I LOVE Hawaii. I took this photograph on my iPhone one morning in September 2012, while walking the land at Waihe’e Coastal Dunes and Wetlands Refuge. I was talking story with my friends Sara Smith and her brood along with James and Janell Simpliciano. This place holds a very special place in my heart.
Our home is close by and our children pretty much grew up on this beach. We most likely saw our first tale slap by a humpback whale here…on second thought, we probably heard and saw our first tale slap here. Our children built dams and learned about ebb and flow of fresh water flowing into the ocean. This was one place in the whole world that we didn’t have to tell our kids no. They were free to roam, play, swim in the ocean, and feel the sun on their faces. Our hearts are tied to this part of Maui.
I share this story because like most of us that live on Maui, community is important – it’s like our extended family. So when Sara Smith of Hawaii Islands Land Trust (HILT) called on me for my help, it’s was like my sister asking for help. She asked me to get involved with supporting an event called Buy Back The Beach, an annual fundraiser for HILT.
We can make a difference. If you LOVE Hawaii and appreciate open lands like this beach you can help and we are asking you like you are family. Every little bit helps. From giving your time, which is valuable, to joining the 12th annual fundraising dinner to simply sharing this information with your family & community. I’m like your mom…calling you to help.
I know we all love eating, taking pictures of our food, sharing a meal together and talking about food. But do you ever ask yourself why? I think there are as many different answers to that question as there are food choices.
I feel for me it’s a way to bring my family together, to connect and to make sure I do my job as a parent to give my family an opportunity to have a foundation they can carry with them throughout the day and into their future.
Israeli food for the most part is usually made up of a main salad of chopped cucumber, onion, and tomato. Hummus smeared on a plate with olive oil and zatar. Then up to 20 small plates of hot peppers, picked vegetables, cabbage, falafel, eggplant, onions, cheese, and fresh warmed pitta bread. This is served even before you order a meal.
I love visiting the shuk (shoe-k) which is the local market in old part of northern Tel Aviv. I met a woman who gave me a tour of the shuk one morning. I walked to meet Miriam from my apartment to a coffee house where she gave me insights and a private tour. The market is about 3,000 years old. And of course has evolved from it’s original set up. Today you can literally buy anything there from socks to Belgium chocolate to diamonds and every food you can be hungry for. What you won’t see are any big box retail stores or processed foods. Everything is mom and pop as it has been for thousands of years. I like that, a lot.
I’m thinking of having a small party and cooking Israeli food. Who’s hungry? Who wants to come?
My family has just returned from a trip to Israel. Before we departed on our trip I had several friends that were concerned for our safety. At no time did I feel that my safety or my family were in any danger. In fact quite the opposite.
We rented an apartment in the heart of the city about a few hundred yards from the sea. Many nights I would walk to the store, a female alone and never felt afraid. Instead I felt like I was part of a community. Tel Aviv is a night city. Restaurants, pubs, grocery stores are all open late. I actually felt safer in Tel Aviv at night than walking in downtown Wailuku at night.
There are many differences between my Maui life and staying in Tel Aviv, Israel. We travel to visit family. One aspect I love is that you will not find big box stores. Instead you’ll find neighborhood bakeries, butcher shops, florists, wine shops and grocery stores. To shop for dinner you stop and shop at each of these stores all privately owned. You walk also and just buy what you need. Even in a big city like Tel Aviv – I love this aspect of city life.
I LOVED driving in Israel. It’s highly defensive driving. Traffic lights turn yellow BEFORE the light turns green. And when the light is green it flashes three times before it turns red. No one runs a red light. Everyone quickly honks to call attention to you to move or to let you know their passing and leaving only a inch or two between you and them. Each move is taken carefully, quickly and with a calculated move. No time or space is wasted. No one drives with anger or with a selfish thought. And everyone stops for people crossing the street.
Shabbat is the most important Jewish holiday that comes each week, sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. The entire city shuts down. Buses, all stores and and no business is conducted. Parks are filled with families and friends. Everyone takes a break from their regular routine. Flower vendors popup everywhere on Friday morning. It’s such a nice break.
Time spent with family is the reason for our trip. It’s so good to stop and spend time together. Coming to Israel has a special meaning. Thanks for reading.