Kalaupapa – Riding Mules to Saint Damien’s Land of Sorrow

Molokai, Hawaii – Early morning, high up in the misty reaches of the northern mountains of Molokai, we arrive, park our rental car, and then gather with the other tourists next to a mule stable. Distinctive smell of barn, of leather, of feed, of manure, lingers in the air, reminding me of my youthful days spent at my grandfather’s barn in Franklin, Tennessee. A little over ten mules are corralled and saddled. Audrey, a mule skinner, wearing jeans and a fluorescent-yellow T-shirt with sleeves tucked up, inspects each mule. Other…
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Duke Kahanamoku – The Hawaiian Waterman of the Ocean

Oahu, Hawaii – When I was kid, I saw a black-and-white movie about a Polynesian boy, Tico, who lives in a remote seaside village in the South Pacific, where he befriends a helpless, baby shark. He names his shark Manitu. He raises it secretly in a lagoon, feeding it with the help of his girlfriend. When the shark grows too big, Tico reluctantly frees it back to the ocean. Tico grows up in the rush of civilization that changes his village. People eagerly adopt the new ways of living. But…
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