Updated: Apr 17, 2020
“Please buckle your seat belts…,” I heard a voice say over the intercom as I felt the plane begin its decent. It was a very cloudy day but to my amazement I could just make out the top of Mauna Kea in the distance. Snow-capped peaks rising slightly above the white puffy clouds surrounding them. What a beautiful sight to see! Suddenly, the plane tilts and makes a wide right turn towards the Big Island’s long runway. As we continued to descend, I could hear the pilot’s voice relaying instructions for connecting flights and gate information. A few minutes later we touched down and I quickly thanked God for a safe flight. And then that voice overhead again welcoming us to the island of Hawai’i! Better known to us locals as the "Big Island".
I'm here! I can’t believe that I’m here again after all of these years! The airport had that old traditional feel of a small town. The people who worked there were dressed in casual aloha wear with leis around their necks and flowers behind their ears. As it is with most people, the workers were so friendly and their smiles were infectious! The atmosphere was comfortable and I immediately felt my body relax. Next stop...car!
After picking up a Jeep from the rental agency, I punched the address of my sister’s new home into the GPS tracker, shifted the car into gear, and drove off to my destination! Oh my goodness! Flashbacks of my past came rushing back to me as I drove through Hilo town...there goes Hilo bay...the old ice pond...Liliuokalani Gardens...Coconut Island…and…! As I continue to drive up the mountain, the road begins to wind and curve around a few bends until the street finally ends. It then turns into a private gravel road for a few miles more. The trees and plants get more dense and thick the further in I go. It’s like being in the middle of a tropical forest!
One last turn and all of sudden, there it was! And there they were, my Ohana (family)! I could barely contain my excitement as I drove up the driveway. Quickly shifting gears and throwing the jeep into park, I jumped out of the car. As my sister approached, I gave her a big bear hug then went in to see the rest of the family! After catching up with everyone, we sat down to eat together and made plans for the next day. I could barely contain my excitement yet again! But as the family settled down and slept quietly in their rooms, my mind began to wander off thinking about all of the festivities happening this weekend. A little while later, I found myself slowly falling asleep to the sound of the Coqui frogs singing right outside of my window.
A Hui Hou Kākou (until we meet again),