Join us today as we celebrate Hawaii Statehood Day with a e-luau! Hawaii became the 50th state on August 21, 1959. To understand Hawaiian history, please reference my blog from March,
I also recommend two locally produced films:
Princess Kaiulani, http://www.princesskaiulanimovie.com/
documents the struggle between the Hawaiian monarchy and the American businessmen to reign Hawaii. The film features a romance between Princess Kaiulani and a Haole (white man). I have not seen the film yet but have read great reviews for it. Plus the clips feature beautiful shots of Hawaii.
The Ride, http://www.thirdreefpictures.com/
a heart warming story about a modern California surfer who travels back in time to 1911 Hawaii and learns to surf (again) on handmade long boards with surfing legend Duke Kahanamoku.
Spoiler Alert - the film features a romance that ends a la Jude Deveraux's A Knight in Shining Armor.
I have previously written about the Big Island of Hawaii in March:
And we'll travel to Maui in October. Since I live on Oahu, let me share it with you!
* Oahu is nicknamed the "Gathering place". It is the 3rd largest of the 8 islands, but the most populated.
* Oahu hosts the state's capital, Honolulu, "safe harbor."
* Oahu hosts all five military services.
- the US Air Force is located at Hickam Air Force Base, adjacent to the Honolulu International Airport.
- the US Army is located at Fort Shafter and Schofield Barracks
- the US Coast Guard is located on Sand Island and Barbers' Point (but really everywhere when needed)
- the US Marine Corps in located on the Mokapu Peninsula in Kaneohe Bay
- the US Navy is located in Pearl Harbor
* Oahu hosts famous beaches, including Waikiki, "Sprouting Fresh Water".
*Most residents use basic Hawaiian words, such as
- Mahalo: Thank you
- Ohana: Family
- Keike: child
- Aina: land
- Kai: ocean
plus Pidgen - a language developed by the natives and immigrants who worked together on the plantations. It blends English, Hawaiian, Portuguese, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, and other immigrant languages. Many residents continue to use pidgin today as urban slang. To learn more about pidgen, log onto
* Oahu's top tourist attractions are the
- USS Arizona Memorial, http://www.nps.gov/valr/
The SOS Aloha blog will visit it in December as we remember Pearl Harbor
- Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC), http://www.polynesia.com/
It is considered a five star attraction, but it is a long drive from my home on Hickam AFB.
So I am taking you to a place a little closer - the Tropical Farms Macadamia Nut Farm near Kaneohe Bay,
Yesterday, my children and I enjoyed the Ali'i Tour, "discovering ancient Hawaii's natural beauty and history". Our tour guides are proud of their Samoan heritage, knowledgeable of Hawaiian history, and willing to share with the Haole tourists.
Our "jungle bus" took us on a tour of native plants that produce the local foods. Then we stopped at a water side village for our guides to demonstrate how to open coconuts and fire dance.
Guide: Why do we dance with fire?
My children: Because you can?
Guide: No, because we don't have wolves and wild pigs are not as much fun.
(Since my children haven't seen Dances With Wolves, they didn't get the joke.)
We took a boat ride across the ancient fish pond that was built 800 years. Our guides pointed out where Hollywood used local backdrops for Gilligan's Island, Fantasy Island, Jurassic Park, Pearl Harbor, Along Came Polly, 50 First Kisses, Lost, and even ER (when Dr. Carter went to Africa). It was a breathtaking site to see the guide standing in our boat, holding his "loin cloth" in place as the wind blew, and pointing to the "dragon" in the Kooloa Mountains behind him.
Let's giveaway some Hawaiian treasures - I've listed the books at the end of the blog.
1. Please leave a comment below about Hawaii.
2. Send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, with your book selection and mailing address.
I'll randomly select commenters to win the books. Books are only available to US residents due to mailing costs. But I will send a special Hawaiian treat to any international reader who provides their mailing address.
3. Once you receive your book via media mail (slow boat across the Pacific), please email the authors to say "Mahalo" for donating to the SOS Aloha E-Luau!
A hui hou,
(until next time),
Kim in Hawaii
SOS Military Liaison
Books available for the E-Luau Giveaway
- Jayne Ann Krentz, http://www.jayneannkrentz.com/, Running Hot
This contemporary story in the Arcane series takes place in Maui and Oahu.
- HelenKay Dimon, http://www.helenkaydimon.com/, Your Mouth Drives Me Crazy
This contemporary story takes place in Kauai and features a Hawaiian hero. HelenKay is a frequent visitor to Oahu since her in laws are retired Army and live on Oahu.
- Lynn Raye Harris, http://www.lynnrayeharris.com/, The Prince's Royal Concubine
Lynn is an Air Force Spouse and member of the RWA Aloha Chapter.
- Jane Porter, http://www.janeporter.com/, Easy on the Eyes
Jane is also a member of the RWA Aloha Chapter.
- Lynde Lakes, http://www.lyndelakes.com/, Billboard Cop
Lynde is an Air Force Spouse and the President of the RWA Aloha Chapter.
- Michael Little, http://www.hawaiireaders.com/, Chasing Cowboys
Michael is the Vice President of the RWA Aloha Chapter. He will be leading writing and blogging workshops for the Joint Spouses Conference (JSC) hosted by the USMC spouses in Kaneohe Bay.