I got a new Laptop! (in other words, I am going to try to write more)… then it gets serious.

Hi Hi Hi Hi.

I finally upgraded to a new MacBook Pro. It’s not an excuse for being consistently absent on my own blog… but it sure makes me want to be on my computer more. My MacBook Pro was already 6 years old, at least it lasted me throughout my undergrad career! I am very grateful for that. It got me through school for sure, and being an English major, I used it a lot. 

Updates, updates, updates.

  • My sister moved in with Prince and I, and she is in a post-baccalaureate program that is attached to John A. Burns School of Medicine here on O’ahu. She needed a place to stay, given they cannot have jobs.
  • The husband and I made it through a month of his mini-deployment so far! I can’t wait until he is home.
  • We are in the peak of hurricane season and currently we have two hurricanes barreling towards the Hawaiian Islands (hello Erick and Flossie).
  • Let’s talk about Mauna Kea (how can we not?) Keep reading.

As an person of indigenous blood and has ties to this land (Hawai’i) I would like to let my readers know (if you don’t live here, if you aren’t paying attention to what is going on in the Pacific, etc) that Hawaiians are currently fighting for our mauna (mountain). To be specific, we are fighting for our future keiki (children), our rights as people of the land, our traditions, and our home. Mauna a Wākea (or Mauna Kea) is the highest peak in the entire Pacific. It is the closest to the stars as we can get. It is also very sacred to our people. We currently have telescopes existing and running on the mountain (some of them don’t even work anymore), however, they are trying to start construction of a Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) there. Hawai’i Island is big, yes, but it is pretty undeveloped (we’d like it to stay that way). We are not allowed to have 18 story buildings and I don’t think I have every seen any complex or building more than 4 stories tall there. TMT would be 18 stories high and 5 acres big (this is the entire structure size). Yes, sure, science is amazing, but not at the expense of the native people who are connected to the land. Do more research, look into the cultural, geological, and economical aspects of it all, and I do mean look closely. Is it really going to create more jobs? For the people who live here?Are they really going to ensure that the water underneath our Mauna will remain unpoisoned? Have you read about the continued land mismanagement and abuse of our natural resources that continue to happen (look up Kaho’olawe, for starters)? This is a huge problem, but it’s not new. Native people all around the world are taken advantage of by colonialism.

If you know nothing of Hawai’i, please do some research, learn how our Kingdom was illegally stolen from us. Learn about how we, as Kānaka Maoli, are incredibly smart, resourceful, and had allies all over the world (hence the Union Jack on our flag). Learn how ‘Iolani Palace had electricity before the White House. Learn about how our language and culture was banned resulting in multiple generations not knowing their own culture, language, and history. We take a stand as a people, and as many other native and indigenous peoples join us in solidarity around the world and across the Pacific, we stand together to fight for all our land and all our people. Mahalo nui to all the people who are there, my friends, my family, you are standing for something greater than yourself. You are a part of making history.

Kū Kia’i Mauna

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

The “Local-Boy” Syndrome

*Disclaimer: This is not an actual syndrome or an actual diagnosis. It is simply a way of describing the interactions with local boys from Hawaiʻi, whether they are positive or negative. enjoy.

The local-boy syndrome is present everywhere in Hawaiʻi. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. There is discussion with both the positive and negatives of this particular syndrome. Here is a little list to give you an idea of what it means to say, “ohhhh, he get local boy syndrome.”

Ehhh, the not so good things:

  • When he bring his boys over, play games, get rowdy, and spill beer everywhere
  • He leave the toilet seat up
  • He sees you from across the street, throws some shaka’s, and yells, “sup behbeh girl!”
  • “What, you like oof?” is in his daily vocabulary
  • He eats all your food
  • When he shoot you one word texts, “raj”, “k den”
  • Mumbling “k, love you” when in front his boys
  • Tells you to come over and hang out, but he sits on his phone
  • Treats you too much like one of the boys
  • Affection is not his strong suit
  • Instead of going out, he asks, “like go cruise?”
  • When they only drive lifted Toyota’s or souped up Honda’s
  • He calls you “brah” instead of “babe”
  • Always grouchy (uncle status)
  • When they rag on you in front of their friends, then say “I was only playing”
  • Tell you, “why you spend so much money on things?” but they spend just as much on their cars/trucks
  • They tell no need sunscreen, but they peeling and burnt for a week straight (and they tell they sore)
  • Hardhead, “no need instructions”
  • They take all the bed or the blanket
  • When they make like they related to someone famous in the islands

