I read some of the stories too, and just wanted to share my own experience with you. While we were living in Hawai’i, my husband and I both worked our okoles off and didn’t have time for much else. I am sure the story is all to familiar to you. We were slaves to the economy and then with the birth of our second daughter in 2001, I took a 4-month maternity leave which was awesome. After that it was back to reality. We carpooled since he worked by the airport, and we had a babysitter in Kalihi. We were getting home at 6:30-7:00 nightly. Then there’s the public schools in Kailua that suck big time. In fact, my daughter recently had a substitute teacher here who was from Hawai’i and taught at Kalaheo. We struggled, but was able to keep her in private school all the years we lived there. The teacher told my daughter how lucky she was NOT to have gone to Kalaheo. The school she goes to now is awesome. It has everything – every sport and sports facility imaginable, every extracurricular program imaginable. And it’s a public school. She’ll be writing in the school newspaper starting next semester. And of course, my hubby’s job has MUCH more room for advancement away from Hawaii, although we’re hoping it will come full circle some day and bring us back as well. As for me, moving to Texas has been the best thing to happen to me. Believe it or not, but I have the time to learn more about the Hawaiian culture here. I don’t have to work. I’m a stay-home mom here, which is a job in and of itself. BUT, after hooking up with the right people, I have learned more Hawaiiana here in one year than I have living in Hawai’i. And that was mostly because I didn’t have the time. Now, I have the time and have taught myself how to cook a lot more local and Hawaiian dishes, Hawaiian arts and crafts, ‘olelo…….it’s awesome and so IRONIC, but I am grateful to be fortunate enough to have time here, so I have devoted it to immersing myself in it. My fear was that my little one wouldn’t know Hawai’i. She’s four now, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I am succeeding 🙂 She had show and tell last week and had to bring something with the letter “H”. She brought her stuffed animal Honu.

Jodi Benevides

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *