Diverse Hawaii

9th January 2019 visit to Lahaina Maui

An early start saw us on a 10 seater Cessna Caravan airplane with Chris beaming ear to ear (for those who don’t know Chris teaches people to fly small planes) for our flight to Kapalua airport in Maui.  The 8 passengers and 2 crew probably represented at least 4 or 5 nationalities.  

Since we arrived it has become clear that Hawaii has been a culturally diverse community for many years and our cab drivers have all unprompted mentioned this as one of the reasons they love living here. 

Our reason for visiting Lahaina, apart from giving Chris 50 minutes each way in a small plane with wonderful views, was to meet with Lynne Erfer, a Berkeley I-House alumni from the 1980s who lives in Maui.  As she worked for many years for the Tourist Board marketing Maui to the outside world she is a brilliant guide.  Lahaina, has a fascinating history from when early islanders explored across the Pacific in ocean going out-rig canoes to more recently with the arrival of Whalers from Asia and Europe, then plantation workers from the Philippines and China along with missionaries from Europe.   

Not all these influxes were without challenges, and standing in the small History Museum with the sea breeze blowing in through the open window, the exhibits tell of disease and unrest as well as advances and mechanisation.  

The more I travel the more have read and seen that all through time people have always travelled and moved and mixed.  Sometimes out of curiosity, sometimes out of necessity, sometimes welcomed and sometimes resisted.  It seems from my short time here that the Hawaiians have worked hard to embrace their diversity, perhaps a lesson to the rest of the United States. 

Photo: Kukui Nuts from the beautiful Lei given to me by Lynn and Lynne and I under the famous Banyan Tree in the main square at Lahaina 

Where we ate: Cool Cat Cafe http://coolcatcafe.com

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