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Monday, November 11, 2019

Happy Veteran's Day...


Saturday, November 9, 2019

'Ekolu Mea Nui...


Hula...


Reflection...


I found it both Healing and Liberating to share some of my seemingly disaster moments in my past. It helps me to reflect, learn, and understand how much I have grown and changed in some areas, and not so much in others. If sharing my awkward, embarrassing and disappointing moments in Life help others to learn to laugh at Life, and Heal, then it is well worth the current discomfort. 

While in Law School, I still hadn't been on any real dates. Still somewhat shy and awkward, I struggled to find enough self-confidence to ask any girl out. Mind you, I had already been through high-school and college. Nothing. No proms. No banquets. No dates with the exception of one date to the movies in undergraduate school. No kiss. Might have held hands a little. Maybe a hug goodnight. Lame. Still a Virgin.

So in law school, the opportunity came up to go to a fancy event at the Kamehameha Schools to have dinner with the President of the school at his campus home. I was excited to attend and found out that most men were bringing dates. 

I summoned the courage to ask a good friend out. She had recently broke up with her long time boyfriend. She was kind. Funny. Beautiful. I was kind of crushing on her. She said yes. I was so excited. A fancy dinner. If I remember correctly, I just had to buy a ticket for her as my dinner was paid for as part of the organization I belonged to in law school.

So my 1966 Mustang was washed and polished and the creamy-white paint job looked brilliant in the Setting Sun. I picked up my friend at the UH dorms where we both resided in different buildings at the time and headed towards the Kamehameha Schools campus. 

My cool-mix soft-rock tape was playing in my car tape deck. My Bazooka bass tube slightly thumping in the trunk. The car was so Beautiful that it often would cause people to turn their heads for a second look or to provide a kind comment. And finally, in my passenger seat, a most Beautiful woman seated next to me. 

I felt like a million bucks. Life was good. Good for the next fifteen minutes at least.

So we were traveling down School Street and it was starting to get dark. We stopped at a traffic light, and then I stepped on the gas and the car shot forward and then the transmission started spinning and the engine gunning. like I was in neutral. Only realizing when I glanced down that the gear shifter was in Drive. I quickly put it into Neutral again and back into Drive. The car lurched forward a bit and then the engine started revving as I applied the gas and the transmission spun again. No power to the drivetrain. 

As the car continued to roll forward with dying momentum, I turned the steering wheel and coasted to the side of the road just in time before the car came to a stop. I got out and opened the hood. I could smell a slight burning smoky smell. 

I was less than a quarter of a mile to our destination and my car was broke down. I quickly assessed the situation and realized, after checking the transmission fluid level under the hood, that there wasn't enough fluid to keep the transmission going.

I saw a closed gas station across the street and asked my friend to sit tight for a moment. I ran across traffic and fortunately found a quart of transmission fluid in the little convenience shop which was still open. I gave it to the clerk and prayed that it would be enough fluid. She rang it up and told me I owed just under six dollars for it.

I opened my wallet and to my shock, I only had two dollars. No credit card either as I didn't have one until after law school. Yes, I know. I know. I hadn't brought any money with me because I had gas in the car, and dinner was paid for. I felt so foolish.

So I went back outside and had to ask my friend if I could borrow five dollars from her. Yes, I know. I know.

She laughed and asked me if I needed more. I told her that I needed it for transmission fluid, it was more than enough, and then we could continue on our way. I was so embarrassed. 

So I ran across the street and bought the transmission fluid, and came back and poured it into the transmission inlet while drops fell onto the hot engine block gracing me with a the nice smoky smell of burnt oil. Eau de Cologne "Burnt Charred Turkey" by Armani.

I slammed the hood with as much satisfaction, as well as Manly Bravado as I could muster, so that any other male of the species in a quarter mile radius could admire my MacGyver skills and date saving finesse.

I then strutted back around the car like a Rooster, and put the empty container on the floor of the backseat. I then sat down in the driver's seat, and smiled at my friend while turning the key to ignite the engine, all the while, apologizing to her for the drama and thanking her again for the five dollars. 

I put the Mustang in gear, and much to our collective relief, the gears engaged with the Powertrain and we started down the street again. I smiled and said here we go. Looking at my watch, we could still make the dinner on time. I again felt like a million bucks. As least for the next twenty seconds.