 

The better side of the syndrome:

  • He respects the aunty’s and uncle’s
  • He helps cook the food for family parties
  • Even if he isn’t as big or strong as he would like to be, his attitude/confidence helps to defeat the odds (local boy confidence)
  • He introduces you as his “old lady” (slang for my girl, wife, girlfriend)
  • Automatically helps break down after parties
  • when you bring him around family, he kisses everyone hi
  • At family functions, he won’t eat until you eat first
  • When you feel uncomfortable with people they ask “why you like me lick um” (fight)
  • He’s not shame kissing you in front everyone
  • Always checking up on you when you’re out together
  • When he asks, “like me make you one plate?”
  • Charges your phone in his car when it’s dying
  • When you first start dating and he takes you to meet his family
  • He spends a lot of money on you
  • When he opens your beer for you when you no more bottle opener
  • He kills the cockroaches!!!!!! (B-52’s!)
  • When you’re not feeling good and he takes care of you
  • He gives you his jacket when you’re cold or its raining
  • When he offers to get the car so you don’t have to walk in the rain or drops you off at the entrance so you don’t get wet
  • He remembers what you don’t like and like
  • When he got the connections (ex. my aunty work for so and so..)
  • Always willing to help when can (macgyver/Jack of All Trades)
  • Takes payments in food (grilled cheese)
  • He attempts to cuddle, even if it’s too hot

 

Everyone has their own preferences, maybe some of the bullet points belong in a different category, but for my friends and I (Tynsl and Jana!!!) they lean into these categories. It’s not bad, it’s not good, its just “local boy” syndrome.

Change.

Alooooooha.

I am BACK!

I am officially a college graduate and a wife!!! I am also not in the islands right now. In the next month or so I will be back, but for now I am in the PNW (Pacific Northwest). It’s much too cold for this island girl, but I am enjoying the low humidity (my hair is pretty fantastic).

Graduation was amazing. I worked very hard for five years to get my Bachelors degree. Along the way there have been many hardships, but I have also made many connections and friendships (that I believe will last a lifetime). College is so much better than high school. In high school, I had friends. I still love these friends, but people change, and I only have two that have remained relatively close since then. Before I left Hawaiʻi, I had a conversation with the friends I made in college. We talked about how we hope we never forget each other, and I truly believe that I never will. The friends you make as an adult, may not change as much as the friends you made as a teenager and a child. Most of us have already gone through major changes and have transitioned into adult life, therefore, we should be pretty similar for the rest of our lives. Or at least I hope so. The ideals and insights we have made about ourselves and society at this age (albeit, we are still young) is something that I don’t see changing much in the future. I think that’s good. I think we are considerate, kind, loving, and caring individuals, and I hope that never changes. Mahalo nui loa to all the people who have contributed to my knowledge growth, my personal growth, and my social growth in these past 5 years. You are amazing people (you know who you are). I love you guys with all my pu’uwai (heart). Here are some pictures: In Hawaiʻi, we give lei at celebrations… Usually completely covering our entire head.

 

My wedding. My wedding was the most beautiful activity I have ever been a part of. It was small, oh, but it was perfection. I never imagined it to be that amazing. I felt so beautiful, and I felt so loved. I still do. Our parents (my husband and I) worked so hard and so quickly to send us off with love and many memories, and we are so equally grateful. We had a quick ceremony at the beach park that we met at almost 8 years ago. Then we had a reception that was so much fun. I do not regret anything about that day. The people who mattered were there (whether in spirit or in physical form) and that’s what made it perfect. My sister who is a growing photographer (not yet professional, but might as well be), took all the photos and they are so lovely. Check out her photography website here. My sister’s wonderful girlfriend did my hair! It was a rapunzel braid, complete with fresh flowers. It turned out exactly how I imagined it. She is also a talented at makeup, here is where you can find her YouTube channel. Thank you, thank you! My best friend drove me in her car, she remained a huge contributor to my bridal shower, my bachelorette party, and the wedding. She was so supportive and if I had bridesmaids, she would, hands down, have been my Maid of Honor. My mother. She suffered a stroke in early Fall of last year. Although her mobility in her left arm and leg is still currently very limited, she handled all the decorations and made everything as perfect as she could for her daughter.

So many family members and friends contributed to making my husband and I’s day so incredibly special. I could not thank them enough. You are beautiful people with beautiful souls.

