoga, spirituality, irritability, paranoia, cannabis, djembe drums at Little Beach, sunsets with whales, cannabis, fuel-greedy car, dance on Sunday mornings with waterproof iPods (have you ever swum while listening to music ? Crazy stuff !), a house move, a collapsing virtual gaming company, cousin Joe’s visit and his cookies, meeting Swaroop, Black American history, Martin Luther King Day, music blaring, peace and quiet facing the ocean, Io Valley and its sacred river …

Elizabeth (my American friend living in Portland whom I met in 2012 in Rome) came the first week of February to celebrate her 79th birthday. What a good idea for a reunion ! Five days to try all the good pastries and all the nice restaurants around Lahaina, have fun creating a lei (flower garland) and a Ti Leaf Lei, ring the temple bell at Jodo Mission, savor dishes by starNoodles (Soooooo good!!!), have a laugh with Anna (a cosmetics saleswoman), see a  luau* for tourists (nothing to write home about but still interesting if you have never seen traditional dances before), wonder who will place a flower behind my left ear** and Stephan Colbert TV shows before going to bed just to try and get a few jokes on the fly and learn new vocabulary !!

Hey, have some poke !

While you are enjoying this delicious Hawaiian raw fish dish, I’ll take the opportunity to segue into the second season of my life in Maui. You won’t miss my meeting with Swaroop, his warm welcome and my two weeks in his lush garden with spiders, peacocks, rain, pond, waterfall, ocean, rain, Spirit of Aloha temple, mosquitoes, rain, coconuts, tattooist Marc living in his property, storm… But also Hélène, French resident in Hawaii for 50 years. We met in second hand store Rainbow Attic, and she connected me with Ségolène !

Told you it isn’t very clever to procrastinate !

Season 3 has already started with snow on top of Haleakala  ! Come on, I’ll take you to Kula, quite in the heights of Maui, where the much cooler temperatures make me wear my quilty cardigan daily (I still haven’t given in to wearing pants !) ! In the house surrounded by a beautiful tree-filled garden, you can find Ségolène (a French woman married to an American called Sean), Maïwenn (a young French girl, aged 18, who takes care of their twins Finn and Quinn for 3 months), and the dogs Pono and Êlé.

The season is off to a roaring start with a vacuum conking out on my first day of work (didn’t I pray to all the Saints to bring it back to life !), a cooking class with students from private school Seabury Hall, a bowl of whisked egg whites turned upside down over Mr Martin’s head, washing dishes for the Valentine Day party organized by the episco-something Church to the tune of Ooohhh Champs-Elysées (la la la laaa la), a rodeo far from being fantastic, delicious meals, hitchhike ride in the back of a pick-up with three big dogs as an option, Baby beach and talks with Maïwenn and Anna, turtles, my brand new vacuum friend, French croque-monsieur with white sauce and the screeching flood alert on my phone (have you ever heard your phone release a continuous screeching noise just like in a good panic movie ? Believe me, it really takes you by surprise !)

And what about the spirit of Aloha ?

The literal meaning of aloha is “the presence of breath” or “the breath of life.” It comes from “Alo,” meaning presence, front and face, and “ha,” meaning breath. Aloha is a way of living and treating each other with love and respect. [source]

OK then, will you meet me next time on my way to Hana and the Seven Sacred Pools ? Or will you join me in hula classes ? Meanwhile, practice the shaka sign (also known as hang loose) ! This hand gesture is not used here by surfers or young people only, but by everyone does it !


A luau is a traditional Hawaiian party

If you place a flower behind your right ear, it signals that you are a single lady and if you place it behind your left ear, it means that you are in a relationship.

Thanks to Corinne B. who kindly translated this post.

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