Before I knew it, the engine started gunning and the transmission started spinning again. All the new fluid was spilling out on the road. I lost power and again coasted to the side of the road. What a disaster.

We both got out and I realized that I couldn't leave the car on the road so I asked her to steer and I pushed the car off the road into the driveway of a business that was fortunately closed.

She got out again and we both stood there thinking what to do. 

I was so upset at mostly myself. I had a 1966 three-speed manual transmission vehicle and the owner of the Mustang Shop, who worked on my classic car at times, convinced me to swap out the manual transmission for a four-speed automatic transmission. 

I somehow agreed and let him swap out the transmissions. I thought it would be easier to drive in Hawai'i traffic without shifting all the time, tiring my leg out on the clutch, and in addition, with a automatic transmission, it would be easier for me to drive and eat a plate lunch or other messy fast food at the same time since I was always busy and on the move. Something that was harder to do when you had to constantly up and down shift. Food all over my chest and stomach. Real classy.

I just spent the last of my money on this vehicle transformation and had my car back for less than a week. Obviously, something wasn't right with the conversion for the trans fluid to dump out. 

I briefly told her about my vehicle transformation. Then she laughed and said, "Your garter belt fell down."

I looked at her in confusion and shock as she smiled and pointed down to my foot. 

To my horror, I had worn these elastic ribbons that attach to your sock and to your shirt tail that I bought from the military shop after my father showed me what they were. They hold your socks up and more importantly, keep your shirt tucked in tightly to your pants no matter how much you move around or lift your arms up and down. Military personnel wear them to look sharp.

I wore them because I hated tucking in my shirt with my love handles and paunch and sometimes had to wear dress shirts with a tie for law school.

To my horror, one clip came off of my shirt and fell down the leg of my pants and was sticking out on the ground. She smiled again. "See, your garter belt thingy..."

I quickly bent over, grabbed the ribbon, pulled it off of my sock with such force, such that the clip snapped hitting my hand, leaving a painful red mark. I smiled through the stinging pain as I quickly stuffed it into my pants pocket, while we both laughed. I was still horrified. Probably red and flushed as well. I didn't really know what a garter belt was but thought of sexy Victoria Secret women's kind of things.

I asked her to stay there while I went back across the street. I certainly couldn't buy anymore fluid, nor would that make a difference seeing that we could only drive about twenty five feet for every quart. I mainly went into the gas station store to buy me some time to think what I should do. Within a minute or two of aimlessly looking around the auto parts shelves, I came back outside.

The last of the Setting Sun light was just about gone. I watched the traffic so I could safely run across the street. To my shock, I saw another law classmate driving down School Street also headed to the dinner, albeit a little late at that point.

I was so excited at the possibility of being rescued, of salvaging the night, of salvaging my date. I screamed out his name as his window was open. 

To my shock, he gassed his car as he simultaneously rolled up his window. All in a matter of seconds as he passed by and into oblivion. I couldn't believe it. 

I know we were in a little rough patch of town and it was getting dark, but I never saw someone freak out and speed away like that before. I thought I must have scared him.

I also remembered that he had confided in me that he was thinking of asking out the same young lady that I had asked out, as she had attended some mutual functions and he was also fond of her. I sadly told him that I had asked her already and she was going with me to the dinner. I felt bad as I knew he wasn't the most outgoing person, had a hard time summoning the courage, and sure enough, here he was alone in his car going stag. After I stole his date.

I honestly didn't think that he saw or heard me, and chose to leave me stranded. It could have been a shining moment for him to save us. Such that he only had a two-seater sport's car at the time, he could have easily rescued my date and taken her to the dinner and left me to deal with my broken down car. I would have agreed to it too. That may have led to a relationship. Marriage. Children. Happiness. But he chose to roll up his window and speed off.  A good reminder to not live in Fear.

So anyway, I ran across the road and approached my friend and told her the incredulous story of watching our last hope for rescue speed away in his car. We stood there in the dark, next to my car, talking about what to do. We both agreed that dinner was not going to happen. The focus now was on getting us both back home.

I knew I didn't have enough money for a tow-truck. I was surviving on student loans and Pell Grants. I didn't have money for a taxi to take us back to UH. It was a complete disaster. Of all the things I could have spent my dispensable income on, I chose to use it to convert my Mustang. Men and their cars. I know. I know...