 

Next time I blog, Iʻll go back into a normal-ish posting schedule. We are still going through moving process. I hope you enjoy my pictures, and Iʻll be back!

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl.

Time Moves Too Quickly…

Hello everyone. 

Some of you may be disappointed in me, and some of you may be relieved that I’m back! I know it’s been almost a month, and for that I sincerely apologize. I have been struggling with school and my personal life. For those who have been following me since the beginning, knew that this year was going to be a huge deal for me. Tomorrow, I will take my last final of my undergraduate career and this Saturday, May 11, 2018, I will graduate with my B.A. in English with double minors in Anthropology and Gender & Women’s Studies (and high honors!). Another exciting thing happening this week … my fiancé is coming home! He will be home for my graduation and the following weekend, we will be husband and wife.

A couple of days after the wedding, a big new journey will begin for me. I’ll be moving away from home, so I will have many new experiences to share with you! I’m going to try my best to blog these next couple of weeks… but if I don’t make it, now you know why. I may just have to wait til after the wedding and all the craziness dies down to sit comfortably and come up with some words to describe it all for you!

Here’s a recap of what has been going on in the month I’ve been away from Tales of a Curly Island Girl:

I got another tattoo to commemorate my new step into marriage, by permanently placing my maiden name on my ribcage. It did not hurt at all, probably because it was so small and that I have already been tattooed nine other times. I immediately told my fiancé that I now felt “ready to be his wife.” LOL.

I did my graduation photoshoot … and another photoshoot (but that one is a secret). It was so much fun! My sister is an amateur photographer but she is very talented for someone who never uses photoshop. One day Iʻll give you a link to her website! She’s currently working on one.

I had a bridal and a “bachelorette” party on the same day! My family and best friend threw me a bridal party at a small tea room in my town. It was so cute! Everyone sat on the ground on small pillows. We played games and had teacup/mug exchanges, along with an incredible display of desserts and small sandwiches. I had an amazing time. That same evening I went out to my favorite bar to meet with my close friends and a few family members. We spent the night talking stories, drinking, and enjoying each other’s company and presence. I am incredibly grateful for all the love I have received from all the people who are special to me.

Last week, I was awarded money for a submission I made to Gender & Women’s Studies Contest: Research Paper. My submission was my final paper to my Senior Seminar for Gender & Women’s Studies, titled, Women as Birthing Professionals: American Doula Work. I loved doing the research on the amazing women who stand alongside doctors/midwives and expecting mothers.

Lastly, if you have been following along in national news (I’m hoping they are correct, some have been spewing incorrect information), you have heard that my island has been in turmoil since April 30th. We had a series of hundreds of earthquakes in a very short amount of time, leading to one of the craters (called Puʻu ʻŌʻō) on our active volcano, Kīlauea, to collapse and push the magma down the East Rift Zone. This rift zone runs along a main residential area called Leilani Estates. On May 4th, the Big Island had two large earthquakes, the second being measured at 6.9. Thatʻs the largest earthquake the state has had in about 40 years. That earthquake caused Halemaʻumaʻu (the crater at the summit of Kīlauea) to erupt ash, and it has been slowly emptying of magma since then (my concern is, where is all Halemaʻumaʻuʻs lava going?). That same day, the first fissures erupted into the residential neighborhood I just mentioned. I havenʻt checked how many new fissures and active eruptions there are… but from what I can remember, I believe there are 9 within Leilani Estates and over 30 homes have been destroyed.

Many people around the state and the nation are watching us right now. Some have had very unkind words to say. Here is what I have to say about that: Native Hawaiians have direct genealogical ties to the land. Those who live in Puna (the moku or district that the eruptions are happening in) know that when and if Kīlauea ever erupts, they will get out of the way, and they have. They know that what they have built on the land that is being covered was not going to be there forever. However, it is still hurtful to hear and see those who are being insensitive to their plight tell them that “they shouldnʻt have built there.” They respect the land, and they respect Tūtū Pele as she makes her way along cleaning house on her land, however, that doesn’t mean that they donʻt hurt watching their family homes burn to the ground, or the forests where they ran and played when they were keiki be destroyed. Be kind. Don’t be cruel. If you donʻt understand the special connection to ʻāina (land) that Native Hawaiians have, do not mock and criticize. Ask if you really want to know. If not, mind your business, donʻt be nīele (curious or inquisitive) if you really donʻt want to listen.

