There’s something very special about the people of the islands that are collectively known as Hawaii. Like many who have visited before us, we instantly fell in love. Not just because of the flora and fauna but also because of the people. We only scratched the surface when we heard that aloha wasn’t just a greeting but a way of life and the spirit of the people. It stuck with me and there will always be a part of my heart that remain with the beautiful people there. So, when the recent wildfires swept through the historical town of Lahaina in Maui, my heart sank. In a blink of any eye everything was gone. How can we support them?
Lahaina was once a port town – whaling, fishing, sugar and pineapples. In 1802, King Kamehameha made Lahaina the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom. He built a brick palace there along with residences and other royal buildings. Lahaina served as the centre of the Hawaiian government for over 50 years, until permanently being relocated to Honolulu. (source: LahainaTown.com)
In more recent years, Lahaina became a popular tourist destination teeming with shave ice shops, pineapple biscuits, bars and restaurants. The old Banyan tree stood majestically that dates back to 1873 was truly breathtaking. We visited a small Chinese Museum, also known as the Wo Hing Temple (1900s), that was filled with artifacts. We loved meeting the woman who managed the museum who was from Ontario. Really small world.
You could also take in a luau — always something to do at least once if you visit these islands and great for us, and our kids, to learn a bit about the history and culture. It’s where I tasted real “poi” for the first time and learned about how they roasted pork in the ground. Sure, it was touristy but with kids it was all very fascinating and it all supported local chefs, dancers, singers and artisans. We made leis and blew into conch shells. We hula’d and experienced the sunset ritual.
The world continues to grab our attention in many ways we wish it didn’t. Amidst chaotic times we find ourselves asking what can we do? How can we support those experiencing hardships and devastation the best we can? We’ve always believed in doing what you can in whatever way you can. We also believe in making the most of your support from the ground up.
How to help?
Maui Gold Pineapple Company has a call to action and a thoughtful way for us to support the recovery efforts from the fires that destroyed the Lahaina area. Residents of Canada can now experience the fruit grown on the slopes of Maui’s Haleakala. Here is where the days are warm and the evenings are cool, and is enriched in fresh water and nutritional volcanic soil. With every purchase, you will be supporting the People’s Fund of Maui. Funds raised will go directly to feed families, protect local jobs, and help provide financial assistance to those directly affected.
For over 40 years, Maui Gold has hand-harvested its pineapples at their peak ripeness. Known for their sweetness, high levels of Vitamin C and low acidity, pineapple lovers now have the opportunity to order the fruit on mauipineapplestore.ca . Direct shipping to Canada from the Maui Gold farm makes gift giving also easier (UPS shipping costs included).
Another way to support the people of Maui affected by the wildfires? Help spread the word! The Maui Gold Pineapple Company also has a social media challenge happening now. The Maui Pineapple Challenge is asking us to post a video of yourself doing something while balancing a pineapple to help raise awareness. It can be any pineapple! Get your family and friends involved. For every video posted on social media, they will make a donation to the cause. Use the hashtags #mauipineapplechallenge and #mauigoldpineapple. More information can be found here.
Living a life of Aloha
To best explain what “aloha” meant. I found this…
To live the life of aloha means living with a heart full of gratitude and love for life, overflowing with joy, sharing the “Aloha Spirit” with others. “Aloha is being a part of all, and all being a part of me. When there is pain, it is my pain. When there is joy, it is also mine.