I walked across the street to the payphone and called a good friend to see if he could pick us up. No answer. Just an answering machine. I left a message that I was stranded and would call him back later. No cellphone back then. They were rare indeed.

I let my friend know that I had left a message with my friend. She said that she could call her friend and see if they were at the dorms to come pick us up. I said that would be awesome. I told her I could get my friend, once he gets my message, to help bring me back to tow the car to the Mustang Shop on Sand Island Access Road and leave it there to repair the problem with the transmission.

We used the pay phone again. She spoke to her friend and they left UH to come rescue us.

Well, as much as I had prayed and hoped that her friend was a girlfriend of hers, it was a guy friend. He eventually pulled up in his truck and got out. She introduced me to him. We shook hands. He smiled. I grimaced trying to feign a smile.

He asked if my car was going to be alright and complimented me on how Beautiful the car was. I let him know that I would be back later tonight to recover and tow the car before it could be stripped or stolen. I thanked him profusely for coming to get us.

The ride back to the dorms was mostly quiet and reflective with some small conversations, some laughs and levity, and tons of embarrassment for me which I tried not to show. I was so humiliated. The only thing that could have made that ride even more embarrassing was if I accidentally farted loudly during the quiet ride. I would have opened the passenger door of the moving vehicle and jumped out into oncoming traffic. 

We arrived back at UH and I again profusely thanked the guy for saving us. He was kind and humble and truly nice. I then hugged my friend and apologized for such a horrible date. She laughed it off and expressed how much she enjoyed our adventure. I found it hard to believe, as she was always so kind and sweet.

I returned to my dorm and called my best friend at the time who came from public housing in Kalihi and helped me tie up and tow my Mustang, with his shiny bright red Pontiac Firebird nonetheless, to the Mustang Shop on Sand Island Access Road where I parked it right in front of the shop entrance praying it wouldn't get stolen or stripped overnight. 

My friend dropped me off back at the dorms, after I shared my disastrous night with him. He laughed and laughed. I wanted to cry. I was so truly grateful to him as well however. People you can depend upon in Life. We haven't spoken in years. But the closeness and trust is still there. For Life.

My sweet kind and gracious date and I stayed close after that for some years. I was numb still from relationship confusion and struggling to stay alive, and in law school, despite the drama and hardships. I could have married her and been very happy. But life led me down different paths and to a different Destiny.

Looking back, I can laugh now. A pretty darn pathetic date if you ask me. But Life goes on. Grateful and humbled it does go on. 

Thank you to all the Beautiful people in my Life who have made this Life Truly Beautiful and so very Worth Living....

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Ha'a at Hālawa...


Lonoikamakahiki at Waiawa...









Sunday, November 3, 2019

Expectations...


I wasn't going to share this story. It seemed kind of pathetic at first. After seeing my late Beloved sister's face in the last Star Wars Trailer, she reminded me that it is good to share our inner selves even in a public forum. It may help one person Heal. To feel not so alone. Less like a freak. To address their own past.

When I drop off or pick up my two boys at the University, I often bear witness to an expanse of Humanity in the students who file past my parked car either in groups, or singularly. I can often discern the likely Freshmen, who are adjusting to a whole new World, as well as a host of social and personal challenges as well.

As a Freshman at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, I was painfully shy. I had body image issues. Self-esteem issues. I grew up with two older sisters and lots of copies of Cosmopolitan, Self, and other "Women's Magazines" to peruse and not much else. 

My sister, Nalani, was painfully shy as well.  She shared with me that her first year at UH, she often would eat her lunch in the women's restroom in a bathroom stall. It is where she felt comfortable and safe to eat outside of the peering eyes of others. She was gorgeous with her green eyes and dirty blonde hair but was so uncomfortable with the attention.

I told her that was the worse place to eat food and we would both laugh. I never shared with her that I too felt uncomfortable eating food in front of people stemming more from body image issues and thus ate often alone in secluded places around the campus away from crowds. 

My first job during college was on campus. Because of the reach of the Internet, I am going to be a little vague in my description of my work environment and change the names as not to allow anyone to recognize the situation as a participant or to feel bad at all once they understand what I have to share.