Okay, when I come back, if its in the next two weeks or after it, I will let you all know how my graduation and my wedding went. Then I will transition back into my normal blogging! I have so many ideas for my Just Think About It Series. I also want to update everyone on my Curly Girl Method Series as well.

 

Have a wonderful rest of the week.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

Some Things You Should Know About Hawaiʻi…

Iʻm so sorry! Here I am, once again, two weeks late. Thank you to those who have subscribed to my blog (I see you, you have not gone unnoticed!).

This past week was Merrie Monarch Festival; a huge week-long celebration in my hometown of Hilo, to honor hula and the Mōʻī King David Kalākaua who helped perpetuate our language, culture, and arts. Our small city becomes bustling with tourists from the continental U.S., other countries, and family and friends from our neighboring islands. If you wanna learn more about it, or perhaps even attend the festival week, check out this website: http://www.merriemonarch.com. This week always makes me emotional, because we, as Hawaiians, are able to share our culture. Oh, and I feel extra proud to be Hawaiian. 

The inspiration of last weekʻs festivities has led me to share some information about the beautiful lei of islands strung in the Pacific Ocean.

  1. Hawaiian is most definitely not just a nationality. It is an ethnicity. A lot of people do not realize that just living here and being loyal to the place and land does not make you Hawaiian through ethnicity. We have bloodlines tracing back very far.
  2. There are eight main islands. All are a part of the State of Hawaiʻi. However, two of the islands, Niʻihau and Kahoʻolawe are special cases.

Niʻihau is owned by the Robinson family and is constantly perpetuating both traditions and advancements. Because it is private land, you must be invited to come to the island, through a ferry from Kauaʻi. Niʻihau is the only island that communicates primarily through ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian Language), an older dialect than what is spoken today on the other islands.

Kahoʻolawe is the smallest of the main islands. No one lives on this island, because of its small size and lack of water. The U.S. military used it as an active training ground and for bombing exercises after World War II. After many decades of protest, it was given back to Hawaiʻi in 1996. It is now against the law to go to Kahoʻolawe, unless you sign up to volunteer for restorations on the island.

3. Hawaiʻi once had an Independence Day. November 28, 1843, was the day that France and Great Britain recognized the Republic of Hawaiʻi as sovereign. This day was called Lā Kūʻokoʻa. Many of our Mōʻī travelled and were educated abroad. Hawaiʻi was respected by many large nations.

4. Hawaiʻi was illegally overthrown by American businessmen and the U.S. military. On January 17, 1893, Queen Liliʻuokalani was overthrown by force, in which she conceded to avoid loss of life and in hope that what happened would be amended. After the overthrow of the Republic of Hawaiʻi, the islands were annexed to the United States (1898). In 1959, Hawaiʻi became the 50th state of the United  States of America.

5. We have many different types of climates. Depending on the way you classify climates, you would get a different number every time. To keep it simple, I say, we have many! Hawaiʻi Island has 10 of the 14 climate zones in Koppen Climate Classification System. We get snow on Mauna Kea (which is the tallest mountain in the world measured from the ocean floor) in the winters and sometimes in the spring. Hilo is one of the wettest places in the world. Kawaihae is a very dry area. Puna holds our active flowing volcano, Kīlauea.

6. We are one of the most diverse places in the world. Our sugarcane plantation days brought many immigrants and indentured laborers. The main workers were Chinese, Japanese, Puerto Rican, Portuguese, and Filipino. Today, our population is very mixed, but we love it! All of our food and Hawaiian Creole English, or Pidgin, all come from the plantation days.

7. Most importantly, if you are visiting, please be respectful. Hawaiian culture, like many other eastern ones have a connection with spaces and all that encompass it (even rocks). If you are respectful, we see it. We appreciate those who visit and want to learn the actual culture. Whenever I travel anywhere, I make sure I also respect the area and the people as well.

I really want to write more, but the lack of sleep from this past week and weekend has made me sick! I get sick only once or twice a year… so Iʻll just take it and move on. Sorry for my word vomit. I just started blurbing whatever came to my head. Next time I want to start a new series! Iʻm still trying to pick a name… but stay tuned! Have a fabulous rest of the week.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

Sharing Knowledge

This post was sparked from observing people. People in my community, people in my classes, and even my own family members have really motivated me to write this.  It sort of begins with how we view ourselves. Hawaiʻi is filled with many ethnic groups; we call it a mixed plate. Why mixed plate and not melting pot? Well, mixed plates (local favorites) are made of different types of food, but all contribute to the deliciousness of that plate. A melting pot would be just that, melting down all the differences and it becoming one. Hawaiʻi prides herself in the acceptance of immigrant culture. In result of the sugar plantation days and immigrant labor, majority of the people living here are very mixed, hence our mixed identities.

