While serving as a naval petty officer in the middle east, I got into a lively conversation over pricing with a local vendor from Bahrain. Somehow the topic of my origin came up. I mentioned I was from Hawaii. "Woah?! Hula! Hula! Waikiki!! Grass skirts! Oh, you my best friend now," said the now lively animated vendor. How did this man know or even heard of Hawaii? Mind you, this was late 80's pre-internet, cell phone era. My younger brother mentioned about a survey that asked midwest middle school kids if they could go anywhere in the world where would they go. The number one response was Disneyland. Number two? Hawaii. How does a middle school kid know anything about Hawaii? In 2001, the University of Hawaii men's basketball team made it to the NCAA regional played in Dayton, Ohio. Hawaii memorabilia was selling through the roof. A sportswriter inquired with customers what’s the fascination? One replied, “l’ll never go to Hawaii. For once, Hawaii came to me.”
All these instances got me thinking. The world generally has an idea about Hawaii. They would love to visit. But to most, it’s physically impossible and unimaginable. So, if people can’t come to Hawaii, what if Hawaii could be brought to them?
With each post I’d like to share a little of Hawaii. A place anointed as paradise to many. I place where I am humbled and so fortunate to have been raised, live and call home.