Aloha mai e nā maka heluhelu. Ua piha ʻehā pule o ko mākou noho ʻana i ʻaneʻi. He mea pīhoihoi nō ia. Mau nō ka hoʻokō ʻana i nā kuleana he nui, a mau nō ka holo pono ʻana o ka hana. He iwakāluakūmāhā pule i koe!
Aloha gangeh! We completed 4 weeks of being here on Hōlanikū. Although time seems to go by slow here, the days are flying by fast – being that Winter is making its way through and the days are becoming shorter. As soon as dinner is pau around 7-8pm (like 6-7pm here because Kure is so far north), we’re in bed before we know it. These past four weeks flew right past us. We’re continuing to blow through the work tasks and dominate through the naupaka. After spending our third week setting big-headed ants (BHA) traps throughout the island, we have returned to spraying and to reaching our goal of completing 35 acres a week. I couldn’t have been happier to spray again. In addition to spraying, we each went out and set Amdro® stations near the areas that we found BHA last week. We’ll leave them there for a month and hopefully this place will be rid of most of the colonies. They are certainly not good for our hoa manu.
More Mōlī (Laysan Albatross) are arriving here and there throughout the island. Slowly, but surely this place will be full of thousands of them. We have one in camp, a few on the beach, some near the East turnaround on the runway and at South Point, and the rest in other areas. I’m just in awe with their beauty. I can’t help but to laugh when I watch them walk because it’s then that I realize that we look just like them when we’re going through the naupaka looking for invasive species. Each step, left-foot-right-foot, our heads follow in the same direction with our backs hunched over. It’s the perfect example! These gigantic birds look so elegant and poise when they’re at rest. Their wooʻs and clucking of their beaks are too cute to not admire. I can’t wait to be surrounded by such magnificent creatures.
For dinner this weekend Andy grilled hamburgers topped with cheese and, because of our limited supply of certain food items, we settled with bagels as our bun for our burgers. I gotta say, that burger was sooo ʻono! The fact that we were eating our burgers on bagels totally didn’t phase me at all. The meat was nice and juicy and so, so satisfying! Brah, on the real, I would probably try it when I get back home, or it could just be that we’re using whatevers available. Either way, it was ʻono and I was content. As soon as we finished eating around 7pm, we went out to the pier area to burn the weed seeds that we picked over the last three weeks. The sun was just about setting once we got there. There were clouds on the horizon, so we didn’t see the sun’s rays glisten upon the sea. We were, however, blessed as usual with such beautiful scenery. As the sun went down, the clouds on the horizon were dark while the higher ones glowed with pink and orange and the water lightly reflected those colors. There was a light blue sky in the background. The sun went down further, and those clouds became a darker shade of pink and the sand glowed bright orange from the fire. It was at that moment, that I had a feeling of contentment. I couldn’t help but to smile. We had completed four weeks of being here on Hōlanikū. We accomplished a huge amount of work just within this brief time frame. We have now become acclimated to working with one another. Like I said before, we’re a hammah crew. We’re only surrounded by beauty. And now that we’ve made a mark of our residence here, I just feel more at home. And of course, it just felt good to burn those Cenchrus seeds.
As the night proceeded, a manu-o-Kū flew above me and I thought it was a shooting star. I’m very fascinated with nā hōkū lele (shooting stars) and comparing the beauty of the two just brought me happiness. And with the arrival of the new moon, the only things that light up the sky are the many tiny stars. However, there was one particularly larger star that shone so bright that there was a faint reflection in the water. It was probably the first time that I ever noticed that phenomenon since the moon is the most obvious. This night was the best way to complete this week.
As some of the crew members went out to do a shorebird and monk seal survey on Saturday, I stayed at camp and completed my chores in the morning so that I could have the rest of the weekend free. I also got to squeeze in a workout, which by the way, I have lost a few inches since I’ve been here. Stoooooking. Anyways, I went out to the beach for a few hours while repetitively reading a new book, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” and jumping the water. ʻOluʻolu ke kai. The water is getting colder, but it’s so refreshing! I was watching around 200+ ʻiwa soaring above the right side of the pier and then to the left, and soon after they went all the way out pass the lagoon and to the deep blue sea, looking like tiny little black specks. They disappeared into a rain cloud and returned to shore after an hour. The way they soared above in circles looked like a whirlwind of ʻiwa. It was quite the view. Later, after dinner, we watched the movie “North Shore” after having talked about it for a week. It was another thing that made me have a huge smile on my face as it was one of my favorite movies that reminded me of how my brother, Lōkahi, and I would quote scenes from the movie. It made me feel proud of where I am from and it also made me miss home. I miss surfing! The movie made me happy and also miss my ʻohana as the characters and places shown reminded me of them. “Nobody listens to Turtle” – crack up, I tell you. The ending of this week was just perfsss.
Well, this was an exciting week as we completed our fourth week of being here. This place feels more like home the more time I spend here. I am so happy with where I am at this moment – which leads me to closing this blog with the ʻōlelo noʻeau of the week: “Hoʻolaʻi nā manu i ke aheahe” (The birds poise quietly in the gentle breeze) – Ka Puke ʻŌlelo Noʻeau #1090. This is said of those who are at peace with the world, undisturbed and contented. I feel like this ʻōlelo noʻeau fit perfectly as we came to the end of this week. Although exhausted from work, a breath of life was blown right back into me and I am filled with happiness and contentment. We are, after all, in our own little world surrounded by nothing but the deep blue sea. ʻAʻohe pilikia. ʻAʻohe hopohopo. No troubles. No worries. It’s just us. And although I do miss my ʻohana, I have one right here. He ʻohana hou koʻu. I have everything I need. I am content.
Mahalo no ka heluhelu ʻana. A hui hou nō. Shoots den menpachissss