Planet Haolewood

A toolbox, a change of underwear, and a surfboard.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

What I Do at the End of the Workday

Perhaps some of you have noticed a dearth of photos on my blog lately. My camera broke and when I went to my old camera I found it was broken, too. I’ve ordered a new camera which is a good thing since I live is such an incredibly photogenic setting. One could simply take pictures at random and come out looking like the next Ansel Adams.

In the meantime, enjoy this picture my co-worker took from our job site this week. The house we are building overlooks a spot known as Donkey Beach. Most days out of the year it’s not a good surfing spot. But from this week’s rare combination of a long period southeast swell and light variable winds sprang forth an excellent surf break where there is usually none. The conditions lasted throughout the week. Every member of our five man finish carpentry crew is a surfer and we watched helplessly as perfect sets rolled in. On Friday the swell was starting to taper off but it had enough life in it so I went down and surfed a break I had never surfed before. A great way to start a three day weekend.

Friday, May 02, 2008

People Leave

In the past couple of months seven people I know have moved away from Kauai “back to the mainland.” It kind of sucks. I suppose it a characteristic of our age of mobility for people to be coming and going, but the population on Kauai is especially transient. Local people have a reputation for not bothering to get to know anyone who hasn’t already been here a few years and it’s understandable. Why make friends with someone who lives on the island as a temporary experiment and may hop a plane back to “real life” at any moment?

I’m coming up on two years living here myself which makes me still malihini (newcomer) as far as the locals are concerned, but I’ve actually lived here longer than a lot of people I meet.

Living on this remote island sometimes seems like a fragile experiment that could be terminated at any time. Even Hawaiians can only trace their lineage back a few centuries. No place on earth is newer to human habitation. So when people leave it gives me a sense of uneasiness, as if the party is about to start winding down.

That feeling doesn’t accurately reflect reality, of course. Today, like every other day here, plane loads and plane loads of people arrived on Kauai, mostly tourists, some coming home, and some like me two years ago, just beginning a new chapter -and for them the party has just begun.