The place where I worked required that we work also with an outside vendor several times a month, and even sometimes a week. 

I had a Boss who was a very strong confident woman, and I enjoyed working for her and with the rest of the team. 

During our work with the outside vendor, we began to become familiar with the voices on the other end of the telephone lines. Their names as well. They were a group of women who varied from call to call and the conversations were always pleasant, often with laughter.

One day, one of the girls on the other end of the line, blurted out, "Wow! You know you sound so smooth on the phone." I laughed it off trying to figure out what it meant. 

Months later, the same young woman remarked, during one of our conversations, that I spoke on the phone with my "bedroom" voice. I didn't know what that meant either. I just laughed.

I knew however, that my voice on the telephone was deeper and more relaxed than in person with someone as my nervousness made my throat constricted and often my voice sounded unnaturally high, enough to bother me, especially when I heard a recording of myself talking and was horrified.

Well, months pass by, and I come into work one afternoon and the secretary says, "You know you have an admirer."

I incredulously asked, "What are you talking about?" as I chuckled.

She said, "Oh you know, Lisa, from the vendor. She called and we were talking and she said you sounded sexy on the phone and she wanted to know what you looked like."

I was horrified as I felt the pit of my stomach descend even further down into my body. "And?" I responded...

"I told her that you were about six feet tall, shoulder length dark brown hair and had hazel eyes. She said that you sounded like a hunk" was the response the secretary gave me. 

We both laughed and she said I was turning red. We laughed more and I went to my desk to begin work. I felt really awkward and uncomfortable at the conversation we just had. I was the furthest thing from a hunk. I tried to shrug it off and not think about it anymore.

I only came in a few times a week in between my classes for the most part, although on some days, I could be there for most of the week.

In the months to follow, Lisa and I spoke on various occasions and the conversation was always light but in the back of my mind, I always remembered about her inquiry about me. I tried my best to not flirt or charm anyone during the conversation, although I had a strong sense of humor and wit which often came out. 

Then one day I came into the office and the secretary said, "Are you going to the Christmas Party next month? It is the only time we get together with everyone from the vendor and celebrate together and they throw a really good celebration. Lisa said she and the other girls are really looking forward to meeting you in person finally."

I was horrified again. I actually felt queasy. I responded with "I hope to go. I am not sure of my schedule yet but we will see." Deep down, that conversation convinced me that I wasn't going to go.

In the weeks to come, Lisa and I spoke, as I did with a few other women from the vendor. Lisa said, "I am so excited to finally meet you in person. We all are. I hope you are coming!"

I tried to sound equally excited but I was more dreading it than anything else. I knew that I would walk in and a bunch of women who had envisioned some sexy beast for the past six months would end up getting me.

The thought of being under scrutiny for my looks, my face, my body, my everything, after all the build up was untenable and frightening to me.

Back in the day, there was no Social Media. There was no Google. The Internet was still fledgling. If you wanted to find out about someone, you couldn't Google them. Look up their Facebook. Try to find images of them and learn about their life. Their relationship status. Anything at all.

All you had was a name and a voice on the other end of the telephone line. Unless you happened to meet in person, like in a work place or college classroom, you had no idea what people looked like back then over the telephone. I was so sure that I was  going to disappoint them. 

So despite all the prodding and reminders and urging and encouragement by my own boss and co-workers to attend the Christmas party, and Lisa and her co-workers, I did the only thing I could think of as the day drew near. I ended up feigning sickness and called in sick on the day of the party. 

I actually was sick, now that I think about it. Sick to my stomach with nerves, fear and apprehension.

Of course, the following week at work was filled with "Oh we are so sorry you missed the party. The girls were so disappointed." 

In the following weeks, I avoided work and only came in the minimum days to do what I needed to do. It was even more horrifying a few months later when I came in late one day and the secretary told me that Lisa had stopped by earlier that morning to deliver paperwork and was bummed that I was out at the time.

I nearly threw up from anxiety. I could feel my heart pounding. It was so rare for the vendor to ever stop by like that.

Then shortly thereafter, I ended up speaking on the phone with Lisa who shared the sentiment that everyone was so sad that I didn't make it to the Christmas party. They were all looking forward to meeting me. Then came the dreaded words, "It is okay, there will always be next year's party."

