Respect

(I captured this when I walked my dogs to the beach.)

It’s not old news that Oahu is a popular summer vacation destination.  Innumerable amounts of tourists land on this island wanting to get the “local flavor”.  How do you begin?  Well, start by giving Respect.

(…from the hike up Diamondhead. British influence in Hawaii is not only evident by high tea being offered in some places, the similarities of the Hawaiian flag to the UK, but because the name “Diamondhead” originates from early 1800 British sailors who mistook rocks on this crater to be diamonds.)

I do not request you provide Respect because Oahu is better than yours.  Like any place Oahu has some less than ideal aspects such as Kapaa Quarry, prostitutes standing across the street from the Waikiki police station, and the dirty river that runs through Chinatown.

(Gecko = good luck)

You will come here to relish in the fresh fruits and other foods Mother Nature provides.

So please do not litter the island with rubbish and Respect the foliage.

(Veins of Mother Nature)

Especially as you embark on hikes on the island…

(Koko Head hike)

…..and relish in the visual delights of your labor.

(After achieving the steep, but short hike to the Lanikai pillboxes.)

I know there are hundreds of versions of “What to do in Hawaii” pamphlets, please do not discard them along the hiking trails.

As you explore the green of Oahu…..

…..pay Respect to its inhabitants.

Do not forget to Respect the blue as well.

(This hike has a paved road!)

When I am paddling out to surf or…..

…..floating in the water to watch clouds change form,

it disgusts to me to find refuse stick to my wet skin.

So Respect the people who live in Oahu.

It is a slower pace here so please do not practice road rage.  And yes, when it says “yield”, unlike the mainland, we stop then merge.  Other than the fact the car you are driving is a Mustang or Sebring convertible, it can be telling you are tourist just by your road etiquette.

Please stop for pedestrians.  We will acknowledge your courtesy with a slight wave of our hand or a nod of the head … or flash you the shaka sign (don’t worry, it’s a good thing).

It is not required you master pidgin when you arrive.  Nor will we cringe when you pronounce “Oahu” or “Hawaii” correctly…but please be friendly!

(My parents taught me how to stand-up paddle (SUP) this summer.)

As you come to pay for your souvenirs (most likely from an ABC store), greet with “hello”, “Al0ha”, or “Howz – it?” to an employee that probably is very eager to end a work day full of hundreds of customers.

(Sometimes, there is a brief green flash before the orange sky comes to view.)

Recently, I read a children’s book by Umberto Eco called “The Three Astronauts”.  The book basically gives a lesson on respecting an alien planet, which inspired me to write this post.  I know, Hawaii is not exactly alien territory.  (However, when I as a Los Angeles resident driving through a sobriety checkpoint, the policemen reacted as if I was from another world when they gathered around and marveled at the fact I had a Hawaiian driver’s license.)

(This children’s book did not have the typical “cutesy” illustrations.)

Intending to determine if this book would be nice to read to my niece, I feel that its lesson spans ages, countries, and situations.  Here is an excerpt:

“And so the visitors realized that on Earth, and on the other planets, too, each one has his ways, and it’s simply a matter of reaching an understanding.”

We must Respect the places we visit for our vacations this summer. And remember…

…..you’re on vacation!

M A H A L O

 

*****

Estoy vivo y coleando

Thank you for your well wishes!  Looking on the bright side of things, at least I had the chance to do a lot of playing outside before my accident!

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