Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Mamala Ka Aina

The days started to blur together as I got into the rhythms of construction life on maui. Work, especially lunch was great really, coming home in the evenings wasn't something I looked forward to, I shared a three bedroom house with 6 other men, making 7 of us in a space no larger than the cafe you frequent downtown. I shared my room with Brian, a man on the mend two smaller than twin beds in a dark room with a single nightstand between them. The inhabitants of my house were all from ohio and most them had farms over there which they would leave during the winter in order to sustain a family of 7 or more, a tractor, dogs, livestock and an ammunition supply large enough to remove obama from the white house if they so pleased (Needless to say I'm glad they didn't as obama has good intentions and a charisma and power lost with former heads of state). Missing home, families and all that brought with it, often lead these men to quarrel and drown their blues in the drink, this some nights would lead to violence abuse to anyone in a different state of mind. I was seemingly always in a different state of mind.

To avoid the strange ties of the household nightlife, I use to ask around amongst the local workers, Kaima, montana, Hamish, and the nakamura brothers to see if they were keen for  surf. If it was a sunny day sometimes there would be fleeting moments of daylight after work, or we'd leave early and trade our money for the oceans energy which would give longevity inevitably though out the week.

Maui is local if you look for it, tourists keep to the hotels and popular Lahaina side but if you want some good waves that aren't populated by aggravated people from the mainland swell as kooks on foams you have to venture out a bit, the gravel roads through pineapple fields are still there and at the end of them you'll find real hawaii. I paddled out at a place coined windmills, the whole wave breaks over a shallow rock shelf and steps pretty heavily. Sitting out there was a surfer and a bodyboarder, both heavily tatted with polynesian tribal, the bodyboarder and waist length hair and a shark tooth necklace tatted around his next bordered by lauhala eaves woven in a mat that slowly faded into fish scales. He gave stink eye ( a look of distain) as if to say "what you think you doin' here haole". I smiled and shaka'd him then went on to catch some waves, a few waves on and he paddled over and asked me about my board, he then proceeded to ask me where I was from, I told him that i was born in Hawaii but was an oahu boy. I also told him that I was working construction in Honokowai. He smiled and said, "Eh so you not one tourist" "You don't surf like one Haole" Wind mills had excepted me with it's enforcers. I continued to surf at Windmills with Trey and Kaimi frequently.

Brian whom I shared my room with approached me one day after seeing me surf outside honokowai and asked if I could teach him,  We bought him a board and soon had him in the water, he was driven, there was no doubt about it, but the respect for the ocean necessary eluded him. I continued to teach him but made sure he understood his own limits. There was one such day that really tested him, tested me, the coast guard, 100 spectators from the kanapali resort, and the fire brigade...the day peahi roared to life.