My heart stopped at the thought, but it was so far away that I didn't think about it and just did my work and schoolwork. 

Before I knew it, the year flew by at record speed and sure enough, we were about a month out from December and talk of the Christmas party permeated the office. Lisa would remind me, encourage me to attend, and express how excited everyone was to finally meet me.

Our boss and secretary would also chime in about the party and my opportunity to attend. I felt the pressure growing and dread building as well.

Now after two years of waiting to meet the six-foot tall, shoulder length brown hair, hazel eyed "Hunk" that they all imagined, here would be me walking in the front door. I imagined eyes on me. Whispers. Jokes. And giant disappointment. A big let down for everyone after so much anticipation.

I was in a precarious situation as well mentally and emotionally trying to survive college. My best friend from High School had just taken his life that first college Summer after we spent so many nights together lamenting at what pathetic losers we were turning out to be. 

To be laughed at, ridiculed, or confirmed to be a big disappointment to my "admirers" might have devastated me enough to have ended my Life as well. 

I knew that I couldn't call in sick again for the big Christmas party for a second time after even more anticipation and encouragement to attend. It would only confirm that I was a freak. Mentally fragile. Socially inept. The thought of that was almost as bad as showing up and being the big letdown for everyone. I just could not call in sick for the second time as it would turn into the focal point of conversations from there on out.

So I did the only thing that I could think of at the time. As drastic as it was in hindsight. 

I quit my job. In the weeks ahead of the Christmas party.

I came up with a false reason much to the open disappointment and lamentations of my boss, her secretary and everyone of of my co-workers. I concocted some sad story that I can't even recall at this time in the fog of the distant past.

To avoid a Christmas party. To avoid attention on myself. To avoid being a disappointment to others. I quit a job that I was good at, that fit my class schedule, that surrounded me with great co-workers and a great boss. I simply quit.

So there it is. My story that I really didn't want to share. But for the urging of my sister Nalani from the Otherside of the Veil.

I am not that same young man entering the college world with trepidation, with debilitating shyness, with insecurities and body image issues. I can still be painfully shy however at times even today. It has taken me so much to overcome it. 

However, in sharing and reflecting upon this story, in trying to understand who I was, and who I am now, I do recognize that one thing hasn't changed. I am still very much worrisome about disappointing people.  I disappoint myself all the time. I can live with that. However disappointing others. That is untenable.

Those who have put their Faith, Confidence and Trust in me. Fearful of letting them down. Of not living up to expectations. Especially that of my family.

Disappointing my family living here with me. Disappointing my family and ancestors living on the Otherside of the Veil. 

Me, the culmination of all of their sacrifices, hopes, dreams, struggles, prayers and Love. 

I am doing my best not to Disappoint. My God. My Family. My Lāhui. My World. 

My very Life depends upon it. Many people's Lives depend upon it...

Thank you to my Beautiful Beloved sister Nalani for the chance to Reflect. Love and Miss you. Always and Forever.

One day we shall be able to share lunch together. In the bathroom stall of a Unisex bathroom. See you then...

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Bounty Hunter...


I made a new friend in the elevator at my building. A little wasp taking a rest. He told me he really was a Bounty Hunter hired by Lord Darth Vader to capture the Millennium Falcon and its crew. He said all his leads went cold. So I gave him a little blanket. Everyone is entitled to their Dreams. Everyone...

Na'au...


The Intersection of Ke'eaumoku and Young Street has had many accidents lately. Twice, in the period of one year, I was driving through the intersection with a green light. As I entered the intersection, something in my na'au, my gut, told me to let up on the gas and apply the brake. In both instances, applying my brake enabled me to miss T-Boning two cars on two separate occasions. One, a woman driving mauka ran the red light while talking on her cellphone. I may have killed her on impact.

The second time, a woman and her young daughter, both in the front seat, were traveling makai and ran right through the red light. The mother was on her cellphone. I could have killed her daughter on impact. I chased them down and admonished them to not use the cellphone while driving as I could have killed either of them.

Two narrow misses. Two close calls. Two potentially tragic and fatal car crashes, prevented because I chose to listen to that often quiet, almost imperceptible voice, emanating from my na'au, my viscera. The Hawaiian Heart. That voice also kept me from hitting and likely killing a man who ran out between cars in traffic on a dark rainy night when I was making a turn.