Many of my friends and family, including myself, feel that we are not enough of one ethnic group to actually fit in. Often, I don’t feel Filipino enough, Portuguese enough, and Hawaiian enough. This comes with my parents being mixed as well and/or not passing down traditions or culture. A big problem in Hawaiʻi is the segregation between who is Hawaiian or [insert other ethnicity here] “enough.” I believe strongly in what makes you anything, is how you portray yourself, how you respect others, and how you honor the culture. Kanaka (people of Hawaiʻi) should not be pitted against each other because we do things differently.

I have seen time and time again of Hawaiians rolling their eyes at other Hawaiians because they don’t know enough about the culture or even considering them not Hawaiian “enough” because of blood quantum.  Why? Should we not honor our differences and similarities? If the differences are bad, should we not educate them? Its not enough to say youʻre wrong. Educate them. Tell them why, and if its not a matter of education, take into account their perspective. This is what starts anger and provokes violence. We are all children of Hawaiʻi, we are all children of this culture.

In this way, I believe that all cultures, especially those who are marginalized must be respectful of one another. Everyone has a different story to tell. Everyone comes from different backgrounds that we should be respectful of. Because the belief that what makes you a stronger Hawaiian or African or Filipino etc., should come from how and what you practice is hurtful; it can even be hateful.

I may not know many traditional practices of Hawaiʻi, but I honor and respect my kūpuna (elders/ancestors) and the heritage that I have claimed through them. If I am curious or wrong, I do my research. If I am wrong, I would hope my friends and family correct me. I think what makes any place beautiful are the differences. Differences allow perspectives we would not view or take into account and helps us understand as a whole. We should be inclusive to all thoughts and cultures. I hope this sparks something in you as well. Do your research. If someone ever tells you that you aren’t enough of [insert ethnic group here], ask them why? Why do you say that? And if they say because you don’t know x and y about this or that, ask them to educate you.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

I thought “This is It”

I’m sure you’ve heard of the scare Hawaiʻi just went through on saturday morning. I woke up to my iPhone alarm blaring at me. I thought it was just a flash flood warning…. but then I see this:

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 1.55.22 PM

I immediately called my fiancé, Iʻm actually surprised the call went through, because during this statewide panic the phone lines were flooded. He picked up on the first ring and I was panicking and in full hyperventilation. Heʻs in the military and he continued to tell me to relax and breathe. I was preparing myself to tell him my last goodbyes and “I love youʻs” with tears falling down my face. I ran outside and listened for our emergency nuclear missile sirens and none went off in my town. I turned on the radio and – nothing – I continued freaking out while he stayed on the phone with me.

This was it, I thought. This was all I got to do in my short life, (my happiest life hasn’t even started yet). My fiancé continued watching on his social media and on his phone for any news from the continental U.S. (where he is stationed). He then told me with relief that our congresswoman had tweeted that we were in fact not in harms way and that it was a mistake.

For half an hour, the state of Hawaiʻi panicked and there was chaos. An emergency mistake alert did not go out until half an hour after the initial danger alert was sent. The entire world watched as we panicked. Some prayed, some cried, some even laughed. That was the most scariest event of my entire life. In the event of a missile threat, Hawaiʻi was completely unprepared. We do not have shelters to protect us from a nuclear bomb, and if we do have bunkers from WWII era, we do not all have the luxury of being safe in there.

I read across social media the sadness of my friends holding their babies in bed, thinking that this was the last cuddle. I watched the panic on Mānoa campus ensue as students ran in terror. It was terrifying.

Coincidentally, saturday was also my childhood friendʻs wedding. She had the worst scare of her life, but it only put her half an hour behind schedule. Her wedding was still incredibly amazing. We cried and enjoyed her happiness, and the happiness surrounding us all with the craziness that morning. It turned out to be an amazing day and night, and as we went out to the bars and clubs, we decided we would “Live our best lives” because we can never know when the threat will be real.

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 2.08.22 PM

Hawaiʻi and itʻs government learned an important lesson that day, that we are unprepared and that we are grateful we still have more time on this Earth.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing out,

Curly Island Girl