If not for the premonition, of seeing him run out from between the cars and into my path, about five seconds before it actually happened, such that I pressed the brakes and strained to watch through the rain cascaded windshield, allowing me to avoid hitting, and possibly killing him. 

Listen and Trust your Na'au. That inner voice. That gut. That instinct. That's what my Mother said four months after she passed away. On a Sunny beach in 'Ewa one Saturday morning. When she appeared.

I have listened Mother. Every since then. And Yes, it has changed my Life. Thank you. Love you. Always and Forever...

Maka'ala...


The Neighborhood Watch Program has gotten out of hand if you ask me...

Hoa Aloha...


I made a new Friend at UH Mānoa the other day. He was just as Happy to see me as I was Happy to see him...

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Mānoa...


The Mānoa Rain...
Descends Softly...
Into the Night...
Delivering me Life...
And Beautiful You...

Once...


Just One...
Memorable Kiss...
Would Leave Me...
Breathless...
And Satiated...
For an Eternity...

'Elua...


Living...
In Two...
Worlds...
With One...
Heart...

No Nā Mamo...


'Ike Hawai'i...
No Nā Mamo...

Hawaiian Knowledge...
For the Children...

Maka...


I was sitting and glanced down and noticed a distinct face on my right foot. I isolated it somewhat since the rest of my foot looked dry and darn ugly...

Friday, October 25, 2019

Cover Up...


I decided to walk home tonight from work. It became dark quickly as we are in the Winter months. I happened upon a Beautiful tree with a friendly face. I struck up a conversation while looking up at the face on the tree. 

I became a little oblivious to my surroundings and after what seemed like a few minutes of conversing and taking a few photos, I glanced down and noticed an older Asian woman had stopped slightly behind me and was looking at me and up at the tree and back over at me with mouth agape and a perplexed look on her face. 

Slightly embarrassed, I quickly put my hand up to my ear on the opposite side of my head to her and pretending to push and hold a button, I exclaimed loudly, "I'm sorry... I am going to have to call you back. I really need to run now and besides, there is a woman staring at me."

I then turned an smiled at her, said "Have a Goodnight!" and hurriedly walked off. 

Whew...that was close...

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Life...


He Lani kō Luna...
He Honua kō Lalo...

Heaven Above...
Earth Below...

Hula...


Ho'omana...


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Tree Hugger...


While waiting for my son, Elliott, at UH Mānoa, I fell in Love with yet another tree. After an hour of hugging, UH Campus Security chased me away again. I like big Trees and I can not lie. You other brothers can't deny...

Monday, October 21, 2019

Twilight's Palette...


You...


To Know...
And Love...
Such Divine Beauty...
Is Simply...
To Know...
And Love...
Divinely Beautiful...
You...

Embraced...


As the Tears Cascade...
From the Heavens...
Kāne Embraces...
His Brother Kanaloa...
Healing Love Abounds...
Life Begins...
Once Again...

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Hula...


Thank You...


Thank You...
For Believing in Me...
For Loving Me...
For a Me...
Just Being...
Me...

Poli'ahu i ke Kapu...


Another Hula Beauty...


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Hula Beauty...


Hula Kāne at the Molokai Hoe...


Hugs...


Today I hugged my first tree. I stayed there for about an hour until UH Mānoa Campus Security chased me away. I am looking forward to going back tomorrow...

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Molokai Hoe Hula...


Sriracha...


He Alo ā He Alo...
Face-to-Face...

Twilight's Fiery Arrival...


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Night...


When Night Softly Falls...
And All Life Slumbers...
Under the Silence of Starlight...
A Soft Murmuring Awakens...
My Enraptured Heart...
Whispers of Beautiful You...


Hula Beauty...


Sunday, October 13, 2019

Hula at the Molokai Hoe...


Love...


He Alo ā He Alo...
Face to Face....

Aloha Pau'ole...


Love Never Ending...

Once...


Once Upon A Time...
If I Could Capture...
The Entire Ocean...
In a Cup...
Then I Could Capture...
Beautiful You...

Molokai Hoe Hula...


Ho'olana...


To Cheer and Encourage...

Humility and Gratitude...